You know that question people ask that goes something like, “What do you want to be remembered for at your funeral?” It’s supposed to make you think about your legacy, what you want to accomplish during your life and how you want to change the people around you.
It’s interesting to think about those kinds of questions because there’s a part of us that wants to make a difference. We want to change the world. And if we know that someone speaking at our funeral can provide an example of how we accomplished that in even a small way, we feel like we’ve done what we’re supposed to do.
Grandeur and responsibility
Most of us want to be a part of something grand. We want to help change the lives of those living in poverty. We want to bring the gospel to people who have never heard the Name of Jesus. We want to impact the next generation.
But have you ever stopped to think about the idea that you won’t accomplish very much for God’s kingdom if you’re too responsible?
It’s a strange concept when taken at face value. Most adults were brought up to have the mindset of doing all they can to provide for their families. Responsibility is a positive character trait to call your own. But it’s also something Satan uses to convince us we should remain exactly where we are, putting aside any potential grand plans to make a difference in this world.
What would your first reaction be if you thought God was prompting you to move to a third-world country? To start giving half your paycheck to missionaries?
Okay, those are radical examples, but what about these: ministering to those in prison, working full-time at a ministry for a below poverty-line paycheck, starting up your own ministry?
What too much responsibility looks like
When God asks us to do something in His Name, it’s natural for us to think about and talk to our families about it. After all, sometimes it’s difficult to know if God is speaking, or if we’ve just jumped to conclusions. Having a spouse or a parent or a sibling to talk through decisions is not a bad thing.
But when it comes down to decision-making time, that’s when Satan stirs up the conversation about responsibility. Will my family be happy with this? Do I have enough money? Will I be able to succeed? Is it a wise way to use my resources?
From an outside perspective, those are great questions. You’re being smart about it. You’re thinking of others. You’re showing how responsible you are.
But aren’t you also doubting God and His purpose for you? What, then, is the balance between obeying God the moment you know He’s told you to do something and making sure it’s a responsible decision?
Read that last sentence again. Think about how we can struggle with obeying God. We wonder about all these earthly things that could go wrong. When will we realize and live out the fact that God’s ways are not our ways? His thoughts are not our thoughts. And the more we question if we should actually follow through with something He has told us to do, the more we have lost. Every moment we waste weighing the pros and cons becomes a moment Satan takes and uses for his own benefit.
It sounds counterintuitive and unwise and … irresponsible. How can we do something when we aren’t sure how it will affect the health of our family or if it will drain our monetary resources?
By keeping an eternal perspective.
When we reach heaven
God doesn’t want horrible things to happen to us. He wants to use us. And He has placed in our hearts a desire to be used by Him. It’s why we long for grand things. He has set eternity in our hearts. If we don’t obey Him because we’re afraid of what the earthly outcome will be, hiding behind the excuse that it’s irresponsible, then we will miss out on something truly beautiful.
We must put aside the lie that we are just being responsible by saying no to some of the things God asks us to do. We must pray that our families will trust in God’s provision. We must understand that God’s “economy” has nothing to do with how much money we are saving in the bank each month. We must trust that God has something in mind we may never understand on this side of heaven, and then pray for spiritual wisdom.
It’s true, though. Obeying God might lead to suffering. It might lead to pain and loss. It might lead to the end of your life on earth. But that’s just on earth. When we reach heaven and stand before our Creator, won’t we want to say we followed immediately at the sound of His voice? That we left everything for Him because He’s glorious and marvelous and worthy of every ounce of our affection?
Let’s Talk About It: What responsibilities do you hide behind in order to not follow what God asks of you?