The Point of No Return

by - 9:10 PM

At some stage, all of us are called to face our point of no return. By that, I mean that stage in life where you choose to go or not to go; where you say yes or no to God, in regards to a specific calling or direction you are about to take.

The point of no return is when you say yes to God and surrender your plans wholly to Him. The point of no return is when you fall in love with the people He has called you to bless and reach and show compassion to. The point of no return is when you forge those heart and soul relationships with difficult people and begin to cross the barriers that were once so impossible to break down. The point of no return is when you realize that this tough thing is your calling, your destiny. Then instead of fighting it, or giving in to doubt and fear, you begin to embrace it along with all its challenges. This is the point of no return – when you realize that this is God’s best for you. And nothing else will satisfy you anyway, no matter how enticing all these ‘other’ things appear to be at times.

Since I got back from my first trip to Africa this February, I was on the ‘cusp’ of my very own point of no return. I could still turn away from it all and tell God, ‘Yeah it was an amazing trip, but I don’t think I’ll ever go back to do harder things.’ I could have thought to myself, ‘Now I’ve got some fine experiences down for my future resume, I can get back to life in Australia quite comfortably.’ But for some reason, I just knew that there was going to be more. It was a ‘taster’ trip, and also a test of my personal resolve in seeking God’s purpose for my life. When I came back, I knew that there were things I needed to let go right here in Australia. I needed to focus on where God was leading me, and relinquish my own well-crafted plans.

And you know what God was telling me? He was telling me to spend the most part of 2015 with Him: just to sit and soak in his presence; to read and reflect on his word; to sing songs and write songs; to wait on him for the next thing. Now that’s a hard thing to do. I’m prone to saying yes to many things and most people. I have a tendency to want to move and do and go, go, go! The fact that I’ve spent the last 7 months doing very little apart from reading (I’ve read over 40 books in this time period), playing music, songwriting, teaching music, and serving at a local church made of predominantly Sudanese young people, is itself miraculous. I’ve stopped all my socializing and meeting up with people. I’ve stopped going out and watching movies whenever I felt like it (yes I used to do that all the time when I was in university!). I’ve stopped all the other things that used to distract me. It wasn’t easy at first, saying no to things. But after a month or two, I began to enjoy this luxury of ‘rest’ and just spending more and more time with God. Now I'm able to say yes to some of these things again in the right measure, but also in light of my daily reality with God - which really changes everything!

It was only when I began to take the time to listen to God and let His love sink deep into my heart that I began to change my outlook and attitude. I began to strive less and serve more (I’m still learning this!). I began to relinquish my critical attitude and become more aware of my subtle veneer of pride. I began to discover more fully my identity in Jesus Christ, and this inexpressible joy and peace began to flood into my existence. Although I had to go through some dark moments, now I look back and realize that those were my defining points of choosing. Would I give up on seeking God just because I was going through a tough time, or would I press on and dig deeper? Would I give up on the people God has called and led me to love and serve, or would I stay put and keep giving until there was a breakthrough?

Now I can only look back with immeasurable thankfulness to God for keeping me through and making sure I didn’t give up and go on with my self-assured life plans that were so ingrained in me before my first African trip. Now I really can’t thank God enough for His grace. He wanted to lead me to this point of no return. I can now see all those times where I was tempted and enticed to go just the opposite direction – to do my own thing, to rebel against God’s best purposes, to run my own life with people whom I weren’t meant to journey with. But thank God! Those wrong turns were intercepted as I realized that I was going downhill. And it felt awful – although at first it seemed great. Needless to say, I came running back to God, who really was with me all along. My heart began to sink into the right place again, and then I had to make those decisions to stay put in the right place with the right people I needed to be with for this season.

And now I’ve gone deeper along the point of no return. I truly feel now that I can’t go back to where I once was. A dog should never return to his vomit. There’s really nothing great about it. I see it now. In a few weeks I’m heading back to Rwanda and I’m forever grateful to God for keeping me on track every time I’ve veered off track. If he didn’t, I wouldn’t be making this trip. If I didn’t spend all those daily two to four hours with him, away from everything else, I wouldn’t be making this trip. If he didn’t teach me to persevere and to do the hard yards, I wouldn’t be making this trip and progressing along the path He has called me to.

In the end, the point of no return is when I realize God’s love for me (and you) is really so immeasurable and that nothing else in this world could satiate my soul-hunger for His presence. I want nothing else but to be where He has called me to be. All those other things that used to entice me now pale in comparison to how beautiful and deep and faithful and loving God is to me through Jesus Christ my Saviour and Friend.

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