Oswald Chambers wrote, “If the Spirit of God has stirred you, make as many things inevitable as possible, let the consequences be what they will.”
When God puts a desire in our heart (as opposed to the desires of the flesh – Gal. 5:19) we must make it as inevitable as possible. Scripture says, “For it is God who is producing in you both the desire and the ability to do what pleases Him.” (Phil. 2:13 ISV) God gives us desire and ability, but we must act on it. This is where most of us get mired down, in the acting on it. We tend to be afraid to move because we don’t want to “get out in front of God” or “make it happen in our own strength” or “God hasn’t shown me what to do yet”. Yes, this is a real concern, but I think for most of us that this is not our prevailing vulnerability. I think that we are more susceptible to procrastination, playing it safe, faithlessness. Paul wrote, “If people say they have faith, but do nothing, their faith is worth nothing…Show me your faith without doing anything, and I will show you my faith by what I do.” (James 2) I would rather pursue a desire that I believe God has given me and have Him adjust my understanding and course than to live a small life with little risk, reward or relationship. We must “make as many things inevitable as possible.”
Chamber’s also said that if “you do not let that emotion have its right issue in your life, it will react on a lower level.” This sheds light on some of the frustration, discouragement, jealousy and anger I’ve wrestled with at times. So often, when we experience these types of emotions we react by simply telling our self to “stop it” instead of trying to find their headwaters and learning something about our heart.
Denying or ignoring the stirring of God is not a safe thing to do nor does it lead to life.
Pursuing the stirrings of God with you,
Wow… so right on time, Gary… Thank you!
Thank-you Gary for permission to “be in motion” with my desires and willing to take a risk even though I don’t have them completely figured out get yet. God is a great adjuster!!!
So here to getting of the couch my friend 🙂
Gary — This is really good and I wonder if you were listening to a phone conversation between my brother, Ed, and myself just over an hour ago?? Because this post seems to directly speak to what we were talking about, as though you were in on the conversation!!! I mean every sentence. We were talking about the Book Discussion on Ch. 7 – Awakening Your Desires, and how at times we both feel frustrated, discouraged with what “is” the desire of our heart. I even said to Ed, “There are times when I just want to walk away from all of this. I’ve listened to the CD’s, read the book – It’s Your Call – and too many other books too mention, on trying to figure out what I’m going to do with my life; attended a Calling Intensive and I just don’t get it.” Yet, in our conversation we did talk about “desires” that we recognize in each other and he even said to me, “Try it on” (speaking of the desire). “By not pursing the desire, isn’t that just unbelief, faithless, embracing the lie that God won’t show up?”
Your comment about “this is not our prevailing vulnerabilty” is Him saying to me, “Hey Jeff, it’s okay, just start and watch what I’ll do.”
I feel like the finger of God just wrote it on the wall for me. Thank you Gary!! Thank you for being an ally!! I needed this. Man does He show up.
Jeff, I think I know you well enough to say you have so much strength and depth. You should let loose and charge ahead “like a linebacker”. Don’t let the wounds of the past put fear of the future in your heart. Go for it!
We need to keep in touch more.
John, thank you! Sorry for the delay in replying. I don’t want there to be a lingering question on your part, “Did he get it?” I did and you’re words are True and Encouraging.
Yes, we do need to keep in touch more – I’ll send you an e-mail.
Thank you, again, John.
An hour or so before I read this I was struggling deeply with a decision that I must make within days. I have the opportunity to obtain some funding and support to build a business but in order to increase the odds of being accepted I need to play the game and do what they want me to do – not necessarily I want to do or feel called to do. It’s close but not really on the path I know God wants to me to travel. It would be easier to play into their hands and it would make everyone around me happier because it looks more responsible but the thing that God is stirring in me will take a great deal of difficult work and increases the chances of being turned down. This seems irresponsible.
This is a hard place to be. It’s like being caught between a rock and a hard place because on one hand the scriptures tell me that if I don’t look after my family I’m worse than an unbeliever and on the other hand I feel God leading me into an adventure with great risk and in the short term there would be very little hope of looking after the needs of my family. The long term could be really exiting and I could meet the family’s needs but in the interim I don’t know how to feed everyone.
I can’t ignore the stirrings and your post has encouraged me to step out. But tomorrow morning when I wake I’ll be faced with doubt once again. But your words are supporting what I’ve been feeling for a few days so I will hold on to that for now.
Gary, this could not be more timely today…confirmation and a sigh of relief…as I have been dealing with this EXACT ISSUE all week. Thank you SO MUCH!
Wow…your words really talked to some feelings or thoughts that I was experiencing today. I feel that God has stirred something deep in my heart, yet I have been so concerned with not getting ahead of God and making the right decisions that I seem stuck in neutral at times. We don’t always know the destinations that God will take us on in our journeys, but we know that He stirs those passions and guides.
Gary, I think about how has lead you in your journeys and revealed some many things over time…and now the impact that you are making! It’s too easy to stay in the shallow end.
