Really leaving home and the comforts of the familiar for the first time is really hard.
But it was this situation I found myself in just 6 months ago. I was working a job I was overqualified for and didn’t like just so that I could continue to live in the Chicago-land area and keep my life as I knew it going smoothly. I worked hours I didn’t prefer and gave up time to spend with my wife and daughters because I was committed to being close to home, to my friends, to my mom, to my brothers, and to everything that gave me comfort.
The job I was working wasn’t a ministry job, which had been my previous occupation. I was a worship leader and had stepped out of ministry for a year and a half and was now just a “working stiff” earning a paycheck and getting awesome health insurance working for a major company.
But about a year ago, I felt the Holy Spirit calling me back to ministry, and so I naturally assumed that that ministry meant staying in Chicago-land and being close to family and the creature comforts I so desperately felt like I needed.
So I applied like heck to any and every church in the Chicago-land area that was looking to hire a worship leader. And one church after another said “no thank you” and moved on. I was heartbroken. Why wasn’t it God’s plan for me to be ministering amongst the people and culture that I knew and close to the hometown I loved?
As one door after another closed, I had two options: I could stay working in this job that I didn’t like in order to provide for my family, or I could sacrifice the location I felt so drawn to in order to obey the calling God had placed on my life to serve him in the capacity of leading worship for His people.
So I started applying at other churches in the Midwest, really anywhere in the United States, and lo and behold, a church in Indiana wanted me to come and be their worship pastor. As much as I wanted to stay in the Chicago area, I knew that the Holy Spirit was leading me away from home and had provided this position for me where I would have all my needs taken care of. It just meant laying on the altar all of the comforts of home I had come to cling so tightly to.
As a man it hurt to sacrifice the certainty that goes along with a steady job and home that my family lived in to chase after the direction I felt the Spirit leading me to. There was great sacrifice in laying down certain money, health insurance, retirement, grandparents nearby, aunts and uncles providing free babysitting, etc. All the stuff I relied on to establish me as a man and family provider were there.
But I discovered in the process of obedience, that if I did not sacrifice that which I clung closest to in my body, I could never experience the intimacy of living life by the Spirit.
So I laid home on the altar and took the position. And I’m incredibly grateful that I paid attention to the Spirit’s leading rather than clinging to all the things I knew and made me feel secure. God has done some amazing things in the last 3 months through His Holy Spirit, and I’m glad I laid down my home and even my mother and brothers in order to follow where He was leading.
Leaving home creates discomfort, and so comfort food is what this is all about. Chocolate brownies are my comfort food. If you are like me and like comfort food and want the world’s best brownies, check out this link http://allrecipes.com/recipe/143667/brookes-best-bombshell-brownies/?internalSource=hub%20recipe&referringContentType=search%20results&clickId=cardslot%201#
A song called “I Give Myself Away” by William McDowell off the album “As We Worship Live” has always spoken to me as a simple prayer to God, asking that we lay ourselves down, regardless of what our desires for ourselves are so that he can use us.
God, whatever it is that keeps me tied to anything other than you and your leading, I pray you break immediately. Help me be aware of the comforts in my life that distract me from the holy discomfort that living life by the Spirit sometimes brings.
There’s beauty in sacrificing something that brings you comfort. For one week, give up the thing that gives you the most physical comfort, and when you want that thing, instead find a way in the community you live in to give that thing to someone else in some way.