As we approach our 10-year anniversary of 24/7 worship and prayer at IHOP-Atlanta, I have been considering the unusual journey the Lord has taken me on over the last decade. As I consider the way the Lord has led me I have become keenly aware of a few key truths:
God is Sovereign
God is committed to me
Jesus is worthy
God is Sovereign
In my 20’s, I imagined that I was the “captain of my own destiny.” As I now reflect on over 20 years of full-time ministry and 10 years of night and day worship and prayer, I have come to recognize that the path I have walked is not one that I would have chosen for myself. Without a doubt God has led me in a way that is different from my own preferences but His leadership has ultimately produced in me a greater measure of surrender than my ways would have ever produced. And truly that’s what we all want, isn’t it – His desires to be fulfilled in our lives above our own. I’m grateful for His perfect leadership. He knows the exact ingredients to allow in our lives to produce from our hearts the greatest expression of voluntary love.
God is committed
In times when God has been silent, I have imagined that I was more passionate and more committed to seeing His will come to pass in my life than He was. Even reading that last sentence right now, I realize how ridiculous that sounds. But through difficult times and dry seasons it becomes easy for us to doubt His faithfulness. As I look back over the years, I can’t even count the number of times He has made it completely evident that He is far more committed to working His will in my life than I am to following it. Though I falter, He is faithful. Though I’m frail, He is fervent. He’s never left me and He has always worked in my life His good pleasure. The truth is He is far more committed to me than I am to Him and for this I am forever grateful.
Jesus is Worthy
Ministry work can be a funny thing, especially in America, especially in the Bible belt. It’s unfortunate, but after years in ministry it can be hard for some to remember why they do it. Many times for ministers disillusionment sets in when things don’t turn out the way they wanted or planned. If they don’t experience the success they imagined they find themselves struggling to stay faithful to God’s calling on their lives. I know this firsthand because I have experienced seasons of wrestling with “my calling” and questioning God’s purpose. But in each season the Lord has brought me back to the central truth that plumb-lines and compels all that we do: Jesus is worthy. He is worthy of a life laid down and poured out. He is worthy of all my time, attention, energy and love… even if I don’t feel His presence or experience American ministry “success”, Jesus is worthy of ceaseless adoration from hearts that are completely His. His worth is the central compelling truth to why we do 24/7 and why I stay engaged in the work of the kingdom.
These truths are real for you today. God is sovereign over your life, He is deeply committed to you and He is worthy of your poured out love. I pray you find strength in meditating on this today.
You can read more from Billy’s archive here or follow him on Twitter @billyhumphrey1