God’s Patience is For Everyone
None of us know when we’re going to be called. We can’t foresee the time or the circumstances. It can be in our bleakest of days or at moments when we think we’ve achieved our maximum potential. We also can’t fully prepare for who our messenger will be, but if we can be open to the opportunity, greatness is awaiting us all.
For Obi, he was not only unaware at the time of his calling that God was speaking to him, he outwardly rejected it. Found as an orphan, the local church asked Mission ONE partners in West Africa to help support Obi through schooling. Mission ONE connected Obi to resources to access education, investing in him over the years, even as he openly persecuted the church.
Our partner’s faith in this calling to service Obi persevered even though he wasn’t a believer. He continued to oppose the church, but still, they persisted. Years of commitment to his education and establishing a relationship with him was not in vain.
Obi’s heart began to soften to the word of God. And before them, a faithful servant emerged. Eventually, he joined the ministry, going so far as to host meetings for prayer and worship in his own home.
With the arrival of Covid, a new challenge threatened to break Obi’s newfound purpose, but he had discovered his calling and nothing was going to derail him. Despite the challenges he’s met during the pandemic, he has been diligent in his assignment to equip and train members for ministry while overcoming obstacles in his way.
Who You Were Before God Doesn’t Change His Love
Believing you can’t become close to God because you’ve failed to in the past is a common trap anyone can fall in. We all become acclimated to our own habits and succumb to complacency with our beliefs. Passive believers, atheists, or outright persecutors of the church are NEVER beyond saving.
When we feel like we’ve lost our opportunity with God it is important to remember that there is no such thing. He is always there.
And it is equally important to remind those already in the Lord’s loving embrace not to forget this message. To remember that those who are lost can still find their way into the Kingdom. That even the most hopeless of cases can find a path home.
Faith can be tested in many ways. On the one hand, your faith will be tested as you face earthly challenges. On the other hand, your faith in God’s power will be tested, as you observe souls around you suffering without His love.
For many, hearing, and then answering, God’s call can take years. It can take a lifetime even. If the church members responsible for Obi’s education had given up in the years he was resisting God’s teachings, a faithful minister could have been lost. If they had rejected their calling, Obi may have never found his own.
Be as dedicated to your faith in God’s work in others as you are in the growth of your own relationship with Him.
God’s Patient Pursuit
Impatience is a plague in this world. One that feels like it may get worse every year. With all the instant gratification around us, we all can fall victim to a false sense of urgency.
God doesn’t feel this restlessness when waiting for His children to embrace him. He will wait for as long as it takes. And while His call might get louder or His hand may grow heavier as it’s met with resistance, He never turns his back. No matter how difficult the battle.
If you feel yourself being called, answer. If you feel yourself growing agitated that you don’t understand the calling or haven’t seen the results of your response, remember God’s patience. Remember that time doesn’t hold a place in Heaven. Remember that the more you turn events over to Him, the further His love can spread.
The world today has us all feeling like we have to hurry up to get to the next checkpoint. But there is only one destination intended for all of us and God’s patient pursuit is boundless. Stay steadily faithful in a world that tells you to rush His will. Everything is going exactly according to His plan.
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3 Ways to Honor God on Your Next Mission Trip
We're sharing three things you should consider before you organize or participate in an international mission trip, seek to do work in the multicultural neighborhood in your own city, or embark on any cross-cultural partnership.