Wow, this brings clarity to a lot of frustration and discouragement I have felt in the past, and encourages me to more readily step into what God is doing. Thanks!
See you in MS.
I am stunned by your post Gary. I agree with everything my brother Jeff has written.
Seriously, it’s as if you were listening to our conversation and the timing of your post is remarkable. God is so cool, his playfulness and the way he reveals himself to us is truly amazing.
Thank you Gary,
Gary, The timing of this couldn’t be better. It fits right within a sequence of things God has been doing or saying the last few weeks. None are particularly significant in of themselves, but taken together there is a clear sign that God is moving me forward. But towards what?
Having lived for many most of my life being highly risk-adverse, the last few years have been quite a contrast, characterized by a progression of greater and greater risks. Yet I find at times I’m still bumping against what I think is a glass ceiling. But it is not an external barrier, but one that is internal, more “procrastination, playing it safe, faithlessness,” along with doubt and disbelief at times, than anything external. God is inviting us to trust him, yet my fears still can get the best of me.
When Chambers writes, “make as many things as inevitable as possible,” I take it that he’s saying to make a solid commitment and make it as difficult as possible to reverse your position in those inevitable weak moments that will follow. Heading down the path God puts before us, there is so much that seems to scream “DON’T DO THIS!!!!” And while I don’t want to blindly dismiss wisdom, I also don’t want to do the smart and safe thing, simply because it is the smart or safe thing to do, for I will, as you say, end up ignoring or denying what God is genuinely stirring inside, and that can also absolutely shut down my heart.
It seems like I have to learn to be content to live on the edge with God in order to be all He intends me to be, something akin to the “abandonment” that Chambers writes about so often.
I like how this thought leans into being proactive but my challenge to me is this: I have a passion to mentor young boys in my city. Starting at the age of 12-13. I live in England and over 60% of kids are brought up into home without a Father. The need is obvious. I have started two ministries in my life. But with this one I really want to make sure that it is His voice and not my own because it is so obvious that there is this need. In my church which is small, 85 people there is not a young single child to mentor. So like Jesus I only want to do what I hear the Father telling me what to do. I have been praying for a few weeks for the Father to bring me into contact with someone to mentor and as far-zip, zilch. So I am waiting for confirmation instead of building on my own natural observations. I would appreciate any insights or comments on my situations. Thanks for posting this Gary. This was helpful.
Start a baseball team! Instant kids to build relationship with without forming a “ministry”.
I live in England so it would be football or a Soccer club. The culture here is very harsh on men being with boys under 18 in a mentoring relationship because of being labeled a paedophile. So I really need to hear the lord on this issue. Its a good idea though.
A couple of week ago I underlined that quote in the back of Gary’s book, and have been meditating on it since then. With regard to the struggle of “making things inevitable” versus not rushing something, I thought of two possible things that could be helpful for me.
1 – Journaling – if I can put in writing some desire, revelation or conclusion that I have come to regarding my calling, then that goes a ways toward it coming to fruition.
2 – Telling Others – The more public I can make my new understanding, even before there is lifechange involved, then the more committed I am, the more others will ask me about my movement in that direction.
One of the running lies we’ve been offered is: “God can’t bless me unless I make THE right decision.” Pray, seek counsel, yes; but account for God’s creative hand to redirect and remake any perceived blunders. Thanks for the reminder, Gary.
Thank you so much Gary for the words.
A great reminder!!
I just moved in the last month. Because of this I haven’t been reading much of my mail. I’m just getting my feet underneath me again.
So I just read this letter today. When I finished I wanted to laugh at the irony. Just yesterday I started thinking again about looking at advancement in the car business and was that what I really want for myself. There is a job that has been posted for a month, they never stay posted that long.
So I started really praying and thinking of applying for it. I don’t want to make a move and it become a disaster, already been there. But I’m thinking if this is you God open the door, if it’s not I will wait. Walking in the back of our dealership yesterday I felt God say “Not Yet” and I’m good with that. Then I read this today and it is almost the reverse of what happened yesterday.
We want to move forward at the wrong times and wait when we should step out! It’s never boring when you try to walk with God.
I like your post, but it seems as though you are contradicting your post about Late Bloomers. Lately I have “felt called” to do something bigger, but I found another option that might seem “safer” and more comfortable. In my view, it was just more suitable to my situation, and that I believe God was giving me a time of renewal, rest, and solitude as opposed to going head-on into some form of ministry. I strongly believe that I am one of those “late bloomers,” experimenting and doing small things to discover who I am. I don’t think there are many christians who are purposely thwarting themselves! They just aren’t experienced enough in this windy journey called the Vocational Life.
Gary, a friend just relayed this to me. I realize it now…I’m afraid, and my faith is pretty doggone shallow. I’ve blamed it on my wife, on circumstances, on…lots of things, but there is a ‘thing’ that I have a strong desire to possess, something that we have actually been given, inherited…really biblical-type stuff. And I have not moved forward with inevitability in my mindset. I’ve wanted to..but haven’t. Thanks, man. This has been reverberating for a few years now…that’s the mark of a good word. Appreciate you, brother.