Will You Follow? Michael Davis
July 23, 2018
Kyla and I loved living in Columbus, OH. Why? It’s Buckeye country! Not only did we love the Buckeyes, but we loved the people that we were doing life with. I worked in student ministry at a church for nearly five years and loved every minute of it. The thought of leaving Columbus...well, let’s just say that it wasn’t on our radar.
Though we didn’t want to leave, we sensed that God was doing something new and different and unexpected. We were confronted with a choice. Will we follow or not? We loved everything about life in Columbus: the church, the people, the city. But God was inviting us to follow Him.
It’s one thing to follow God when things are hard because you realize then more than ever how much you need Him, but what about following Him when things are really good? Will you follow into the unknown? Will you follow when your questions lack answers? Will you follow Him when what you’re being invited into does not look nearly as good as what you’re currently experiencing?
WILL YOU FOLLOW WHEN THINGS ARE GOOD?
We said yes to following God to the Windy City. To say that it was hard would be an understatement. Yet in the midst of moving to Chicago, we were reminded afresh why it’s always best to be a follower. We got to see God’s provision. We got to see glimpses of how God was working. We got to see God be God. I thought our move was primarily about me going to seminary, but it was almost exclusively about healing my marriage. Had we stayed in Columbus where things were good we would have missed out on something better in Chicago: a revitalized marriage.
After four years we were pretty settled in the northern suburbs of Chicago. Kyla had a nice job and I had just completed four years of seminary. We loved where we were living - a cute and affordable carriage house located on 8 acres of property - but we were sensing that God had something new on the horizon once again. We thought for sure God would want us to move back to Columbus, but He had something else in mind - Boston!
The thought of moving halfway across the country with Kyla, who was 7 months pregnant, and our 12-month old son Tristan did not seem like a great idea. Moving Kyla further away from her family, our primary support, did not seem like a great idea either. But God made it clear that He was inviting us to follow Him to Boston.
WILL YOU FOLLOW WHEN THINGS ARE BAD?
Remembering how we saw God move, provide, and protect when we moved from Columbus to Chicago encouraged us to follow Him once again. We arrived in Boston in the fall of 2004. Kyla gave birth to our daughter Reilly in October. We saw 30 inches of snow over the course of 3 storms that winter. All of that on top of the challenge of transitioning to a new culture and church role had me confessing to a dear friend: “I think I made a mistake! I think it’s time for Kyla and I and our young family to head back to the Midwest.”
While we processed the idea of moving for a few months I could not escape a nagging question. “Will we follow God both in the good and bad times?” It was a hard season of wrestling with whether we heard rightly, and it was a painful season of feeling like we had followed Him in vain. Yet it was in this season that we learned how following God in the hard things allowed us to see Him show up in ways we may have otherwise missed. Staying in Boston was one of the best decisions we’ve ever made. It was agonizing too. Ultimately, the decision was not simply to stay or leave this city, but rather, the decision was to be followers who choose to really follow God. It was in this season that we learned a very important truth
BEING A FOLLOWER MEANS FOLLOWING.
Will you be a follower in the good times as well as the bad? Followers receive the blessing and benefit of catching glimpses of the One who called them to the path of followership. It’s rarely easy and it’s often confusing, but it’s worth it! There is no greater joy in this journey than being committed to follow God with every step we take.