I received the call at 3:35 pm on Monday, October 3rd. I was working in my home office on one of the new week’s priorities.
“He isn't going to make it. We need you to be the keynote speaker for the High Tech Prayer Breakfast on Friday,” Matt said.
Canceling a Week of Appointments
He explained why the keynote speaker had to cancel. I agreed to speak. We ended the conversation, and my week’s priorities were changed in an instant. The first thing I did was drop to my knees and start praying. I asked, “Now what, God? What exactly do you have in mind? This is your event, and I am your servant. Help me.”
The next thing I did was cancel all my appointments for the week. I needed to spend time in prayer and preparation. This is the biggest event in the Atlanta technology community, and it’s a prayer breakfast. God chose me to tell my story of how Jesus came into my life and changed me forever. I went from being king of my life to making him King of my life.
Godly Support Just in Time
I called Dave Mims who heads up the intercessory prayer team for the Prayer Breakfast. I asked him to start praying for my message and preparation time. He put the word out immediately, and I knew I was covered.
Then I called Ellen who is the most faithful intercessor I know, and she prayed with me right over the phone. She said God told her months ago I was being called to something big for Him, but she wasn't sure what it was. Now she knew.
It was time to listen to God. The first thought I received was this. He set this event in motion even before the world began. He is in control. I was chosen to be the keynote, not on Monday, but long ago. He knew. I didn't. This thought comforted me.
God Gives Me a Vision
Then God gave me the close of the talk. He told me I was to ask, “What about you? Is this the day of your salvation?” He told me I was to ask people to stand if today was the day they would give their lives to Jesus. If they would get off the throne of their lives and give it to Him. And the details of the close proceeded from there.
What hit me hard was a vision he gave me. He showed me hundreds of people standing when I gave this invitation. Really, hundreds. I was so excited I could hardly contain myself. I was dancing around my home office.
A Miracle About to Happen
Imagine hundreds coming to know the Lord and changing the course of their lives, the lives of their families and everyone else in their lives. Jesus can do this. He did it in my life and in the lives of so many I know.
The day of the breakfast came. I had slept fitfully the night before. God was continuing to talk to me, and he changed a big part of my talk. I got up at 4 am, prayed and practiced this new idea he wanted me to include. He never did change the close from the first moment he gave it to me on Monday.
Matt McConnell, the emcee for the prayer breakfast, introduced me. I went through my talk knowing the close was coming. I couldn't wait to get there. I wanted to see God’s vision become a reality right before my eyes.
The moment came. I said, “If this is the day of your salvation, if this is the day you give the throne of your life to Jesus, if this is the day you are changed forever, then stand up.”
The Miracle Doesn’t Happen
I waited. The room was very quiet. You could hear a pin drop. I looked at the crowd of 1,500 people. My eyes scanned from one side of the ballroom to the other. I remained quiet. It seemed like an eternity. Time stood still. No one stood. Not one.
Then to my right one person, a young man, stood. I was so relieved. I looked at him, pointed to him and said, “Thank you.”
I continued to invite others to stand. Another person stood. Then another. And another. One here. One to my left. One in the back. One in front. When I concluded, there looked to be maybe twenty. Twenty, maybe less. Not hundreds. That was it. What happened, I thought?
I told this story to a mentor and he said, “God calls people to him. You can’t be so arrogant to think people came to accept Christ as Lord and Savior because of something you said. It is not you. It is Him. Never forget this. All you can do is what he asks of you.”
I can think of this in one of two ways:
1 I can rationalize for God. I can use my imagination and ascribe to God what he really meant when he gave me the vision of people standing. I can develop a plan and narrative around it explaining how God is ultimately going to make this vision a reality.
2 I can accept it did not happen. I don’t understand it. I can trust Him.
I know this. I was given the vision of all those people standing. I saw it. It did not happen the way I expected. I am giving this one to God. All I can do is what He asks me to do.
My faith rests not in visions, not expectations, not outcomes. My faith rests in God.
If you’ve ever had a vision from God that did not happen, tell me about it.