Why God Led Me Away From Volunteering

IMG_0069In early April the Lord told me to do something really strange…step away from every volunteering ministry

This was weird since this was a wonderful way of connecting with the unsaved, and sharing the Gospel. The Lord’s allow me to have an impact on many lives through these ministries for the cause of Christ. And to be honest I still loved doing it.

However realizing the Lord knows what’s best for me more than I do [1] my focus began to revolve around studying and writing instead of active ministry. That was fun for a few days but soon I found myself getting bored.

My first response to this boredom was going online and looking for any new volunteering opportunities in the area, then I remembered God was leading me away from this.

After a week of this different philosophy my frustration was building and I began asking the Lord to open a door of opportunity instead of trying to force it open myself.

God answered in an incredible way

On June 17th I will be on my way to Chittagong, Bangladesh to teach two classes on behalf of Piedmont International University.

The first is an overview of Christology that uses forty Biblical events to describe the Bible’s big story. The second class is an Introduction to Classic Christian Literature which interestingly will be using films on major Christian books since we don’t have time to read them.

In late April when I was asked to teach this class [2] immediately it became clear why God wanted me to step aside from everything else…He was calling me deeper

That’s the thing about God, He loves to open huge amazing doors for us if we let Him.

The problem is we (I) are totally focused on our own strength, and end up pushing with all of our might against a much smaller door (but one we are just sure is God’s Will).

Because God loves us and wants us to choose Him willingly He will give us what’s behind that door.  But He knows they won’t satisfy because the door we walk through is too safe.

Drew Dyck in his book “Yawning at Tigers” (awesome book by the way)describes our choosing safety over God’s Will using the illustration of a lagoon at a resort, and the actual ocean

The problem really wasn’t what was in the lagoon. Its what wasn’t. There were no waves, no spray from the surf, no tides, no coral reefs, no danger, no depths. It wasn’t the ocean (pg.20, par.3)

If the ocean is like God, the lagoon is a poor, but useful replacement. It’s domesticated Christianity. It’s engagement with a letter deity (pg.20, par.5)

In a thousand little ways, we’ve chosen the comfort of the shallows over life in the deep (pg. 21, par.3)

As I prepare for Bangladesh I’m dealing with some conflicting emotions. Part of me would prefer to teach kindergarteners English instead of flying to a foreign Country and teaching Theology, but at the same time I know thats a door that I would have opened instead of God.

And it’s the safe little lagoon.

We can be thankful that God knows deep inside each of us is a craving for something deeper than the average life. And therefore He calls quietly but urgently for us to follow Him into the deeper water.

  1. a lesson I learned the hard way 🙂  ↩
  2. original plans were in January but we had to postpone  ↩

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