February 21, 2019 PT #2

 

Unity of Faith Family Worship Center

806 Cokey Road

Rocky Mount NC, 27802

 

Elder Nate Johnson

P.O. Box 1193

Tarboro, NC 27886

 

Re: What God called you to be/do?

Dear Pastor Chris Jordan,

Per your request in Sunday church service on February 17, 2019 during your sermon you reiterated and encouraged your congregation to submit to you in writing what it is that God has called them to or called them to do.  I’ll try not to be too lengthy but a little history will be needed to show how I got to that point in my life where the call was recognized and/or how God manipulated my circumstances like He did to Moses and others to help us to accept the call in our lives.  Yes, for many be called, but few are chosen and it’s my humble opinion that the called ones have options (to say no) that the chosen ones don’t have like Moses, David, Jeremiah, Jesus, Paul, (to name a few), to serve God! 

(Some background) …

In 1972 we a (family of 8) moved from the projects to the suburbs across town to a better way of life that our parents desired for us to have as a family unit.  While in the projects we went to Mount Olive Baptist church (it was mandatory), but when we moved across town my parents didn’t want to drive us across town so they gave us the option to choose a church in our new environment but it wasn’t (mandatory).  As children we chose not to attend church on Sundays but, we did visit churches from time to time.  As life will have it we grew into life as normal people do and experienced things both good and bad that will profoundly affect & shape our lives. 

(The call) …

I had an Isaiah and King Uzziah experience in my life in 1985 the year my father died.  Yes, God used death to get my attention concerning the plans He had for my life!  When my father died God used his death to bring both me and my baby sister Yolanda back into the church fold.  It was a Pentecostal Church this time around not a Baptist Church.  My sister was called to Evangelize and this was the beginning of the Lord revealing to me that he had called or was calling me into the ministry! 

Although, I wasn’t ready for the call my first church experience was a horrible one because the devil knew better than I did what God was calling me to.  I was met with fierce opposition and found myself perplexed, confused, and bewildered by what I learned and found out to be was WOLVES in SHEEP clothing.  You see I knew better than anyone else that I wasn’t a Saint before Salvation and never claimed to be, but, like a dog I was wagging my tail at any and everybody in the house of God because my mindset was we all made it to the other side. 

Yes, I’ve seen some of everybody from all walks of life but, regardless, to what you’ve been through or what God allowed you to experience in life my mindset still was we all made it over and escaped the clutches of our enemy the devil.  Um, but was I in for a rude awakening because a lot of selfish, judgmental, and self serving people going to church, and I learned that the hard way through those piercing trials God allowed them to take me through.  Those trials were so intense that I left the church perplexed, confused, and bewildered, because I knew enough of God to know that surely this wasn’t how the church ought to be operating while claiming to serve God or to be God’s servants!

It was like a boxer being KO’d for the first time but beating the count to ten and stumbling back to his corner for a breather to reestablish himself, and by the grace of God this is what I did (by leaving that church), and the breather came by God’s design.  I was like a man walking in the desert in need of some water because the church took water from me!  I met a lady name Dot Googe who took care of foster children in her home and taught them about God too, she saw me and recognized the calling on my life and knew I’ve been injured by the church.  So she invited me into her house on Sundays to worship God with her and her family; mainly children.

I worshiped, praised God and had church with her for about two weeks, maybe, three weeks at best, by then I was ready to go back to where I’ve been run off from but she strongly cautioned against it telling me that I wasn’t ready yet to return.  Even though they were vicious and ferocious I was ready because, I had a better understanding of what took place and had better insight and was ready to fight (if not for my dignity alone), but for the mere fact that the devil had discouraged and deceived me in my calling to serve God!  Oh, they welcomed me back with open arms and I sat right in the front row of the church signifying I’m here; the same one you ran off has returned; (mind you under the Lord instructions) not of myself!

