Friday, 1 March 2013

What! Called To Do Nothing!!??

“What! Called to do nothing!” my heart screeched out late one night after being woken yet again with a dodgy gut.

Could I be hearing God correctly?
Who gets that call?
A call to be unimportant??

The only calls I ever hear about are calls to the pastorate or calls to the mission field or calls to start some new cutting-edge ministry. Who gets a call to do nothing and to stop?? How great a sinner I must be!

So started a week of prayer and fasting and seeking God in a deeper way, to determine if what I thought I heard as my call was really the voice of God at all.

Is this a permanent call Lord? 
How long do I need to do nothing for and what exactly do you mean by nothing? 
I was so frustrated! 
Do I just lie in bed? 
Isn't that what the dying do? 
There are things in this household that need doing, children that need loving, husbands that need supporting. 
WHAT do you mean?

Only the night before I had been leading a ladies' bible study, describing how it is always the things that I see as unimportant that God sees as important, as we were studying the exile in 2 Chronicles 36:15-23. One of the reasons for the exile was that the people of God had not observed the Sabbath rest – think take 1 year off in 7 and rely on God to provide, doing nothing but the bare basics but still caring for the poor and needy. That is, the focus switches to a position of 100% provision from God from one of say, 50% hard work / 50% God. It is a sign of complete trust in God. God repays them for all their 6 years of hard work with a rest. The people hadn't seen this year of trust as important, so now God was giving them 70 years of “trust” so to speak, a.k.a. exile, so that they learned it WAS important.

Boldly that night, I had declared how God was consistently showing me that what I saw as unimportant He saw as important. I had asked the ladies to draw a large circle and in it to draw circles of various sizes representing the things that you see as important in a life of holiness and godliness. The bigger the circle, the bigger the importance. I can tell you that when I drew that circle there was NO circle that said do NOTHING! So here I was the next night, in the middle of the night, with a call to do nothing.

The funny thing was that my first reaction was one of fear – what will others think?

They will think I don't love God, they will think I don't have compassion on the poor, they will think I don't think mission is important, they will think I'm lazy, they will think I have no hunger for righteousness.... 

The song, “Lord I look to you, I won't be overwhelmed, give me wisdom to see things like you do” was playing in my head. I was overwhelmed. I needed His wisdom to see this clearly. Had I failed my God so badly that He would call me to do this? To do nothing and be unimportant was hard, for I saw important and upfront leadership in the kingdom of God as synonymous. I was doing lots of upfront leading....was he calling me to stop that and simply stay home?

What will my kids think?
Will they grow up to love God?

I felt like they wouldn't because I would be modelling something that I didn't see as important – unimportance. But that is the funny thing, it is the things I don't see as important that He does. This has been his lesson to me over and over the past few years. I come from generations of people who seemed spiritually important for the kingdom of God – or that's how it feels to me. My Mum and Dad were missionaries and church leaders, my Dad is now a pastor, my brother a missionary. I totally get the need. I want to help because of my love for God and people's dire need for His salvation, so how can this all fit together? How can He put such a hunger in me to help the lost and then call me to stop and slow down?

I always felt that the great Christians were people that we had heard about or knew about because of their faith. I always felt that all the great Christians were missionaries, authors, Bible teachers, intercessors...not stay-at-home mums who homeschool their children, do the laundry, clean the kitchen, help the grandparents and to all appearances are pew sitters. I had always been taught to revile the pew sitters – thinking them inferior and now He was calling me to be one.

“Judge not less you be judged for as you judge others so you too will be judged”.

I have always been the busy Christian and now He is calling me to stop.

To rest. 
To sit. 
To do nothing but obey. 

Is it possible that the sign of a great love for God is simply obedience to what he has called you to do?

Sometimes it's a Holy thing to do nothing.
That's what a Sabbath rest is.
A period of doing nothing but the absolute essentials.

How long will this be for?
I don't know.

What I do know is that it is a clear directive from Him.
I had always “dissed” the Sabbath – not seeing it as Holy – the way God sees it as holy.

What I do know is that I am called to obey.
To be Mary and not Martha.

To simply enjoy His presence, for some things can only be truly savoured when you stop and He has called me to stop..... and slow down...... and rest.

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