This challenge from my college professor (Kelly O’Rear) has guided me for 19 years. Most Christians understand this conceptually, but few in practice. When God lays on our heart an opportunity to serve him, something as simple as sharing the gospel or something as life altering as going into foreign missions, our answer needs to be “yes”, not “I’ll try” or “I’ll do it if _____”.
“I’ll try”: The paths that God leads us down will involve difficulty and discomfort. There will be days we don’t enjoy the ministry. There will be days when other things sound more enticing. When we say “I’ll try”, what we mean is this: “if there comes a point when I am not comfortable or happy then I am taking control”. We haven’t surrendered complete control when we are just “trying it out”. God wants our answer to be “yes”, not “I’ll try”.
I’ll do it if _____”: When we put stipulations on our obedience we rarely take the first step to follow God’s leading. We are like the plane that never gets off the runway. If we only obey God’s leading when it fits into our plans, who is really in control? We are.