Since I was just a small boy I have been one who has enjoyed observing others. In this process of observation I have discerned and learned many things over these years. Though I came from a place of being unwanted, unloved, and a burden to many, I have been blessed by God to see people fighting for and blessing others. I saw committed people fighting for people who were less fortunate or in oppressive and unjust situations. I got to see people give up their life pursuits to chase God’s heart to love on and bless others. I encountered many missionaries and many stories of missionaries; and God used them to ignite something in my heart and life. From a very young age God place a fire and passion in me that burns so brightly with the fullest joy, hope, peace, and love as I hear of these heroes of the faith whom have had deep conviction to be fully committed to God’s way, rather than a pursuit of worldly gain and fame.
At the age of seven, I became convicted of a few things. First and foremost, my need for Jesus Christ as my Savior became very evident. At the leading of a wonderful godly Sunday School teacher, I accepted Jesus Christ (though it would be many years down the road before I understood and surrendered myself to His Lordship over me). A second thing for which I sensed a deep conviction was that I am and have been a very selfish human being. A third conviction at that time was that some people lived with true commitment to godly values and purposes while others were more or less being blown and tossed by the winds of influence all around them. I made it a life goal and commitment to pursue a path of values and purposes that were higher than just a selfish pursuit of self-fulfillment. In my younger years though, I too found myself blown and tossed at times. However, God in His great faithfulness has held me in my conviction to be committed to His values and purposes for my life.
Conviction, in and of itself, holds very little value. I have long been convicted (since 7 years of age) that God was/is calling me to be an evangelist, motivational speaker, and missionary. However, I have often allowed my own selfish and personal desires, as well as voices and influencers around me, to push me in the direction of pursuing ‘The American Dream,’ rather than God’s heart and purposes for my life. This conviction that I had to live a committed life to God’s values and purposes for me was of little import or effect until it became accompanied with commitment itself. At the age of fifteen I came to know Jesus Christ as Lord of my life, and it was in this encounter and new growth in my relationship with God that I became committed to submit to the conviction God was placing upon me; that He wants to use my life for His glory.
As I reflect over my life thus far, I am convinced that God has allowed me the hardships of my life so that I would desire to help others who also have such challenging situations in their own lives. My conviction also is that God has been and is calling me to fight for, advocate for, intercede for, and speak up on behalf of the multitude of precious children in Latin America (and throughout the world) who are orphaned and homeless; not having home, family, or education. I am deeply convicted that this call on my life will continue to require lots of sacrifice, surrender, and self-denial. Not only am I convicted of this call though, I also am committed. I don’t ever need to be a millionaire, famous, a hero, or recognized. I am not seeking man’s plaudits, praise, nor applause. Rather I am convicted to be committed, even and especially when I don’t feel like it nor desire to, and I am committed to this conviction.
The challenge I would pose to each of us is to evaluate where our allegiance is; to what are we most committed. Sometimes we choose to ignore conviction so that we may pursue a personal endeavor or value, to be in control of our ‘own’ lives and lead them where and how we want to. Are you and I really committed to conviction and direction from the Lord, or do we heed the distractions, idols, pullings, and yearnings that are taking us a different route than God may desire for us? I know where God is calling me and to what He is calling me. I am convicted that if I don’t go God will be faithful to use others, but that I will miss out on His best for me and for others through me!
This fire that God put in me at such a young age burns strongly still, and even stronger than before, and pushes me to pursue blessing for children who are orphaned and/or homeless. Soon I shall be representing Abogar International Ministries, as I will move to Guatemala to live amongst children who have been orphaned, abandoned, and abused. While my flesh tells me to just stay here, where it’s warm and safe and familiar, I know that God has a plan to bless these children, the home, Abogar, and myself. I am committed to this conviction, and convicted to be committed. I challenge you today… what conviction and call has God placed upon you in your life? Are you convicted to be committed, and are you committed to the conviction He gives? I hope and pray that we will be found guilty of being fully committed to God-given convictions and direction for our life. For I know He has great plans to use our lives for His glory… if we will just let Him.