Have you ever been called out by God? I have.
It all started a few months ago, when I started getting this inclination that I needed to take a sabbatical. God told me to step away from the pulpit for six weeks, and so that’s what I did. At the beginning of the sabbatical, God told me something difficult, but something I needed to hear. He said:
I needed to learn I was not the leader of my church. He was.
This wasn’t the first time He had said something like that, but if God’s ever taught you a big, fat lesson, you know it sometimes looks like an onion—the learning comes in layers and those layers keep repeating themselves, over and over again.
Within the first week of my sabbatical, I got a call from my friend Jason. Jason had a vision while he was passing our church on the way to work, and called to tell me about it. In his vision, I was standing on the roof with my hands in the air. It was as if my body was saying, “I’m in charge here!”
But after watching me on the roof for a moment, he saw my arms sag into a position that clearly said, “I can’t do this.” As he drove, God spoke to him and said, “I have warring angels I will send to watch over the people of this church …
“If Scott will get down and let me do it.”
Having been clearly told what to do (I’m obedient when it comes to the Lord, I’ve learned it’s just better that way), I went up on the roof and did just that. I lifted my arms up in my best “I’m in charge, here” pose. Then let them sag, reflecting the humility and dependence God was clearly trying to teach me.
As I looked around, surveying the town below, I saw all the problems in our county.
I saw drugs, and alcohol, and deteriorating health. I saw family situations, political issues, and it was all more than I could handle. God was right—I couldn’t do this alone. So I prayed and invited the warring angels to come and take their place. I told God I would willingly step down and take my rightful place as the Lead Follower of The Oaks.
But God didn’t stop there.
Two weeks later, I was in my office when God told me to lie down on the floor like a dead person. Not one to argue with God, I did what I was told. I laid down on the ground, face up, and told God, “I die to myself and all that I want.”
“This church is yours, my life is yours.”
The next day, Jason called again. He had been driving past the church when he saw a vision of me lying on the ground beside the church, facing up like a dead man. “I’m not sure if that’s good, but that’s what I saw,” he said a bit sheepishly.
I checked my office for hidden cameras, but didn’t find any. How could he have known?