Several weeks after our last General Council, I received a phone call from Dr. Melvin Maxwell, one of CCCU’s most outstanding leaders. He had heard about some of the decisions made at the Council and he was thrilled with the results. He then said, “I would like to suggest that we take an issue of The Evangelical Advocate and dedicate it to the subject of loyalty.” So we have decided to take this issue and write articles on loyalty. Our prayer is that you will be challenged and blessed by these thoughts that deal with this very important subject.
In Deut. 5: 7 God said, “You shall have no other gods before me.” God created us with the capacity and the need for just one God. Jesus made it clear, “No man can serve two masters, he will love only one and hate the other.”
Tragically, in America our gods are money, power, sex and self interest. The Bible calls this idolatry.
The fact is we are all going to bow down and worship someone or something. Some bow down at their own shrine and worship themselves. Whatever or whomever our heart is obsessed with is our god. It could be one’s self, another person or some ambition.
I must remind you that God will not share the throne of your heart with you or anyone or anything else. He must be first in our affections, ambitions and appetites. The reality is that not every relationship and desire is evil in and of itself. At times even good and legitimate desires can cause us to miss God’s will in our lives.
After 18 years of pastoral and administrative ministries, I was looking forward to entering the field of itinerant evangelism. It was at this time that I also received the invitation to become the president of World Gospel Mission. I was greatly honored to receive this call to serve an outstanding missionary sending organization. However, my life-long desire was to be an evangelist.
I now had two open doors for ministry before me. I wrestled with this decision for many months. I was very close to declining the WGM opportunity and pursuing my desire to be an evangelist.
It was on a Sunday morning in early August and I was preaching at the Fairmount Wesleyan camp meeting. I was challenging the people to make a full surrender to the Lordship of Christ even with the good and legitimate things in their lives.
While preaching the Lord was dealing with my own heart. It seemed that he was asking, “Would I be willing to give up my desire to be an evangelist and do whatever He asked even if it did not involve a full time preaching ministry?” I knelt at the altar that morning and told the Lord once again that the most important thing to me was to be in the center of His will. In that moment I surrendered to Him my love for preaching.
When I renewed this covenant with the Lord, it was immediately clear to me that
He was leading me to serve with World Gospel Mission. I obeyed His leadership and He blessed us with 22 years of involvement in world evangelization. It is a decision I have never regretted.
It was amazing to me the preaching ministry I was able to combine with my administrative responsibilities at WGM. Since that day I have preached the gospel on five continents and in almost every State in the Union.
My challenge to you is to submit every good and legitimate thing in your life to God; be loyal to Him in all things and allow Him to be Lord of all. It always pays to live in the very center of His will.