“I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.” – Philippians 3:14
Have you ever been in a place where you reach a fork in the road? You know that God is calling you to choose a path, but for some reason you’re scared to answer the call?
I’ve found as a pastor that when people reach a crossroads like this, they struggle to know which path to take.
Instead of living out God’s best for your life, you get stuck in a cycle of waiting. You know you need to make a choice, but instead you get stuck.
Refusing to choose a path at all is the worst place you can be, because instead of moving forward, you become crippled by indecision.
The famous Dr Seuss offers some wisdom that certainly doesn’t just apply to children. He writes in Oh the Places You’ll Go (one of my favorite books of all time, and a book I highly suggest you read) that you get stuck in the waiting place:
“Waiting for a train to go, or a bus to come, or a plane to go … Everyone is just waiting … waiting around for a Friday night, or waiting perhaps for their Uncle Jake, or a pot to boil, or a Better Break, or a string of pearls, or a string of pearls, or a pair of pants, or a wig with curls, or Another Chance.”
The waiting place is a most dreadful space to be, because it’s a place where you never end up giving your best to God.
If He calls you down a path, He wants to bless it and equip you to do this good work. He doesn’t want you to be stuck in a place of idleness. In fact, the Apostle Paul writes to his letter to the church in Thessalonica:
“And now, dear brothers and sisters, we give you this command in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ: Stay away from all believers who live idle lives and don’t follow the tradition they received from us.” (2 Thess. 3:6)
When God called me into full-time pastoral ministry – I resisted the call. For months, I conjured every excuse imaginable to level with God. “I’m not ready.” “There are better people who are more equipped.” “There’s too much sin in my life.” “Can’t you find someone else, God?”
When the excuses piled up to the point of exhaustion, I turned to other means of ignoring the call. I stalled. And stalled. And stalled some more.
Finally – I reached breaking point. On a night I will never forget, I realized that turning away from the call to ministry that God had placed in my life would forever haunt me. I knew that if I ignored the call, I would always wonder what my life could have been if I had just said ‘yes’ to God.
Maybe you’re standing at a crossroads today. You know that God has called you to something, but you’re stuck in idle. You’ve been crippled by fear.
Fears like – “if I go down this path, what will people think of me?” “will God protect me if I step into this role?” “how can I go down this path? I’m not ready yet God!”
Know this today: the worst decision you can make is no decision at all. Don’t get stuck in the waiting place, but know that as you follow God’s call, He’s going to go before you and guide you every step of the way.
I pray today that you would avoid idleness and be able to run the race of endurance set before you as you step boldly into the call God places on your life.