God’s Timing Is Just Right — Always
“Is your heart right?” his wife asked him.
My friend Luke told me he volunteered to go to Haiti. He and I are a lot alike. We are not missions people. But his church organized this mission trip, and he decided to go. When they asked, he just said, “Yes.”
I asked him, “Why did you say you would go?”
“I really don't know. I just knew I needed to do it,” he answered.
When he got home and told his wife, she asked if his heart was right. He told me he didn’t know how to answer her question.
He asked me, “You go on these mission trips to Uganda. How do you know if your heart is right?”
I said, “My heart is never right. But I agree anyway because, like you, I know I should do it.”
I know this struggle well.
I’ve been traveling to Uganda for four years. Kathy and I will be going again this September. I remember the first year like it was yesterday because the second after I committed, I regretted it. I went through two gigantic struggles. The first was trying to figure out how to tell Pastor Elijah I changed my mind. The second was wrestling with what I would speak about.
My heart did not get right until I arrived in Uganda, two days before the conference something happened. God made my heart right. It was like He threw a switch. One moment I was totally consumed with myself, my flesh, and the next, I was following the Spirit.
Here is my story.
The morning after I committed to go to Uganda, I woke up, and my first thought was, What did we commit to? I never went on a mission trip. My mission field is here in Atlanta, not in Africa. How do I tell Pastor Elijah ‘No?’
This internal struggle went on for three months. Pastor Elijah returned to Atlanta, and I met him at a Starbucks and told him, “You don’t know what you are asking me to do. I am involved in five active deals, High Tech Ministries, my community, kids, a wedding, and my church. I don’t have time to prepare a week’s worth of speeches and spend two weeks in Uganda. You don’t know what you are asking of me. I am totally stressed out!”
Pastor Elijah sat there, very calmly, with no expression on his face.
I kept talking or rather ranting, some more. He didn’t change his demeanor. When I was finished, he said, “You have to trust God. He asked me to ask you, and it was the Holy Spirit who prompted you to say, ‘Yes.’”
I was in.
Then came the next struggle, figuring out topics on entrepreneurship which would serve the needs of this audience. An audience I knew nothing about. An audience made up of a culture which was completely foreign to me. I struggle coming up with topics for an Atlanta audience. This was a whole new level of struggle.
Over time, after countless hours of stress, I was forced to pray. Not the short, “Please, God, help me” kind of prayer. But the, “You have to step in here. Fix this. Fix me. Get my heart right. Give me the topics. Give me the details. Please save me!” kind of prayer.
This was the beginning of my heart’s transformation.
I would have moments of complete surrender. This would be followed by days of struggle when all I could ask was, “Why me? Choose someone else. Get me out of this.”
But God, like Elijah, just sat there quietly. Day after day. Week after week. Month after month. He knew. I knew. He chose me to go to Uganda. He would make it right. I would prepare the right talks. I would deliver them, all because He would make my heart right at the very moment it needed to be right. I knew he wouldn’t call me to Uganda to fail but to make an impact.
This is what I told Luke.
“Right now, your heart is not right. That is why you are conflicted. And that is not God. But don’t worry. God will make it right, even if it happens the moment you step off the plane.”
This is my fifth year going to Uganda to speak to Youth Ablaze. The conference has grown from three thousand delegates from three African nations to twelve thousand delegates from ten nations. In spite of the success of the conference, I still go through a period of rebellion. My flesh is always in control until I step onto that stage and see the expectant faces of the audience. At that moment, there is no rebellion. There is just pure joy. The Holy Spirit has me.
My advice is to say, “Yes!” God will make your heart right. His timing is perfect. Always.
High Tech Prayer Breakfast
Deuteronomy 31:6 So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the LORD your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.