Tuesday, August 26, 2014

To Decide or to Yield

From Oswald Chambers in “My Utmost for His Highest” on August 21st.

“The statement we so often hear, ‘Make a decision for Jesus Christ,’ places the emphasis on something our Lord never trusted. He never asks us to decide for Him, but to yield to Him— something very different.
Ah yes, to yield to Him. That’s never been easy for me. I can feel my spine stiffen (as well as my spirit) when I’ve believed that is the required response.

I remember a time in particular. It was a number of years ago, possibly thirty years now. Husband believed that we (read he) was called into mission aviation. I, on the other hand, did not feel the “call” to missions. Now, I don’t mean to make light of having a “call” upon one’s life, I was just sure it wasn’t upon my life.

          Sure, he was a licensed private pilot. He felt we should move out of state to allow him to attend a trade college where he could get training to repair and maintain aircraft. It was a noble calling. I just couldn’t see uprooting our school aged children and move “so far away”. So we bantered back and forth, and back and forth, and back and forth.

          Months later a couple came to our church to give a presentation on their ministry in missions. Now here was a couple I could listen to. Their mission was in France! Now, possibly I could muster up the courage to become a missionary in France. The food, the culture, the food, the fashion… did I mention French cuisine?

          Husband wanted to be sure we sat up front and center. He wanted to hang on to every word. I complied, it was missionaries from France! What could go wrong?

          This presentation happened so long ago the couple was using an old revolving slide projector. I believe they had just brought up the third slide when my breath caught in my throat. The Missionary Husband stopped at that very slide to expound upon the small Cessna airplane being shown and extol the virtues of mission aviation! WHAT!!! What was this? Some cruel joke my Husband had prearranged? I turned and looked quizzically at him. He looked at me just as questioningly.

          I began crying, no, scratch that, it was a primal, moaning sound that was escaping my lips. Did I mention tears? They were falling from my eyes and smearing my makeup, leaving me looking like a fallen TV Evangelist’s Wife.

          But I knew… I knew this was the Lord speaking to me. Directly to me. Up close and very personal. That was the day I yielded to call. The call to be a missionary.

          The story continues on. It tells of being accepted to Missionary Maintenance Service (MMS) (not an out-of-state trade school, after all) where we were to raise our own funding by making presentations at various churches.

          I learned a lot from that process. From large mega churches that invited us in to present our missionary vision in small part during the morning service and then to return for the evening service. No provision was made for the in between times for meals or respite. We were on our own and wandered a mall. There was no ‘love offering’ to cover our travel expenses.

          The most humbling of experiences was in the small, rural churches. Potlucks were the standard fare and the church was full when we returned from someone’s home who had taken us in for the afternoon. Upon our return, we would often be notified by MMS of persons who offered us support and wanted to receive our newsletters. More often than naught, it was the elderly widows living on very fixed incomes who would be the supporters. Yes, I was humbled and learned much from their example.

          Suffice it to say, we never were able to raise the amount of support we needed to go forward in the mission and health issues precluded our ability to travel half way around the world to serve our Lord.

          In review, what did I learn? To yield. And still I struggle with that! I am always keenly aware when I am being asked to yield. My spine still stiffens, but my spirit does not. That alone causes me to relax. As Oswald Chambers wrote, “He never asks us to decide for Him, but to yield to Him— and that is something very different.”

Wishing you everyday grace,
Tamara
Hebrews 12:11 (NASB)
All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.