God Uses Even Me, Two Great Stories
So I havent been able to write in a while since we didnt have internet at home and we are getting ready to move overseas. In fact we board the plane in a week. I have been too busy to ponder a lot of the types of things I generally write about, but I have two stories about how God has used me as a prophetic voice, in spite of me.
The first one happened not too long ago. I was laying in bed one night reading the Raggamuffin Gospel by Brennan Manning when I felt like God was saying to me that I needed to pray for a preacher at one of the more well known congregations in our fellowship. I started praying and asked why I was praying for this guy. I felt God saying that this preacher was going to face resistance/persecution within in the congregation because he wants to focus on discipleship and outreach, whereas his predicesor faced most of his persecution from people outside of the congregation.
I called and set up an appointment with this minister. As I was on my way to meet with him I was praying again, asking God what I should tell him. I heard God saying that I should tell him the verse Isaiah 7:9 which says “If you do not stand firm in your faith, you will not stand at all.”
When I got in his office and we started talking I told him about what happened as I was praying and told him the verse. His eyes got big and he said “I read three chapters in scripture, and I read Isaiah 7. The only verse that stuck out to me was verse 9. I have been journaling and meditating on that verse all day.” Then he went on to talk about his uphill battle because of his desire to push discipleship and outreach.
This moment just confirmed for him that he needed to continue to push on and stand firm in his faith in Jesus and the need to disciple and reach out in to the community. Praise God!
The second story happened a few years ago. Some friends and I were moving to Athens, Greece for the summer to work with some different ministries and churches. We were invited to Texas to worship with the congregation that was sponsering us.
I was asked to preach and I really wanted to preach on evangelism/missions. A week or so before we left for Texas I could feel God telling me that I needed to preach on overcomming shame. Of course in my stubborness I fought with God because that wasnt what I wanted to preach about.
Well after a few days of wrestling with God I finally said, “Ok God Im gonna open my bible and whatever I turn to thats what Im going to preach about.” Well of course I turned to a passage about overcomming your shame and moving on with your life.
When we got to Texas I was riding with one of the church leaders and he asked what I was going to talk about. When I told him, he just looked shocked and said that is exactly what our group needs to hear about right now, especially some particular ladies. The next day I was riding with our group leader and I told him about the sermon topic and he pulled over on the side of the road and said thats what he thought about talking about, but felt like God wanted me to do it.
On Saturday night we had a bonfire with some folks from the church and I felt prompted by God to tell them to be ready for things at church the next day like they had never seen.
Well, finally Sunday morning rolled around. I preached the sermon and I didnt feel like it was one of my better ones honestly, but as soon as I got back to my seat I could see God moving. One woman led another woman, in tears, to the front to talk and pray with me. Then I turned around and saw a group of people around another woman who was bawling. I sat back down and another woman came and fell at my feet, sobbing. I got her up and prayed with her and encouraged her as well. I turned and saw some church leaders taking others towards the back to pray with them. By the end of the “invitation” time it seemed like half the church came forward for some time of prayers or encouragement, and that sort of thing doesnt usually happen in our fellowship.
Both of these incredible stories are just a few in a line of many in my life that show how God uses even people like me. People who are rebellious, disobedient, belligerent, rude, arrogant and on and on. God is faithful! Give Him praise!