We had an interest in working with younger married couples. Looking back to our earlier married years, we remember the influence that two “older” couples had on our lives. We learned from them primarily by observing them as they interacted with each other and served God together. We wanted to pass that on to a younger generation, but we didn’t see that opportunity at our church, as those roles were already filled by faithful servants. So we started looking around for an opportunity.
One Sunday late last summer or early fall, we were at North Point Community Church, and Andy Stanley made an appeal for married couples to step up and serve as mentor couples for young married small groups. My wife leaned over to me and said, “This is where we need to be.” I was excited to hear that, because I had wanted to be at North Point for a long time. To make a long story short, we became members of the church and applied to be small group leaders for Just Married.
In January, we attended an event called Group Link, which is where people can go to North Point and get connected with a small group. We learned that there were a number of couples that had volunteered to be Just Married leaders. In fact, when the event was over, there were more leaders that volunteered than were needed. We were blessed to serve as co-leaders with another couple that we had known from our previous church. However, some leaders had shown up and left without a group.
By making themselves available to serve, the leaders that left that evening without a group were just as obedient as those of us who were blessed with a group. Obedience does not always mean doing something. Sometimes obedience is just being willing to do what God wants us to do.
Remember the story of Abraham and Isaac, when God told Abraham to take Isaac up the mountain to make a sacrifice? When they arrived at the place, they didn’t have an animal to sacrifice. God told Abraham to sacrifice Isaac, the son that God had promised to him. Abraham was faithful, and in obedience to God, put Isaac on the altar and was about to plunge a knife into his heart when God told him to stop. Abraham was obedient. He was willing to do whatever God told him to do. God tested his faithfulness, and then let him keep his son.
God wants our hearts. He wants our faithful obedience. That doesn’t always mean that we’re doing something, laboring endlessly trying to please Him. Willingness is obedience, and that is pleasing to God.