I was sitting in our backyard during lunch with my friend, and as we ate our sandwiches, we began to discuss what following God actually looks like, as opposed to what it can sometimes be deceived into looking like. I love talking about this. I’m really passionate about this revelation becoming more and more revealed among the Body of Christ world-wide because man, if it does, the nations are going to turn upside down for Jesus.
When I applied to DTS, I remember hanging up the phone, feeling certain that I was supposed to go to YWAM Newcastle because they were the first to call me. 4 1/2 years later, I am still here. One thing I’ve learned since being here – one of my most life-changing revelations – was how to hear God’s voice.
When I think back over these past years, though, recognizing this new revelation – this new way of life – I can’t help but wonder if this is where I would be had I had this revelation before coming here. I came here based on an external circumstance – David, from YWAM Newcastle, came into the office one morning and saw that Ashley Kinney had applied for the July DTS and like every morning, called to answer questions and help with the application process. Simple. Straightforward. However, that simple, straightforward action on someone else’s part became my “word of the Lord.” Don’t get me wrong – God moved and absolutely changed my life. If I would have continued living life by those outside circumstances, though, I would have long ago left Australia, moved back to the States and figured out some job – probably whoever offered me one first.
It can be tempting to live like this, and unfortunately, I really think that the enemy has worked very hard to keep us in this trap.
Let’s look at an example.
Sally just finished University. Naturally, she starts applying for jobs. 6 months go by – no job. “God hasn’t opened up any doors.” A month later, a phone call and a job offer. Not quite her specialty. Not at all what she was heading towards. Not particularly inspiring. A job, though, and after 7 months of nothing, Sally takes that as “God opening a door.” She takes the job.
What’s wrong with this? Sally hasn’t really included God. Sally has said, “Hey God. I just finished University and I am going to start applying for jobs. So can you help me out with one?” Sally is actually asking God “Come follow me”. Jesus asked the disciples in Matthew 4:19, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Sally has decided to take steps forward, though, and then when nothing works out or only one thing works out, she says “that’s God.”
The good can be the enemy of the best.
We think there’s “God’s way” and “Satan’s way”. When it looks good and obvious and clear – that is certainly “God’s way.” In all reality, though, the enemy is much more cunning than that. He doesn’t distract us with bad options. He distracts us with pretty good options. Clever and often victorious.
We need to stop, and say, “Hey God…God of the Universe that loves me and sent His Son to die for me and wants the best for me — what’s my first step? What should I do?”
When I decided to do DTS, I based the location on that phone call. Easy enough. Now though, after hundreds of circumstances have said “you shouldn’t be a missionary”, God has taken me deeper, given me more revelations and ultimately, given me His best.
Unfortunately, this isn’t happening often. Instead this is happening:
No money is coming in = “Well this must not be what God wants me to do if He isn’t providing the money for it.”
Visa got denied = “Well God must not want me there because He hasn’t made room for me to go.”
Parents aren’t supportive = “God must want me to stay at home and live with them.”
How unfortunate the “bests” that have been missed because of the enemy’s victories in deceiving “God’s will” with circumstances.
We pursue the path of least resistance. That path is also known as the “wide gate” in the Bible (Matthew 7:13-14) – that one that leads to destruction…
Instead, keep in mind that the closer we get to what God wants us to do…the longer that we do that for…the harder the enemy is going to make it for us.
Pursue Him. Follow Him.