In l962, I had just returned to Europe from five years on a mission field in East Africa. I was on the top of a lonesome cliff in the northwest corner of Denmark. I was worshipping the Lord, and there was nothing to interrupt me—just seagulls and wind.
The Lord spoke to me—not audibly, but absolutely clearly. He rehearsed my spiritual career up to that point, reminding me of what I had accomplished. He said, “You’re a member of a denomination, the principal of a teacher training college, and you have a pension scheme.” Then He said, “Are you satisfied, or do you want to go further?”
That shocked me, because I didn’t think there was anything further. I am embarrassed to say that was my attitude.
One lesson I had learned by that time was not to give God a hasty answer. I said, “Lord, I need time to think this over. I’ll come back when I’m ready with my answer.” About three days later, I returned to the same clifftop, got in touch with the Lord, and said, “Lord, I’m ready to give you my answer.” Then I said, “Lord, I’m not satisfied.” (Only when I said “I’m not satisfied” did I realize how dissatisfied I really was.) But I blush at my response: “Lord, if there is anything further, I want to go further.”
Just think of that! “If there is anything further.” I got a very swift answer. He said, “If you want to go further there are two conditions. First, all progress in the Christian life is by faith. If you’re not willing to go forward in faith you can’t go forward. Secondly, if you are to fulfill the ministry I have for you, you will need a strong healthy body and you’re putting on too much weight. You better see to that.” Very, very practical.
Oh, Lord, I confess that I am a bit fearful. It would be so much easier just to stay in my comfort zone, maintaining my life without any changes or interruptions. Everything within me recoils at the idea of a risky step.
Even so, Lord, I have to admit that I’m not really satisfied. I want to follow You completely. I hear Derek’s words ringing in my ears: “All progress in the Christian life is by faith.” That’s what you showed him on that cliffside in Denmark, and I know it is true for me as well. I want to go further.
So here I am, Lord, ready to take whatever step You place before me. By Your strength, and by Your grace, I will step out boldly in faith. Amen