D! Will you PLEASE give me at least a 2 week notice beforehand so that I can get my plane ticket to come see you preach your first sermon!!
Of course, when I received that note, it kinda ‘freaked’ me out a bit, because I’d never considered myself as a ‘preacher’. But the part that really started freaking me out, was when other family members and friends started saying the same thing..
You know preachers run in the family…you got in in the blood honest D..on BOTH sides!
I knew that God has His ways of talking to us, sometimes it’s through the wind and sometimes it’s through other people around us. Was God telling me He wanted me to be a preacher??
For those who don’t meditate on the Word, I know this all may sound kinda..crazy.. me wondering if God was talking to me or not. But I believe that we all reach a point in our lives when we realize that God IS trying to tell us something. It’s kinda like that song that Shug broke into the church singing in the Color Purple…maybe..God is..trying..to tell you somethin! GOD is trying to tell you somethin’!! Right now!
And although I had already had my preconceived notions of what it meant to be a preacher..getting up before the congregation, sweating and screaming behind a pulpit, as I grew stronger in the Word, I realized that preaching the gospel of Christ was never meant to be confined to a dais or sanctuary. There are church leaders who are called to perform different duties for the church body, but ALL who believe will receive the call to discipleship at some point in their lives. Because once you truly believe and have the joy and peace and love that can ONLY be found through Christ, then you’re going to have to adhere to the conduct of the gospel. Which John MacArthur lays out in 10 traits. If you believe the gospel of Christ, you will:
1. Proclaim It Matt 4:23
2. Defend It Jude 3
3. Demonstrate It Phil 1:27
4. Share It Phil 1:5
5. Suffer for It 2 Tim 1:8
6. Don’t Hinder It I Cor 9:12
7. Be not Ashamed Rom 1:16
8. Preach It I Cor. 9:16
9. Be Empowered I Thess 1:5
10. Guard It Gal 1:6-8
So when I read that list, I studied and meditated on all of those Scriptures, because just like Jonah when he was trapped in the belly of that great fish after blatantly disobeying God’s call for him to go preach in Nineveh, I knew that, ‘woe is me if I do not preach the gospel’. I knew that if I didn’t open my voice to uplift the name of the Lord through my works, that I might be swallowed up by a great fish also.
Once you get out there on faith, it’s like nothing else you’ve ever done before. It’s like taking a ride through life with your eyes closed and being led by the Spirit of the Lord. Sounds kinda spooky huh? Well, one things for sure, if I don’t..or if YOU don’t, praise the Lord, those rocks will start crying out instead of us..and I don’t know about YOU, but I don’t want no rocks crying out to the Lord in MY place. I’m too competitive for that..I ain’t about to let no ROCKS beat D!!! Ya’ll betta praise the Lord! Ya feel me?
So anyway..after several close friends and family members had started looking at me with that ‘you preaching yet??’ eyeball sideways glance, and after I had spent many hours praying and meditating on the Lord’s will..He came through and answered my thirst for understanding and direction…like He ALWAYS does. After taking the Proverbial Challenge and talking to men who have been ‘called’ into the ministry, the first answer the Lord sent me came from one of my uncles who pastors a church in Port Arthur. I had asked him about when God calls a man to preach and he looked at me and said..
“I’ll tell you like Pastor W.D. Richardson used to say..”It’s the same, and it’s different’.
What does that mean??
It’s the same, in that ALL callings come from the Holy Spirit…and it’s different in that everyone gets their calling in a different manner. It’s a personal thing that everybody is hit with in their own personal way.
So I thought about that for a minute and not too long after that, I started receiving several emails and comments from various people around the globe who read www.servinemup.com, and the majority of them were actually words of appreciation, because by reading my work, they had all felt that they had a better understanding and a stronger thirst to grow stronger in the Word. And not too long after that, that same childhood friend who had jammed me up about announcing my first sermon at least 2 weeks in advance came right back with…
You know what D? I say that I want to be there for your first sermon to hear you preach, but really when I think about what you’re doing…you already are.
That’s when I started getting that feeling of peace, because I think we all must challenge ourselves daily to be all we can be. Or as my uncle told me, ‘Any faith that is not tested, can not be trusted.’ The Lord has His way of sending us messengers and angels to help guide us along our path in life. Despite all of the wicked and evil forces in high places in this world, God is STILL in control of it all. And there is no greater guide and direction of life, than that found in the Word of the Lord. Because in the 12th chapter of I Corinthians, Paul breaks down everything that I had experienced:
4 Now there are various kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 And there are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. 6 And there are various kinds of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all things in. – I Cor. 12:4-6
Didja get that? Some of ya’ll are go be called to preach, some to teach, some to write, some to sing, some to account, some to usher, some to deacon, some to be parking lot attendants at the church, whatever it is that you CAN do for the Lord..but it’s the same Spirit that worketh in all. Hopefully I’m not the only one that has asked the Lord for direction..because until you bow down and start serving Him, then you won’t be able to reach your full potential in life. It’s a truth to spiritual maturity that brother Edward P. Jones laid out so eloquently in his Pulitzer prize winning novel, The Known World-
“He was a handsome man,” she said of Augustus. “ I never leaned toward exaggeration,” she said to Anderson. “So when I say he was a handsome man, he was indeed. Henry was too, but he never got old enough to lose that boyish façade colored men have before they settle into being handsome and unafraid, before they learn that their death is as near as a shadow and go about living their lives accordingly. When they learn that, they become more beautiful than even God would imagine, Mr. Frazier.”
Once you realize that your death is as near as a shadow, then you will get on your hustle and live your life accordingly. At least, that’s how the Spirit hit ME! It’ll come to you in a different way, but it’s the same thang mane.