“If any of us would receive an assignment for Christian service, it must come from Christ Himself. If we hope to succeed in that assignment, we must do so while in perpetual, personal fellowship with Christ . . . and never stop working until He Himself comes to discharge us from the service because there is no further need of it. ” –Charles Spurgeon
I am reading Spurgeon’s book, Following Christ, and the words above immediately caused me to pause and reflect. I have known different service assignments to be directed by God. They have appeared in different ways, many of which didn’t make sense to me at the time. On most occasions, I received an answer sometime later.
The most dramatic assignment I was ever given was with a young man who had lost his mother in a horrendous way. I didn’t know the family well, yet for whatever reason, I was plucked out of the midst of family, friends, and acquaintances and placed solidly in Ben’s life for a year or more. I questioned this many times. I spoke with a friend who advised me to let go and back out of his life. I prayed fervently, even asking God to release me because I thought perhaps my friend was right. Maybe I was in a place I didn’t belong. Yet God answered each prayer with a fresh assignment of what I was to do. Even when I felt the most anxious, God would find a way to tell me I was indeed hearing from Him and to continue on; He would direct my path. Then, just as specifically and dramatically as the assignment came, I was discharged. As Spurgeon said in his quote, “there was no further need of it.”
Most of the assignments I’ve been given weren’t as clear and detailed as the one with the young man. I reflect on ways that God has saved me and blessed me when I felt no sure direction at the time other than to stay still and wait on God. I was terribly burdened by a life situation once and was told by a very godly woman that God would not have me continue in it. I respected her advice but responded until God gave me the peace to do something differently; I had to continue as I was. Only a few years later, I realized that if I had not continued on, I would have suffered terribly from the consequences. I learned we can’t rely on our mortal feelings. However, we can trust that God will kindly show us His direction in a way we can’t deny.
I encourage you to listen to your calls to serve others. Some situations may seem odd, but trust God and move at His direction. Press in and listen for guidance. He may or may not reveal the purpose for some assignments, but I know this much: I have never been sorry when I responded as I believed God directed. Looking back, I have always been grateful.