Photos courtesy of Ryan Prouty

Friday, August 8, 2008

Sitting across the table from myself

Good morning my brothers and sisters in Christ. How gracious our Father is and how sufficient his grace is in everything he places in our path. I pray that each of you focus on His glory rather than you current circumstance. He is not surprised and He is always in control, even when it feels as if He is not. Praise Him for who He is, the inventor of life, grace, peace, love and joy.

Today I found myself sitting across the table from myself. A few weeks ago I met a young man (younger than me that is),after he gave his tremendous testimony as a sermon to the church we attended that Sunday. For purposes of anonymity lets call him John. The testimony drew me to him and we agreed to meet and encourage one another. The meeting materialized this morning and I found myself sitting across from myself. He saw himself sitting across from himself but was able to look into the future. I had a vision of the past.

Drive and accumulation of power, wealth, and acceptance drives this young man, just as it drove me. I say "drives" for him, but that may not be the case. The "drive" is now a wresting match between him and God. I know who is going to win, and he knows it also. But he just needed me to come over this morning to him, show him pictures of myself (word pictures) and call the match. God has won. "John, you are already defeated, He wants you on His team so you can once again be a winner. But, you must first see that you are beaten down, so that you can claim the crown He has won for you. He's been preparing you all of your life to go the direction He has created you for, and now it's time to squeeze the trigger. Pull slow, pull steady, and let God determine when the hammer falls and when the primer will be struck and the bullet will travel down the barrel. It will be a fast twisting ride, but it will be straight. When you are done, you can slide to a stop, used up and ready to enter the kingdom." This was the sum of our conversation this morning, and my experiential advice to him. I pray that today, I was enough to push John over the cliff of denial to realize that God has placed a call on his life. A call to work for Him and not himself. A call to trust Him with all of his life.

For many of you men out there this rings true for you as well. What are you waiting for?? Retirement? More money? A better wife, job, house, what? Who are you living for, really? Don't fool yourself. Some need to be preachers, some need to be doctors, some need to be contractors, some need to be laborers, but what are you laboring for. Is it the new truck? The new house? the boat? So your kids can have more than you? Or is it just for you, for your position of authority in this feeble land, for your position as an elder in the church. Even the best of ministries can be tainted by pride, what is it for you? Talk to me now.

I saw myself this morning, I only wish I had the passion that he has right now, 20 years ago. Praise God for John this morning. He is listening to the call, and it may cost him everything-his business, coworkers, money, house, stuff, but he is listening, wrestling. Will God really ask him to do something he hates, will he call him to something he was not made for? Who knows us better than ourselves? God does. He places us where he wants us and we will be miserable when we are not where He has designed us to be. What's holding you back. Friends? They're not friends if they are against what God has for you. Money? He will supply everything you need, including the joy of being exactly where He designed you to be. Family? They will follow or not, take your wife and children and go. Live free my brothers and sisters. He designed you to be free, to be a slave only to Him and His grace.

Thank you, "John," for meeting with me today. Thank you for showing me a picture of myself, to confirm that I am where I should be, and for this morning is was right there, with you, across the table.

I think of all of you often, and pray that you are listening to His call on your life. It may be to stay right where you are, but to stand firm in presenting His gospel daily, or it may be here with us, or it may be in Congo-I don't know, that is truly between you and God. I only pray that I do not stand in your way and that I push you when you need it.

Wives, print this or drag your hubby to the screen to read this, don't let them say, "later honey."

We love you all.

In Christ,

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