Expectation and excitement, these are the two words which describe our Christmas vacation to Florida this year. The last time I was there was 7 years ago; God spoke to me by the way of 2 dreams. I have watched those dreams unfold over the last few years. So when we decided to go back this year, an excitement and expectation grew within us. Would He speak again to us, would He share another dream? What was going to happen? The Bible teaches in Hebrews 11:6, ”Without faith it is impossible to please God, because we have to believe He is who He says He is and, that He rewards those that diligently seek Him.” So we see faith in God should produce two things– expectation and excitement.
Each morning I approached prayer with the feeling of excitement. I expected more from my daily Bible studies, just waiting for Him to speak. One afternoon while praying, He said “Richard, I want to talk you”; I said “Okay Lord, I am here.” Jesus began to talk to me about the last 8 years of our lives, about all the ministries we were involved in, all the struggles I was having. He said for the last 8 years my wife Carrie has followed me everywhere, she has laid down her dreams to further the kingdom of God. Only a few people knew that it has been my wife’s desire to move to Florida. I was always quick to say “no”; until Jesus speaks I am not going anywhere. Well, Jesus spoke and said, ”I want to give Carrie a gift, I want you to move, and I want you to relocate here to Florida.” I said, “Lord are you sure,” like He made a mistake? He said, ”Yes, I want to bless her with this gift.” He then told me, ”He could use me anywhere and would open new doors for me in ministry.” Being a minister I started to think about the ministries I was involved in, who was going take over them, who would carry them on? They seemed to be bearing fruit; they seem to be entering new phases. I was at a crossroads in life, was God really saying this to us, and was He really calling us to lay it all down and follow Him. In Mark chapter 1, Jesus is walking by the seashore and sees Andrew and Simon cleaning nets and says “Follow me and I will make you fishers of men.” The Bible says that instantly they forsook all and followed Him. They walked away from their jobs, the source income, there business, why? To follow Jesus.
This was the call He was laying before us, and I realized three things about that passage of Scripture. First, when Jesus calls us, He gives us purpose. He will never ask us to do something if there isn’t a purpose behind it. Two, we find provision, because He isn’t going to have us follow Him, if He wasn’t going to provide for us. Lastly, protection. When walking with God, nothing can overcome Him, and nothing will take Him by surprise. We might see these three things instantly, but going back to my original statement, we must trust God with faith, which will produce expectation and excitement. So after a few other things Jesus shared with us, we decided to take up his call and move. As of the third week of February 2014, we will become residents of Florida. Upon us leaving we had no jobs, no plan, just a word from the Lord Jesus. Before we left Florida at the end vacation, Jesus opened the door for us buy a house, so the temptation to stay in Pennsylvania would be gone.
Friends, today what is He calling you to do, where is asking you to go? It might not be as big as packing up and moving on, it could be as simple as stepping out and volunteering somewhere. The staff of Onesimus Ministries is made up of people who have laid down their lives to follow Him. Some are chaplains, some board members, some intercessors, some counselors, some givers, but all volunteers for the service of the Lord Jesus Christ. Today please pray, to deny yourselves, take up your cross daily and follow Him. We could use you here….