It’s interesting how we can go through life day after day and basically go through the motions. Even as a Christian, it’s comfortable just going to church, doing our daily “stuff” (reading for a few minutes etc.) and staying in our own cozy safe box … not venturing out of our comfort zone. After all, we don’t feel called, qualified or knowledgeable enough and someone else will end up picking up the slack so we won’t have to.
Sometimes God lays such a burden on you that you just can’t ignore it anymore. It was that way for me this past February. In my Sunday morning discipleship class, I would just go each week, come in, sit down, smile here and there and once the class was over, I would get up and just leave. Easy… simple. This particular Sunday, I again, show up for class and Pastor was promoting the Tuesday night prayer, explaining how it’s different and not like other prayer meetings. After his detailed description, I said to myself, well, there’s no way I’m showing up for that. It sounded waaaaaaaaay outside of my comfy cozy box that I created for myself. However, I felt a nudging… God telling me that I was going to go. I pushed back, thinking to myself, “no way, I’m wouldn’t be caught dead there.”
The following Sunday, Pastor brought it up again and I had the same feelings, however this time I felt my heart giving in, “what could be the worst that could happen?” So, I decided to give it a try… once. I was definitely uncomfortable once I showed up, but I didn’t feel quite on the spot like I had expected.
Two weeks later, the prayer meeting came up again and I felt the pressure build up and once again, I gave in and went. Looking back now in hindsight, it’s been just four months, and I am amazed at how far I have traveled on my walk with Christ. That prayer meeting on Tuesday, February 23rd was the start of a huge change in my spirit. I am not the same person I was then and I really can’t believe the person that I am becoming. AND, it all started with prayer.
That night in February, Pastor had each of us, one at a time, sit in a chair (there were only ten of us) and the rest of us prayed for three minutes to receive a word from the Lord specific for that person. Pastor calls it practicing. It’s definitely outside the comfortable, but everyone else pretty much feels the same way, so once you take that into consideration, that there’s no right or wrong, it doesn’t feel quite as bad. Anyway, we were given index cards to write down the word we received so that when the time period was up we could give them the cards to keep. I still have all of mine. For all of our “practicing” I felt that most were right on target and speaking directly to me regarding ReachingThe1, and no one there knew anything about my “God project.”
Three days later, we had a monthly event on that Friday and Pastor felt that God wanted him to wash our feet as Jesus did His disciples before sending them “out.” We didn’t have to participate, but I felt that undeniable prodding that I couldn’t ignore. I also felt Pastor’s eyes boring right through my soul and finally I got up and walked to the front. As Pastor washed my feet, he gave me a word as he prayed for me. The first words were the exact same ones that someone else had written down on one of those index cards three days earlier. So, there was no denying that it came from God.
It’s been a whirlwind from there. That Sunday, Pastor spoke about serving and stepping up etc. Building an App came to mind and I kind of pushed it aside. He went on speaking about something else and came back to the serving point again. And, once again, building an App came to mind. So, after class was over, I reluctantly, the one who gets up and leaves right away, stayed after to talk with Pastor. When I mentioned what came to mind and how I could help, he said that he was just looking into Apps that week. He went on to say that while he was praying and preparing for this particular message that I was actually the only person that God brought to his mind… and here I was.
So, instantly, in that moment, I became involved… all of a sudden I was made a leader, to my utter surprise and am now very much involved with building the App, getting the website up to speed, helping with graphics and other social media outlets. We have a core team of three; Kevin, Michael and I, plus Pastor. Since we’re trying to grow the discipleship aspect, several small groups (aka life groups) were also created, and Michael was starting a class called Radiate, which is evangelizing in your sphere of influence.
Another Sunday a few weeks later, our core group was talking about things we needed to do for the sites and this was the week that Michael was having his first class, so I mentioned that I was going to go to the Radiate class just to support him. I even added to my comment, but don’t expect me to do anything else. What an idiotic comment to make. I realize that in hindsight, because I can see God laughing at me saying “we’ll just see about that.”
The best way I can describe it is… I’m evolving. I have such a desire for more that I can’t explain. I want more of God, to be more in tune with Him and want to spend more time with Him. It’s hard to explain. I used to watch TV every night and as I’m typing this, I can’t even tell you that last time I turned it on. It’s crazy… the desires I used to have are gone, they have been replaced with spending more and more time with God. AND, I never would have thought it could and would be this way.
I went to the first Radiate class, and it was so different. Michael did an amazing job. He’s extremely outgoing and on fire for God… it’s awesome. However, I’m not like Michael. I’m not outgoing, but I am starting to get that insatiable thirst that doesn’t go away (wow, new thought just came as I was typing this… this is the living water Jesus was talking about that would be the only thing able to quench such a thirst — I sit in awe of Him and the truths He reveals daily). After sitting in Radiate class, I shook my head and said to myself, “man, I’m done for.” I could sense something changing me from the inside out. I am so different now from who I was (and I was a Christian, in every sense of the word, reading God’s Word and living for Him daily, just not in the way to fulfill His purpose) and I have no idea where God is taking me. I do know this, I don’t want to be anywhere else. I can feel myself stand up straighter, ready, empowered with God, saying, “come on, let’s go.” The quiet introvert is opening up, smiling and talking to strangers instead of keeping my head down hoping that no one will look my way.
I end with this. Be careful how you pray, because God will answer in ways you never thought possible. God is exactly who He claims to be, nothing is impossible with Him. Ask according to His will and watch in amazement… pray that you’ll “see” God revealed, ask that you’ll hear and recognize His voice and then respond, stepping out in faith… AND, He’ll meet you there, because He is faithful and loves you, He wants to see you follow through and succeed in His calling for your life.