Although I grew up going to church my whole life, it wasn’t until my junior year of high school that I surrendered my life to Christ. It was really a turnaround year where everything I heard about God became reality. It was no longer just information or religion; it was real. I encountered His presence. I experienced His love. I could no longer stay the same. My friends started to experience the same thing, and I went all-in.
After deciding to follow Christ, my life changed. It was shortly after being saved, where I sensed His call upon my life. I remember how I couldn’t wait for school to end. Not so that I could hang out with my friends, but so I could go home and read my Bible for hours. Whenever I had free time, I also went to my local church. I would just sit with my pastor and try to get as much wisdom as possible. I would also go to pray and clean and vacuum the youth sanctuary not because someone told me I should, but I just wanted to be in the house of God. All I wanted to do was honor and serve God.
I, of course had my doubts and struggles, especially with calling early on, but every time I prayed, the theme was the same. It was about being used mightily by God. I didn’t know what I was praying, but as a seventeen year old kid, I would pray that God would use me. Whether at church or at home, that was my prayer. I remember each and every night of kneeling at the side of my bed with tears rolling down my eyes, “God, use me. If You can use anyone, then use me. Use me so powerfully that only You could ever get the glory for it.”
It’s been almost fifteen years since those prayers. Looking back I can honestly say that God has been faithful. He has used me. He has received the glory for it. Yet, as He has used me more, I began to pray that prayer less. My prayers shifted and became about the events, the speaking engagements, the platform, the planning, the success, the strategy. They weren’t “bad prayers”, in fact God answered them. But in being used by God, that prayer of being used stopped flowing from my lips the way it did before I ever preached.
In no way, shape, or form have I made it or have I arrived, but I have become complacent in being used by God! How could I take such a thing for granted? Father, forgive me. I don’t want to carry forward in the same way. Father forgive me for allowing being used by You to cause me to stop hungering for more. Won’t You use me like never before? I don’t want to become a professional minister with experience and the know-how. I just want more of Your presence, I want greater intimacy. I want a fresh touch from heaven and a fresh anointing of the Holy Spirit.
As I remember those prayers of my youth, I pray again with tears in my eyes, “God, use me. If You can use anyone, then use me. Use me so powerfully that only You could ever get the glory for it.”