When I think of how the Lord sent my wife and me to Birmingham, Ala., I am reminded of the account in Exodus of God’s deliverance of Israel from Egypt. Exodus 2:23 states: “Then the children of Israel groaned because of the bondage, and they cried out; and their cry came up to God” (NKJV).
When we left Charlotte, N.C., heading to Suwanee, Ga. (a suburb of Atlanta), in summer 2012, we had no clue what lay in store the next year. Suwanee tested our obedience and our commitment to God’s plan.
We were struggling to understand God’s direction in our lives. What we did not know at that time was that God was preparing us to go to a place where people were crying out for His help. People were broken, distraught, lost and far away from Jesus. And God heard the cry of people in Birmingham just as He heard the cry of Israel.
The third chapter of Exodus describes how God called Moses to deliver the people who had cried out to Him (v. 4). While my wife and I were in Georgia, God was raising us up to respond to people in Alabama. He began to give us a heart for those that were crying out. To ensure that we would not miss where He desired us to be, God made it very clear the cry was not in Suwanee, but in Birmingham.
We were shocked! We were completely comfortable where we were. But I have learned that comfort and faith do not always coexist. So we decided to follow God’s plan, which was far better than ours. We are now in the process of planting a church in Birmingham.
All of us in ministry have been sent to people who are crying out for God’s intervention in their lives. Whatever your specific calling in ministry, you are God’s response to people in the areas to which you have been sent. But God does not just call ministers. God is sending all of His people to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with their family members, neighbors, co-workers and communities.
God commissioned all of us when He said, “Go therefore and make disciples” (Matt. 28:19). All of us are sent to people who are calling out for deliverance and salvation. We may be called to places that we never expected to go, but I pray that all of us will respond with a willing heart to go wherever God is sending us.
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