A new chapter in Prayse has me thinking about the obvious pairing of Moses, Jonah, and the rich young ruler. As I was lying in bed last night thinking about these three, I started thinking about another part of their stories. What I came up with was this:
It didn't have to be so complicated.
For any of them. God asked great things of all three of these men, and if you boil it all down, it wasn't God that made things difficult. It was the men. They got stuck in the details.
God commanded Moses to lead. Lead the Israelites out of Egypt. That's all that God asked of him. It was Moses who ended up muddled in the details. How? When? Now? I'm not ready. Where would we go? Why me? I'm no good at this. There's no way I, piddly little me, can handle this. Lead God's chosen people to His promised land. Again, all God said was lead. Moses stuttered. They won't listen to me. I don't know where I'm going. I don't know what I'm doing. I'm over it.
So it took awhile. And Moses never entered the Promised Land.
God commanded the rich young ruler to follow. Follow me. That's all that God asked of him. It was the rich young ruler who riddled his heart with requirements. I can't just go. I can't leave everything. I can't sell everything. I have too much. I can't do this.
So he walked away. And the rich young ruler never knew the joy of knowing Jesus.
God commanded Jonah to go. Go to Nineveh. That's all God asked of him. It was Jonah who juggled with judgment of the place. Nineveh? Aren't there only sinners there? That town is so beneath me. I must not be hearing God right because He would never send me to a place like that. I am worth so much more than Nineveh. I'm not going. I don't want to.
So Jonah spent weeks washing the smell of whale vomit off his flesh. And the stench probably made him fit right in with the Ninevites, whom he visited after all.
Lead. Follow. Go. Simple commands, don't you think? It is the details where things get really messy.
Sometimes, I wonder what I'm missing out on because I'm stuck in the details. I'm stuck in the questions and the doubts and the demanding to know how it's all going to work out. I'm stuck in wondering if I can all while debating in my heart whether I want to.
Sometimes, it takes me awhile. And I don't get to touch what God's promised. Sometimes, I walk away. And I never know that joy. I don't know yet what whale vomit smells like, but I have my own unique stench some days.
It seems like a big thing, to do what God commands us to do. But I don't think it really is. I think what God asks us to do is actually pretty simple. At least, it would be if we'd stop thinking about it so much.
God says lead. So lead. He says follow. So follow. God says go. Go! It doesn't have to be so hard.
Whatever it is God is asking you to do, He's not asking you to consider the circumstances. He's not asking you to dog yourself with details. I think everything God asks of us can be boiled down to one simple word.
Lead. Follow. Go. Love.
So love already, would ya? It's just that simple.