Brandon Petersen, dean of students and vice president of campus life, delivered the GO Week chapel message Wednesday, Sept. 16. GO Week (Global Outreach) is an annual week dedicated to mobilizing students to serve in global missions efforts.
Each year, hundreds of OBU students, faculty and staff travel to numerous locations around the world, serving in as many as 20 different countries annually. OBU has historically had more alumni serving overseas through the International Mission Board than any other university.
Petersen taught from Numbers 9:15-23, sharing the theme of the week, “At the command of the Lord we will go.”
“GO Week is a week where we try to mobilize our student body to love others and to share the grace and love of Jesus, which we do primarily through global mobilization, through sending our students around the globe,” Petersen said. “But the truth of the matter is, when we talk about sharing the love of Jesus, it’s not just about what we do overseas; it’s about what we do here locally, as well.”
Petersen shared that in this passage in Numbers chapter nine, God was moving in the lives of the people, growing them and teaching them as He gave them new beginnings. He offered the encouragement that just as God was with the people in Numbers, He is also with us in the midst of all the uncertainty facing us in our world today.
“As we think about this text today, without question, we see the idea of obedience to God in a relationship with him,” he said. “As He commands, the people respond. This idea of obedience to God has nothing to do with God’s heavy-handedness or the ability for God to say He could do this or He could do that. It has everything to do with the depth and the meaning of the relationship and the trust that is built therein as we read ‘At the command of the Lord’ so many times in this text.”
Petersen noted that in this passage, we see that God will provide for all of us who follow Him and that God will likewise protect us.
“There have been so many times in my life, when I have looked out ahead and I have chosen a certain particular path that would lead to ‘destination X’ and would get me there by such and such time, and if only God would just let me orchestrate the plan, my life would be perfect,” he said. “At least that’s what we think.”
God always has a plan and path for us, even if it does not make any sense and is difficult at times, Petersen shared. He then went on to admit that it is still hard for him to trust and walk in God’s plan sometimes.
The presence of God represents His protection, Petersen added. He shared that God’s presence provided protection for the Israelites in the Numbers passage. God had the ultimate destination of the promised land for the Israelites, but He still had things to teach them and wanted to teach them to be totally dependent and completely obedient to Him.
“To me, it’s in the spirit of this dependence, it’s in the practice of this dependence and obedience that we can best trust and follow God in the times of our lives, even when it doesn’t make sense,” Petersen said.
Petersen ended his message by explaining that he chose the passage he shared from to prepare students to be ready to go at the command of the Lord.
“When you say ‘yes’ to go as God leads, you can know this truth from this text: He will be with you. When you look to say ‘yes’ to God and to go on a trip like this, He will provide for you. He will protect you,” he said.Students and employees may visit the GO Trips page for more information or to apply for a trip.