This past week I was sharing my faith story with someone when I was reminded of one of the most profound question I have ever been asked. This led me to consider, “What have been the most important questions in my life?”
There are at least three questions that God has asked me through the years that have changed the direction of my life. In each case they were so clear and profound that I was certain what God was asking me. Dr. J. Vernon McGee (the great Bible teacher from Thru the Bible Radio) was once asked, “Does God speak to you audibly?” To which he answered, “O No! It is much louder than that!” I’ve never heard God speak audibly, but it was “much louder than that!”
So here are the 3 most significant questions God has asked me:
- “WHY ARE YOU RESISTING ME?”
On that morning in 1975 after Pete John had shared the Gospel with me, Pete said, “If today for the record you would like to place your faith in Jesus Christ, you can pray this prayer and ask Jesus into your life.” I had spent the whole breakfast trying to convince Pete (but truly myself) that I was right with God. When he gave me another chance to trust in Christ, I thought, “There he goes again. He still doesn’t believe I’m a Christian.” Then God spoke in the quietness of my heart and asked me, “Gary, Why are you resisting me?” In a moment of surrender I asked Jesus to forgive my sin, come into my life and take control…and HE DID!
- “DO YOU REALLY TRUST ME, OR DO YOU JUST SAY THAT YOU TRUST ME?”
On June 17, 1988 a drunk driver hit our car. It was a horrible crash. I remember spinning and glass breaking. When the car came to rest I was trapped with my head and shoulders on the trunk of the car. A paramedic was in my ear telling me, “Hang in there with us.” I responded, “Don’t worry about me. Just take care of my wife.” He carefully answered, “We’re not worried about her, we’re worried about you.” When he said that, I just knew in my heart that Donna was gone. I cried out to the Lord, “O God, no! This isn’t happening!” It was at that moment that God asked me, “Do you really trust me, or do you just say that you trust me?” As my mind reached for an answer, I knew my only right option was to trust Him. I answered, “Yes, Lord I trust you!”
- “WILL YOU ANSWER MY CALL?”
A couple of months after Donna had been killed, I began to have this nagging sense that God might be calling me into the ministry. I kept telling the Lord that I was willing to consider this, but He would have to make me certain that this was His will. As weeks went by I had no peace as to whether or not God was leading me to become a pastor. I would go to bed at night with an unsettled spirit and wake up the next morning in the same condition. Then one night I went to bed with this same sense of indecision, but when I awoke the next morning, God was clearly asking me, “Will you answer my call to serve me as a pastor?” I told Him a simple, “Yes I will.” I was relieved, excited and terrified all at the same time, but I can’t imagine investing my life any other way.
I believe God communicates with us in the most profound moments of our life through questions. He doesn’t demand. He asks. He invites.
HERE ARE SOME QUESTIONS JESUS ASKED. How would you answer each one?
- Who do you say that I am? (Matt 16:13)
- Whoever lives and believes in me shall never die…Do you believe this? (John 11:26)
- Can any of you by worrying add a single moment to your lifespan? (Matt 6:27)
- Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord’ and not do what I command? (Luke 6:46)
- Do you want to be well? (John 5:6)
- Why did you doubt? (Matthew 14:31)
- Do you love me? (John 21:16)
What are the most important questions God has ever asked you? What are the questions He is asking you right now? How will you answer?