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Preparing for the "Open Door of Opportunity"

The wonders of how God works in my life and the lives of others never ceases to amaze me and every day is like an Indiana Jones adventure as we walk this journey called the "Faith Road".

In 2002 the Lord really began speaking to me on a new level, there was an unsettling that I did not understand and I can remember sitting in the pew on a Sunday night at Sumter First PH Church and simply pouring myself out to God and the most miraculous moment happened, a bathing in the Holy Ghost. Yes, I knew about the baptism, but I did not know its affect and purpose for me purposely until that moment. From that moment on God put me on a train that was continually picking up speed. My heart was devoted, my steps were ordered, my mouth open to receive every morsel and nugget through every means the Lord made available. And then indeed the persecution and opposition began to come faster and faster like popcorn kernels in the heat of the fire. These were teaching lessons as I would soon realize and find out the necessity in them. And then the leadership opportunities opened up and I began wearing 3 hats at the same time and it progressed into different levels within my church and outside on a conference level and then into a community level. This multi-tasking was amazing, but little did I know that 10 years down the road it would take its toll while teaching me yet another lesson for the journey. This multi-tasking taught me what I was not called for even if I was good at it and could serve, but it taught me clearly what God desired of me for the most important season in my life – the season I am about to embark upon – to "Go and Tell" and share the Gospel.

God will not move us until he is ready, but we still have to say YES. We still have to be "determined" in our decisions and in our walk to serve the Lord. For the past two years there were so many questions resounding in my spirit that needed answers. Little did I know that these questions were ways God was teaching me to dig even deeper into the Word and the resources around me that he has so graciously provided to each and every one of us. So I began studying on authority, grace, denomination and purpose. Yes, a lot to swallow at one time but if you really start getting into the Word on these and other areas you will see how God ties everything together.

One of the areas that was driving me nuts was when I heard preachers say…"Well we are Pentecostals aren't we"… I got to the point where I wanted to simply scream – so what, does that give us special seating on the bus or something. I know, rather crude thinking from someone raised in the Pentecostal church for 45 years of her almost 60 years of life. But this was a necessary thought pattern that God was walking me through. It was not about denomination as much as it was about heart and mindset. It was not about special favor because I belonged to a certain denomination, but it was about freedom to worship in celebration and understand that God has gifted us with such bounty of opportunity, gifts, talents, strengths, power and everything given throughout the Bible is still available for today, in fact, needed more deeply today than ever before. That authority does not mean there is a ball and chain forcing me to believe one way or another, but that God uses authority to guide us into the truth and dependency on Him alone because as humans we are subject to fail one another, even when we don't desire to. And the gift of grace – well this has been earth shattering to me and has freed me to walk with a new bounce to my step. It does not give me a crutch, it does not give me liberty to live a lifestyle unbecoming and against the Word of God – but it does tell me that I am a sinner that often will fall short – but through repentance from my heart in my errors, God is just to forgive me and covers me with his warm blanket of grace. Hallelujah, I have been set free! No more condemnation…

He reminds me that the rod and staff protect me and correct me for it is for my good, his glory and for my walk, my purpose. After 10 years of leadership I will be stepping out in a new journey of Faith. The Lord has been moving in my spirit for two years especially that it's time for me to "Go and tell". Everything I have taught my Grace Sunday School Class of middle adults – God is now sending me to walk it out beyond the walls of my home church, the walls of denomination and into a bright new future full of the unknowns, but anticipation in knowing God's plans are always amazing.

It is so hard for others to understand this drastic move, it is difficult for me to remove myself from the comfort zones of church family, the acceptance and trust they have shown to me in allowing me to grow as I followed the Lord's lead and most of all from teaching my Sunday School class which I love and know that this is indeed God's calling in my life. But surely his purpose is so much greater and maybe it is happening in a way that I would not have chosen, but then Pastor Paul Howell shared a very encouraging word with me – that sometimes it takes a catalyst of sorts to get us to move out of our comfort zones, just like the eagle who pushes its eaglet out the nest to teach it there is so much more to life and to do for the Kingdom. And just like the eaglet's mother will never let its child fall to the ground, I know God has this season for me in his hands and he may let me bend at times, but he will never allow me to break when I keep my hand in his.

I wanted to share this -- it is important for us to understand that there is a purpose in our lives so much greater than we are – because God is always the GREATER. Steven Furtick wrote… "impossibilities cannot coexist with God's promises" and I am taking that to heart in the stepping out on faith to "go and tell". I do not know how to begin, but if I did, then my dependency and trust would be on myself instead of my Almighty and Sovereign God. There is a place within all churches, no matter denomination, to complete God's calling, but now I understand that he chooses others to go outside the walls into a hurting and confused world and to share the need and Power of the Holy Spirit at every opportunity that he will provide.

I wrote one of my spiritual nuggets on Facebook (which is one of my witnessing platforms) that God had dropped into my spirit, love how he talks to me in nuggets, and what he shared with me was that even when we make our decisions in our faith journey, we also have to be "determined" to walk them out. God will not snap his fingers and put everything into place, but as we take the step, he steps with us, as we pick up the bricks to build, he picks the bricks up with us, and he always has the flashlight lit in the darkness to show us the way.

As the Lord told Joshua, be encouraged for the Lord your God is with you – my desire is that each of us indeed take these Words of the God Jehovah to heart – be encouraged for God is with us. And never be afraid to step through the "Open Door of Opportunity". God always has a plan and a purpose and he walks us down the Romans 8:28 road. Praise the Lord from whom all blessings flow

And as I make this journey this is my prayer… Ephesians 6:19… and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, (NKJV)

 

  
Article by Wanda Rodgers

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