The Obedience of the GO

Posted: December 14, 2012 in Disciple, Discipleship, great commission, Mentor, mentoring

In some of the most pivotal moments in Biblical history, God gave a command to GO, without explaining the details of what He was calling His servant to accomplish.

In Genesis 12, God gives Abram his call:

1 Now the Lord said to Abram, “GO from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. 2 And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
4 So Abram went, as the Lord had told him, and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran.

Even at the age of 75, Abram was obedient to God’s call and answered Him by GOING regardless of what he was to do once he got there!  Though advanced in years, He trusted God that He would find a way to make a great nation from his offspring…and as the story goes, God did just that by providing a son to this couple in their ripe old age – close to 100 years of age!

Romans 4 tells us of his faith:

20 No distrust made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, 21 fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised. 22 That is why his faith was “counted to him as righteousness.” 

Faith in what he had not seen, the promise fulfilled by God, is the kind of faith that transforms a man such as Abram into a righteous father of nations…and to mark that transformation in Abrams life, God changed his name to Abraham, which means “father of nations”.

Fast-forward to the New Testament where an extremely “religious” person (in the very worst sense) receives his call from God to make a radical change in his life, resulting in a massive growth of God’s Kingdom. 

Saul was a religious zealot (the English word zealous comes from this term – which would describe Saul in many ways) who was killing people who followed this man named Jesus.  Because in his interpretation of the Scriptures, he felt Jesus was blaspheming the Word of God by referring to Himself as God’s son.  He was taught by the best religious leaders and became famous for his lynchings of Christians.

Then on one miraculous day, his true call came, as recorded in Acts 9:

1 Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples. He went to the high priest 2 and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem. 3 As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. 4 He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”
5 “Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked.
“I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” he replied. 6 “Now get up and GO into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”
Jesus blinds Saul and commands him to GO into the city and if he obeys, he will be told what to do.  He could have run with fear of the unknown, however, he had just witnessed the power of God and to do anything other than obey would have been mindless!

10 In Damascus there was a disciple named Ananias. The Lord called to him in a vision, “Ananias!”
“Yes, Lord,” he answered.
11 The Lord told him, GO to the house of Judas on Straight Street and ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying.12 In a vision he has seen a man named Ananias come and place his hands on him to restore his sight.”
13 “Lord,” Ananias answered, “I have heard many reports about this man and all the harm he has done to your holy people in Jerusalem.14 And he has come here with authority from the chief priests to arrest all who call on your name.”
15 But the Lord said to Ananias, “Go! This man is my chosen instrument to proclaim my name to the Gentiles and their kings and to the people of Israel.16 I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.”
17 Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on Saul, he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord—Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here—has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” 18 Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptized, 19 and after taking some food, he regained his strength.

Then Jesus tells Ananias to GO face his fears of this killer of men like him, and give Saul the message from God.  Saul is told to GO to Damascus, Ananias is told to GO to Saul, and with both men answering their individual calls from God to trust Him, the man Saul, who later became Paul, writes most of the New Testament and travels on many missionary journeys proclaiming the Gospel of Christ to the known world!  God then changed Saul’s name to Paul declaring his great transformation, one that can only be accomplished by God!

And then there are the rest of us…what is our GO?  God will call each and every one of us to a specific GO moment where we need to make a decision to follow God no matter what we think the consequences may be…and in that obedient moment God will reveal Himself to each of us in a very real and amazing way as He then gives us the next step or the rest of the call He has for us.

However, we cannot just sit back and wait for His specific call on our lives.  In fact, He has already given an overall call to every person who claims to follow Jesus as Savior and Lord.  In Matthew 28:19-20, He is very clear of that call:

19 Therefore GOand make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

We are to GO make disciples by first building intentional relationships with everyone we come in contact with.  You see, when Jesus is at our very core, defining who we are from the inside-out, everything we do will be to glorify Him and seek to share His Good News with everyone. 

Often times God tells us to Go before He defines what He will want us to accomplish.  I believe He does so because if we were to know what He truly wants to accomplish through each of us we would simply brush it off as something we can never accomplish.  However, if He simply opens the door to the first step, commanding us to go through that first door, and we obey, we begin developing a passion for His work and His call in our lives and the next step doesn’t seem like such a huge leap!

So don’t wait, answer His first call for each of us – GO into the world, the area where you are every day, and build relationships with everyone you have contact with, keeping Jesus at the center of everything.  Keeping Jesus in the center of all you do is what is called Biblical Worldview – viewing the world through the eyes of Jesus. If we keep our Biblical Worldview lenses on, it is impossible to look at the world and not hurt for the lost that Jesus wants us to build relationship with in order to introduce them to Him!
If you already have a GO pending in your life…what are you waiting for?  Take the first step and see what He has in store for you!  I guarantee that whatever He leads you to, it will be the most exciting, life fulfilling step you will ever take!

Follow Him and respond to the GO He is calling you to obey!

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