Summary: This sermon is actually a testimony of our experince as my wife and I answered God’s call to be missionaries.
The Danger Zone of Faith
I would like to talk a little bit this morning about the journey that we have been through since God called us to go to Slovakia. As I have just mentioned we will be moving on the 16th September 2006.
Before I do that I just want to read a passage of scripture about somebody’s life that I can relate to at the moment.
22 That night Jacob got up and took his two wives, his two maidservants and his eleven sons and crossed the ford of the Jabbok.
23 After he had sent them across the stream, he sent over all his possessions.
24 So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak.
25 When the man saw that he could not overpower him, he touched the socket of Jacob’s hip so that his hip was wrenched as he wrestled with the man.
26 Then the man said, Let me go, for it is daybreak. But Jacob replied, I will not let you go unless you bless me.
27 The man asked him, What is your name? Jacob, he answered.
28 Then the man said, Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with men and have overcome.
29 Jacob said, Please tell me your name. But he replied, Why do you ask my name? Then he blessed him there.
30 So Jacob called the place Peniel, saying, It is because I saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared.
31 The sun rose above him as he passed Peniel, and he was limping because of his hip.
32 Therefore to this day the Israelites do not eat the tendon attached to the socket of the hip, because the socket of Jacob’s hip was touched near the tendon.
In this passage of scripture we find Jacob is going to meet his estranged brother. Like most brothers, Jacob and Esau fought as children. However due to Jacob’s trickery Esau had wanted to kill him. Jacob spent most of his life running away from his problems, but here we see a man who was about to face them.
He is also a man with a promise upon his life. A few chapters earlier, in Genesis 28:10-15, God promises to Jacob that his descendents would become a great nation. It is in the passage that we have just read that we see Jacob start to enter into that promise and his name is changed.
Entering that promise wasn’t easy, in fact Jacob had to fight for it. He had to enter a ‘Danger Zone’, the ‘Danger Zone of Faith’.
I want to relate Jacobs situation to the one that Liz and myself have found ourselves in as we have journeyed towards our calling.
As I have already mentioned it was four years ago that we first went to Slovakia on a short term mission trip. We have returned 3 times since and God has given us a continually growing love for the church, the town and the nation.
12 months ago we each individually felt that God was calling us to move their as missionaries. It was a very interesting time. We wanted to make sure that what we were doing was in God’s will, not least because Liz was pregnant at the time.
God confirmed it through a number of different ways that it was the right thing to do. We also spoke to our church, our family, and the leaders of churches in Slovakia and each time God confirmed that this was the right move to make.
There were a number of things that still made that decision difficult. Liz had a music business that was going well and I was enjoying my job as a police officer and training police officers. Of course there was also the thought of leaving our family behind.
We still didn’t know what date we should make the move. The one thing that was completely out of our control was the selling of our house. Logically I had decided to wait until we had a buyer for the house and then to set the moving date.
We put our house on the market at the beginning of this year and just waited for something to happen. We priced it fairly and I expected it to sell within a reasonable time. At first we had a little bit of interest and then nothing.
At this point I listened to a tape by a person called Ian Green. The tape was actually from a conference in 1992. It was all about entering into Spiritual danger zones. One of the danger zones he spoke about was the Danger Zone of Faith.
When we listened to the tape we knew that God was calling us to take a step of faith and just to set a date for us to move out. That is exactly what we did, the 16th September. I had to give my notice in at work accordingly.