DON’T QUITHaving arrived at this page, I hope you have kept your journal. Go back to Chapter 2frequently and continue to let God adjust your personality and to challenge you. Onecharacter trait that we are going to look at in this chapter is
being a person who finisheswhat he starts.
How many people have started out on a project, one they thought God had called them to,only to quit before they finish? There are all kinds of excuses. It was too hard. I forgot. Nobody was helping me. Something else came up. I just didn't feel that God was in it.Please understand these can be good reasons for not finishing a project. More often thannot, though, they are not legitimate excuses, just excuses. How do you know thedifference?First we need to be sure we chose a task for a good reason and with good motivation.Suppose God has called you
to the mission field (you believe he has). Again, supposeyou are in the midst of college which (is not an unusual time to get the call). Many peoplethink they should quit and get at it. Another will finish college, having a substantialstudent loan debt they will get involved in something interesting(to pay back theloans) and either forget the call or have excuses for not following through. We are not a people who like to wait, carrying a call for many years before we start. It may help tounderstand that God has carried you and your call since the beginning of time. He is patient. When God calls you to do something part of that call is the preparation for thecall. That can mean school, training, short-term trips, other ministry, relationshipdevelopment and any number of different life experiences, maybe finishing this book. Weoften fail to understand that God is active in everything that is going on in our lives.
In 2003, after 23 years of pastoring a great church, God called Joanne (my wife) and I tofull-time missions in Brazil. We understood that the 55 years we had lived on this planetwere a preparation for this call, for this time in our lives. There were years of dryness,times of great pain—and great joy, times of abundance and times of want. We would not be who we are today without those experiences. For some reason we, as a people, have avery short attention span and a great deal of impatience.
It is worth looking at some Biblical leaders. Pick out two (David, Moses, Abraham,Jesus, Paul, Saul and/or others of your choice) and do a study (use your journal) of their preparation time for ministry. How old were they when they began their ministry(remember ministry is what you do in response to God's call on your life). What took place in their lives that would prepare them for this time? Explain how their successesand failures were tutors on their way to leadership. As you study their lives, consider howwould you have reacted? Would you have quit? Acted differently? Why? As they enteredministry their success and failures continued. How did they finish and what part did these
Just a quick note about God's call: I am not speaking only of the pastorate or missions. I believe God callsus to all walks of life. Businessmen/women, doctors, lawyers, dentists, or any other profession or job (yes,even being a laborer) can be calls from God. Open you heart to his call. Some people have a very narrowdefinition of ministry. Don't believe it. Wherever God calls is ministry.
2/19/2010 12:17 a2/p2