Sometimes it is hard to know which way He is leading, but other times He is very clear. Below is a story about a time when God’s guidance couldn’t be mistaken.
“I had a strange dream last night,” my co-worker said to me, “In that dream, your God gave me a message to give to you.” She thought Christianity was a ridiculous religion.
“Tell me more about your dream,” I said.
God's affirmation is in what He does in the lives of other people.
She continued, “Your God instructed me to tell you that you are to go prepare yourself to be a pastor.” She then proceeded to describe, in precise detail, a place she had never heard of: the campus of Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan, where the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary is located. She concluded by saying, “That is where you are to go. I’ve done what I was told. Now it’s your turn to do what you’ve been told.”
For many years I stubbornly avoided God’s call to pastoral ministry. So perhaps God chose a most unlikely person to get my attention. In some strange way, I also felt that God used her to convey the affirmation of His call for me. That was 10 years ago. Every day since, God has affirmed that call in unlikely ways.
God’s call is affirmed through Paul, whom I baptized with some hesitation when he was age 7. Paul in turn, gathered eight of his friends and gave them Bible studies. Two years later, I baptized four of them, with Paul standing in the baptismal tank with me.
God’s call is affirmed through Carolyn, who after hearing me preach about courage, informed her family that she was going to be a pastor. Her tenacious conviction to follow God’s will, inspired her brother to give up drugs and turn his life around. They are now both studying to be pastors.
God has done some amazing things for me through ministry. He has given me strength, courage, and wisdom to overcome many of the challenges I face in pastoral ministry. Every day I look and listen for what He is doing. Every day I see signs of His affirmation. Ultimately though, God’s affirmation is not measured in what I do, but rather in what He does in the lives of the people I minister to. I continue watching and listening as God acts in ways I never would have dreamed possible.
—This article has been modified from the original, which appears on page 18 of the October 25, 2012, Adventist Review.
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