“If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honor, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.” (2Tim. 2:21)
There was a prayer mountain in east Texas where we would sometimes go to fast and pray.
The ministry that owned the land had built the prayer chapel as their first project after purchasing the property.
Ministers and others who needed a place to fast and pray were welcome to reserve the prayer chapel in advance. I would often go there and seek the Lord when I needed direction or a particular answer from God.
We all know that we don’t have to go to a particular place to meet with God, but there is just something special about setting aside and sanctifying a certain time to seek Him alone.
For me, this was the prayer chapel in east Texas.
I had felt for a while that the Lord was beginning to change the direction of our ministry. Bro. Allen had felt led to leave the Servants of the Lord, and one of the radio stations had gone out of business.
I saw the Lord beginning to close doors and I had gone to the prayer mountain to seek Him about what He would have me to do.
I had been there for about a day, when the Lord directed me to leave the chapel and go out into the woods. I began walking down a path, when I found myself standing at the top of a deep valley.
As I was wondering what to do next, the Lord spoke to me.
“See that rock down to your left, go there.” I made it down to the rock, and the Lord spoke again, “See the little tree down to your right, go there.” Then the Lord said, “See the bush down to your left, now go there.”
This continued on until I found myself at the bottom of the valley. The Lord then spoke and said, “Now look back to the top and see where you have come from.”
I turned and looked back up to the top. It was only then that I realized He had directed me in a zigzag direction down the side of the mountain.
There was no path down that I could see from the top, and looking from the bottom, I could see no path back to the top: only the landmarks that He had directed me to go to.
“What did I do?” the Lord said. “You brought me down the mountain” I replied. “And I will take you up again.” He said, “You may not see the path that I will take you down, but I will lead you every step of the way”.
Suddenly, I was in the Spirit and began to have a vision from God. In the vision, I saw a white haired craftsman in a workshop and he was building what appeared to be a very detailed and intricate miniature house.
He would take the particular tool that he needed down from the shelf and very carefully use it to form part of the house, and then he would return it to the shelf and pick up another tool and use it.
Occasionally, he would pick up a tool he had previously used and use it again on another part of the house.
The Lord then spoke to me and said, “You are a tool in my hand. I will use you in building my house, and then I will place you back on the shelf.”
Then the vision was over and I followed the directions of the Lord back up the mountain. I then realized that God was not going to put me in one ministry and leave me there, but rather He had called me to be a vessel that He would use throughout the body of Christ to perform His will.
Not long after this vision that God had given me on Prayer Mountain, He called me to begin and Pastor a church to be called “Faith Tabernacle”.
We started as a house church and later moved to a building. While pastoring this small church, I came to know and empathize with other pastors in the same situation.
Many pastors of small congregations are not only the preacher, but also the janitor, the Sunday school teacher, the worship leader, the marriage and family counselor, the bus driver, and any other position that others in the church cannot or will not fill.
Sometimes he may even work a full time job. He’s tired and worn out, unable to study as he should, and both he and his congregation need reviving.
However, for whatever reason, he feels that he cannot have an evangelist come to hold a revival. He feels that either the church can’t afford it or the offerings will be too small to support the evangelist.
God began to give me a great burden for these faithful pastors.
God had also given me a gift. Not long after I had first started preaching in nursing homes, I realized that something was not quite right.
God had given me an anointing to lead people to Christ on a one-to-one basis. It was nothing of me; it was a gift from God.
I would see others go up to someone and talk to them about salvation, share with them the way to be saved, explain to them there need and even show them in Scripture; only to have them nod in agreement and say that they would think about it.
I could go up to that same person, and after a few moments and a few words, they would be praying with me to accept Christ into their heart.
Again, it was not any special “talent” that I had or method; it was the anointing of God for salvation. I couldn’t explain it, it just seemed that the Holy Spirit would give me the words to not only bring someone to the point of salvation, but also help them cross over into it.
But preaching in front of a group of people was different. The Bible says in Romans chapter 12, that God gives different gifts according to the grace that is given.
When I first started in the nursing homes, I would preach from the Bible the message that I knew God had given me, yet there would be no visible response to that message.
There was a powerful evangelist in the same home church that we attended, and he had a mighty anointing upon his life. He would preach as a “flaming fire” (Psalms 104:4), and afterwards people would line up for prayer, for salvation, or to be filled with the Holy Ghost.
He and I had a chance to talk one day, and I shared with him the lack of response that I would have when I would preach. He said that he was going to be preaching at a nearby Church and invited me to come to the service.
At the end of the service, I entered the line of people that had come down for prayer, and when he laid his hands on me, I felt a mighty power come into my body.
At the next nursing home service, when I opened my mouth to preach, it was as if I became another person.
I couldn’t stand in one spot; I couldn’t keep my arms still; and the words flowed from me like an unstoppable river. When I did stop preaching, hands went up all over the room wanting to accept Christ.
I could hardly believe the difference.
I shared with the evangelist what had happened, and he told me that he knew when he laid his hands upon me that God was giving me the gift of preaching. From that point on, we began to see the great revival atmosphere in the nursing homes.
And now, years later, I was sensing that God wanted to use me as a tool in His hand to bring that same anointing and revival to the smaller churches that He had given me a burden for.