I love how God gives us choices, and how He gave us each a free will. How many of us as a parent would want to force our kids to love us? How fulfilling would that be? What if we had to force them to hug us? Do you know that God does not like to force His children either to love Him. It's so much better when it comes from our own kids to say "Dad, thanks for helping me with that school project, I really love you." God is the one who gave us the free will, to choose just how close we want to be to Him. If we are satisfied with just a bit of closeness, well, He still loves us deeply. And if we want to be closer, I believe it really puts a smile on His face. But we are the ones who have to take that step. That is one thing He can't do for us. He will help us and put people and things across our path to encourage us, but we are the ones to choose and do it.
I remember back a time when He placed an idea of a new beginning before me. I was needing a new beginning. I was also hungering for more of God and more of His Word. That was back around 2008, and each day as I was getting ready for work, I listened to Andrew Wommack teaching on the radio and on TV. Back then, he was talking about his Bible College, Charis Bible College in Colorado Springs. They were getting ready to have an open house for new inquiring people. A seed was planted and the desire was growing. But the thought of moving out of state was really, out of the question. I had never done that before, and I wasn't in my 20s anymore. Each day as I listened, the desire to go got stronger and the desire to stay lessoned. And also each day, I would struggle in my mind with all the "What about this and what about that?" One day I sat in my chair where I would pray each day, and I talked to God. "Lord, what is going on with me?" and I heard Him say, "If I took care of all those things you are concerned about, would you go? And if the money was taking care of, would you go?" I thought a second, and I said a resounding "Yes! Of course I would." I heard Him say, "Consider it done."
The next few days, I was in a daze. Is this really gonna happen? Wow, this is really happening? At that point, if I would not have done anything different, I can honestly say, nothing would have changed. And I would have been miserable. But as my knees shook, I began to take steps, by faith. I told people. I even went to Colorado Springs, to go to the open house. And that sealed it. It was confirmation for me. I began to pursue what I knew God put before me. A new beginning, which was also bringing me closer to Him. If I told you that it was easy, I would be lieing. It wasn't easy at all to tell my parents, that their only daughter was about to move out of state to go to Bible College, to live in CO. I had to leave my job that was secure, with great benefits, to go to a place where there were no benefits. But something inside me was pressing me on. I had some good friends that helped me move and drove a UHaul trailer up to CO. for me. There were so many details and confirmations that were supernatural, it would take too long to tell you. But God confirms. I never would have began writing books if I didn't move. Because back then, I didn't know that God called me to be an author. I wrote songs, but that was it. And I can't say that Bible College was spectacular. Oh the classes and the teachers were awesome! But even there, God was dealing with me, growing my character and pruning me, so it was not a breeze at all. But it was the best thing and it was God's will for sure.
I am giving you some example of God's will for my life and ministry. It's not all about ministry. It's really about relationship. He was pursuing me, and I needed to respond to Him. Through all those years, I learned that He was my good Father. I learned to lean on and trust in Him, in His provision and goodness to me. Whether you have some major change in front of you or not, Jesus is waiting for you to respond to His call, and His love.
I recently went to the Men's Central Jail in Los Angeles. And my brother and I got to lead worship. One of the inmates spoke up and asked "How do you know when God is calling you?" It was a question then, that brought up an open conversation between the chaplain, us team mates and the inmates. This particular inmate was telling about how his sentence was lessoned from 5 yrs to 90 days. He kept questioning "Why?" I spoke up and said "God is showing you that He is good, He is real and that He loves you. Now it's your turn to respond." God is calling each of us. It's that still, small voice within our hearts, and it speaks to us that there is something more. That we were made for something more, than just living for our own selves. That someone values us deeply, and that is God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Relationship with God is the best thing that can ever happen to us. For He made us for that very reason. He has so much love to give, and He is inviting us into His world. We are not alone, and we are not forgotten. Inmates are not forgotten. He sees us. And He patiently waits for us to respond...respond to the Father's love.