I’m sure you have heard or read the phrase “May the fourth be with you” today. For most everyone, its significance is connected to Star Wars. Not for me. Today marks the 21st anniversary of the day I surrendered to the call to preach.
You may find that word “surrendered” to be a bit odd or churchy. It is really the best way to describe it. Like O. J. Simpson driving miles down the road to get away from the police, I fought against God for 2 years. OJ didn’t drive for 2 years, but he eventually surrendered to the authorities. Like OJ, I surrendered to an authority but this One is named Jesus. He had a call on my life to proclaim the truth, to declare liberty to the captive, to warn people of the dangers of sin. On Sunday, May 4, 1997, I told God “Yes!”
Do I regret it? Not for a second! Has it been difficult? More difficult than you will ever imagine. So is life! You and I have problems. People have been critical (I guess they had nothing better to do). Thankfully, I learned a long time ago to fix my eyes on Jesus. When you are called by God, you have to have tunnel vision and tunnel hearing. You may fix your eyes on what God has called you to do and drown out the voices that will distract you from your heavenly mission.
Did God call me because I was some super-awesome guy? Not at all! He called me because He knew He could do a miracle with a shy, backward guy from Portsmouth, Virginia who had nothing to bring to the table. And I’m grateful! Because of that call, I wake up every morning to see what He has in store and what He wants me to do.
What is my prayer after 21 years? That the coming years will be my best years. That God will use me to draw more people to Him. That God will speak life through me into the hopeless. That He will expand my territory. That mediocrity won’t be enough. That I will have greater determination and greater power from the Holy Spirit. That I will experience the miraculous. That I will love like Jesus loves. That I will be able to hear God’s voice and act upon it much better than I have in the last 21 years. That I will not compromise for one single second and be known for what I am for not what I am against. That I will preach with greater enthusiasm and walk with greater wisdom. That I will lead by example as a pastor, father, and husband. That I will not be distracted by good things that are not God things. And that I will finish the race of my life well when that time comes and hear “Well done Thou good and faithful servant.”
While many are saying “May the fourth be with you”, I am saying “May the power of the Most High be upon me”. That is more than enough for me!