The Myth of a White Picket Fence – Part Two

by Levi Benkert on December 1, 2012

Welcome back! Today we continue talking about the Myth of the White Picket Fence.  In Part One we addressed a few reasons why people refrain from responding to the call of God on their lives. We’ll touch on three more today.

4. “I am Staying Behind to Support The Missionaries” (and other silly excuses Christians use) 

We’ve all said this, or something similar. However, we get so comfortable in this place of “sending” that we forget that we ourselves are “sent” as well.

If you truly feel that God has placed on your life that you are one of the people who is called to “send” then I feel bad for you.  Not because you are going to miss out on the “adventures”, but because I have known people who really did take up the call to support, and I have to tell you, God just keeps pushing them to the limits.

Thankfully there is a flip side to this one as well.  You can’t out-give God!  It’s true, you can’t do it, but you surely will find yourselves in some very uncomfortable places when you try.

5. Fast and Furious (Jesus Style) 

Let’s stop pretending that just because something looks dangerous that it must not be from God. In fact, I think the opposite is true. When you feel that God is showing you an area of need that looks way to big for you to handle, that likely means you are on the right path.

Yes, it’s messy. Yes, it’s going to cost more than you have, but it’s also right where He wants you to be. If I can encourage you just a little bit today, let me tell you:  Go for it!  Jump off that cliff, and stop holding onto the picket fences in your life.  They are only going to hold you back, and stop you from living the life that He wants for you, the one that is 100 times better than you could have ever dreamed!

6. Is that you God? 

I think we all get stuck in the place of wondering if we are hearing from Him or not. The last thing any of us wants to be is the guy who sold everything because “God” told us to, only to later realize that He wasn’t telling us anything of the sort.

I can tell you a few bits of advice that have worked well for us over the years when it comes to hearing his voice.

Seek council.  God will always put good people around you who can speak into your life.  Call them up and ask for their advice, but also be ready to go outside your normal circle sometimes. For instance, If you go to a hyper conservative church and you are going to ask them about the Tattoo ministry that God is calling you to start. You are likely to get the idea shot down. Be wise when seeking out advice. Find people you trust, who have shown that they themselves are willing to do whatever God asks of them.

Read your Bible!   Jesus was one dangerous dude when He walked the streets of our world. You will be energized to step out when you read what He has to say. Dig deep and understand what you are reading.

Look at your motives.  What could be driving you to feel this way? Is there something you are running from?  Is there a pattern in your life that you can call out when you look at your choices objectively?  Once we understand ourselves, we can discern the part of what we are hearing coming from our own desires, and the part He is truly speaking to us. We have to know ourselves before we can listen for the whisper.

Just go!  God is calling you, so there is no worry about having to discern if that part is real.  It is!  The questions are when? where? and how?

Before I go, you need to know, I am by no means an expert on the topic of cliff jumping for Him. I fail hard all over the road on these issues, and my aim wanders from where it should be more often than I care to admit. One thing I can say with absolute authority is this, every one of us should hold nothing back from the One who created us!


You are invited into the conversation, share where you are at, make this your community, let us know if you are getting ready to jump off the cliff, or maybe you are stuck in the black hole and need a hand up.  We are here for you!

Levi Benkert — Ethiopia. work: Bring Love In  book: No Greater Love blog:

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  • I think the last one is the big one! I went just because I wanted to help people and it felt right. I think God was speaking in that way because I had a peace about going, not staying. I know God speaks to people in different ways.

  • rod

    I feel called to seriously consider full time missions… we are now empty nesters… we have no monetary debt… I am seeing many open doors… yet my wife is not feeling my calling… she is quite happy serving other Christians to ease their lives, and she is quite comfortable… so… would He call me alone? and should I GO without her? If she chooses disobedience, must I also disobey?

    • Hi Rod. Thanks for your comment. I am glad to know that you are exploring this call you feel on your life.

      First of all, in response to your question, I would recommend involving your pastor in these decisions.

      Secondly, begin with short term trips. Find organizations that do what you feel like you are called to do and then see if they would allow you to come help for a short period of time.

      Third, leaving your wife is disobeying the first ministry that God has placed in your hands which is to honor your marriage vows. You cannot classify her actions as disobedience (which is rebellion to the will of God) if she does not feel that God has called her to go overseas as a missionary.

      Continue praying and seeking council. Trust that God will provide a peaceable solution for your family.

  • Cyndi Castro

    My husband and I know that our lives are not meant to be lived-out in America, but right now we are being diligent in paying off over 6 figures of student loans in about 3 years. We live on one income, frugally, and save the rest (well, aside from what goes directly toward the debt). The Bible talks about being “slave to debt”, and we find it smart to utilize our college degrees to pay it all off now instead of adding another 100K in interest. We are finding that we learn so much more each day about full-time international missions while figuring out life here in the city. At first we were angry to be “held-back”, but now, in the midst of it all, God knew what He was doing by keeping us here for these 3 years. Everyone tells us we will “outgrow it”…”reality will set in”….”we will want kids”….”America is the greatest country”…”it’s just a phase”. The more and more I live here and travel, keep up with news, converse with my friends who are full-time missionaries, the more I know that is not the case. Sometimes it is frustrating when others have the White Picket mindset and try to judge you for not caring about all of that stuff, but then grace has to come in because there are MANY a times where I myself am so selfish it is embarrassing 🙂

    • Cyndi, love your heart, your commitment to follow and GO. Don’t believe you will “outgrow the phase of missions”– if God puts something on your heart and it keeps repeating itself, chances are it’s the direction he will keep hammering. I love that you are being wise about paying off debt– so important and it takes diligence to do that. So, bravo!
      Keep us posted on how it goes and don’t listen to the naysayers too much . . . . tune your ear to Christ alone.

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