As Christians, I think there will be something we can all testify to that we have been challenged by in our obedience to Christ at one time or another. That is because it is never easy to be asked to step outside of our comfort zones because it feels unsafe and insecure to us. It is outside of our human nature and causes friction within our flesh. However, there is great reward for those who endure the discomfort and trials that the path of obedience may bring.
In Matthew 6:19-21 Jesus says, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
I think if we were to take these words of Jesus seriously, we would not be selfish in our motives, but instead we would be submitted to Him in all we do. We would see that every action, thought, or opinion has eternal significance, either for the Kingdom of light or darkness. Rather than being driven by our own security or success, when these words anchor deep in our soul, I believe that our priorities will shift to giving God the glory rather than our own success and comfort.
When coming to do my DTS, I had arrived with many of my own plans. I was accepted into university for the following year and would presumably work that same career for the rest of my life or until I got married and started having children. That plan was not bad, but I think my priorities were. I was putting myself and my security above Jesus.
It was at about the three-week mark of my DTS when God began to challenge me to surrender my plans. As a child who was afraid of disobeying, but still wanted their own comforts, I kept on asking God, “are you sure?” It was then than He revealed to me the emptiness of a life lived for oneself can bring, and in contrast, the fullness of life He was offering me in following Him. It was in that moment I surrendered my life and my future and decided to walk in obedience to Christ, no matter the cost.
As time passed, a call to ministry was made evident to me. God began to break my heart for the nominal Christians of the west and give me a burden those who have never heard the Gospel. My heart burned to fulfill God’s call on my life and that began to far outweigh my concern for this future path of discomfort and challenges.
Looking back, saying yes to this path has been extremely hard. But I will say this, God has faithfully shown up, provided for my every need, and given me grace for seasons I could not fathom walking through. Even though I have faced my share of challenges, this path has been better than anything I could have dreamt of because I get to walk closely with my Father. Obedience is so much more than saying yes when its hard or when you don’t want to, it’s a life laid down for the purpose of Christ while sharing in the riches of Christ. It is a life lived to the fullest potential.