Finding Fulfillment in Obedience

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Fulfillment and joy in serving the Lord does not come from getting to do what we imagine, but from obedience to the Lord’s will.

Dear Sister,

In this letter I want to write something that should help us to make the right decisions as we seek to follow the Lord.

How much courage do we have when God asks us to do something we have never done before or something we think we have no talent to accomplish? Perhaps it would be more accurate to ask ourselves this: How much willingness do we have to obey Him and step out in faith?

When I look back at my own life, as a young Christian I was eager to serve the Lord in evangelism and outreach ministry. I enjoyed being on the front lines, and I imagined that after my marriage this would be the main area where I would help my husband in his ministry. However, to my surprise, God began to ask me to do things I never wanted to do—or thought I couldn’t do.

While I was growing up, my mother worked in a bank. Seeing her sitting at an office desk every day and doing paperwork, I decided that this would be the one thing I would never do in my life. I was willing to serve the Lord at the end of the world... but not sitting at a desk.

Guess what the Lord had planned for me? He began giving me things to do such as mailing prayer letters, replying to people’s questions regarding our ministry, sending thank you notes to prayer partners and eventually writing a few small stories for a devotional booklet. Later on, when we had no writer for our monthly prayer letters and reports, writing became my regular job. Today, years later, I am involved in writing for all sorts of our ministry publications, including several books.

Was it easy for me to switch from wanting to do outreach ministry to sitting at a desk and writing? Perhaps not at first. But I discovered that my fulfillment and joy in serving the Lord did not come from getting to do what I imagined, but from obedience to the Lord’s will. I can honestly say I do my writing with the same heart commitment as I would do outreach work.

There were a lot of things I needed to learn on the job. I didn’t have writers’ training, and English is not my mother tongue. It stretched and challenged my faith to believe God that He would give me the ability to do new writing projects I had never done before. I also learned to humbly accept correction from others. I remember well, in the beginning, how my husband would read what I composed and cross half out, asking me to rewrite it. This would happen several times until it sounded right.

The Lord was faithful to give me a dear friend, Heidi, who is a writer for our ministry as well. She edits my work before it goes for publication. That way my English grammar and expressions are correct. We have worked together for many years.

Why am I telling you all these stories? I suspect that one of these days, the Lord may want to teach you some of the same lessons He wanted me to learn.

Let me encourage you not to choose the easy road and refuse to do something new or something you wouldn’t plan for yourself. This is your opportunity to step out in faith and learn to trust Him. I promise you will be amazed at the wonderful things God will do through your life if you allow Him to lead you beyond your comfort zone.

If you feel unqualified or afraid, you are not alone. The Bible is full of people who felt just the same.

Please read the story of Moses’ calling in Exodus 3 and 4. God was ready to deliver the Israelites out of slavery. He assigned the task to a man who did his best to convince the Lord that he couldn’t do it. These were Moses’ arguments:

I am a nobody (3:11), I don’t know what to say (3:13), I am sure no one will believe me or listen to me (4:1), I can’t speak well (4:10) and I don’t want to be the messenger (4:13).

Do any of these reasons sound familiar to you? Have you tried to convince yourself, and God, with similar ones? God had news for Moses. He didn’t want his abilities and talents—all He looked for was his willingness and obedience. God was going to take care of the rest. He told Moses:

I will be with you (3:12), I will do the miracles (3:20), I will teach you what to say (4:12), I will give you an assistant (4:14), I will be with your mouth and his mouth (4:15) and I will teach you what you are to do (4:15).

Imagine for a moment that Moses refused God’s call and stayed with his sheep in the wilderness. He would never have known what the Lord could accomplish through his life—simply by putting his faith in God when offered a job he thought he couldn’t do.

My dear Sister, the same promises God gave to Moses are for you as well. I pray that when God asks you to step out in faith, you will do it. The God who parted the Red Sea when Moses was willing to trust Him will do whatever it takes for you to accomplish His will.

I hope that what I’ve shared with you will encourage you in your walk with the Lord.

Your sister,

Gisela

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