At work, I’m often intrigued and sometimes even a bit disturbed by the tenacity of some of our constituents. Today, I spoke with a woman whose comments initiated the latter. She called in response to our broadcast and immediately went into a tangent of how she has a business that has been going down for years and she did not want to end the business because she is an honest and godly person. She went on to say she needed advice.
After she took a breath, I responded telling her that while we do not offer counseling over the phone, we have E-mentoring available. That’s when she broke in again stating that she had no access unless she went to a library. She then again went onto to say how she knew that what she was doing is good and again began spouting off the name of her “singing act” whereby she said she ministers to nursing homes in her area. The way she said it was as if she “needed my approval.”
Again she took a breath and I seized the chance…I offered prayer, but not before reiterating I was no counselor. She agreed. As I began, the Lord brought to mind the story of Paul when he desired to revisit all the cities he’d preached in before. I recalled how he mentioned the Holy Spirit would not allow him to go to Asia on at least two occasions…that his service was needed elsewhere instead. After that second attempt, Paul had his vision that help was needed in Macedonia. Obedient to the Holy Spirit, Paul went. Regardless, Paul did what he had to do.
For those a little fuzzy about the specifics of the journey, the story is detailed in Acts 15:36-16:15.
Leaving Barnabas behind this time, Paul and Silas felt compelled to take an alternate route. They ended up going through the place they originally had planned to go around.
Of course, I didn’t share the specifics of this story in my prayer but bits and pieces came to mind as I interceded on her behalf.
As I prayed, at one point I must have mentioned something about allowing “her to accept Your will” even if it’s against what “she wants to do”…She interrupted the prayer and stated, “I don’t want to do that!” loudly and then began mumbling some other words similar to her original protest. After I closed the prayer…she continued her rant, except stating that she was continuing her prayer, but it was as if she was demanding that her business thrive…that she is praying for “going in” and not “going out.”
I realize that prayer is communication with God and we all communicate differently, but I couldn’t help but wonder where was her reverence?
Now, I applaud her fervor, but I felt like that portion was so not “right.” I’m not judging her heart because I can’t, but neither can I sit by and agree with what I felt in my heart was wrong. I concluded our call and immediately began re-reading the account of Paul for clarity in my own life. There had to be another reason that her words were so unsettling to me. Then it hit me! Before ending the call, the lady said, “The Lord knows what I want, and I want to sing!”
One might think that her words were words of faith, but the Holy Spirit showed me otherwise. Those words were of selfish disobedience.
You see I know that because I could identify with them myself….even today…prior to receiving her call, I’d been going through old emails I’d received from our music ministry with song selections. I’d actually been compiling a spreadsheet of all the songs and artists with the intent of putting my own little organized choir book together so that when I returned to the choir, I’d be ready like I had been before I realized my commitment to that ministry had waned.
I like, Paul, wanted to revisit the places where I’d ministered before.
I, like Paul, wanted to be prepared with a spirit of excellence.
Yet, like this lady who I reluctantly identified with, I wanted to sing too… always have since age 4, so why was I not at peace even as I meticulously typed my little list of songs and artists?
Wasn’t being prepared a good thing? Wasn’t wanting to minister in this way the thing God knew I wanted to do?
Yes, God knows all about me as He does the young lady I spoke with this morning. However, I imagine by her comments, she like I have known for a few years our calling now is elsewhere. For me I know that God wants me to minister with my written words, but I hadn’t been as obedient as Paul. You see as soon as Paul had no peace about his decision to go his way, he changed it in accordance with the Holy Spirit’s leading. It actually took me almost 2 years to even get a clue as to why things were not meshing together in my life as they had before.
After getting off the phone with the lady, I found myself grieving….but not just for her… for myself as well.
Yet. my grief dissipated as I examined the scripture further. I didn’t smile because I knew how Paul’s story ended, rather, at the end of the 6th verse the words “at this time” gave me peace. They reassured me that God didn’t give me a gift he didn’t want me to use, rather He gave me many to use at specific times and places. So yeah, I may want to sing, but I’ve been called elsewhere this season and that’s okay with me!
©2014 Nadia Davis. All Rights Reserved.
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