Sermon Illustrations

Craig von Buseck tells of serving as an associate pastor in Pennsylvania. After more than five years on staff, he began sensing that the Lord wanted him to leave this church to complete his ministry training. Relations were beginning to become strained between himself and the senior pastor. While we remained friends, as time went by I began to recognize that we had differing leadership styles and different visions for the church. But he also knew you don’t make major moves in your life because things are uncomfortable. Sometimes God places us in difficult situations because He wants to grow our character. Over many months he prayed about my situation at the church and came to the conclusion that in this case either I needed to leave the church, or the vision needed to change.

Transition was inevitable, but how it would come about was unclear to me. And so I waited for the Lord to guide my steps. In the meantime, I went about my duties at the church, working as unto the Lord. In this time, God did some dramatic miracles in that church that to this day cause me to be in awe of His power including the sale of their church property at full price which had no parking to the gift of 21 acres of prime real estate to relocate to. And yet in the midst of all this, I did not have peace.

The more he prayed, the more he believed that God wanted me to go on for more education. So he asked the Lord for confirmation. He prayed that God would make His will clear to me. The following week, clarity began to come. He received a telephone call out of the blue from a minister friend in Florida, who said. "I don’t know what’s going on there, but I felt like I needed to call. I’ve been praying for you and I feel like the Lord is saying that you are coming in to a time of transition. I believe you need to get ready because God is about to make some major changes in your life." Two days later another minister friend called and said the same thing and then a third pastor called from Indiana and said the exact same thing.

But there was still the question of timing. He went to a ministry conference praying, “Lord would give me clarity of vision and Your timing in this transition.” On the last day, he attended a session on prophetic ministry. A woman named Sharon led it, called him up front and laid her hands upon him. The words that came out of her mouth were both amazing and humbling. "The Lord says, ’I’m allowing you to stand in places of training. I’m allowing you to stand in places of co-laborship, and I’m allowing you to be one who is trained in diversity. And you’re getting to do all things that I might build an ability to know things from the inside out.’ For the Lord says, ’Know this, there will be a day that I will plant you -- you’re grooming for the anointing of the house now...’Know this, I’m changing your home ... I am readjusting you, picking you up and I am transplanting you, just like someone whose pot is too narrow.’ The Lord says, ’You’re root-bound. I’m picking you up and putting you in a bigger place.’ And the Spirit of God says, ’You’re going to see that out of that place that I’ve centered you, I’ve located you, but I’ve also put you in a place where your children are going to be blessed."

By now the tears were filling his eyes because one of his greatest concerns in this transition was for his children, and here the Lord promised that He would take care of them. Hallelujah! After receiving this word I met with the pastor who wasn’t surprised when I told him that I was leaving to attend Regent University. After a frenzy of painting and cleaning I put my house up for sale. It sold quickly -- and with a decent profit. A few months later I moved to Virginia Beach where I enrolled in the Divinity School. In the midst of that first year, he sensed that the Lord wanted him to minister through the media -- a calling God had placed on his heart while he was still in high school. He then learned that there was a special program in the College of Communication called Religious Journalism. Two years later Craig graduated from Regent University with an MA in Religious Journalism, was hired in the Direct Marketing department at CBN as a staff writer and is now Ministries Director for CBN.com -- a position that allows him to minister through the media, just as the Lord had revealed to him more than 15 years earlier and led him to this place under the direction of the Holy Spirit and other people.

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