Thursday, March 4, 2010

Here am I. Send me. (Part 2)

Yesterday we left off at the part where God made it clear that He wanted me to attend Lighthouse and use my musical talent to serve Him there, which brings us to where God still had bigger plans than I did.

I knew that the group met at a home every Wednesday night for a small group Bible study. I had been putting off attending because it's a long drive for me (about 40 minutes) and was a little intimidated by the group. One day, the leader/ host posted on Facebook an invitation to join them. I remembered that I had told God I would get more involved and so I made the decision to at least go check it out. I thought that I would maybe mention it at some point that I was available to play piano for Lighthouse if they needed me. However, I wasn't eager to actually throw it out there because I'm a little shy when it comes to volunteering. If someone knows and they ask me, that's totally different than me saying, "Oh Oh! Pick me! I play piano!" I didn't have to jump up and down and volunteer myself, because God works around my limitations. Natalie announced that I play piano and sing, which gave me the opening to say, "I do and I'm willing to play for Lighthouse." Well that was easy enough -- I've played and sang for lots of churches. Service to God isn't that easy, because the leader said, "We're having a church plant committee meeting Sabbath at 1:30. Why don't you join us?" Suddenly I had gone from 'just the pianist' to an active part of planting.

Sabbath afternoon, I showed up at the meeting. We were talking about the Sabbath School classes and planning the worship service and basically what goes on Sabbath morning. While we were discussing SS and who was teaching what (keep in mind that there are only about 6-7 households right now), it came time to discuss the youth class. No one really wanted it. As we sat there discussing who could teach that class, I felt God nudging me. Poke. Poke. Poke. You've taught youth before. You enjoyed it. I've given you the gifts -- use them. I spoke up, "I'll teach the youth." God takes us out of our comfort zones so we will depend on Him.

All along, God has had a plan for me. He knew about Lighthouse before anyone thought of it and for the last two years, He has been leading me here. I really believe that. There are times in my life where I feel like God isn't speaking loud enough for me to hear, and then there are other times where I can hear God shouting to me exactly what He wants me to do. This is one of those times that God's voice has been loud and clear.

I told God that I would serve Him. He's endowed me with gifts and talents and I'm humbled that He wants me to use them to help lead others to Him. I feel a little bit like Moses.

But Moses said to God, "Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?"

And God said, "I will be with you. And this will be the sign to you
that it is I who have sent you: When you have brought the people out of
Egypt, you will worship God on this mountain."

Moses said to God, "Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them,
'The God of your fathers has sent me to you,' and they ask me, 'What is
his name?' Then what shall I tell them?"

God said to Moses, "I am who I am . This is what you are to say to the Israelites: 'I AM has sent me to you.' " Exodus 3:11-14

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?" And I said, "Here am I. Send me!" Isaiah 6:5-8

Here am I. Send me. (Part 1)

Don't tell God that you're willing to serve Him unless you are really willing to serve Him.

For the past couple of years, I haven't had time to be as involved in church as I'd like to be. I also haven't had a church that I could really call my church home. I have come to a point that not only do I have time to serve, but looking at the big picture I can see that God has had a place for me all along and has been working to move me in that direction even before I knew it.

About two years ago, I walked into the University City SDA Church for the first time. I had been toying with the idea of moving to Charlotte after graduation. As soon as I walked in the door, I felt welcome and wanted there. I visited multiple times over the next two years, but had made a decision to go back to Southern and get my bachelor's degree. However, the closer I got to actually attending Southern, the more uncomfortable I became with my decision and I was saddened by the fact that I wouldn't be able to attend UCSDA. After thinking it through and praying about it, I just didn't feel like God was leading me to go to Southern and made the decision to move to my parents (near Charlotte) and look for work. The one consolation to living in Podunk, NC was that I was close enough to attend UCSDA regularly.

Apparently though, that's not really where God wanted me. He just had to get me there to start laying out the rest of the plan. I began attending regularly and learned about Lighthouse. Lighthouse SDA Church is a brand new church that is being planted between where I'm living and Charlotte. Currently there is no SDA church in that area, and they need one. It's literally brand new as in, they haven't even had their first Sabbath yet. After hearing about it, I thought, "Well, when they get up and running, I'll check it out." God had bigger plans.

It seemed like every time I sat down to play piano, I would have this nagging thought that would not go away -- I wonder if Lighthouse needs a pianist.... Finally, one morning I told God that if He wanted me at Lighthouse and wanted me to play piano, they would have to ask me. I thought I had gotten off easy because only one person who was starting the group knew that I play piano, and I figured she had forgotten. God isn't limited by a person's limited knowledge. That night, a few of us were in the car together, two of whom are a part of the group planting the church. They were discussing various churches they had looked at and out of nowhere a hand came flying into the front seat, landed on my shoulder and the ONE PERSON who knew that I played piano said, "You play piano! And you sing! We need you!" I had to just laugh, and then I shared the conversation God and I had just that morning. Still, I was thinking that when they got up and running then I would be there and I would play piano and sing. God thinks bigger.

. . . To be continued. . .