After wrestling with the Lord for many months about my ministry calling, I decided two years ago to seek ordination. I wasn't planning to become a full-time pastor, but I felt I needed more accountability because I was speaking more often in churches. So in June 2000 a group of preachers from Georgia and Texas laid hands on me and made it official. I said yes to God and took the plunge.
I wish I could tell you that everything went smoothly after that holy moment. I'd love to report that I immediately started preaching like T.D. Jakes or that I lost count of the miracles that began occurring in my meetings.
But that's not what happened. The truth is that all hell broke loose. My life became a battlefield. I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I surrendered to God's call.
The backlash came all at once. All my insecurities rose to the surface. All my sinful tendencies and character flaws stared me in the face. Even though people seemed to respond positively to my preaching, I would always leave a church service with deep doubts about my delivery.
I even started questioning my motives. "Lord, I think You made a mistake. You picked the wrong guy," I would pray.
But when I shut up long enough to listen to the Father's heart, He would always whisper the same thing. "Son, I've called you to war. I never told you it would be easy. But didn't I promise that in your weakness I would be strong?"
He's still saying that to me today, and the more I listen to His reassuring voice the more my doubts are transformed into fierce confidence. No matter how weak I feel, I know His perfect power dwells in my frail clay vessel. And I know my little slingshot can kill any Goliath as long as Jesus provides the rock and the strength to throw it.
Many Christians, however, don't want anything to do with challenging giants. They have disqualified themselves from military service. Some are too focused on their past failures, while others are sidelined because of a crippling fear of man. A few, like the prophet Jonah, are running from the call because they think God will send them into a battle they don't want to fight.
I'm begging you: Please rip up all your excuses. Don't put conditions on your obedience. This is an hour for all warriors to file back in rank. If you are discouraged, ask God for fresh faith. If you are AWOL, embrace His call again. Don't dodge the draft!
You may not be called to full-time ministry, but all of us must crawl onto the Lord's blazing altar of sacrifice. And then we must learn to live there.
If you're willing to wave a white flag at God and embrace your call to be a warrior, I want to invite you to join us for Charisma's first Equipping and Empowering Conference, to be held in Orlando, Florida, Oct. 31-Nov. 2. The speakers at this event--Sergio Scataglini, Ted Haggard, Kim Daniels and Scott Hagan--are not in the ministry to seek glamour, applause or big offerings. They are genuine Christians who simply said yes to God, and now He is using them to rally the troops.
Whether or not you can join us in Orlando, I hope to see you on the front lines.
For the month of August we are celebrating the 40th anniversary of Charisma. Join us for giveaways each weekday, pages from our past, and more. We're including an anniversary special where you can get 40 issues of Charisma for only $40!