I gave this talk at the 2017 Foursquare Convention. You can watch it here.
I believe there are harvest fields of people Jesus loves, but they’ll never walk through the doors of our churches.
I also believe Jesus has few followers who are willing to reach them. The harvest is plentiful, but there are few laborers who say, “Send me!”
When I grew up, I didn’t dream of being a government employee. I wanted to be a medical missionary.
But God had other plans. I didn’t go to med school. I went to law school. I didn’t go to the mission field. I went to Washington DC. And after m y husband and I planted a church, I didn’t go on staff. I continued in my career.
These weren’t my dreams. In fact, for many years I prayed that God would release me from my career. But God continued to say He put me there for a reason. And when God says, whom shall I send, I always want to say, “Send me!”
In Genesis, Joseph had some dreams, too. But they weren’t to be a slave or a felon! And yet, God called him to those things. Sometimes the path to our dreams looks absolutely Unimaginable.
It gives a whole different meaning to God doing exceedingly abundantly beyond all we ask or imagine. I’ve been commissioned to something far different from anything I imagined.
I’ve learned that sometimes the sick aren’t just in the sanctuaries. Like the unbeliever who came into my office crying because a loved one was passing away that day. But we prayed, and her loved one made a miraculous recovery!
I’ve learned that people in the pinnacles of power also need the presence of God. Like the woman I prayed for one day in the elevator. A few weeks later she asked me what God thought about a difficult decision she’d made. I had the privilege of sharing His heart with her, setting her free from shame and fear.
I’ve also learned that hardened skeptics can be heartfelt seekers. Like the man of another religion who peppered me with questions about my faith for months, eventually sharing that he’d been interested in Christianity for years but never could find someone who would answer his questions without being defensive. Together we started a Bible study at work for non-believers.
I’ve learned that even counselors to kings need counsel from the King of Kings. Like the day that a senior agency official stopped me in the hall. “Are you a chaplain?” he asked. “No, but I’m a pastor,” I said. He asked me for my counsel – he was about to make a decision that could have significant implications for our country. I didn’t know what he should do, but I told him I could help him hear from God. He was shocked—that was possible? Absolutely! I coached him through how to pray and hear God. We prayed, compared our notes, and were amazed at how consistent they were! That prayer time gave him the guidance he needed to move forward.
I’ve also learned God will go to unbelievable lengths to share His love. At one point I was under consideration for a presidential appointee position in a prominent federal agency. I interviewed with several White House and senior government officials. I was really excited about the position. When I was on my way to a final interview, I felt God say, “Kelly, would you be okay not getting this job if it means I get to reach these people through you?” I thought about trying to convince them that He’d probably reach them more effectively if He GAVE me the job! But instead I said, “Yes, Lord. Send Me.”
While I ultimately wasn’t selected for that position, I know those officials read hundreds of pages of my blog recounting spiritual truths and testimonies of God’s faithfulness and love. That might have been why I didn’t get the job… But that also might have been the only time they heard how much God loves them.
I never could’ve imagined becoming a senior leader in the most powerful government in the world. But none of these stories could’ve happened if I just waited for these people to come to my church.
I’m commissioned to the Unimaginable. And so are you. Let’s embrace assignments and circumstances beyond what we could have asked or imagined. Let’s be harvest laborers ready for the harvest. And when God says, whom shall I send, let’s be the ones to say, “Send me!”