You know, my pastor expected me to trust him. That’s a tough one, I know right? History has shown that so many of them have let us down. He gave his word to me that he would never tell me to do anything that would put me in harm’s way, hurt me or tell me anything wrong or take my money. He told me that he would never tell me to do anything that would hinder me from serving the Lord. Ultimately, that trust slowly developed into loyalty and I began to learn that he would pray for me, stand by me and offer me the best knowledge he had gained from the Lord and his life experiences. He would be available to me by phone or in person whenever I needed him when we could. I learned that he had this kind of relationship with his people because of his walk with the Lord who had stood by him. My pastor would fight for me, put his life on the line for me and do ANYTHING in the world to help me do well and serve the Lord with a full heart.
He felt this way about all the people in his church. I wanted to be a source of joy to him (Heb 7:13) and not a source of frustration. I knew that Brother Wolfe wanted me to move ahead in the things of God in the worst way and I didn’t want to let him down. I knew that he was frustrated with some of the people because he wanted so desperately for them to know the Lord like he did and to be faithful and hungry for the Lord, and somehow it just didn’t click with them. He prayed for us, ached for us and set an example for us. I went to church every Sunday and I soon started to hunger for more and got involved in Sunday School, since I was already going to be at church anyways. Then, I started coming on Sunday nights, not because I felt like it, but I wanted to create that hunger that comes only by building an appetite. I would come on Wednesday evening for the same reason, bringing my Bible and taking notes. When I wasn’t at church, I would be on the phone to other Christians learning and growing. I had a joy and a restlessness. I went to Pastor Wolfe and told him my long story. He said 6 words: “Stick with basics. Listen to Jesus.” That’s all he said.
I began to pray more for the Lord to speak to me. When I read my Bible, I took notes and when I prayed, I began to listen. I started to really focus on the messages and teachings and the Lord began to put a passion in my heart for reaching my friends and people I knew who were lost. The Holy Spirit began to touch me during the services and I would find tears in my eyes during the worship and the messages. The more I opened up my heart to Him, the more He moved in my life. That was the roots of Him calling me into the ministry. It started with listening and acting on what I heard. I started telling other people everywhere I went. I met Linda, who had just gotten saved, and together we spent every dollar we could get our hands on and every bit of time we could grab, to tell people about the Lord. As a newly married couple, we had a weekly Bible study in our home with nearly 50 teenagers each week and one in Dahlgren, VA. Then the Lord saw that we were faithful in the little things and he called us to the mission field where we served for 4 years. We have stuck with the basics and are still as excited now as we were when we first started out. These days, it’s seen as a miracle if a person can keep even a little of that zeal and excitement that they started out with. That shouldn’t be normal, in fact, our zeal should increase as we go on because every day with Jesus is sweeter than the day before.
- YOU HAVE WHAT OTHER PEOPLE SEARCH THEIR ENTIRE LIVES FOR:
2 Corinthians 4:7 “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the Excellency of the power may be of God and not of us.”
If you’ve been hanging around the church long enough you can take a lot of it for granted. The world would love to be here. They just don’t know it’s available. It’s up to us and to you to let them know. You’ve been chosen. You’ve been exposed to the greatest truths known to humanity – truths about God, salvation, relationships, money, wisdom, people skills and Jesus. You also have access to the kind of people everyone is looking all their lives for: caring, accepting, loving, decent and honest people who will go the extra mile with you and for you.
- IF YOU CAN’T BE HAPPY WALKING WITH THE LORD, YOU’RE NOT WALKING WITH THE LORD. Psalms 16:11, “Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.”
If you can’t be happy walking with the Lord, you’re not walking with the Lord. This is the best atmosphere for being happy because walking with the Lord you get forgiveness, power, peace, friendship and love – this it. The unity, the power, the oneness of purpose. The church teaches things that the world says is not true. You come here and find there ARE good people, prayers DO get answered, people CAN change, get back up after they’ve fallen. There’s hope. You can raise your kids in the midst of a dark and fallen world and have them turn out well and positive. You can give and have it given back to you.
- PEOPLE SAY IT’S HARD TO SERVE GOD? HARD COMPARED TO WHAT?
Walking with the Lord is a piece of cake. He’s always with you, He will never leave you or forsake you and you are never alone. He’s always a very present help in time of need. The hardest thing you face is a devil who lies and maybe family or associates who get negative on you out of fear, jealousy or ignorance. It’s hardest when it’s people you love who get negative and critical but Jesus went through that with His family so He can help you with it in YOUR family. Instead of resenting them, you begin to feel sorry for them that they haven’t felt what you’ve felt and haven’t found what you’ve found.
I thank God that He let me hear the Gospel at the time He did. I was young and would’ve gotten into something destructive if He hadn’t intervened. I was searching for something and in His mercy He allowed me to hear about Jesus. I heard the Gospel and said if God is real, I’m going to get saved and do whatever He wants, holding back nothing and He was and I did and I am. Why would anyone not want the freedom and joy of knowing Jesus? How many people live each day free from guilt, from fear, condemnation and with peace, a passion of unspeakable joy and full of glory? So, how can they understand commitment, how can they understand loving someone you can’t see with your natural eyes? Those with blessed eyes see what those with no vision have no understanding of or heart for. The blessings of God in a person’s life is something you can’t understand until you’ve had it. Some people say, “I’d serve God even if He never blessed me.” I love the people and the songs, but if He didn’t bless me, I wouldn’t serve Him. I wouldn’t be able to counteract all the evil and all the negative out there without the blessing of God in my life. I began to serve Him because I wanted His blessing in my life, and the love, joy, peace and power that comes from walking with my Creator.
- DON’T LET IMPATIENCE STEAL YOUR REWARD.
Gal. 6:9: “And let us bot be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.”
It takes time for the sowing you do to come to fruition. Even in the natural it takes a season. Don’t be weary in well doing. It takes some time for things to get better. You keep being faithful and obedient and hang in there. Your day’s coming. It’s never over. God may prepare you for years for the blessings He has for you. Some people have to come to an end of themselves and get low enough they reach out for a hand up.
- We’ve all been where they are. The more you’re around God’s people, the more time you spend in prayer, the more of the Word you hear, the more you compare what the world is throwing at you with what God’s offering to you – you’re going to get that attitude and that belief that’ll get you to draw near to God and know Him in fullness and power. If you have a desire in your heart and are willing to go through what you need to go through. Anybody can walk in certainty, blessing and the fullness of the Spirit. God is no respector of persons. He believes in everybody. There’s no one He doesn’t believe in. He wants each and every one of us to be full of faith and the Holy Spirit. God has a plan for each and every one of our lives and don’t let anyone discourage you or tell you that you can’t be used of God.
- “God is no respector of persons. He believes in everybody. There’s no one He doesn’t believe in. He wants me full of faith and the Holy Spirit. God has a plan for my life. I won’t let anyone discourage me or tell me that I can’t be used of God.”