I had spent the past few weeks praying, seeking the Lord, and asking Him what the next step of obedience was for me. He was clear in letting me know that I was supposed to go overseas with iGo the following summer as a JSI. Sure of the Lord’s leading, I excitedly waited for what seemed to me to be a “good time” to drop the bomb on my parents. Well it turned out that I was more surprised by the conversation than they were. They told me no. Simple and straightforward, “No.”
I began to pray through the confusion, “But Lord, You said I was supposed to go. Your Word commands your people to go. But Your Word also says to honor your father and mother. And they just told me no? God, I don’t understand.”
If this is where you find yourself right now recognize two things. The first is that God is sovereign. It did not catch Him by surprise that your parents told you that you cannot go overseas next summer. The second is that there is nothing new under the sun. So take comfort in knowing that you are not the first student whose parents told them that they could not go overseas. There is the temptation to think, “Well, Jesus’ command in the Great Commission is far more important than what my parents have to say.”
But I would caution you against thinking this way. In fact, I would tell you that it is dangerous for to you think this way; it is wrong for you to think this way. God has placed your parents in authority over you. And God commands us throughout His Word to obey and humbly submit to our parents and to those He has placed in authority over us.
So does that mean you’re just supposed to forget about the whole thing and just not go? Or that you heard wrong and maybe God didn’t actually tell you that you were supposed to go? These are not questions that I can answer for you. So for now, what are you supposed to do? Seek God. Seek Him in prayer, through His Word, and with His people. And submit to your parents. I would challenge you also, to not forget the power of God. Pray for your parents. And then pray for them some more. Pray that if this truly is His will, that He would open their hearts and allow you to go and pray that He would help you to joyfully submit to them.
It may end up that your parents don’t change their mind. That’s okay. God doesn’t need you. And He will honor your obedience to your parents. Maybe you can go the next year. It also might end up the way that it did for me. Over the course of a few months God opened my parent’s hearts. They allowed me first to send in an application and then a few months after that they allowed me to get on the plane. And I was more convinced than ever that this was His working, and not my own.
What if God had your parents tell you no, so that you would seek Him more? That you would depend on Him more? That you would trust Him more? And that you would praise Him more as you see Him move?
“Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46:10