Do you get annoyed when missionaries say, “I told God I would never go to Africa, and sure enough that’s where He sent me”? Or when ministers exhort us to, “Never say ‘never’ to God because as soon as you say ‘never’ that’s exactly what He will make you do”?
I don’t love those kinds of statements because they give God a bad rap. They make it sound like God spends His time looking for ways to disappoint our deepest desires. They ignore verses like Psalm 37:4 that say, “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.”
That’s a profound verse. God doesn’t just give desired outcomes; He gives the desire itself. If you are delighting yourself in Him, and you have absolutely no desire to do a certain ministry, it is likely that He isn’t leading you to do it. If He wants you to do it He’ll have to give you the desire first.
So let’s stop being afraid that if we go all in with this life of discipleship that God will make us do all of the stuff that we don’t want to do. He is not going to send you to some remote assignment just to spite you.
However…once we defend God a bit and push back against the inaccurate statements from certain teachers and preachers we DO need to build a figurative altar and sacrifice our ‘nevers’ on it.
Truly submitted prayers say, “Lord, send me where I’m needed most” not “Lord, send me where I’ll get the best tan…or where I’ll see the best scenery…or make the most money.”
Consider Oswald Chambers’ words from the devotional, My Utmost For His Highest: “Before we will serve, we stop to ponder our personal and financial concerns: ‘what if God wants me to go over there? And what about my salary? What is the climate like there? Who will take care of me? A person must consider all these things.’ All this is an indication that we have reservations about serving God.”
God can be trusted completely. So let’s retract our ‘nevers’ and dive into the deep end of our destinies.