I’m an introvert. Like a lot.
When I receive a party invite for the kids - immediately following comes a big sigh. Another one? Do we need to go to this? What other kids are going to be there? Any parents I know? What is my day going to look like? Will I have the energy and people reserve to do this? In fact, selfishly and unashamedly admit that whether the kids want to go is at the bottom of my list.
As Christians, we use the terminology of calling. God calls me into this - God leads me into this. That’s fine.
However, in the last several years there has been a new phrase in my Spirit, and it’s “God invites me”. It gives me the reminder that He is hosting the party, and it’s happening whether I come or not. Yet, I have the privilege of being invited.
What I do with that invitation is up to me. I want to be at His party. Who wouldn’t? Yet, I size it up just like those birthday invites. What will it be like? Will I be accepted? Will it be comfortable? Do I have what it takes? Who will come?
Which makes sense in our humanity that so desires to resist unknown and uncertainty. We like control. We want to know what to expect.
More often than not, God extends an invitation but gives us very little more - He asks us to step forward in faith. And, as we take each step forward, He will lead us to the next.
Unfortunately, that is NOT our preferred method - at least not mine.
The problem arises because what I want and how I want it often rages against His way, His purpose, His process. There may be similarities and then it just detours from a certain point. I can stand at the place of the detour, cross my arms, and say nope I want to do it my way. OR, I surrender - breathe deeply and trust that His path is better and right. God’s purposes will be prevail, and I want to be a part of them.
We can make our plans, but the LORD determines our steps - Proverbs 16:9
Many are the plans in a person's heart, but it is the LORD's purpose that prevails. - Proverbs 19:21
God promises to give me courage to accept these invitations in His purposes that seem more than I can handle.
Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the LORD your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you. Deuteronomy 31:6
He assures me that His strength will empower me, and I can walk in that strength bravely even in the midst of a little fear or uncertainty. That eventually, fear will give way to a courage that comes from the power of Christ within me.
There are little invitations God gives us every day. What are we going to do with them? And are we too busy and scheduled to even see and hear the invite? Are we wrapped up in our own efforts and systems to hear and receive the invitation? Can we receive the courage He offers and accept that invitation into His work and plan even when we are walking into the unknown?