I think as Christians we have this idea that we cant move forward unless God comes down and writes a script for us to follow. We are so afraid of getting it wrong that we do nothing. We make statements like, “well I would love to get involved in that ministry but I have to pray about it first.” We end up feeling like we didn’t hear God say yes and we do nothing. I’m not saying don’t pray! What I am saying is that we need to read God’s Word and move forward based on the truth from God that we already know. Divine revelation will come. But what we have to remember is that we have already been given instruction on how we are to live and serve others. The following verses offer us pretty clear instructions on ways we are called to serve.
James 1:27 (NKJV)
Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.
Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.
Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need.
But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.
I think we make it a lot more difficult than it needs to be. I’ve been guilty of this myself countless times. We think we need to find a “ministry” to sign up for in order to do anything. What if we simply invite all of our neighbors over for dinner and share the love of Christ with them? Or we see a homeless man sitting on a bench and we take time to go sit with him and show interest in his life? Doesn’t that sound a lot like what was going on in the bible?
We also need to remember that its okay to get it wrong sometimes. We are sinful and broken human beings. Of course we will get it wrong! Allowing this fear to hold us back from doing anything is foolish. If you’re not quite sure if something is right for you, be in prayer and try it out. God will show you. Sometimes God speaks to us after we move, rather than before. Abraham did not know where he was going when God told him to pick up his whole family and move (Genesis 12). God told him after he had already stepped out in faith. What if God is waiting for us to step out in obedience to His command to share the truth of Christ with others before He gives us specifics like He did with Abraham?
This has always been a struggle of mine and something that God is continually working on with me. I will say that the times when I have stepped out in obedience to God’s Word the fulfillment and joy I’ve experienced has been unlike anything I ever have before.