In 2006, a good friend, Todd Hendricks, asked me to lead a team into Iraq, at the request of the Kurdistan Minister of Health, to teach psychiatry and counseling skills to their health systems personnel. No other American(or even international) team had been permitted to go in to Iraq for this purpose. Regular bombings…turmoil…America uncertain about whether to keep forces in or withdraw…Shiite and Sunni hatred and violence daily towards each other…everybody suspicious of each other.
After a time of prayer, I told Todd, “I’m in!” As I excitedly told people, they asked, “why are you putting yourself in such danger,” and “aren’t you afraid. “ I had no fear as I had been praying for God to use our unique Lighthouse Network ministry in unique ways.
David was out on the battlefield…mono et mono….face to face against a world champion giant….no armor…just a slingshot and several pebbles. Seems like a dangerous place to most. Actually, it was the best place for him because that is where God wanted him….and David knew it…had perfect peace freeing him to channel God’s preparation and power in his life.
Be willing to go out on a limb if that is where God leads you. If He is leading you there, it is by far the safest place to be. Overly familiar surroundings may feel safe, but they can also lull you into a sleepy, yet dangerous, self-reliance. When out on a limb with your Lord, you will stay alert, communicating with Him continually, holding onto His hand in trusting dependence. Follow God wherever He may lead you…and let the shelter of His presence keep you safe. Remember, He knows what the future holds, not you.
Today, ask yourself, “where is God pushing me?” “I am resisting?” and “What am I afraid of?” Follow it with, “how is that working for me?”. Does He want me to…forgive someone…reach out to someone…give up something or someone…be content with something I already have…say something I am afraid to. Usually it is not a geographical place He pushes us to, but rather a spiritual or psychological place we are afraid to allow God to take us.
Go where He leads, it is the safest place…try it…TODAY! My 2007 trip to Iraq…We had a bodyguard, felt very safe, and it was one of the greatest and most unique experiences of my life.
Dear Father God, You know Lord that I really am not a risk taker…I like to play it safe. However, it is my heartfelt desire to stay close to You…even if that means going out on a limb with and for You. When I feel more self reliant, I confess that these are the times when I tend to forget about You. I pray Lord, that You will help me follow You with confidence. I pray this in the name of the author of my faith and courage, Jesus Christ; and all God’s children say – AMEN!
The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way.
Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholdeth him with his hand.
Thou shalt hide them in the secret of thy presence from the pride of man: thou shalt keep them secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues.
Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.