(The call continues) …

I can remember one Sunday going to the altar for the Holy Ghost (per the preacher invitation) and as the preacher was praying for me fear came upon me and I said I’m scared.  The preacher ignored me and kept praying and the Spirit of God touched me so mightily that I shouted like David and my clothes were all over the place too.  I leaped with one step from the bottom of the pulpit to the top (three steps in all) but when I came to myself I was standing right in front of the Bishop seat.  When I came to myself I was a little embarrassed and stepped down from the pulpit and went to my seat.                         Page 2…   The call from God

 At the end of that service (I’ll never forget) the mother of the church slowly walked down the aisle and said to me; young man I’m not sure but I think you’re being called to preach God’s word.  She continued; I’m not sure but you wait on God He’ll show you and let you know.  Oh, and show me He did by showing me snippets of dreams here and there preaching His word!  I got married at the church too before leaving sometime later.  The pastor was a wonderful man of God and had a beautiful spirit too, but when folks are jockeying for positions usually they aren’t a reflection of who their leader is; usually they’re in it for all the wrong reasons. 

(The process continues) …

Well, after returning I didn’t stay there long because the Lord had released me within a month and this time; I gladly left because; I left on my own terms unlike the first time when I was forced out.  So here I was again out in the wilderness trusting God with nowhere to go until he led me to my sister church, name Cheryl (she’s a pastor now these days), but wasn’t back then.  This was the beginning of my javelin experience like David endured his with King Saul, but my javelin experiences didn’t end with one pastor. 

For some reason or another I’ve had to duck pastor’s javelins for reason I could never understand, at best it was baffling to me because, they would prophesy to me with words of encouragements from the Lord; but by the same token they themselves would become stumbling blocks to my progress or success in that – that the Lord was trying to accomplish in me.  I had a pastor tell me after letting me preach that I’ve tried to show her up by my preaching.  I’ve been slapped by this same pastor because I left her church.  I said Lord; if I had to run every message by her first then I rather leave because that was too much pressure for me to handle.

So here I go out in the wilderness again, but again I wasn’t out there for long before finding another church home led by God; only to hear more prophesies concerning God’s directions for my life.  Lord more javelins?  Yes, but Lord how long can I duck and maneuver around these javelins coming in my life as a young confused Christian man searching for the truth while in the midst of hearing directions for my life?  My sister Yolanda recommended my name to become an usher and Lord knows that was my heart desire (once I started ushering) unbeknownst to me while accepting the challenge. 

I had no usher experience but quickly the usher’s leadership responsibilities fell upon me as I led and taught many how to usher but the Holy Ghost my teacher was!  Even during live crusades, the Holy Ghost led and guided me in those public events too, but, this only brought more attacks by the church body oh Lord, more javelins!  I was voted to become the secretary of the Amour-bearers, also as an Elder I covered the church dance ministry but nothing came easy to me or for me in ministry.  In fact, others were chosen to become Elders and assistant pastors before I was as I continued keeping my nose to the grind serving the Lord ushering!

                                     Page 3…   The call from God

In fact, I was there longer than 95% of those that was chosen into ministry before I was but what was more perplexing than anything else was; they all laughed at me because they were chosen before me (with the exception of one Elder).  He comforted me because he thought it was wrong the way things unfolded and the selection process wasn’t fair.  It was similar to David being in the field watching sheep as his brothers were inside being considered as leaders; and like David I was being overlooked.  I continued serving the Lord nevertheless before being given an opportunity to join the Elders myself, because, many of them had left for one reason or another but there I was still faithful to the usher call! 

However, when the invitation was extended to me I turned it down because really I didn’t want any parts of it neither did I want to serve with the remaining Elders that scorned me during the first process but: for many be called, but few are chosen; the choice wasn’t mines to make; yet still I said no!  The pastor called to ask me and I said no to him too!  So I got tricked into the call before being ordained as an Elder before the congregation along with another brother named Bruce Johnson.  I was given my Elder position on a trial basis but come to find out that was the trick; the pastor ordained me and never look back lolJ!

