by Ray Majoran
Back in January, Carolyn and I made the decision to move and downsize our home. As Carolyn noted in her 90-10 post, our primary goal is to put ourselves in a situation where we can give more.
Since her post, we have put our current house on the market and purchased a new home for considerably less than the one we’re living in now. But here’s the kicker: Even though we both felt called by the Lord to make this move, we haven’t been able to sell our house.
I mean, if the Lord calls you to do something, shouldn’t everything just fall into place? In all honesty, that’s what I thought would happen. If we’re obeying the Lord’s call in our lives, shouldn’t He just act accordingly?
Well, it turns out, He is.
Over the course of the last couple of months, Carolyn and I have found ourselves frustrated. And it’s not a frustration because we don’t believe our house will sell, because we do. And it’s not a frustration because we’re having second thoughts on what God’s called us to do, because we’re not. On the contrary, we are more passionate than ever about God’s calling on our lives to “want less” and “want Him more”.
Quite simply, the frustration that we’re experiencing is because we’re not satistfied with how quickly (or slowly) this process is moving along.
The other day was a perfect example. We were notified by our real estate agent that someone had requested a showing. In response, we (mostly Carolyn) spent a considerable amount of time getting the house ready… cleaning all the floors and sinks, vacuuming, and so on. About an hour before the showing, our agent texted us and said that, “The people just took a drive up to Ilderton (our town) and felt that it was a little too far for them. Therefore they are cancelling.”
“Are you kidding me? Really? You couldn’t have taken a 7 minute drive up to Ilderton before booking the showing?” Those were the thoughts that penetrated my mind (and I’m sure Carolyn’s too).
Within minutes, the Lord brought Scripture to my mind… and not a “consoling Scripture verse” that’s often used in times of frustration or disappointment, but rather a very pointed event. The verse that He brought was when the Israelites were fleeing Egypt. Pharaoh had just released them, and upon doing so, changed his mind and went after them to bring destruction.
As Pharaoh approached, the Israelites looked up, and there were the Egyptians, marching after them. They were terrified and cried out to the Lord. They said to Moses, “Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you brought us to the desert to die? What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt? Didn’t we say to you in Egypt, ‘Leave us alone; let us serve the Egyptians’? It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert!”
Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” – Exodus 14:10-14
Be still. Trust. Wait.
We could have stayed in our current house forever – a beautiful 4+2 bedroom home, tons of space, a great community, great neighbors and a nice backyard. But the fact of the matter is, if we did, we would continue to be slaves to mortgage debt, lost opportunity, and most importantly, we would be ignoring the Spirit that has been calling us to do this for a long time.
James 4:17 says, “If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.” And for us, to stay here and ignore the call that God has placed on each of our lives would have been sin. (Read my post, “A Conversation with Wisdom”, for more on the “mortgage debt” comment.)
Francis Chan says it perfectly: “God doesn't call us to be comfortable. He calls us to trust Him so completely that we are unafraid to put ourselves in situations where we will be in trouble if He doesn't come through.”
If we fall flat on our face because we chose to obey God, I can live with that. If we fall flat on our face because we ignored His calling, I can’t live with that.
But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord. (Joshua 24:15)
God made the Israelites march around the walls of Jericho seven times (Joshua 6). He could have just taken the walls down. He waited until the very last days to give Sarah a child (Genesis 21). He could have given Isaac to her in her youth. He made David wait 15 years to become king of Israel (2 Sam. 5). He could have just crowned David when Samuel anointed him (1 Sam. 16).
Of three things I am sure:
In Him, we put our trust.