May the Fourth (Has Nothing to Do with Star Wars for Me)

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!

19 thoughts on “May the Fourth (Has Nothing to Do with Star Wars for Me)

  1. Ahhhh,congratulations! Happy preaching anniversary.I’m so glad you heard that call. Kind of fun, I was 13 when I was baptized and to celebrate my dad and I camped out on the street to get in line for Star Wars. So, today is a good day, with lots of fond memories.

  2. Congratulations!!

    Can women become pastors?
    Part of my struggle in life has been a lack of vocation but I feel very passionate about being a Christian and I feel that God is trying to say something to me but I cannot discern what it is but it is connected to faith.
    Do you mind me asking how did you know exactly that this was your calling? If it isn’t too nosy to ask(!), how were you shown the way?

    1. I was in a denomination where I was trained that women could not be called to preach or pastor. I was told that women who professed a call of God on their lives were all about womenโ€™s lib. In recent years, I have encountered pastor friends of mine who give pretty strong biblical support and a better understanding of the culture of the day in reference to the verses used against women in ministry. I know some fantastic ladies who minister. For me, it has been a struggle over what I was taught versus greater understanding over time.

      In regarding to affirming a call, the best way I have learned has been by going in a different direction. I have been disciplined for my disobedience (which in my case became delayed obedience). Scripture, Godโ€™s Spirit, and affirmation from other believers helped me also. I hope this helps.

      1. Thank you for your honesty.
        Yes this does help me.
        God allowed me to go so far with my free will but the whole time he had a rope round my waist so I wouldn’t fall off the precipice. He gave me an unlimited amount of rope to freely go far in any direction I chose but when I got close to the precipice he pulled me back.
        It in a hugely humbling experience to feel God’s love for a really lost sinner. I have really felt that saving grace he gives to his lost sheep.
        I left a large friendship base of stubbornly atheist people.
        Deep down I know that somehow and someday I must go back to these old friends and minister to them.
        I am starting to feel that.
        I am so unprepared though and don’t have courage at the moment.
        I guess that God calls us to minister to were we are not wanted, rather than stick with what is safe and easy for us.
        God bless.

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