I don’t like the God told me card. Don’t get me wrong, I do believe that God can speak to us through his word and through prayer and other means. We ought to sense and discern the will of God. There is a place to say that God told me to do something. However, in a discussion, that “God told me” card can act as a trump card against all other arguments or points of view. Who can argue with “God told me”? For this reason, I hesitate to speak this way. I would rather say, “we sense that God is calling us to….” Some might view that as a lack of confidence or lack of faith, but I mean it to be an openness and sense of humility. I want to be open to correction and rebuke. I want to discern God’s will alongside others without playing the trump card.
That being said, I was encouraged lately to speak more freely and passionately when I feel God directing me. To not hesitate to speak with conviction if I believe God calling me or the people I lead in a certain direction. While “God told me” is not a card to be played, if I believe that God has called me to something, to follow that boldly and speak about it with conviction.
Meanwhile, recently some people have been puzzled about our adoption, not understanding our reasoning or not understanding why we would pursue adoption when we don’t have the funds to pay for it all. So here it is: God is calling us to adopt. I have no doubt in my mind. This is not simply our wish our desire or motivated by self-fulfillment. We feel called by God. In fact, I have never been so sure about anything else, save my call to be a preacher of the gospel. In both cases, this call came not from a want or desire, or a selfish motive. In fact, in both cases my life would have been much easier if I took another route. But in both cases there was a fire in my belly call from God. A divine must. To the point where I believe to withhold any longer would be sinful. When God calls so clearly and powerfully we must obey.
This call has been re-affirmed in me at every step. When Melissa and I both felt called to adopt. When we both agreed that we were called to adopt internationally. When we both believed that God wanted us to pursue an adoption from Guinea. When we first talked with our social worker. Over and over again, God has re-affirmed this journey to us.
And while we knew, deep in our hearts with complete conviction that God was calling us to this journey, there’s a big problem. Our adoption could cost us as much as $30,000, which we simply don’t have. We have a stable home and job in an awesome community and church. We have a great marriage and family that is eager to welcome another member. We have a loving and supportive extended family. We have a great network of friends to support and encourage us. But we don’t have $30,000.
So what do you do when God calls you to do the impossible? What do you do when the call of God and the bank account don’t agree? In our prayers and conversations we felt that God was calling us to move ahead in faith. As a pastor, I talk about faith a good deal. But here God was actually calling us to step out and do the impossible. To trust him with what we couldn’t control. To believe that if we obeyed and trusted and surrendered our plans for His that he would meet all our needs in his timing and his way for his glory. And so we move forward in faith.
We are realizing that God is calling us on a journey that will stretch our faith in him and will teach us to pray like never before. He is calling us to an impossible situation, because that’s the best place for us to be as a family. He’s calling us to rely on others and live the way I teach people to live: in community. In calling us to raise funds, he is pushing us to share our journey with others and hopefully inspire others to also adopt or at least support someone who is. He’s calling us to teach others about God’s heart for adoption and that we are his adopted sons and daughters in Christ.
Why are we doing this? Because God told us to. It’s the scariest, most exciting, all-encompassing journey we’ve been on, but we take heart, because God told us to.