Summary: My no was not only my hope, my no was my ability to continue to do what God’s called me to do, to be a rescuer, not one who consistently needed to be rescued.
My name is Jimmy Seibert, and I am the Head Pastor who has the absolute joy and privilege of getting to be a part of the incredible team that is here in Waco. This morning I want to share a message that has been on my heart for years. I have glanced at it over the years at different times. If there is ever a message that this generation needs, I believe it’s this one today.
I’m going to be vulnerable, open, and honest in hopes that we might be set free into the destiny that God has given us to set others free. In the mid-1990’s, I had the privilege and the opportunity of traveling over 26 times into Russia and into Central Asia. We were planting churches. We were preaching the gospel to those who had never heard. We were seeing people saved, established and the Church of Jesus coming alive. It was a beautiful, powerful, wonderful time.
One of my accountabilities along the way was always to travel with somebody, not only for companionship but many times for discipleship. It’s just always wise to cover yourselves in the spiritual warfare we live in. One trip in particular, I was traveling back from Russia, it had been a long trip. I had been up most of the night before my traveling morning. The friend I was traveling with had to leave earlier, and I was traveling by myself. I was flown from Siberia to Moscow and then Moscow to Frankfurt where I would catch a flight the next morning. As was always the custom, my assistant had set up a hotel that had a meal with it. I went to the appointed place where we were to sit and wait. I was waiting for the bus to come and take us.
There were just two of us in the room. One of them was a very attractive lady from Brazil. I was tired and I was weak and I began to find myself liking the attention. In the midst of it I thought, “This is not good. This is not what I’m about.” So I thought, “I’ll share Jesus with her, that’ll take care of it.” I shared Jesus, talked about my wife and kids and how much I love Jesus and asked her if she knew Jesus. She had come from a Catholic background and went on and shared a little about her life story, about a divorce and a broken relationship, what it was like to be unloved.
I began to feel very uncomfortable with the journey, about that time the bus came. I did not sit next to her on purpose, but they had a meal for us at the hotel and she sat right across from me and continued to engage in conversation. I was caught between two things: is it rude not to talk? But this feels vulnerable and not right. What do I do in this situation? As all these feelings and emotions are going on, in the midst of the weariness, they call us one at a time and give us the keys to our rooms. They call one person, and another, and then they call my name and her name together.
They call our names together, we walk up to the counter and the hotel clerk smiles and he says, “I have you keys with adjoining rooms.” He smiles and winks, and said “I thought that would be best.” She looks; she smiles and winks as well.
In that moment, I had a decision to make. TO be quite honest, as a vulnerable human being, I liked the attention, I had the thought come to my mind, “No one will ever know.” Just about the same time I had that thought, “Jesus knows. He sees. He knows. I love Him.” Then I had the picture of my wife came to mind. I thought, “I love her. I have given my life to her.” Then, my two little girls at that time, their faces came to my mind and I thought, “There’s no option.”
It was somewhat rude, but I took my key and my suitcase and I almost ran to my room. I walked in and locked the door, I locked all the locks and put on the chain in the back of the door and vowed before the Living God. I got on my knees and made a vow before the Lord, I said, “Lord, I don’t care who calls, I don’t care who knocks on the door, I will not leave this room until 7 AM. I will not sacrifice my family at the altar of my lust.”
I called home and accountability partner, I told them the situation and asked them to pray, and also called Laura. My no in that situation was a turning point in life. You see, if I would’ve said yes, in the grace of God, He would’ve forgiven me if I would’ve repented and come back to Him. Maybe it wouldn’t have destroyed my marriage, maybe it would have. Maybe my kids would’ve understood, you know, these things happen. Maybe, at the same time a statistic showed that if I would’ve said yes, it would’ve destroyed my marriage and set up my kids for the same weaknesses the rest of their lives.