"What’s right in front of you?"
There was a man named Cornelius who lived in Caesarea, captain of the Italian Guard stationed there. He was a thoroughly good man. He had led everyone in his house to live worshipfully before God, was always helping people in need, and had the habit of prayer. (Acts 10:1-2, The Message)
“I need to be in full-time ministry, I’m called and want to serve and touch people lives. To do so I have to be preaching, teaching and serving in the church.” As a young person I remember making this statement to my spiritual leaders, friends and even praying it to God. I remember over the years countless people who with all sincerity wrestled with the same desire. In my early ministry years I spent a number of years working in the church, but also holding down one to three additional jobs to support my family. During those years I prayed “Lord if I was only full-time.” This became a prayer that was lifted up over and over. I would get so frustrated with my jobs and eventually with God, until one day I noticed God had a plan and a purpose for me being at those jobs and it was more than collecting a pay check. God had me in those jobs to touch people lives, I began to check my attitude and I began to pray and think of creative ways to bless my co-workers. Before long when crisis struck they would ask me to join them in prayer, relationships began to grow and develop. I quickly realized that I was touching more people’s lives outside of the church than inside. “I should have had a V8” came to mind, the classic marketing slogan that was used to sell V8. How could I have missed these opportunities that God gave me every day. Needless to say, embracing God’s plan for the moment brought favor, blessings, and so much more. I guess Cornelius; the captain of the Italian Guard also learned this lesson. He worked his job as a Guard and was a minister to his family, co-workers, and friends. He spent time in prayer and was favored and blessed by God as an angel of God spoke to him a message and he humbly obeyed the angel’s direction. God gives us opportunity to touch people’s lives every day, whether we are at work, volunteering, or serving our families. We don’t have to confine ourselves to the church or a program but wherever we may find ourselves do it to the best of your ability as if you were serving the Lord. You may be in the mission field that God needs you to be in to touch and help transform a life. “Father God, in Jesus name I ask that you to help me see my current area of service as a mission field. Help me to touch a life today in a practical way, in Jesus name.” Amen. –DR