This morning at Chase Oaks Church I heard the most inspiring and understood message from our senior pastor, Jeff Jones. This message truly helped me realize the path I had taken to start my ministry. He explained the faith catalysts that lead you to your purpose that God has planned for you. It’s so powerful and I want to share it with you.
The first catalyst he spoke of is practical Bible teaching. This doesn’t mean to read the Bible but to put the Living Bible into action. Apply the Bible to your life each and every day. Think before reacting, what does the Bible teach us to do in this situation? Ask God before asking yourself. The Bible teaches us how to live in every situation choosing good over evil. Every issue is address by God in His divinely inspired Word. Use it always and in every situation.
This catalyst truly was the first step for me to change and transform my heart. This is where I learned to trust God. I had many trials coming my way daily, way more than I could handle. I remembered a pastor once saying, “You won’t handle anything on your own. You have to ask God to handle it for you.” I went to the Bible and it was there for me to see and apply.
“The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles.” –Psalm 34:17
The second faith catalyst Jeff spoke of was providential relationships. I scratched my head on this one, “Wait, what???”. He began to explain that God puts people (provides people) in our lives to grow our faith. There are no “chance” meetings, only “God provided” meetings. Another AH-HA moment for me and my ministry. I had started Grateful Gratitude to share my gratitude and appreciate the blessings God has given me. It was a good start but soon He placed people in front of me to do a totally different type of work. That work was a ministry.
Shortly after starting my gratitude walk He introduced me to a local crime advocate that saw my ministry clearly and asked me to help local victims of violent crime. She has given me the opportunity to gift gratitude hearts to these women and children and instill HOPE in them. I do this by having them hold the gratitude heart and expressing gratitude for something God has blessed them with. It could be the security of a job, a safe place to live, healthy children, or anything that turns their anxiety and worries back to God. And yes, again, it was in the Bible for me to read.
Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and he will give you everything you need. Luke 12:31
Faith catalyst number three, your private disciplines. May I just say I love the word “disciplines” because it reminds of the word disciples. So our private disciplines are how we connect with God in private. We do this by reading the Bible, praying, speaking in conversation throughout the day with God, and any intentional activities that draw us closer to God.
I found myself after starting my ministry I was starting to help those God put in my path. These people needed hope and to help them I needed to study Him more. Daily, I would listen to inspirational messages on YouTube like Above Inspiration or a sermon from a pastor that the sermon title drew me in. This led to me watching more informational videos on TUBI like “Drive Through History The Gospels” and “Jesus the Game Changer”. These are short episodes that I could learn more about Jesus and His ministry and Christianity in small bites. I took notes so I wouldn’t forget. I have include links for you to discover these wonderful series. Another fabulous source of information is Bible Talk TV.
Number four faith catalyst is our personal ministry. I have talked about how I led up to working at a ministry but I wasn’t yet at my “personal ministry”. I was serving others but I needed to dig deep in my heart and find out what my life experiences were and how could I best use them. I have spoken many times that I was a single mom and never knowing how I would pay my mortgage of feed my child. My ex-husband became addicted to methamphetamines and alcohol. He was not present and it was a very dark time in my life. How could I share this experience with others taking this walk and give them HOPE?
There was only one way, forgiveness. Once I forgave my ex-husband truly in my heart God opened my eyes. He was telling me, “You don’t have to specifically help women with the same problem, you have to not be ashamed to tell your story. I will help others see your faith in Me through your walk.” It was that simple. Forgive whatever you hold onto so God can help be a catalyst to your personal ministry. Guess what? It was there in the Bible for me to read and apply.
But with you there is forgiveness, so that we can, with reverence, serve you. Psalm 130:4
Lastly, the fifth faith catalyst is our pivotal circumstances. What negative and positive things has God walk through with you that you can testify for His glory? First, you must recognize that trials are for us to see God’s goodness. You won’t be able to move through this step if you only see bad in negative situations. Let me give you an example of this going back to my first marriage.
When I was married to my first husband I struggled daily with if he would come home, was he with another woman, would he wreck his truck and kill someone or himself? I would lie to my family about my home life and my marriage until I could no longer take it. He came home one night and fell to the ground in our front yard. I opened the front door to see him rolling in the grass saying, “The devil is in me, get him out. Help me.” I didn’t want to turn my back on my husband but I no longer wanted to suffer or not have a happy life. I was shielding a small daughter from this and we both deserved better.
I filed for divorce and moved to Texas for a better life. My daughter and I flourished here. I met my wonderful husband, Wes and we just celebrated fifteen years of marriage. I had this awful first marriage. How was I going to see good in that? I prayed and said to God that I wanted to forgive my first husband and move forward in a positive light. God answered that I have to forgive him so I could move on. I first thought that was an impossibility. I soon realized that my first husband did have good qualities along with his demons. He loved my daughter dearly. He was so proud to be her father. He was a hard worker before his addiction and provided for us. As I started listing thing good about him (I am confident with God’s suggestions) the dark spot in my heart started to light up. Also, I recognized that God blessed me with a second husband that was so opposite of the first and He rewarding me for understanding the walk He took me through was for good. Forgiveness and gratitude brought me through and opened my eyes.
Since everything God created is good, we should not reject any of it but receive it with thanks. 1 Timothy 4:4
My life has changed since opening my heart to what God’s purpose is for me. I understand that we are here a short time and all God asks us to do is accept His son, Jesus Christ, know only one God, and love our brothers and sisters. When we do this, we find our purpose and Hid good on earth. Blessing and my gratitude-LoLo
Here is the link to Pastor Jeff’s message if you would like to watch it.