I’m coming up on 33 years of marriage to Joel Robertson-Wolfe. What a gift she has become to me! The seedbed of covenant-keeping commitment has worked to provide a relationship that is precious, powerful, safe and unified. What I mean is, commitment has kept us together through good and bad. We have enjoyed each other, put up with each other and confronted each other, all in the seedbed of commitment framed with a vision of the good things God called us to. And it’s worked.
I felt very “called” to marry Joel. I definitely heard a spiritual voice from God that she was for me. But did that blind my eyes? Did that keep me from comparison? I have to be honest: after I heard that Joel was the one I still had to focus. When the going has been rough the challenge has been higher. I’ve had to remain focused. I’ve had to believe in the calling. I’ve had to stay committed.
To complicate commitment, in the last 33 years I’ve seen some extremely attractive ladies. I’ve met some very smart ladies, and some very fine ladies. But God called me to Joel. He didn’t call me to others more dazzling. He called me to Joel. Pleasing the Lord has meant following the Word over my life, staying with Joel, watering and working this garden He has called me to. And it has paid off. She is a joy to me.
I want to make this marriage application to the church – specifically, to the church where you are called to be. I think God calls us to a local assembly and calls us to commit to that body and those people. He doesn’t close our eyes to other assemblies, but he calls us to a marriage with that local assembly.
1 Corinthians 12:18 – But now God has placed the members, each one of them, in the body, just as He desired.
You will most assuredly be challenged in that flock relationship. You will be allured to a bigger flock, a fancier flock, a more loving flock, a more convenient flock, a more peaceable flock, a more prosperous flock, a less confrontational flock, a more anointed flock, etc. But really none of that should matter. What should matter is, where has the Lord called you and who has he called you to?
It’s both for you and for the flock that God has called you to a particular church and pastor. The relationship should look a bit like a marriage. We are called to grow green grass where we are planted. If you will be committed, it will work, Father will be glorified and you will be blessed. Commitment is the key to growing where you are planted.
Many thanks go out to you who have made this kind of commitment to us and to New Horizon. We don’t take it lightly. We know at times it’s challenging, so thank you. Let’s keep a vision of a great church – raising great people and watching God work.