Some of the most precious advice I have ever been given is from “retired” (I don’t believe they ever retire) missionaries and Pastors. People who have had to lean on God in ways most won’t ever imagine, but have also seen God move in ways some only read about. Anytime I could sit under one of these saints of God I would ask them to tell me stories of God’s faithfulness. How they began, what trials they faced... how God brought them through. Never once did one of those stories not involve sacrificing everything. I still hang onto those stories though many who told them have been promoted to heaven. I was thinking about a particular memory today. There was a retired missionary who later became my friend, who found me one day in a discouraged state. I was newly saved feeling that God could never use me. At the time this man was a perfect stranger.
He came up to me and said, “Listen God loves to use basket cases... look at Moses...(tears were running down my face as soon as he started to talk) he said, “that was a joke kid. You want something real? You want God to use you? You want the anointing? Remember this, it takes no anointing to be critical. It takes no anointing to play it safe. It takes no anointing to pick comfort over calling. The anointing will cost you everything. You stay when it gets hard. You stay when the battle rages. You trust God when others lose heart. Lead by example. Forgive. Be courageous. Be bold to speak the truth, but only from a place of love. Live from hope never defeat. Jesus wins, always... stick with Him and you’ll be fine. You ask God before you make any plans otherwise you can make an unnecessary mess. Take time for people, Jesus always did. Put your hand in the hand of Jesus and leave it there. When He says go you go. Delayed obedience is disobedience, so you go when you’re scared. You go when the answers aren’t there yet, and you keep following Jesus of Nazareth. When it all gets hard and you don’t know what to do look up and say this, I will bless the Lord at all times, his praise will continually be on my lips.” His old wrinkled hand reached up in the air, eyes looking up and tears running down his face. He said that verse like it was his oath as if he was talking to Jesus face to face. I can’t explain the desire I felt to know the Lord like he did, standing next to him. I knew this man really knew the Master. He went on to say, “Somewhere in there...in the trusting, obeying, and staying you’ll find the anointing. Kid he has never failed me, never once.” He handed me a piece of candy, patted my shoulder and said, “smile, you’ll be alright kid. Just trust Him.” And he left.
I would later find out he had given his entire life on the mission field. It did cost him everything, but when he talked to me, there was an anointing that I still remember to this day (in fact I wrote it down so I would never forget). The kind that disarms your doubt and pulls your faith into a know-so place. He had a true joy, that was so real you felt a peaceful confidence just sitting next to him. We need a generation that is faithful to the call of God. A people whose purpose is so much greater than any present trial or circumstance. People armed with a know-so faith who believe God, and stay faithful to the task he’s called them to. We need that, now more than ever.
Pastor Natalie Snider