I remember whenever I was 16 years old and God called me to ministry. At first I was hesitant. Up to that point I had wanted to be a football coach. I loved everything about football and I wanted my life to be associated with the game of football in some way or another. I remember in my sophomore year of High School, God began to give me different desires. My desire to do ministry grew over my desire to do football related things. Before I knew it I was reading books about Church history, theology, anything that had to do with Jesus and the Church I was reading it. After months of struggling as to whether or not God was calling me into the ministry, I finally just let go of what I thought my future would look like and I handed it over to God. At least I thought I did…
Shortly after accepting God’s call to go into ministry I started mapping out my plans for ministry. I had BIG dreams. I was reading every book I could find on the Church. My pastor subscribed to this magazine called ‘’Outreach magazine”. Whenever I interned at my Home Church I would take the magazines that he had read, home with me so that I would be up to date on all the Church trends. My passion for ministry was red hot. My plan was to go to Ouachita Baptist University, meet the girl of my dreams, graduate, get married, plant a church, and be the pastor of a megachurch by the time I was 25. I had BIG dreams.
I did go to OBU for one semester and then I went home. Shortly after that it seemed like all of my ministry dreams was going down the drain. I remember being 26 years old STILL trying to finish my degree, looking at all the dreams I had thinking that God had abandoned me.
Here’s the thing…God never abandoned me. The problem with my dreams was 1. My character was not where it needed to be to carry the load of those dreams. My character had to catch up to my calling. 2. The dreams were in no way about God. They were about me and my success. I was more focused on building my kingdom and climbing the ministry ladder of success. I lost sight on the calling that God had on my life. Preach the gospel. Not seek worldly success. In a way I was kind of like Joseph. If you remember, Joseph was given a dream from God on what his life would look like. The problem was that early on, Joseph made the dream that God gave him all about himself. He bragged about that dream to his brothers and they did not take to kindly to it. Joseph had a calling, but his character had to catch up to it. Eventually everything God called Joseph to, happened. It just didn’t happened in the way that he expected. The same thing happened with me. Eventually God led me to ministry. I just had to take a long detour to get there. Are there things that I still hope God does in my life? Absolutely! The difference is that now I am trying my best to make sure I am making it all about Him and not about myself. I am placing my dreams, my hopes, my desires in His hands, and I’m trusting that whatever He sees fit for my life will be exactly what I need.
Maybe today you feel a lot like this. You have had plans but they keep failing. Maybe your life doesn’t look like you thought it would like. Maybe there has been hurt in your life. The loss of a loved one. Your health has abandoned you. Someone close to you has betrayed you. Dreams that you once had now look like a distant memory. Whatever it is I want you to take heart. God never does anything by accident. Sometimes that can be a bitter pill to swallow. But you can either trust in His sovereignty and worship Him or you can grow bitter.
Before you give up and throw your hands in the air, ask yourself these 3 questions.
- Are my dreams about me or about bringing glory to God?
- What is God trying to teach me while I wait?
- How can I use this hurt to bring glory to God?
If you start asking yourself these questions you will start to see a shift in your attitude. You will go from ‘’Woe is me,’’ to ‘’None of this makes sense, but God is good, he has a plan for my life, and he can absolutely be trusted.’’