Summary: God is real. God is really here. He is among us. And every word in his book is the truth. We have amongst us here the answer to every question in the world.
And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here am I! Send me.” Isaiah 6:8
God is real. God is really here. He is among us. And every word in his book is the truth. We have amongst us here the answer to every question in the world.
I did not know God when I was younger. I didn’t think he was really there. I thought it was a fairy tale. I lived and grew up among a church. I didn’t understand any of it. I just went because my parents made me. I didn’t think it had any bearing on life. I thought it was just some sort of backwards tradition that we had to honor.
After my parents divorced at age 15 I got into trouble. I had many struggles. I went very low. Depression came about, addictions came about. As things got worse I was forced to ask some very difficult questions.
Many people, if they were asked: Why do you exist? Why are you here? They would have no answer. They don’t know, and they never really thought about it.
I didn’t think about it either. But then I had to. My life was collapsing, my addictions were growing worse, and my heart was empty. I was filled with the ever-present agony of the everyday blah!
So, at rock bottom, I got on the floor, on my knees, and I cried out to Jesus Christ. I didn’t know if he was real, if he was really God, if God was even real, but I took a little leap I suppose, I cried out desperately, just desperately. Jesus save me. And do you know how I know God is real today?
Because Jesus answered that cry for help. He set me free from my addictions, depression, and most importantly from the long list of my wrong doings. I was reborn. He saved me in every way imaginable...
He saved me physically from addiction
He saved me emotionally from crippling depression
He saved me spiritually from the just penalty of my sins.
Jesus took my place on the cross. And he reclaimed his life for my eternal life.
I didn’t cry out to Muhammed, Buddha, Krishna, Zoraster, or the universal spirit. No. Only one name: Jesus Christ, or in Hebrew: Yeshua. So if anyone tells you there are many ways to God,to heaven: They’re wrong, there is only one.
As my life continued to change, there was something I became certain of, almost immediately: I need to serve God. I felt immediately, an intense insatiable urge to full time ministry. I loved to write, I loved to read poetry at open mics. I loved to explore deep questions. I loved to read books. I loved to talk with people and help them with problems. It all started to make sense.
So if you’re wondering if your called to officership, the first thing to watch for is the urge to serve.
Some might call it a “burden on the heart.” It overflows out of your heart. Every fiber of your being cries out for the need to serve, to love, to carry the gospel. Because deep down having been changed, made clean, you know it is the truth of life. Do you have that?
Around 2013-2014 I was working at a homeless shelter in Wausau, Wisconsin. At that time I was reading a biographical book on the Salvation Army by Henry Gariepy. He lists a quote in the book from a conversation he had with the famed evangelist Billy Graham. Billy was shooting hoops with the boys at the corps where Henry was serving and after they were done Billy Graham looked at Henry Gariepy and said,”The Salvation Army is Christianity in action.” And it’s true.
I knew, Justin needs to be a minister. He needs to carry the message. Why? Because Christianity is the truth about everything. It’s the truth about EVERYTHING. Jesus Christ is really real, heaven is real, hell is real, and people need to know now, not later, now!
If your called to officership, don’t be afraid to let God change the course of your life. Don’t be afraid to let God take you in a direction that makes you uncomfortable.
I know that sounds odd. But often times we're trying to control things, and we’re missing the direction God wants to take us. I didn’t want to be an officer, I thought it seemed like too much paperwork and not enough ministry. It seemed way too hard, insurmountable.
But God didn’t seem too concerned with what I wanted. He seemed to say,”So Justin doesn’t want to? So what!”
So when searching to know if your called to officership don’t necessarily “trust your feelings” or “use your best judgment.” That’s worldly garbage, don’t trust yourself, don’t trust how you feel. I felt very discouraged and dissuaded at times. Don’t trust those feelings, trust the guidance of God. Ask for his wisdom. Pray, and trust the leading of the Holy Spirit. Forsake yourself, and your way and instead take his way.