In May of 1999 I went to my pastor at the time and said, "Ed, I think God is calling me to the ministry." He said, "I know, I've just been waiting for you to figure it out." It was a great affirmation for what I was feeling anyhow, and Ed has been a great encourager since then. He went on to say, "God will open doors for you. The doors that are opened, you have to step through. The ones that are closed in front of you, have to stay closed." I'm standing in front of one of those doors right now, and I have to say, I have a nervous peace about it, if that makes any sense.
In his closing comments to the church at Colosse, Paul asks them to do something for him and the others working with him. He says this to them: "And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of faith, for which I am in chains." I like that.
As I begin asking folks to step out of the boat with me over the next few weeks, I want to just take those folks that sign on with the FaithRiver adventure and run, but I know that first the whole project has to be bathed in prayer. That's part of the phase one that we're in now.
I would like to shoot up prayers that God would take this calling I've been given and make it explode, sending me hundreds of people to minister with that don't feel comfortable in church as it is in a lot of places, but I think the prayer I'm going to shoot up instead is that God just open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of faith, for which I am in chains.
Maybe I should be more specific in my prayers, you know, something like, "Ok God, show me where we're going to go, who's going with me, where we'll meet, how big it's going to get, and what we can do to help people live out their Jesus lives." Maybe I could throw in a bunch of "Father God's" or some other phrase that I could repeat over and over to make sure God is still paying attention. Or, maybe I could just ask God to open the doors and see what happens.
But, you see, that's tough for me. Yesterday I talked about how my wife says I have authority issues, but I'm learning that there are some things I have to be able to let go of because I'm not in control of them anyhow. This is one of those.
So, FaithRiver curious, join with me in phase one. Begin asking that God open doors for our message. The who, what, when, where, and how may be important to some folks, and will be part of a plan that I have to lay out in the next few weeks, but I'm not as concerned about that right now. Those things will be laid out for me when the time comes. Right now, I'm standing in front of a door and all I ask is that God opens it up.