Turning the Corner

A month ago my wife had a pretty significant surgery.  The surgery was suppose to start at 2:30 and be done by 4ish.  What I’ve learned with doctors is time is merely a suggestion at best.  The operation didn’t begin until 4:30… Yes I am still angry… I am also sure they will want their payment on time.  I will be sure to send it in on “doctor’s timing.”

I was ok waiting for the first hour or so.  I had great company and white cheddar popcorn.  Those two things should make waiting easier for anyone right?  Well then the first hour went by… Then the second hour… Then the third hour… All the while no updates…  

This tends to be a little stressful when you are waiting to hear if your wife has cancer or not.  I have been some stressful moments in life.  Things like game winning kicks in games that don’t matter and trying to get to the gas station while on super empty. (Super empty is the empty you are on when you kept driving for some time to see how far you can go on empty.) For some reason none of these moments prepared me for this level of stress.

I Person after person was leaving the same waiting room I had been in longer than them.  I could not understand why they were getting good news and leaving and I was having to wait.  At this point I was trying to decide how vulgar I could get with a nurse in front of my mother.

I made up my mind that when my wife’s doctor came out that I was going to unload a combination of words towards her that would let her know how unpleased I was with my wait.  That’s a kind way of me saying I was going to go off in a spectacular way.

After five hours the moment finally came…  The doctor had to know I was furious because as she turned the corner before she was even close to me she said “good news there is no cancer.”  Immediately the anger and frustration was gone.  I knew Andrea was all right so every bit of waiting was ok.  It was when the doctor turned the corner with good news.

That night God spoke this to me for 2017.

2017 will be a year of turning the corner.  For a long time many people have wondered and wandered to find meaning to what seemed like closed door after closed door.  They were not closed doors as much as they were Godly direction.  It’s not that anything was wrong with you.  It’s that God has set you a part for something that did not fit within your realm of understanding.

When we set out in life to do the things God has put in our heart we view through our perspective.  What that simply means is we typically confine God to our understanding, our life experiences and what we have already seen.  We serve a God who is constantly beginning a new work so often times there is a season of life where God has to expand your thinking so you can entirely embrace where He is leading.  That’s where many of us have been.  He told us no to things to better shape in our hearts what He was saying yes to.

In the coming years I believe God is going to use less professionals for His work.  Christianity has become a profitable venture in America.  You can achieve wealth, fame and power in relatively short time frames.  Because of this many people have sought to be in ministry and become very good at doing ministry to satisfy those desires.  The American Church has more talent and gifting in it than possibly ever before.

The proclivity we have as people is to trust in our strengths.  I believe that has happened.  We believe God will move to greater measures because of our gifted speakers, dynamic worship and world class structure.  None of those things are evil.  In fact we should aspire for them; however, when those things are trusted in they form idols in our heart.  

So God is raising up people who have been considered “outsiders” if you will.  People who lack certain training or lack certain church etiquettes.  People who are seen as a liability because of their individualistic nature and people who don’t get it right always.  People who make established groups nervous because your only allegiance is to what you believe is right.  Why these people?  God is after willing vessels and not professional ones.

In 2 Kings 4 we see the story of the woman who is in financial need so her sons aren’t delivered into slavery so Elijah tells her to go and gather any empty vessels so God can fill them with oil.  What’s interesting about the command is Elijah did not say “go get any empty oil vessels.”  He said “any empty vessel.”  There are many people who are bound up in slavery to sin.  In this season God is saying the same message that Elijah said, “any empty vessel will be filled.”  All of this is so God’s children can be free.  

So yes you with the continual and perpetual sinful struggle can be used.  Yes you who has a tendency to be inconsistent can be used.  Yes you who still has a multitude of questions can be used.  You simply must present yourself empty before God.  The beauty of our weaknesses is they should be the very things that drive us to God’s feet and not away from Him.

I’m not sure why this is any surprise to us.  God didn’t use many formally trained people in scripture.  This is not an excuse to dismiss study and training.  The fact that God can use the unequipped is not a valid reason to remain ignorant and under developed.  This is simply a time to stop seeing those two achievements as the mark that you can be used by God.  We become a danger to ourselves and others when we believe God moves based off our work ethic, resources, and gifting.

Some of you have felt mismanaged, pushed to the margin and forgotten.  God bruised you to build you.  He allowed you to be torn down to team you up with the right people.  You have been seen as a “weak link,” “liability,” and “non-conformist.”  Man’s rejection was actually God’s acceptance all along.  God is going to use you to confuse the proud.  Your work will not always be done as good as those that came before you.  You will make mistakes.  The reason God is going to use what you are doing is not because you do everything right but because your heart is right.  Don’t allow success cause you to lose your innocence before God.

In light of this we need to be more patient with one another.  We need to disciple one another.  We need to remain humble before God.  Do everything for God’s glory only.  Watch out for a rebellious spirit.  The body of Christ is full of many different view points, understandings and ideologies.  All of which are needed and beneficial to God’s purposes.  We need each other.

This year God is making space inside for the outsiders.  It’s time to turn the corner for those who have been walking down the hall of waiting for a long time.  You may feel like you’ve waited forever but I can promise you it won’t matter when God turns the corner with good news.

Daniel Johnson

Lead Pastor, The Movement Church