My bouncy, black dog, Poppy, is a 12-pound ball of fur with a plumed tail and butterfly ears who loves to go. My simple question of “Poppy go car?” elicits a whirl of spinning in circles, his way of saying “yes.” When he sees me pick up his harness and leash, he eagerly sticks his head in and impatiently waits for the harness to be adjusted. Then he fidgets in excitement right beside me wherever I walk until I head out the door. “Poppy go dog park?” gets the same response, as does any phrase that begins with the words “Poppy go…” In fact, he loves going with me so much that when he sees me putting on my walking shoes he begins spinning, and if I’m not going anywhere he can go I have to tell him, “No. Poppy stay.” He loves to be on the go with his Master – me.
I wonder if I am as willing and eager to go with my Master? Are you?
Matthew 28:19-20 NIV says “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Our Master has given us a go, are we spinning with delight answering “Yes” followed by fidgeting excitedly waiting for Him to send us on?
Not usually. Often it’s more like…
Go ask that lady if she’s ok and pray with her.
What Lord? Me?
Go tell that person how much I love them and share my Good News.
I’m embarrassed to go up to her.
Go on that mission trip.
Me? I don’t think I could do that.
Go teach a youth small group.
Not me. I don’t know how to explain things well enough.
Go take dinner to your neighbor.
What? I don’t know her that well. That would feel awkward.
Go make disciples.
How Lord? I’m not ready.
Go live in another country for years and minister there for me.
And give up my normal life?
We fear we’re not enough, so we don’t. We fear we’ll fail, so we don’t. We fear people’s reactions, so we don’t. We fear walking into unfamiliar territory, so we don’t. We fear what we will have to give up to obey Jesus, so we don’t. We fear. And it stalls us out in our Christian walk. Fear is our enemy’s native tongue. He speaks to us in that language hoping we’ll fall for it.
But God enables us to stand firm in the face of fear. “Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel because he has come to his people and redeemed them. … to rescue us from the hand of our enemies, and to enable us to serve him without fear in holiness and righteousness before him all our days.” (Luke 1:68 & 74) Without fear! Don’t you want that? If you are like me and often live with fear hanging over your shoulder, this sounds like freedom. It is freedom.
In a terrible storm, the disciples’ fear of death overwhelmed them. Jesus’ response? “He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm. ‘Where is your faith?’ he asked his disciples. In fear and amazement, they asked one another, ‘Who is this? He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him.’ ” (Luke 8:24-25) He shows us that the antidote to fear is faith, and He demonstrates His power to handle anything we fear. Yet still, fear triumphs over our faith and makes us hesitate. Take heed, His Word tells us “Without faith, it is impossible to please God.” (Hebrews 11:6)
Let’s make a choice to put fear in our rearview mirror and go forward with God. We are willingly submitting to Satan’s fiery darts of fear if we let that fear keep us from picking up and going when the Father says “Go.”
Let our love for our Master and our desire to be with Him so overwhelm us that we joyfully spin in circles answering “Yes, yes, yes!” whenever He says “Go.”
Let us wait in anticipation and go forth in faith knowing that He will equip us, protect us, and give us all the wisdom we need.
Let us trust as simply and honestly as my little pup, having faith, believing, knowing that He will take care of us.
Let us all be like Isaiah:
“Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?’ And I said, ‘Here am I. Send me!’ He said, ‘Go and tell this people…’ ” Isaiah 6:8-9