Throughout the Bible, God asks His people to spread His name and His glory to those who don’t know Him. In Genesis 12:1-3 Abraham is told that he will be made into a great nation and be blessed and that all peoples on the earth will be blessed through him. He is blessed to be a blessing. Throughout the Old Testament God uses Abraham’s descendants, the people of Israel, to point toward the greatness of their God. Check out David (1 Samuel 17:45-47), Solomon (1 Kings 10:1-9), and Daniel (2:27-28, 45-47, 3:29, 6:26) as a few examples.
As you read the Old Testament try to look at it through a new lens. See how the Psalms and the Prophets remind Israel that they’re meant to draw the nations to God (just a few examples- Psalm 67, 86:9-12, Zechariah 8:20-23, Malachi 1:11). That is where their purpose lies.
Psalm 96:3 says, “Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all peoples.”
My eyes were first opened to the idea that, like Israel, my purpose may also be found in glorifying God through a Perspectives on the World Christian Movement class in 2012.
When we can recognize that our lives were meant to be about glorifying God and sharing His glory with other people, a shift occurs, if we let it. Maybe we begin to recognize that the Bible Study we’re doing and what we’re learning in God’s Word isn’t just meant for us, but that we can share that truth with other people. Maybe we begin to see that the dreams and expectations we’ve had for our lives are based more on the American Dream than God’s direction. Maybe we begin to want to get involved with making sure all people everywhere have a chance to know Him.
Now I’m not going to say that knowing God’s mandate to make His name great among all the nations makes moving around the world and leaving everyone you know and love easy. So please pray that I can, like Paul, learn to be content whatever the circumstances– even when I am in need, and when I have plenty. That I will learn the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. Pray that I find that I can do all this through him who gives me strength. Philippians 4:11-13.
So how do you prepare to move overseas? I wish someone could give me step-by-step instructions! I am a person who likes to be prepared wherever and whatever I’m doing. Right now there are more questions than answers as far as what lies before me and no doubt God desires to grow me in flexibility and dependence.
For the past month it’s looked like saying goodbye to my role for the past 11 ½ years at the YMCA (but not quite saying goodbye because I’ll still see you all!), meeting with people to build a team of partners in the work God is sending me to (both financial and in prayer), researching things like insurance, online banking and taxes (yippee!) and chatting with beautiful people who have lived and served in Papua New Guinea.
It also means continuing with the things I love and enjoying them to the full because the time is short. Things like: taking the Equipping the Church class (Bible Study) at WCC, meeting with a couple of ladies to study the Bible, camping with friends, bike rides and even joining my little superhero in her first 1-mile run. It makes me appreciate even more these blessings that God has given me such as: the opportunity to gather with other believers to grow in His truth and knowledge of His word in my heart language in a way that I can understand, the blessing of fellowship and friendship and family and even the blessing of being active and enjoying the sunshine. So, my recommendation to you, as you prepare for whatever God has next for you, is to recognize the good and beautiful things that are in your life, and that you too are blessed to be a blessing.