But when God, who set me apart before I was born and who called me by his grace, was pleased to reveal his Son to me so that I might proclaim him among the gentiles, I did not confer with another human being at any timeâ€¦(Gal 1:15-16 ISV)
Itâ€™s easy for me to thank God while reminiscing about all the father figures Heâ€™s put in my life.
I suppose one of the dearest men that I have had the privilege of meeting over the years was an ordinary manâ€¦yet he had a profound impact on my life. He is best portrayed by his humility and sensitivity to the Lord.
He taught the adult Sunday School class in a small churchâ€”but there was nothing small about his love and commitment to the Lord. He was the Godliest man I have ever had the privilege of meeting. He was also one to emulate when it came to trusting the Lord in each area of his life.
In order to do this story justice, I must start at the beginning.
One day while standing in a bank line waiting to cash a checkâ€”I turned just in time to see this man turn and look at me from another line. After a short glance he turned the opposite directionâ€”bowed his head and began to weep for me. God had showed him that I had a call on my life, but that I was lost.
At that point we had never seen each other before. After cashing my check I left the bank and went home.
For the next three weeks the image of this man was continually on my mind and in my thoughts. I could not sleep at night for seeing his tears falling on the marble floor of the bank. I did not know that at the same time this stranger had three weeks of sleepless nights as well.
Three weeks later I woke up on Sunday morning with a real urge to go to church. I got in my car and drove to the closest church, but I had a sense that God said â€śNo, not this one.â€ť I then drove from church to church and each time I stopped, I sensed the Lord say â€śNo, not this one.â€ť After a while I had driven all the way across town and was now sitting in front of a little church with what seemed to be a light all around it. I seemed to have the sensation of being pulled to the front door. I got out of my car and went inside and sat on the back row next to the aisle. I only sat there for a moment when everyone began to go to their Sunday School classes. As I followed the people my age into a classroom, the first person I saw was the man in the bank. He was the Sunday School teacher and was standing in front of the chalk board. When he saw me he turned (as he had in the bank), and bowed his head and began to thank God for answering his prayer. That morning I accepted Jesus into my heart.
I soon moved from that town and have not seen the man since. He will never know the profound impact he had on my life. As a result of his prayers, I was birthed into the kingdom of God. I am sure by now this dear man has gone on to be with the Lord. However, I am still making deposits into his spiritual bank account with the men and women I birth into the kingdom. Thank God that this same kind of passionate praying still works today.
After all these years I often think about this humble man. I still have that deep desire to be as effective as he was. Even though I have traveled all over the world (he never made it far from his home), I have come to the conclusion that it is not how far you go but how effective you are. He was effective!
Thank you for allowing me to start my Christian life by seeing humility and passion for the lost at its highest possible level. Help me to be an example to others as this wonderful spiritual father was to me.
Apostle John Dean Copyright 2009 All Rights Reserved
Alliance International Ministries