Sunday, March 25, 2012

Going, going, gone!

“Go therefore and make disciples…” –Matt. 28:19

There’s a lot of talk these days about Mission trips. They sound kind of fun, but truth is, going is always difficult.

The last time I checked, the word “go” was a verb. It’s not a noun naming something. It’s not an adjective describing something. It’s not a number counting something. It’s a verb. It’s an action word. Webster defines “go” as “the ability to move, follow a course, to leave, to depart, to move from one place to another.” Like a baseball homerun hit out of the ballpark, when we go we’re gone.

But it’s so easy to cozy up to our familiar surroundings. We know where the food is in our frig, we know how to operate the remote on our TV, and we know how to operate the thermostat in our hallway. It’s familiar and predictable. That’s why when we’re prompted to move it can be so difficult. It’s why most people just choose to stay. But God often says “GO” in capital letters. Even though we know Mission trips are awesome, it’s difficult to move. Sometimes the going is across the street and sometimes the going is across the seas.

The word “go” is used 1324 times in the Bible (feel free to count them!). Every time it’s used, it’s all about (you guessed it) going. Did you know that being called by God always involves going? I have to move from a place of comfort to a place of calling. Sometimes the “going” involves moving us geographically and other times the “going” involves moving us in our spirit. God has “moved me on” several times without leaving my current ministry. Other times He has asked me to “go and grow.” He has asked me to change a perspective. He has asked me to renew a relationship. He has asked me to refine a mission. They all involve “going.”

Scripture is sprinkled with stories of people going (or not going). Here are 3 examples:

1. Jesus challenged Ananias in Acts 9:15 to “go” [por-a-oh-my] “Go on your way” and love on a blinded Paul. He was hesitant, but his apprehension of Paul was turned to love because of the Lord’s directive. God always sees potential—not what is, but what could be.

2. Jesus had just healed a man who was tormented by demons in Mark 5:1 (also, Lk 8:26, Matt. 8:28). This man was excited to go with Jesus. Jesus said to “go” [por-a-oh-my] to his hometown. So the man obeyed, went where “he stayed” and the people marveled.

3. Jesus, in His last words to the disciples in Matt. 28:19, told the disciples to “go” [epi-care-eo] “set at liberty.” Jesus said, “All authority has been given to me. Lean on me for your liberty.” Jesus said, “Go and make disciples, baptize, teach and lean on Me.”

Are you ready to “go?” Staying is never a good choice. When we stay, we grow stagnant. When we stay, we lose purpose. When we stay, we grow anxious. Remember, this isn't about geography. I know people that move every few years looking for a purpose. They are moving but not going. It begins right now where I’m planted.

Pray to the Lord that He will move you and your family. If you stand still, then He can’t take you anywhere. Let Him teach you and encourage you and fill you. It may get a little uncomfortable because moving is never easy.

And as you “go,” don't forget to enjoy the journey and let the Spirit “move” you.

By Eric Joseph Staples ©

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