Today I want to write about one of my 13 guys, the one I spend the most time praying over. I actually know and have talked to him the least of my 13, but as soon as I met him, I knew he was special and that I really wanted to pray for him.
We met on a field trip to go sort some of the 225,000 pounds of food the people of my church donated to a local food bank. He mentioned in passing that he was really glad that there was no permission slip needed for this trip, and I was curious so I asked why. That’s when he told me his whole life story, that his parents were divorced and that his dad was very much not approving that he would attend church. So he would sneak off and attend every church service and event whenever he could, but because of his dad’s opposition, he was very sporadic and couldn’t attend any event that needed parental permission.
Here’s a guy that had his seeds planted by someone, and he has already faced great opposition to his faith, and if it survives, it’s going to be really strong, and really amazing. So I have just been praying that it will survive and grow into an amazing harvest. He’s being obedient to his Heavenly Father, even if his earthly father couldn’t be more opposed.
His story really inspired me and it made me think about my own life. I really feel between my day job working on the Bible at YouVersion, and all the ministry stuff I do on the side, that this is an amazing time in the history of the church. I often wonder if this is what the first disciples felt like, this feeling that God is doing something big in the world and how lucky we are to get to be a part of it.
But there is a big difference between them and me. They were opposed all day long. They were thrown into prison, tortured and persecuted for their faith. While this young man hasn’t had that experience either, but he has faced strong opposition to his choice to become a Christian from his own family.
Though sometimes I feel opposed, I don’t have anywhere near that kind of opposition. I’m free to largely do whatever I want, whenever I want. And sometimes, I don’t want to be obedient. Sometimes I’ll say, “God, I know that’s what you want me to do, and nothing’s stopping me, I just don’t want to do it so I’m not going to.”
I can say that I want bold faith all day long, and that I want to be a great Christian as much as I want, but I can’t even tie the shoes of someone that faces so much daily opposition and yet remains obedient. That’s bold obedience.
And he’s one of my core 13, one of the really special ones I pray for because I see God’s hand on him. I pray that he never lets up on that obedience. And, selfishly, I pray that I would get a taste of bold obedience too.