I had a best friend and roommate defriend me in college. It wasn’t just on Facebook, but in real life, in our one bedroom apartment! Up to that point, she hadn’t just been my best friend, but largely my only friend in college. After she turned on me, being in our apartment together became unbearable. I started doing my homework in the lobby, at the library, out at coffee shops, wherever I could, away from her. Yes, I tried to work it out, and years later, we did, sort of. But that’s beside the point. In the midst of me getting out of my room, I developed many more really deep and meaningful friendships with people whom I otherwise wouldn’t have had if I remained in my room with my one and only “friend.” Sometimes adversity can lead us to better and brighter things. For me, that was definitely true.
“But the believers who were scattered preached the Good News about Jesus wherever they went”
In the book of Acts, we read that a wave of persecution swept over the Christians. Many of the believers were scattered as a result (Acts 8:1). “But the believers who were scattered preached the Good News about Jesus wherever they went”
(Acts 8:4). It says the believers were scattered. But what we also see is that the Word of God spread! The rest of Acts chapter 8 gives examples of people in various areas receiving God.
Many times in the Bible, God told people to go somewhere. Abraham was called to go to the land God would show Him. Joseph was sent, through adversity to Egypt. Then Jacob took his whole family to Egypt. Moses was to go to the Israelites and return them to the promised land. Jonah was to go to Nineveh. Ruth went with Naomi back to Israel. Eventually, the Israelites were sent out of the land of Israel. Then, 70 years later, they were told to return to the land. God’s people throughout the Bible moved quite a bit!
Jesus’ last words to His disciples were to “go” and tell the world about Him (Matthew 28:18-20). He rarely told His people to stay. And when they are told to stay it’s like, “be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10). Or in Exodus 14:13 where God said to be still while He rescued them. The only time God told His people to stay put is when they’re watching God move. Otherwise, He tells them to move!
How I hate moving! How comfortable I get in my own home, my own space, with my own stuff, making a place and space all, “my own!” You know the common denominator in all of that? Mine, me. God tells us to spread His Word, to be more into that than our own comfort. And we can’t avoid the reality that many times, moving is a part of obeying His Word. We move physically, or we get moving spiritually. We go. We rarely sit as Christians. We go. “Whom shall I send and who will go for us?” God asked in Isaiah (6:8).
I can think of two basic responses to this call to go. Moses, when told to go and deliver the Israelites from slavery said, “Please Lord, send someone else” (Exodus 4:13). Then there was Isaiah’s response to God’s question of “whom shall I send?” Isaiah said, “Here I am; send me,” (Isaiah 6:8). One was ready and willing to be sent. The other didn’t feel like it or want to go at all. But it’s important to remember, that God actually used both of these men. God also used Jonah, even though he did the opposite of going where God wanted him to go. Guess it just goes to show that we probably won’t win in an argument with God, or in a game of hide and seek. If God wants to get us somewhere, He’ll do it. But wouldn’t it be nice if we let go of our fears, trusted Him, and went with a willing heart? I know it’s a lot nicer to take my kids somewhere they want to go that to fight them tooth and nail to get them somewhere we have to go. Why give God a hard time? And God continued to use Moses and Isaiah. But we don’t hear of Jonah being used anymore by God. I wonder how much more God would use us if we were more willing and obedient.
Pray today through Psalm 51:12, asking God to restore to you the joy you had when you first believed, so that you will be empowered to obey Him, willingly. And remember, obedience might involve, moving! Amen!