I didn’t think it would be so hard to say yes to God. Obedience was supposed to be easy, so why was it so painful? I’d heard so many stories of people feeling called to a place, immediately going, and falling in love with it. They didn’t mention how hard it actually was to follow God’s voice in obedience.
Obedience requires stepping out of our comfort zone and into God’s purpose for our lives
When I finally said yes to staffing at YWAM LA, I was terrified. I felt completely unequipped, doubtful, and really out of my comfort zone. Why didn’t God ask me to do something easier? He could’ve asked me to go to college or work in the town I grew up in. That would’ve been so much easier than packing up and starting over in California. However, would I really find fulfillment if I was disobedient to His voice? God has been challenging me a lot with stepping out of my comfort zone and into His higher purpose for my life.
It’s so easy to get stuck in the comfort rather than stepping out in faith. The comfort of being around familiar faces and locations. The comfort of our culture, language, and family. It doesn’t require much sacrifice to stay in the comfort. Actually, it’s really easy to feel at home in the comfort. But what if God wants you to be a little uncomfortable? What if He wants you in a place with new cultures, sights, and faces? What if He has bigger things for you outside of the familiar? I had to ask myself these same questions before joining staff at YWAM LA. Imagine that the comfort of these familiar sights and faces is a cliff, yet God is asking you to jump off that cliff and fall into obedience. I had to make this decision between staying on the cliff in the comfort or free falling into God’s calling for me.
Obedience Requires our Yes
Oftentimes, God is waiting for our yes. He’s waiting for us to follow His voice into anything and everything, no matter how scary it looks. He is patiently waiting for us to take the jump off the cliff and free fall into His purpose for our lives. You know what happens when we choose to jump? First, we freak out. We panic because it feels like we are going to free fall into the ocean with no ability to float. The ocean which is full of sharks, darkness, and other unknown things. Then, we start swimming frantically and trying to stay afloat on our own. We think that in our own capabilities we can be completely obedient. I’ve done this countless times. I try to stay afloat after being obedient by doing it in my own strength. Although, what if we weren’t meant to do it on our own? We can’t float on our own. Eventually, we will drown.
After we admit we can’t do it on our own, God comes to us. He’s been there all along waiting for us to call out to Him. He tells us to come and walk on the water with Him. He calls us into deeper obedience and intimacy with Him as we take a step of faith onto the water. We take His hand and think He’s crazy. Yet, in the end we find ourselves running on the water with Him. It’s complete and utter dependence on Him. This is how we consistently walk in obedience. It’s not up to us to be perfectly obedient. After we take the jump, we have to run to Him and lean on Him when obedience is scary or impossible.
Obedience Is Hard and Painful
Obedience isn’t easy. Actually, it’s quite the opposite of easy. We walk on water with God, but it doesn’t mean it’s always easy. Before joining staff I was so excited to come here. I knew I was being obedient to God’s calling on my life. However, right after flying into LA I found myself wanting to go back to the familiar. The same faces, people, jobs, and conversations. I didn’t want to be in this new place where I felt outside of my comfort zone. Like I said in the beginning, I thought obedience was supposed to be easy. In fact, I thought it would be enjoyable to be obedient.
This happens to a lot of us after being obedient. We take God’s hand after free falling and we start walking on the water with Him. At first, we think it’s pretty great, but then we start to doubt or feel really uncomfortable. Eventually, we slowly start sinking. Again, we start freaking out and wondering why God appears to be absent. We yell and tell Him to help us or bring us back to where we were comfortable. We wonder why He asked us to jump in the first place. I did this for a while after coming to LA. I doubted my calling and wondered if I’d heard wrong from God. It didn’t make sense that this was so painful and hard. Didn’t I hear God’s voice correctly? Over time, I learned that I did hear His voice, and that He invited me to step out of my comfort zone. I am supposed to be in Los Angeles, yet it isn’t going to be as easy as I thought it would be.
Choosing yes means choosing no to many other things
Choosing to say yes to God means choosing to say no to many other good things. It means saying no to comfort, familiar places. Obedience sometimes means saying no to family or friends. It means surrendering our expectations. Obedience is saying yes to a great, higher calling God has for you while saying no to the good things you could've done. Personally, I decided to say no to college and yes to joining staff. I sometimes have to say no to being with my family and friends I grew up around. I'm choosing to say no to the comfort of being in the town I grew up in. It scares the heck out of me, yet I'm realizing this is where I want to be.
I want to be free falling into complete and utter dependence upon God. I want to be walking on the water with Him. Yes, I still sink sometimes out of fear. Every time I sink, He is there to take my hand again. He's reminding me of why He called me here in the first place. He is reminding me of my yes I said to Him in the very beginning. Like I said before, I could've stayed on the cliff and chosen to not free fall. It would've been good. I would be safe and secure. Despite all of this, I would still choose to say yes. I don't want to live in the comfortable. I want to live in the place where I have to be completely dependent upon God.
In this place of dependency on God, we find joy
Becoming dependent on God is hard. Obedience is tough, but I would do it all over again because of the immense joy I feel. I have hard days, uncomfortable times, sad moments, but I know I'm meant to be here. God is here, guiding me along every step of the way. Staffing is the best decision I made after high school. It was one of the biggest steps of faith I had to take and I am so glad I did. In this unfamiliar place, I will grow like never before and experience God in deeper ways that I've never thought possible. It's a place full of people who see me and know me. YWAM LA is a place I can be vulnerable and invite people into what I'm experiencing. This is a place I can meet God like never before.
When we choose to say yes to God, we receive immense joy because of it. Over and over again He is telling us how proud He is because of our obedience. He knows how hard it is, so He meets us and gives us the joy we need in the midst of uncomfortable moments. I'm so thankful to be here. I chose to say yes and I'm not turning back.
What is God asking you to say yes to?
Saying yes to God looks different for all of us. It could be saying yes to college or going on a missions trip. It could be speaking up and sharing your faith to someone. Or it could be doing a DTS! Seek God and ask Him what He wants you to say yes to. What's the next thing you can do to be obedient? No matter how big or small it is, do it! If you feel God leading you to YWAM, learn more information here. Will you choose to free fall into obedience? Or will you decide to stay where it's comfortable? God is waiting for your yes.