am convinced that as representatives of God’s kingdom nation, we are regularly placed into situations in which the Holy Spirit orchestrates opportunities to advance God’s kingdom agenda. The agenda is pretty straightforward: help as many people as possible to accept and trust Jesus as the only one who can get them out of this world alive. God with regularity “sets up” believers to speak into the lives of people He’s trying to save.
Believers have to be clued into what God is doing around them—anticipating those unscripted moments when God uses His people to connect another person to Him. My friend Jim Moon is such a person. His heart is strong and open to be moved of God.
A few months ago, Jim had one of those seasons we all go through. You know the kind, when you are uncertain where God is taking your life. I believe God inserts these feelings of uncertainty in us at times for the express purpose of creating a deeper hunger for Him. Then He turns around and surprises us in the most unlikely moments with a clarity of purpose that drives us to our knees, overwhelmed by this God we love and serve.
Jim serves God in an area of Colorado just a couple hours’ drive from Wyoming. Out of his quest for clarity, and craving uninterrupted time with God, he hit the open road one morning heading toward Wyoming. As he crossed the state line, off into the distance he spotted a field of windmills, the kind used to generate electricity. For no apparent reason, Jim felt impressed to get a bit closer to the windmills.
He exited the highway and was soon driving down an old logging road. He planned to walk among the mills while talking to God about his life and purpose. Unbeknown to Jim, God had a preplanned “appointment” for him out on that logging road. Jim wanted clarity of purpose, and God was about to give it to him—His way.
Unable to find a path to get closer to the windmills, because of the fencing surrounding the site, Jim decided to sit in his car on the side of the road and pray. As he waited in silence before God, a pickup truck pulled up beside him. The man in the truck stuck his head out the window and inquired whether Jim was lost. He explained that he wasn’t lost, just a pastor spending time with God in prayer. They engaged in conversation, and Jim discovered that the man was president of the local ranchers’ association. He shared with Jim that he had been going through some difficult times with the association and was troubled by what he was up against. In fact, life in general wasn’t going that well for him.
As Jim listened, he was impressed to ask the man if he could pray with him. Right there on that logging road, in a seemingly chance meeting, Jim prayed into this rancher’s life. The prayer over, the rancher asked Jim about his church affiliation. Jim shared that he is a Seventh-day Adventist. Surprised, the rancher shared that he knew an older Adventist woman in town who had had a major spiritual impact on his life some years earlier. The rancher had felt impressed for weeks to seek her out, and this meeting with Jim only solidified what he needed to do. A chance meeting? Not on your life.
Jim Moon drove away from that “appointment” convinced that God had set it all up for His own purposes. God chose to create a feeling of uncertainty in Jim, in order to bring about clarity. And the clarity for Jim was that all around him were people who needed the Lord. As God’s kingdom representative, he needed to be prepared for duty at any time.
Our lives are not just about us; but more so, what God is trying to do in and through us. And He will do it if we are prepared to show up for duty every day as His kingdom representative to our world, being on the lookout for those perfectly timed moments when God will use us to be instruments of salvation in another’s life. How did Jesus put it? “Look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest” (John 4:35).
Fredrick A. Russell is senior pastor of the Miracle Temple Seventh-day Adventist Church in Baltimore, Maryland.