Several years ago, the Lord drastically changed the direction of my life and I still haven’t recovered.
I spent all of High School knowing what I was going to be. I loved music and anything related to it. The Lord whispered my name when I was fifteen and told me what I supposed to be focusing on: becoming a pastor of music and worship. Sweet!
Through that first church in north Mississippi all the way to California, the Lord had me on a lot of adventures with music, worship, theology, and production.
Then, he whispered my name again. What I had prepared to be and was doing was now going to be laid aside. Now, I was going to begin focusing on teaching the Bible instead of singing the Bible. Now, if you don’t know: there’s a big difference between the two!
In making the transition, I wondered what in the world I would do with the musical, theatrical, and production experience I’d amassed in about seventeen years of worship ministry. Honestly, it felt almost like I’d wasted that part of my life. Don’t get me wrong: the ministry was fantastic and I worked with some amazing world-changers but if I was now called to lay all that down…why in the world did I have to learn it in the first place?
Then the Lord called me (and my sweet wife, Patty!) to plant a church. And then, the answer to why the Lord needed to teach me what He did for all those years became clear. The organization, production values, planning, preparation, and execution of starting a church isn’t much unlike planning a night of worship or a theatrical production.
The Lord drastically changed the direction of my life and although I’m still trying to stay “a retired worship pastor”, the wisdom He taught me was proven immeasurable. God had a plan all along…who knew?
It took a few years for me to see God’s ultimate purpose in this. It may take longer for you. Regardless, we find a great reminder in Scripture about our need to gain wisdom from God’s perspective. King Solomon, the son of King David, told us his purpose statement for writing what is called the book of Proverbs in Proverbs 1:1-6. Therein, we find the manual we need for understanding:
The proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel: for gaining wisdom and instruction;
for understanding words of insight; for receiving instruction in prudent behavior,
doing what is right and just and fair; for giving prudence to those who are simple,
knowledge and discretion to the young— let the wise listen and add to their learning,
and let the discerning get guidance— for understanding proverbs and parables,
the sayings and riddles of the wise.
The wisdom we need to make sense out of the twists and turns in life don’t come from mere age. It comes from a saturation of our minds and hearts in the Lord’s wisdom. One reason I love reading the Proverbs so much is it will change your thinking in a hurry. When you realize how much “life” is packed into this thirty one chapter book, you’ll wonder where it’s been your whole life.
Not only does it teach our minds to think like one of God’s children, it trains our hearts to beat like one too. I encourage you to start today reading a chapter of Proverbs every day. Today, read all of Proverbs 1. Tomorrow read Proverbs 2 and so on.
At the end of this month, not only will you have read through an entire book of the Bible, you’ll find the Lord transforming your mind and heart as He instructs you in the manual for life.