Remember the story I told way back about the man who went to Africa? He knew God had called him to go but it was what he didn’t know that made his trip questionable.
He was willing to follow God across the world to a little village and live in a humble straw hut.
How many of us would do the same?
Fear that God will send his children to the Rain Forests of the Amazon or to one of the most remote places on earth, Ittoqqortoormiit, Greenland. Who wouldn’t want to go to Greenland to this small village of 500 people who hunt whales and polar bears? There is a small airport 25 miles away only getting a flight in or out is rare.
God is good at unloading on his children that which they can’t possibly do on their own.
The line, “God will never give us more than we can handle” is true; that doesn’t mean we will like it. We may even wonder “what does this have to do with me, or where is this going Lord?” Pulling a “Jonah” and running away or asking God to send someone else to Nairobi likely crosses the minds of many of us.
The methods or course God sends to his followers is to bring them into the consecrated life of holiness and sanctification. In other words he uses what is necessary to bring his saints to his point of view.
Paul knew what this meant. He lived it.
“For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” Philippians 1:21
Chained, imprisoned, starved, shipwrecked, beaten over and over; persecution became Pauls’ best friend. His life after conversion was no piece of cake. Hunted down by his own people, he became a traitor of the Jewish hierarchy.
Paul was aware from the beginning of his new life with Christ he would suffer for his choice. Was he happy about being beaten? Did he enjoy prison? If not, then why did he do it? Why did he choose to follow Christ when he could have lived his life as a prominent, educated Jewish Pharisee?
He wanted to identify with Christ. He was prepared to do whatever God asked of him if it meant becoming more like Jesus. He was willing to risk losing it all for the sake of the Cross of Christ.
It is so costly it gives freedom from all that is unlike God.
So, are you packed? Ittoqqortoormiit is waiting.