The time has come. I have waited for this moment in some form or fashion for the last 13 years. I was thinking back the other day to a time in 1996 when I was just coming to fully surrender my life to God. I had been confronted by the claims of Jesus Christ on my life and the reality of what God’s Word really had to say about the way He expected me to live.
I knew that this “decision” to follow Jesus would be different than any one I had ever made previously. I knew there was a line and I was faced with the decision of whether or not I was going to cross it. I knew that if I did that my life would be radically different.
It wasn’t about whether or not I felt it was the right thing to so, it was more about…now I know this is the right thing to do! I had to decide whether I would stick my head in the sand and pretend like I don’t know it is or will I give up everything-what I think, what I want, what I feel, to embrace his will for my life.
Jesus has paid it all for me and now what would I do for him? It was a question that confronted my selfish self-centered life. I was driving down Hwy 98 in Pensacola when I made that choice. I remember knowing that I had crossed the line in my heart. I knew my life would take a huge turn, but I didn’t know what that would look like at the time. I simply knew that Jesus was worth my life…all that I was, all that I had, and all that I could give.
A few weeks later from this time I remember God speaking to my heart saying, “Fast over the next two weeks and I will show you what I can do through your life.” It was just a few weeks before a huge Promise Keepers men’s meeting at the Superdome in New Orleans. Even though I barely knew what fasting was, I did fast over those two weeks and went to that PK meeting at the end of those two weeks.
It was at that event that I caught a revelation of what it meant to be a man of God. I saw thousands of men worshipping God without shame and proclaiming his power to make us Godly sons, husbands, fathers, and friends. I was forever impacted and my vision was hugely expanded. I wanted other men to “get it” too!
I was later sent on orders to Sasebo Japan to finish my enlistment and was able to see a dozen different countries. Thailand was one of those countries. I began my missionary walk/calling during this time. I had determined that if God was calling me into ministry then I would begin right now, right where I was. That was 1997.
As I prepare to go to Thailand, I think back to these precious key moments of decision and revelation in my life. Here I am, this is what God is going to do through my life. As I think about it I get choked up, tears begin to flow, and I feel such an awesome sense of wonder. God, my Father, has done so much to heal,to restore, and empower me that I can’t take it all in when I meditate on it.
The last five years have been a time of brokenness for me. It has been a time of testing and stretching. It was not easy, but I can say that I am a stronger man because of it. The other day I heard Him speak to me again and he said something like, “I know your heart to love me and to ‘feed my sheep and take care of my lambs’ and now you will have the desires of your heart.”
What an amazing God we serve. He knows us all so intimately. No one can love us the way that He loves us. No one can satisfy the human heart the way he can. We only love Him because He first loved us.
I can go now knowing that there is nothing I can do to earn his favor. I have it. There is nothing I can do to earn his love. I have it. There is nothing I can do to get his life transforming power. It is mine.
And now I willingly choose to give it all away to the people He is sending me to serve. Thank you to those who are helping me get there.