DISCLAIMER: I realize that every situation is different, and while yours may not be the same as mine, I know that the scriptures provided within will speak truth. There are a few personal applications included and you can choose to ignore these, if you like. No matter, because my faith is not yours, and your faith may be stronger, but that means that it is all the more reason to make a decision with finality.
Reason One: You are Being Called.
MARK 1:16 -20
Now as he walked by the sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. And Jesus said unto them, Come ye after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men. And straightway they forsook their nets, and followed him. And when he had gone a little further thence, he saw James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, who also were in the ship mending their nets. And straightway he called them: and they left their father Zebedee in the ship with the hired servants, and went after him.
While these verses highlight the calling of the first disciples, consider this: Following God and leaving everything behind is the first step to obeying God’s command for your life. Not everyone is called to be a missionary in training, but if you are anything like me, fighting with God comes easy and may be the only thing keeping you from dropping your net. Notice that these selected few, did not argue with God, or make excuses; they just followed Jesus after He gave them direction. In LUKE 5:27 – 28,
And after these things he went forth, and saw a publican, named Levi, sitting at the receipt of custom: and he said unto him, Follow me. And he left all, rose up, and followed him.
we see that Matthew never chose to argue. Instead, he left everything and got up to follow Jesus after being called by Him. Which brings me to my next point.
Reason Two: Your Plan is Not Better Than God’s Plan for Your Life.
In fact, Jesus said in MATTHEW 10:39,
He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.
Most people respectively reference this scripture in terms of life or death. However, attending the TC doesn’t require death. Attending is just the next step in His plan. God wants you to be willing to set everything aside and follow His plan instead of your own.
Down, steps the application to the Disclaimer above:
In the fall semester of 2014, I was attending a community college in San Antonio, Texas. I was continuing my education for another Associate’s in Mechanical Engineering. I had graduated with a different Associates in the previous Spring Semester. I was also working part time at a scientific research facility with automatic and manual transmissions, and vehicle engines. It was a small step in my transfer plan to a university, and eventually, to be hired on full time. A Master’s was the height of said plan, but either way, it was MY plan and it led to a lot of time hindering HIS plan. I fought with God every day until I finally realized that I longed to be more involved in a ministry and leading people to Christ. If you realize that your plan is not leading you to live a fulfilling life in Christ’s plan, then ditch your plan. As I said before, mine was not better than His plan, and from experience, I can tell you: yours will not be either. If He is calling you here to the OGTC, then realize,
Reason Three: Your Fear of Taking the Next Step is Pointless
The first three Gospels tell of Jesus and his disciples that got into a ship and crossed over the Sea of Galilee to reach Gergesa. On this journey, he fell asleep and a storm put the boat and every one on it, in danger of sinking. This ship was filling up with water and it was because the waves were so high that it came up, OVER its sides! With the water filling the boat, the 12 men woke Jesus up and pleaded that he save them all. With only His words, the elements of nature: the wind and water stopped raging. Harmonized, the next words of Jesus look a little something like this:
MATTHEW 8:26 And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm.
MARK 4:40 And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?
LUKE 8:25 And he said unto them, Where is your faith? And they being afraid wondered, saying one to another, What manner of man is this! for he commandeth even the winds and water, and they obey him.
Each verse clarifies, more and more, what Jesus was REALLY trying to say. In Luke, “Where is your faith?” While, I am not Jesus, I ask you the same: Where is YOUR faith? Stop being afraid of sinking on the ship of God’s plan and instead, understand that you are in the presence of God! Do not make the same mistake as the disciples and continue to stand around and wonder, “What manner of man is this! for he commandeth even the winds and water, and they obey him.”
At the time I was “considering” the OGTC, I was also considering a few other things. At first, I was very afraid that dropping out of school would leave me in a sea of debt, a storm of bad circumstances, and sinking in my own pity. Secondly, I knew my family would not be delighted at the thought of me moving so far away and dropping out of school. Thirdly, I was worried my illness that I had been diagnosed with about a year and a half before, would keep me from serving The Lord because of the fatigue it caused me on a day-to-day basis. In my life, this was the net that I had been mending (MATT 4:21), for several years. I rationalized with these three concerns of mine, because I was “considering” on staying instead of following God and His plan. Most of my doubts were found in these three reasons. Yet, surrendering all of them, took more faith than I was ever willing to have before. It happened one morning, when simultaneously, I finally became aware of:
Reason Four: You Are NOT God
Though I repented because my sin, God showed me that everything I reasoned with, was nothing more than idolization. My education, career, family, and even my illness, was an idol because I found security in them. Instead of finding security in Him, everything I did revolved around my own plan. By not following His plan, was like trying to prove to Him, “I am my own God.” In that instant, several verses came to mind:
LUKE 12:29 – 31, 34 And seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind. For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: and your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things. But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you…For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
MATTHEW 10:37 He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.
MARK 5:28, 34 For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole…And he said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague.
These were not only assurances, they were also confirmations of some things that I had discussed with my sister over the phone, a couple of weeks before. She had given me a call, telling me about the OGTC and some testimonies of different people who were once students and are now missionaries. They went through several things worse than I had been through, in so many ways . She had also confided a few things to me about her testimony that she had not told me about before that night. Each testimony was later confirmed, and is still being used by The Lord as an example to many others besides me, today. I wish I could expand on these testimonies but they are not mine to tell. Perhaps you will get the chance to hear them from the actual people yourself, in the near future. I know I stated in the Disclaimer that I realize your situation may be different from mine, and I would like to take the opportunity to say: It’s probably worse. I hope this encourages you to keep reading.
If you’re still reading this, than know that God made the plan, and when you obey to follow it, then He will provide everything for it to be put in motion. The very day I finally decided to move, was the very day God started providing solutions to everything that seemed impossible. I know He will do the same for you because His scriptures do not lie to me; they will not lie to you.
MATTHEW 6:25 – 32
Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.
LUKE 11:9 – 13
And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?
Shortly, after I had decided to attend the TC, one thing was standing in my way and it is something I doubted, for quite a while even after I started taking classes that I hope is not hindering you at this very moment:
Reason Five: You WILL Be Used By God.
Hebrews 11 starts with these words: Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Then it goes on to say in verse six: But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
Any person can be used of God. These scriptures are only the introduction to a list of people and their testimonies that God is STILL using to this very day. They may not be on earth any more, but their testimonies were left behind as examples of great faith. God also wants to use you for a great work as He did with these people. They wanted to please God, they believed He is God, and they believed that their faith would be rewarded because they were diligently seeking God. But, before they could be used by Him, they had to put their faith IN Him; they had to BELIEVE that it was true. You must do the same if you wish to be used of by God. Believing this is one of the hardest things any one could ever do. Overcoming this is done by putting your faith in Christ and trusting that what God says in His Book is true. Every day that I “consider” the fact that God is going to use me, I am not seeking God diligently enough to believe that the reward of His glory is worth believing in EVERYTHING that He left for me in His Word. If you are “considering” that He will use you, then you are doing the same.
If you are being called to the OGTC, then stop wasting time doubting and questioning God’s plan for your life and put your faith in Him; fill out an application online.