Okay - The Crosswalk Devotional - October 19

Sin condemns people until they hear the gospel message and believe in the Lord Jesus. God called Andrea to speak His message of hope in Jesus to the people in Siberia. She’s not a member of some elite squad He chooses for this task. Indeed, God chooses every follower to participate. 

Crosswalk Contributing Writer

The Crosswalk Devotional

By Annie Yorty

"Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you.” Deuteronomy 31:8 NLT

I punched in the phone number with doubt in my heart. Last I had seen Andrea, she seemed open to the possibility of going on a mission trip to Siberia. Yes, Siberia. Since then, though, I had moved, and now I didn’t live close enough to personally shepherd her through the process. Would she go that far out of her comfort zone without me there to hold her hand?

To be sure, Siberia was as far as anything could get outside Andrea’s prior experience. With just two decades of life in rural Kentucky under her belt, she had barely left her hometown, much less flown on a plane to the opposite side of the world. Nevertheless, my doubts did not convince me to hang up before she answered.

“Hello?” Andrea’s chipper voice interrupted my thoughts.
“Hey there!” I launched straight into my pitch. “Guess what time it is? I’m getting ready to go to Siberia. Do you remember how you said you might like to go?”
“Yeah,” she replied.
“If you’re going, now’s the time to get started.”

“Okay.” Okay? Just like that? Thankfully, I managed to keep the disbelief inside my head.
I took a deep breath, sure the list I was about to unleash would send her running. “Let’s go over what you need. First, you’ll need to get a passport.”
“Then you’ll need to get some immunizations.”

Then I described the arduous travel, daily schedule, support raising, visa application, booking flights, packing, spiritual preparation, and myriad other tasks that would fill her to-do list. Her reply to each one? “Okay.” I chalked up her unflappability to youthful naivete. Yet her calm acceptance in the face of all these unknowns impressed me. From where did such courage come?

Andrea possessed a certainty about God’s calling—His plan to use her—that made her brave. She had learned about Him as a little girl because another person followed God’s calling to bring the Baptist church van into her neighborhood to take kids to Sunday school. God’s calling weaves the threads of lives together into a wonderful tapestry of His glory. 

A man named Isaiah from long ago is part of that glorious fabric. Much of what we know about him is mingled with tradition and speculation, but he writes about a dramatic event that instilled courage to follow God’s calling. God filled Isaiah’s mind with a vision of Himself seated on His throne in a heavenly temple. God’s palpable glory overwhelmed Isaiah. Though the text doesn’t explicitly say, I imagine Isaiah dropping flat on the floor as he realizes his utter unworthiness to be in the presence of God’s holiness.

A winged creature attending God flew to Isaiah and cleansed him, removing his guilt and forgiving his sin. Then the unthinkable happened. God asked the room a question with an obvious outcome in mind (Isaiah 6:8 NLT). Then I heard the Lord asking, “Whom should I send as a messenger to this people? Who will go for us?”

Isaiah answered without hesitation. I said, “Here I am. Send me.” In other words, Isaiah said, “Okay.” God continues sending messengers to this day.

And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. The one who has believed and has been baptized will be saved; but the one who has not believed will be condemned. (Mark 16:15-16 NASB)

Sin condemns people until they hear the gospel message and believe in the Lord Jesus. God called Andrea to speak His message of hope in Jesus to the people in Siberia. She’s not a member of some elite squad He chooses for this task. Indeed, God chooses every follower to participate. No excuses.

Jesus admonished his reluctant disciples about their excuses. Do you not say, ‘There are still four months, and then comes the harvest’? Behold, I tell you, raise your eyes and observe the fields, that they are white for harvest. (John 4:35 NASB)

The harvest represents people in this world whose hearts God’s Spirit prepared to receive the good news of Jesus. Their situation is urgent. In fact, their lives hang in the balance. It’s time for all of us to step up and say, “Okay.”

After my phone call to Andrea that day, she checked off one after another item on that daunting to-do list until she finally ended up in Krasnoyarsk, Siberia before dawn one freezing February morning. God used her all-in attitude to spread His healing gospel and glory to needy hearts. Those who received Jesus will meet us again in heaven one day as we enjoy eternity with Him.

All that comes from one simple word—okay.

Intersecting Faith and Life:
What fears hold you back from saying “okay” to God’s call? Will you pray for the courage to obey Him?

Further Reading:
Isaiah 6:1-13, What Is God’s Calling for My Life?

Photo Credit: ©iStock/Getty Images Plus/Kar-Tr

Writer Annie YortyAnnie Yorty writes and speaks to encourage others to perceive God’s person, presence, provision, and purpose in the unexpected twists and turns of life. Married to her high school sweetheart and living in Pennsylvania, she mothers a teen, two adult children (one with intellectual disabilities), and a furry beast labradoodle. She has written From Ignorance to Bliss: God’s Heart Revealed through Down SyndromePlease connect with her at http://annieyorty.com/, Facebook, and Instagram.

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