Let me introduce you to St. Patrick, a 5th century Christian missionary to Ireland.

You are most likely familiar with the holiday celebrated in honour of St. Patrick on March 17th.

But did you know, as a teenager he was kidnapped from his homeland of Britain and taken as a slave to Ireland?

After a difficult 6 years of slavery, in which Patrick grew to truly know and trust God, he escaped and was reunited with his family.

Patrick’s story could have ended happily ever after at this point, but God had other plans for him.

The Irish Sea

The Irish Sea

A Risky Calling

Patrick had a dream that the Irish were begging him to come back to Ireland and tell them about the One true God. He knew God was asking him to go back, a calling which involved a lot of risk.

As a runaway slave, Patrick could easily be caught and killed. Plus, the people of Ireland already had their own religion and might not take kindly to a foreigner spreading his faith.

Faith Despite Fear

Despite his fears and having to leave behind his family again, Patrick chose to trust God and made the voyage back to Ireland.

God blessed Patrick’s faithful obedience and over a period of 29 years of ministry, “He baptized over 120,000 Irishmen and planted 300 churches.” *

How Should We Respond?

What can we learn from St. Patrick’s life that will help us in our own journey of faith and obedience?

Saint Patrick Made His Voyage by Boat

St. Patrick Made His Voyage by Boat

  • Take The First Step

What is the hardest part of obedience?

Often it is simply starting. Taking that first step outside our comfort zone and trusting that God will work through it.

St. Patrick did not just sit back and wait for the perfect time to obey God’s voice. He took his first step by training to become a missionary.

We may not know what everything will look like ahead of time, but we can do what is right in front of us. Who knows what that first step of faith may lead to next?

  • It Is Not Always Easy

You might be thinking: “That was a great story, but I could never be like St. Patrick! Everything turned out great for him.”

Well… not quite!

St. Patrick’s obedience to God did not mean that missionary life was easy for him. His calling involved many difficulties along the way. He faced: disapproval of those closest to him, persecution, imprisonment and disappointment.

You will no doubt face hardships but don’t let that keep you from obeying God’s voice.

  • Finishing The Race Is Worth It

St. Patrick trusted God to work despite his fear and experienced God transforming others through his life of obedience. We may not see it this side of eternity, but our obedience to God can have a significant impact on those He has called us to serve.

Don’t allow the fears and difficulties you may face keep you from focusing on the end goal as we read in Philippians 3:13-14:

“Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”

Ancient Irish Chapel

Ancient Irish Chapel

Now it is your turn.

What difficult thing is God asking you to do?

Let us know what first step you will take today to obey His voice.

We would love to hear from you.

Please comment below.


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Solitude is something I look forward to every month which is part of the Discipleship Program. As students, we are given a turn to share a devotional before we go to be alone with the Lord. My desire is to give glory to God for what He is doing.

I would like to share what the Lord has been teaching me and how that has affected me the last few months. It has taken me some time to process and the more I process the more there is more to learn.

I use the “Revised Common Lectionary” for my devotional times in the morning which is really good. When we have our regular 6 am house devotional time we read the same passages and then at the office for our prayer meetings we read the same Psalms as well. So, all throughout the day I hear the same scriptures read and the Lord has used this to minister to my heart. I have found that each day God has given me a word of encouragement, hope and strength to continue in the fight.

While spending time with the Lord one morning I was reading Deut 6:16-25, which talks about the Lord having brought the children of Israel out of Egypt and is giving them the commandments they are to keep and teach to the coming generations. What I came away with was from verses 23-25 “And he brought us out from there, that he might bring us in and give us the land that he swore to give to our fathers. And the Lord commanded us to do all these statutes to fear the Lord our God, for our good always, that he might preserve us alive, as we are this day. And it will be righteousness for us, if we are careful to do all this commandment before the Lord our God, as he has commanded us.” It was like the Lord was asking me if I trusted Him to take care of me and if the fear that was in my heart was the right kind of fear. Would I leave behind my own plans and follow Him no matter where He called me to go? or would my fears of the unknown keep me back?

Trusting Him is the first area I needed to address. If I don’t trust the Lord then I will not follow. Just like the children of Israel needed to leave Egypt behind so I need to leave my fears behind. The promise land is prepared, will I go in and take it or will my fears keep me in the wilderness? Having seen the Lord’s faithfulness throughout my life and even more so in the last two years, being in the Discipleship Program how could I not trust Him?

My Father reminded me of another passage from His word, which came through him extending his loving hand for me to take as an act of surrender and complete trust. 1 John 4:18-19. “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. We love because he first loved us.” The fears I had before were tormenting me and had caused me to shrink back in times past; but now I was ready to place my hand in His and follow wherever He chose to lead me.

As I surrender my plans for His I am learning to trust my leaders and realising that my time and schedule are not my own and this has been so freeing for me. Fear has been replaced with perfect Love. Trusting the Lord by obeying all that He asks of me has caused me to glorify Him and praise Him for being faithful.

—Disciple in GFA Discipleship Program

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