The question “What does God’s Word mean to me” is a very appropriate question to ask myself during this phase of my life. I am currently less than a week away from taking on the North Hills Church of God in Springfield, Ohio. The Ohio area does not offer a ton to me, as I do not have any family there and currently not too many friends, although I look forward to making new friends. Before I talk more about this, let me rewind a couple of years prior to my freshman year of college.
Prior to college, I lived my entire life in Michigan. Nearly my whole family lived within a 5 mile radius, I had a great church family, and I had my friends from my school. I lived very comfortably in the Grand Rapids, Michigan area for 17 years. I had everything that I wanted: a great family, a great church family, and friends. There was no attraction to leave the Grand Rapids, Michigan area. However, I felt called to go to the Atlanta Bible College in McDonough, Georgia. I had no family or friends really in the area, but I felt God calling me to go to the Atlanta Bible College. Therefore, I packed up my stuff, and 800 miles later I found myself at the Bible college, far away from home.
I thoroughly enjoyed my time at the Bible college, and I would highly recommend it to anyone considering going. However, my time came to an end after three delightful years at the Bible college. It was then time for me to decide what to do after I graduated. I decided to intern with Andy Cisneros at the Guthrie Grove Church. This decision was largely based on one, the leadership skills of Andy, and two, the connections I had in the Pelzer, South Carolina area. Most of my friends outside of my family lived in the South Carolina area, so it made great sense for me to move there. Also, my then fiancée’s, now wife’s, family lived in the area. Overall, the area had much to offer me. The Guthrie Grove Church served me so well, and I again thoroughly enjoyed my time. Life was great in South Carolina, and I could have very easily and enjoyably stayed in the area and worked with Andy for many years. However, I felt God calling me to go to the North Hills Church, so I ended my work with Andy at Guthrie Grove.
Twice I moved on from a place that I so much would have enjoyed calling home, and both times were extremely hard. It was very difficult for me to leave my home in Michigan where I had everything I wanted and go on to a place where I had no connections. It was also extremely difficult to leave South Carolina. There were many tears shed in leaving these two areas, and I so badly wanted to stay put.
So here I am today, twice removed from places where I could have very easily laid down my roots and about to head to a place where I have close to no connections. This is not an easy decision to make, and it is a decision my wife, Jamie, and I have to ponder. It is a decision that at times brings us to tears, as it is so difficult to leave those whom you love. Therefore, we ask ourselves, why are we choosing to move away from our loved ones? The answer is plain and simple. It is because of what God’s Word means to us.
Jamie and I are making the decision to move on from an area where we had so much to an area where we have close to nothing because of what God’s Word means to us. God is the reason for this move. We feel God calling us to move to Ohio and serve the North Hills Church, which we are both excited about. We have to remain obedient to God’s calling, and we remain obedient because of how much His Word means to us.
God is calling each and every one of you to do great works. God has a specific plan and purpose for you to fulfill, which is quite awesome to think that the Almighty Creator has a specific plan and purpose for YOU! We have two choices when we realize God’s calling for our life. We can either accept his calling or deny it. It would have been so easy to deny God’s calling for my life because I had everything I wanted in Michigan and South Carolina. However, the meaning that God’s Word has on my life was all the encouragement that I needed to accept his calling. It is my hope and prayer that everyone who reads this will seek out God’s calling for them and accept God’s calling because of how much God’s Word means to them. Therefore, when God calls you to do something out of the ordinary like moving away from your family, being a missionary, adopting a child, leading a church, or whatever it may be, I hope you remain faithful to his calling, that whisper inside, because of how much his word means to you.