I have been experiencing some severe testing over the last couple weeks. At first the tests were infrequent enough to make me think that maybe God was trying to get my attention, but then yesterday the testing showed itself for what it is.
A few weeks ago one of my friend who is starting a new progressive church asked me if I was moving to the Czech for sure. I said yes and then asked why. He brushed the question off, but when I pressed him, he said because the church that is funding his church is looking for a high school pastor. I laughed, said thanks for thinking of me, and dismissed it. Then two days later another friend who may be working with the previous church approached me and asked if I was 100% certain that I was going to the Czech. I immediately knew why he was asking, but I still pushed it with him and he said, because this church is looking for a high school pastor. Again flattered I told him that I am for sure going to the Czech. As I walked away I began to think how cool it would be to work with those two guys, but I know that the Czech is where I am to be.
A couple days later as I was talking to my high school pastor, he began to tell me about all these cool churches that are looking for positions as well. Again I laughed and told him that I am going to the Czech. My outward confidence did not coincide with the doubts that were creeping into my mind. Should I go to the Czech? What do I do with all the money that has already been donated if I decide to stay? It sure would be fun to work with my friends! I knew it was ridiculous to even entertain these thoughts, but these other opportunities sounded so good.
Then yesterday I got the most ridiculously intriguing offer of all. My friend Frank called me. He is the missions youth pastor for a large church just outside of Oceanside, CA (the city my sister lives in). We hadn't spoken in a while and as we were catching up and talking about our respective churches, he told me that a couple of the youth pastors from his church have just left and that he thought it would be cool for me to go out and interview for the position. I literally laughed out loud. This confirmed what I had only assumed before, I was being tested. I told him about the other churches that have approached me and how there have been a lot of great opportunities for me recently. It would be so sweet to work with him and live near my sister and brother, but I keep reflecting back on what my friend Sean told me as I discussed this with him: "Anything worth doing is worth sacrificing for."
Don't we live for an exciting God? I could easily be anxious about all of these opportunities. I could easily question my calling and wonder if I'm doing the right thing. But we live for a God who is with us. His Spirit abides in us and guides us. I can go with confidence to the Czech, knowing that if I am obedient to his command of making disciples and if I am living my life in holiness, then I will be in God's will. What other belief system can offer that type of freedom and guidance?