I walked into church yesterday morning feeling a little crushed and defeated. I couldn't understand why I was not able to follow where I knew God was leading. I had been thinking over the past couple of days about the movie "Yes Man" with Jim Carrey, where a man is tasked with saying "Yes" to everything and seeing where life takes him. As I sat down with my coffee expecting a status quo service, Abbey leans over with the program and says "You need to look at this..." Here is what I saw:
I sat back, anxiously anticipating service and just praying to God, "I have a feeling You want to speak to me today, so let me have ears to listen." Our Senior Pastor, Jeff Bogue, started a new series called "Wasted" and the message was titled "Saying Yes To God". He spoke on 1 Samuel 3, where God begins to call Samuel, yet at first he doesn't realize it is God calling him and thinks it is just the priest Eli. When Samuel realizes it is God, he says "Speak Lord, your servant is listening."
Jeff spoke about a number of points I won't touch on, but there is one that sticks out and I need to share. He began to speak about following our passions in life and how there are two keys to knowing your passion: 1.) A passion will never go against the heart of God and 2.) your passions will be confirmed by Godly counsel (a group of your Christian peers). Here is where God intervened.
As I sat listening to Jeff speak about Godly counsel, I felt my phone buzz in my pocket. I normally don't check it in church, but I just had this feeling saying "Just take a glance at it."When I checked my phone, I had a long text message from my brother-in-law, a Facebook message from a friend at my old church in Pittsburgh, and numerous comments and posts on my Facebook and on yesterdays blog from Christian friends affirming my decision, reminding my of my passion for the poor a number of years ago, and really spurring me on towards this decision. All of this at the exact moment that God used Pastor Jeff to teach my about the affirmation of Godly counsel.
Needless to say, I spent the rest of the service listening, praying, and, yes, weeping. I couldn't help it and personally, I don't care. God has moved me to tears more times in these past 5-6 months than in my whole life and I see it as an action of Him moving in my life, changing me, helping me grow, and helping me be more Christ like.
Jeff spoke one last thing that struck a chord with me, as I know yesterday I touched so much on my worrying about these decisions. When we are trying to say "Yes" to God, it is important to discern whose opinion we value and who we don't. I spend a lot of time seeking the affirmation and opinion of those who, personally, I don't care for or respect. Yes, I love them as a creation of God but their opinion doesn't matter and isn't needed. It was just another little eye-opener for me that I seek approval from everyone, even those who I don't even care about their opinion on anything else otherwise. It's wasting my time and the resources God has given me.