Friday, February 12, 2010

God's Word and the People Who Knew Me Best

I recently participated in a Leadership Greatness workshop in the church I belong to. One of the exercises required me to write down my understanding of God's call on my life. Here's the readers digest version.

My call came right out of Scripture. While there were various verses and passages, none were clearer than Ephesians 4:11-12... it was as though God was saying to me, "My reason for you is this!" My initial reaction was not positive. I pushed back with excuses not unlike those made by Moses. But from that moment forward, I could not get what I thought I had heard out of my mind... "And He gave some, apostles; and some prophets; and some evangelists; and some pastors and teachers; for the equipping of the saints, for he work of ministry, for the building up of the body of Christ." Was God calling me? If so, what would following His call mean for me and my young family? Could I retain my job at Tinker, or would I have to give that up and depend totally on God to provide for my family? This was not a comfortable time in my life.

After a clear word from God, from His Word, the next thing of importance was the instant confirmation I received from the people in my life who knew me BEST. After 2-3 months of internal wrestling and reasoning with God about what I thought He was saying to me, I finally mustered up the courage to share the story with my wife, who to my surprise said, "I've known for several weeks! And so has our pastor and his wife." I asked her why they hadn't told me and she said, in essence, "Because we didn't want you to think it was our idea." To this day I'm grateful for their godly wisdom.

Once I felt confident enough to make it known publicly, I shared with my church family how God had spoken to me in Scripture and given me confirmation that I indeed heard what I thought I had heard. My pastor then met with me and told me my immediate assignment would be to preach one Sunday night each month. To say I was intimidated would be an understatement... I had dropped out of speech class in high school because I was going to be required to give a speech! And he wanted me to basically give one speech a month! With fear and trembling I preached my first sermon, then another, then another. The rest is history.

There were many more confirmations which I may write about someday. But... none were more important to me than God's Word and the confirmation I received from the people in my life who knew me BEST.

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