About two years ago I had a dream, it was one of those vivid dreams that you don’t forget. I wrote it down feeling that it had some significant meaning because of the content of the dream. As I wrote it down it began to make sense to me, I sensed that the dream was outlining some steps that where going to unfold in my life. It was in that dream that I sensed God “calling” me to plant a church in the future. I thought to myself, “that’s cool, I would be down to do that when I am older and more established.”
The thing was, that this “calling” began to unfold much quicker than I had anticipated. In fact I told some people that I was operating under a “Jonah Strategy” (If you have never read the book of Jonah from the Bible, read it and then re-read this blog, it will make more sense) kidding with them that I was running away from God’s specific direction for my life. I was kind of kidding and kind of not..
The next week my pastor, at the time, asked me to teach on the first and last chapter of Jonah. I looked at him like a dear in the headlights and said, “oh yeah, sure, I would love to, I love the book of Jonah.” While thinking inside, uh oh, my Jonah strategy is about to be dismantled.. and it was..
Below are my two messages from Jonah 1&4, they were very personal messages because they where very rooted in my own experience at that time. If you have time take a listen..
After having my “Jonah Strategy” dismantled I was still not convinced that God really wanted me to plant a church. I began going through a variety of challenging circumstances and difficult life decisions. My family and I had moved and I was going to visit our old apartment manager to talk about a billing discrepancy, it was there I met a guy that began saying to me, out of no where mind you, “you are at the bottom of a boat, in a storm, God has called you to go to Ninevah but you aren’t going, why aren’t you going?” I looked at him and asked him, “who are you?” He was just some guy that loved Jesus and felt that I needed to hear that, he was right and I moved from “called” to “convinced”.
My family and I have seen God do some miraculous things to get us from where we were to where we are today and we are so grateful. But there still remains the test of being faithful to God’s “calling” and “convincing”. In Matthew 22 Jesus tells a parable about a wedding banquet, he describes the process of inviting guests, only some people coming, and even fewer staying. He ends this parable with this, “Many are called, but few are chosen.”
I have had a great privilege of connecting with and meeting a lot of amazing church planters over the past few months. I am more excited than ever for the future of the Church in Sacramento, our nation and beyond. However God doesn’t just “call” pastors and church planters, I believe he has created and crafted each of us for a specific “call” that only YOU can do. How does God want you to reach your family, friends, workplace, neighborhood, and nation?
This reminder of being found faithful is what determines God’s choice in using us for his specific “calling” for each of us. I have known many people that I have looked up to that ended up failing to take care of their personal integrity, lets decide as followers of Christ to…..
“….. add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love…. Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will never fall, and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” 2 Peter 1:5…10
What is God “calling” you to?