North Santa Rosa

Living With Purpose

Many people think God’s call on their life is “don’t do this” and “don’t do that”. This thought process is empirical evidence that a person doesn’t really know God. Even people who talk about their faith or give a testimony say something like, “I gave my life to Christ, and then I stopped…” or “When I got saved, I quit…” Then they spout-out all the sins they’ve tried to put off. We must believe there’s more to Christianity than this. Sinful habits or behaviors unbecoming should be avoided. But the heart of Christian discipleship doesn’t begin with “stop”. If this was so then we would all be better off hiding ourselves away somewhere free from inspection, observation, or detection.

The heart of Christianity is a movement, an outward focus, a going forth with confidence that we are not alone in what we have to face. It’s going forth with the conscious realization we are meant to accomplish things that can only be done uniquely by us. This isn’t pride, but it’s exercising trust in an all-sufficient Savior. But what do we do? We all too often forget our tasks as we face the demands of our lives. We shy away at the least resistance. We must be “going” Christians and forsake negative-thinkers while resisting the temptation to say “I can’t”.

God didn’t forget why He had called His servant Jonah for a specific task. Jonah was to go to Nineveh. It was his mission whether he liked it or not. God told Jonah, “GO to the great city of Nineveh” (Jonah 3:2). God is telling you and me to GO! Where am I to go, you may ask? Where is my Nineveh? Nineveh is not just the place you don’t want to go. It’s the place that’s out of reach for others, but not for you.  It’s a place where you have access because of divine providence.  It’s the family member or friend you’ve been praying for, but never seems to change.  It’s the other student or colleague who laughs at you or how you live.  It’s the person you try to love, but they just respond like a jerk no matter how gracious you try to be.  It’s the situation that never seems to get any better, which never inspires hope.  It’s the very place God has called you to go, and it’s the place where you must rely on God to survive and achieve His will.

Isaiah 48:17 says, “The Lord who taught you and saves you…says, I am the Lord you God, who teaches you to do well, who leads you in the way you should GO.”  We must find the cadence to enter the race because the world is on the Go.  Millions of people are on the move and you need to be also.  Therefore, we need to Go To the Lord, not depending on our own strength or becoming overly engaged in our own pursuits.  We must go to the Lord in the good times as well as the bad.  God’s Word says, “Come to Me, all of you who work and have heavy loads.  I will give you rest” (Matt. 11:28).  It’s by going to Him that we get exactly what we need.  God has said, “…I have chosen you, that you should go and do the work I have set you apart to do…and whatever you ask the Father in my name, He will give it to you” (John 15:16).  This is good reason to Go FOR the Lord.  Don’t be a Christian that settles or sits.  Don’t let your life be characterized by seeking personal gain, possessions, pleasure, position, and promotion.  There are some who help other people, but out of selfish motives.  Seek to glorify God in all you do.  If we go for Him, He will enable us to be a blessing to others.

Jim Ryun, former Kansas University track star and 1968 Olympic Silver medalist in the 1500 meters, once told me, “Whatever you do, wherever you go, decide to go with God.”  With that thought, remember to always Go WITH the Lord.  Jesus’ promise rings in the ears of Christ-followers when he said, “…I am going away to make a place for you.  After I go and make a place for you, I will come back and take you WITH me…” (John 14:2-3).  Make sure you are ready to go with him.  Multiple Scriptures teach that Christ will return and that those who repent of their sins and believe”…will be gathered together with them in the clouds.  The Bible says, “We will meet the Lord in the sky and be WITH him forever” (1 Thess. 4:17).  What a glorious thought!

There are seven words that I’ve heard many times in my competitive running career:  “Runners to your mark…Get set…Go!”  This is where the gospel begins:  “Go and make followers of all nations.  Baptize them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.  Teach them to do all the things I have told you.  And I am with you always, even to the end of the world “Matt. 28: 19-20).  So, what are you waiting for?

This weekly column is written by Matt Dobson. A graduate of Florida State University, Univ. of West Florida, and Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary, he is Pastor of New Bethel Baptist Church in Jay, Florida and a 1LT Chaplain in the U.S. Army Reserves. Matt can be reached by email: He welcomes your thoughts concerning faith, belief, and Christian living. Visit the Living With Purpose website at

Posted by on Jan 5 2014. Filed under Living With Purpose, Local. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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