Trusting God’s Call

“I tell you the truth,”  He continued,  “no prophet is accepted in his hometown.”  Luke 4:24.

But Jesus said unto them,  “Only in his hometown and his own house is a prophet without honor.”  Matthew 13:57.

The last several years have been an extreme make over for me.  I moved to Portland at the request of my brother, Tracy, to record an album with him and maybe do some gigs locally.  We started on the process until he decided to start his own business, pressuring me to join him.  I know I was pretty clear about my purpose for being in Portland as well as where I saw my life going, but for some reason he and others simply ignored my assertions an put the pressure to join them until I began to doubt my own sanity.  Every time I think of this situation I remember the prophet who died because he deviated from God’s instructions to go straight home.  I am now wrestling my way mentally back to a service ordered life and aligning myself with the call I believe God placed on my life and commitment I made to serve Him.

Yet I faced nothing but discouragement from my family.  No one supported the choices I had made in my life nor the ones I intended to make for my future, so I thought,  “If those closest to me don’t see what I believe is obvious, then maybe I’m just deluding myself.  May be I just imagined the calling and am full of delusions of grandeur.”  I laid out a couple of fleeces and the answers came back positive on the side of God’s call on my life, but nothing momentous happened to support these answers.  In other words no one around me thought I was reasonable or balanced about where I had set myself to go nor did they think much of my life in general.  After about three years of nothing but negative input and failed attempts to help my brother’s business, it failed, which was also a sign I asked from God:  If He wanted me to move on to full time ministry, He had to kill my brother’s business because at the time Tracy was going through a crisis of faith and I didn’t feel comfortable deserting him.

I now see God’s hand in this loyalty to my brother.  My faith was more settled in some ways, many of the questions he wrestled with at the time I was already on the road to answering so, while I discovered and grew with him, I also had something to contribute to his foundation security.  On the other hand, I also believe God set me up to see what I would do with the pressure and to strengthen my growing faith in His providence.  I may have deviated from the plan I thought was important (i.e. recording an album and touring with it), but God’s plan seemed to be different.  I think He really wanted me to stick around these guys in order to grow some enemic places in my own life as well as demonstrate God’s “foolishness” (see 1 Corinthians 1:27ff) to those who acted like they had it figured out.

Again I prayed,  “Lord, if You want me to continue in construction as my ‘tent making’, You will have to supply the work for I can’t advertise or do anything about it.”  He’s kept me busy in this field for a little over 8 years.  I’ve ministered in several churches, married, divorced and become a dad.  While I don’t have a clear idea what all this means or if I’m being true always to His calling or not, I see His hand in everything I do.  His supply has never wavered or stopped, though He has definitely delayed many times, scaring me out of my wits.

You see I became afraid of the music business years ago because I saw it going a direction which seemed to me self-directed rather than God-oriented.  O, the rhetoric sounded spiritual, but mostly musicians talked about career rather than ministry to the church or those who search for Jesus.  So I wrestled with this issue for about ten years and concluded I was not geared for a “crossover” ministry but meant to simply teach and preach the gospel.  Now I’m nearly 49, way past my prime as a musician (even though one of my buds still calls me “Rocker Jon” with tongue firmly in cheek) and not marketable in the popular sense as anything in the music world.  If I had established a career years ago, I might have been able to continue touring and selling music, but as it is, I’m at the mercy of God.

Here is where you find me.  I now have a 4 1/2 yo boy whom God has given me to disciple and train in Christ, a growing ministry on this blog, the music still happens, though in a different sense than what I dreamed when I was young and only a miracle of God will put me back in a place of service through music He’s given me to publish. 

Sounds discouraging, huh?

Yet I won’t give up on serving Him.  If one door for ministry closes, He opens another; if the road to service bends sharply to right, I follow it.  I know He will use whatever gifts or abilities I have to His glory and for no other reason, so I continue to press on no matter what—even though many in my inner circle get irritated and angry with my “stubborn” refusal see “reality” according to their values.  I might be insane but rest on the truth of God’s Word, which says,  He (Abraham) is our father in the sight of God, in whom he believed—the God who gives life to the dead and calls things that are not as though they were.  Romans 4:17.  Abraham was considered by many to be insane for leaving his family and going somewhere without a clear idea of a destination.  He might be considered an icon of faith now, but I bet most would look at him if he lived in the present time as deluded and definitely misguided.

Without a doubt I know what many others think of me because, for some reason, they tell me quite bluntly.  Still I know the answers to prayer God gives me daily, how He provides for me constantly, His mercy and grace continues to sustain my life and goals.  I am not successful in the eyes of most people probably, but I know success in the eyes of man is a misnomer anyway.  I trust in Jesus who redeems even my worst mistakes in order to further His work through me for others–and not only for their sake, but while ministering to them through me, He encourages me as well to continue giving of myself for His sake.

I may be insane by the world’s standards, but O what beautiful state of mind to be in when Jesus gives a peace that goes beyond understanding.  If you know God has called you to serve Him in whatever field your gifting indicates, don’t give up or grow discouraged with the naysayers for they would destroy the work of God for the sake of temporary comfort.  Trust God’s call on your life and don’t ever give up.  The rewards are more awesome than you can imagine.

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2 Responses to “Trusting God’s Call”

  1. tlc4women Says:

    It seems crazy to do what we do. I know my friends from my career days think I’m stupidly given up key years of financial prosperity to do what I do. Most days though I find contentment beyond what I’ve ever known.

  2. How I Lost Thirty Pounds in Thirty Days Says:

    Hi, nice post. I have been thinking about this issue,so thanks for sharing. I’ll definitely be coming back to your posts.

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