God took me from being the guy in the office who might organize a "guys night out" of bar hopping to being the guy who would pray with you and invite you to a 6 AM Bible Study at Cracker Barrel on Friday mornings.
I began to spend more and more time in prayer. I prayed many times that I was willing to do whatever God wanted me to do. I prayed that I was willing to go wherever and whenever God wanted me to go.
The problem was that for a long time, I didn't really mean it and God was, of course, fully aware of that fact. I was not actually fully available to be used by God. I was only saying the words that I was available. I really enjoyed my job title, my company car, my office, my paycheck, etc. The job was a great source of pride in my life.
It was only after God helped me come to a place in my heart spiritually where I was not only saying the words but also meaning the words. As I continued to study His Word, God revealed more and more about Himself. He was also revealing more and more of what I needed to know about myself. He was moving me, as I prayed. I was not moving Him.
It was only after I actually - for real - made myself available to be used by God that He was able to begin to use me in ways I had never even imagined possible.
This happened because God had His hand on my heart with a plan and purpose for me and my life all along. In my surrender, I was SET APART by God. It was not my plan. I had other plans. I had to be willing to surrender my own plans. I had to be willing to take risks and to step outside my own personal comfort zone.
I have no regrets about that season of my life nor would I trade it. The job was a blessing financially to our family. Those experiences and opportunities for professional and personal growth led me to be who I am today. However, being in a position of a greater surrender to God and the things of God while serving God in ministry, has absolutely brought a level of satisfaction and reward beyond what I thought possible.
Can I just tell ya something? I believe God is always calling us to something greater, to take a bigger risk, to stretch our faith, to something bigger than ourselves, to something which will require a deeper faith in Him. What is God asking you to do which would stretch you beyond your own personal comfort zone? Are you fulfilling your ministry?
Father, I am humbled to consider all of the many ways You have worked in and through me as a man, father, husband, etc. I do not deserve that You would even acknowledge my presence. Your patience with me is hard to comprehend. My heart overflows with gratitude. Amen.
But as for you, exercise self-control in everything, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. -- 2 Timothy 4:5 (CSB)
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