Her heart swelled one day as we prayed for a missionary family halfway across the world. It was like something grabbed hold from the inside and crushed a little piece of her heart with compassion for the fatherless. We didn’t do anything particularly different that day; we did what we always do–look at the world map and pray for missionary families we know in various locations.
The only difference this day was we had a picture of a group of orphans from Africa. I could see it in her eyes. Just a normal day and something changed inside of her.
She started begging us to take her to Africa to hold orphan babies because someone needs to hold them. Then she wanted to raise money to buy backpacks for school-aged orphans. Several months later she’s sitting in the backseat of our car on the way to a meeting with me and she casually announces, “I’m going to be a missionary someday.” Simple as that. One small act of daily obedience to God to simply pray for some missionaries leads to this.
Just an everyday, normal thing and God began to birth a passion in her heart.
Her heart heard His voice and felt His tug.
One day Simon Peter was fishing along the water’s edge. They had spent all morning casting their nets and had caught nothing. Then, Jesus boards their boats, preaches to the crowds then turns to Simon Peter and says, “Let down your nets” (Luke 5:4)
Being a professional fisherman that had spent hours prior to his encounter with Jesus letting his nets down with no catch, something radical about Peter emerges. Jesus must have known Peter would respond to Him, because Peter, at the simple command of Jesus, takes his net and lowers it once again without hesitation. This time, he pulls up such massive amounts of fish that the nets start breaking and the boat fills with the catch so quickly it begins to sink.
“Then Jesus said to Simon, ‘Don’t be afraid; from now on you will catch men.’ So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him.” (Luke 5:10-11)
One minute Peter was simply a fisherman. The next, Jesus has called Peter and revealed his life purpose.
He heard God’s voice to do a simple daily act of obedience that led to steps of radical faith and significance..
After Jesus’ call, He becomes a fisher of men, one of the greatest evangelists in the church’s history, and an imperfect but radically obedient man that followed Jesus daily. He found his life purpose, calling and significance in a moment of simple obedience.
Often times, its our daily, simple obedience where we He begins to reveal our calling. Maybe you are a mom home with small children or maybe you feel like your job is insignificant or you have a growing discontent brewing in your soul. Maybe you dream of the mission field or preaching or teaching or maybe you dream of giving away millions of dollars. Maybe you long for to plant hundreds of churches in the 10/40 window. Maybe you just want to find more fulfillment in your daily walk with God.
The Bible says to “Do what your hand finds to do and do it with all your might.” (Eccl. 9:10) Start right where you are. Set your heart to take radical steps of obedience right where He has you. Wherever He has you, be fully there and fully obedient to His voice. Respond in faith, obey radically to His voice and without realizing it, you’ll be taking steps toward your calling.
It’s in that place of daily obedience that God can reveal our purpose to us.
I know my little girl is so young and her passions might change, but I know God is speaking to her. So, here we keep on praying and asking the Lord for the right time to take her to Africa to fulfill her dream. All because of one daily act of obedience.
So, let down your net down. Do what He’s asking you to do today. For me, that’s raising three sweet kids, praying, serving my church and being faithful today to what He’s asking of me. My heart might long for lost souls and far distance shores, but In daily radical obedience He is preparing me and revealing to me His calling.