By Richard Shoemaker, GE team leader
Scripture is very clear that God has called each one of us to “GO”. To “GO” and serve Him, to serve others, to be a light set on a hill, to be salt, to stand alone, but most importantly to proclaim His gospel. Matthew 28:19-20 says, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” So we know that God has called us to go and make disciples and proclaim the gospel. So what does that look like for you and me?
Acts 1:8 helps to answer that question. It says, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Here we see that God has called us to be HIS witnesses, witnesses for almighty creator Yahweh. It does not say to live like that when we go to church on Sunday but EVERYDAY, EVERYWHERE. So maybe you are thinking, “I know what is right, I love God, and I know He has called me to GO, but, there are so many details, and don’t I need training?” “How will I know what to say?” “Don’t I have to go on a mission trip across the ocean to Africa first?” “How will I ever get enough money?” “Will it be hard?” “What will I do when I don’t have internet every night, a hot shower, or a steaming cup of coffee every morning?” [Don’t worry, GE trips always have coffee… :-)] God has called us to “GO” and gives us reassurance that, “HE is with us always”: He is Jehovah Jireh, Our Provider and He doesn’t, “call the qualified but qualifies the called.
Over the past few months God has brought me back to the example of Abraham. Abraham was one of the seven men whom scripture says walked with God. Here is Abraham living peacefully with his family and one day God tells him to pack his bags and move to an undisclosed place. God calls him to leave his family, friends, and everything familiar and “GO”. So how did he do it? Abraham went BY FAITH! His relationship with the Lord was such that he trusted God and followed Him faithfully. As we take a look through Hebrews 11 at God’s “hall of fame” for Bible time heroes of the faith we see sixteen times that they went BY FAITH. I think God considers it pretty important if He commands us sixteen times to go in faith. When we trust God to provide and follow Him, He is faithful to provide and sustain us at just the right times. We must be faithful to “GO” when God calls us.
In the second part of Acts 1:8 we see three distinct areas that God calls us to serve Him in. When we serve God it MUST start at home, with those around us, in our churches, and in our communities. Only then can we begin to step out to other areas. And to some that looks different than to others. Some God has called to support others work “at the end of the earth” through prayer, while others are the actual “boots on the ground”.
The team and I just returned from two, God-filled, weeks in Colombia. Some of us didn’t know how we were going to get there, or how we would accomplish the task God had ordained for our time there, but when we stepped out in faith and followed His promptings we saw God provide time and time again. He truly is faithful.
In one specific instance we were asked to speak to a “young singles group” about singleness and missions. Perfect, we were all excited and several of us prepared messages to share with them. The night arrives and I walk into the room and immediately notice something: every person in there was older than me. It turns out we were really speaking to the “young professionals group.” We knew God had called us there so we dove in by faith. As we shared about missions and catching a passion for missions in their own city many seemed to grasp the message. After the service they had many questions for the team and we spent the next hour talking one-on-one with them about missions and the centrality of it in the life of the believer. The fire of the gospel was catching hold in their lives and we left feeling refreshed and excited knowing that God was at work in their lives.
Several days later we received word that as a result of our time with them, they were so excited for the gospel and missions that they scrapped the plans for their yearly summer retreat. With only two weeks till the event they changed everything to focus on missions. They were excited and ready to “GO” for the Lord in their own city and church. They are stepping out BY FAITH to follow God’s leading.
May each of you GO BY FAITH in all the Lord leads you to!
Richard Shoemaker lives in Oklahoma where he works in the family air conditioning, plumbing and heating business as the contract controller and overseeing general operations. Richard also serves as a GE team leader, and is active in after-school Bible clubs, young men’s discipleship, and horse camps. In his spare time Richard enjoys hiking, running, playing volleyball, and teaching audio/video at his church. We think he might be learning to like coffee as well…