(Still processing the call) …

Oh well, as you can see I’m still going through the process into the MINISTRY that God had called me to.  Let me say this without going into too many details concerning God’s call.  After being ordained, I suffered many more trials like David did “after he was called to be King of Israel” and not only did I not like it; I couldn’t grasp or understand it because I didn’t want it neither did I volunteer for it (ministry), but, I believe deep within my heart had I said yes sooner to God I could’ve spared myself some unnecessary trails and tribulations that I’ve suffered.

In fact, one of my biggest struggles that I’ve presented to God has been; Lord if you knew I was going to serve you why did I have to suffer some of the things I’ve suffered?  Mind you my mindset is and always has been based on what I know through God’s word that some sins; we inherent and others we learn because the sin/curse factor in our lives hasn’t been completed eradicated (at birth), but my struggles were; which ones I inherited and which ones I’ve learned?  Sorry to tell you but I could never honestly answer that question posed to God neither has He revealed those answers to me!

(On the path now) …

I remember say around 1993 when I participated with about 7 other speakers in a speaking program with 5 minutes speaking segments apiece and the bell rung on me and I was just getting started lol.  Um, I immediately knew from that point forward that I couldn’t participant in those types of programs and to date I’ve held firm on that revelation.  However, somewhere around 1995 a few of us were on our way from Hartford, CT. to Brooklyn, N.Y. to support the Pastor but he got into a car accident and the responsibility to preach the word felled on me.    Page 4…   The call

Oh, God was working and preparing me even back then because when those two opportunities presented themselves I wasn’t an ordained Elder!  In Brooklyn I used the storyline from Barbara Lynn 1968 hit song: Until then I’ll suffer…her man was mistreating her but she said in the meantime; she’ll suffer until her day come when she’ll do better.  I use this premise to preach about how we have to suffer until our change come, and from time to time throughout the message I would sing the lyrics to Barbara song: Until I’ll suffer while preaching God’s word.  Well, the pastor wanted to know what I preached that evening because the N.Y. crowd was pressing him and lining up at his door for a copy of that sermon! 

(Simmering in a pot) …

All Twelve Elders had to teach Sunday school back in Connecticut we did this on a rotating schedule.  Other than this I had spoken maybe three times before being ordained at Spiritual Life Fellowship Church.  Yet, still I couldn’t get away from the call that God had placed on my life; a part of me still didn’t want it because of the politics that I’ve seen in the church environment.  Some leaders will have acknowledged who they want to acknowledged and ignore who they want to ignore, but what’s puzzling to me is why do they ordain those who they won’t train and prepare for God’s work in the ministry?  This is just a rhetorical thought but a serious one…

Since moving to North Carolina I’m still simmering in a pot but every now and then the Lord will turn the fire up and let me speak/and or preach somewhere; but still its been a slow simmering over the 15 years that I’ve been here.  I often say to God Well Lord you got me down here in Baptist-ville but I’m not Baptist, yet still, I support my wife every second Sunday of the month (she’s Baptist).  She and I have preached a couple of tag team sermons together by the grace of God. I also have had single speaking engagements at various churches, again, by His grace.  I have bible study on Wednesday evenings at the homeless shelter in Tarboro, NC.  So the simmering is still taking place in my life as God prepares me in the ministry!

In closing, Pastor Chris God has called me to the ministry to preach and/or teach His word to His people wherever they may be.  Oh, He does this is various ways too, but, mostly, by invitations to other churches.  I’m aware of those prophesies and promises He has made to me over the years concerning ministry and although at times they seem bleak and unfulfilling; I have no other choice but to trust and wait on Him.  I’ve thought about starting a church from time to time in my carnal thoughts and/or carnal mind but in my spiritual mind I know better and I always say to myself; God haven told you to open or to start a church lolJ.

 

Elder Nate Johnson…