One person makes a difference


Photo courtesy of Salvatore Vuono/

When was the last time you heard a message and thought the speaker was directing it specifically to you? It’s like you’re the only person in the auditorium, an audience of one.

I had that sensation last week at church when a visiting pastor from the UK, Paul Scanlon, spoke. His message didn’t really have a title but it was about encouraging us all to know that we are useful to God.

When God wants to do something He always finds someone who He can use. Whether it was to wipe out all living creatures (he used Noah), to building the temple (Solomon), or to evangelize to the Gentiles (Paul).

David and the Temple

Scanlon anchored his message around David. David was chosen to be king when he was a teenage shepherd boy who wrestled lions and bears if they dared go after his sheep and wrote poetry to God as he tended the flock through the lonely nights.

“If we compare ourselves to David, we’re probably over qualified.”

When David was king he had a passion to build a temple as he was affronted by the fact he was housed in a palace but the ark of God dwelled inside tent curtains. (2 Samuel 7:2). So Nathan encouraged David to build it:

“Go, do all that is in your heart, for the Lord is with you.” (2 Samuel 7:3)

God didn’t give David the idea, He didn’t need a temple, but He honoured David’s idea. As most of you may know, David didn’t build the temple, his son, Solomon did.

I often find myself having an idea and rather than starting the process of engaging others or moving on it, I wait for some validation from God. Somehow confirmation will miraculously appear.

Sure the world is full of hair-brained ideas that have failed. And we don’t need more of them. So we shouldn’t be shooting off to do everything that comes to mind.

When I received a co-publishing offer for Angelguard I sought counsel from others in the industry. I could have gone yippee (I did do that) and signed the deal believing that was the path the Lord wanted for Angelguard.

But it was seeking out counsel that had me turn down the offer and more significantly opened a door to Lion Hudson who offered me a traditional contract.

Active Waiting

I’ve always been more of a thinker than a doer. These past few weeks I’ve been thinking a lot as I’ve waited. Whether it’s for new work, more sales of Angelguard, or the right words for the second novel.

God has chosen all of us to be a move of God. Sure some people will have BIG roles to play like leading mega churches, or massive revivals, or whatever. But we’ve all been chosen. We all have a responsibility to further the kingdom. It’s not just those revivalists or our pastor’s job. It’s for all of us.

That might just be by asking our neighbour to come to church with us rather than simply praying about it, or choosing to take the self-published route for your novel because it’s a genre not too popular in the CBA market at present (as a friend has recently done), or writing an email to a prominent author that I’m encouraging another friend to do.

“God isn’t fussy: He uses someone who is useable.”

So enough passive waiting for me. Time to start doing, and sharing with others the one or two of the ideas that have been percolating for a while.

Thanks Lord for the kick up the backside.

How do you actively wait when you have the seed of an idea? And especially one that you believe will bring God glory?

When did you last hear a message (it doesn’t have to be a Church one) that stung you into action?

4 replies
  1. Kathy N.
    Kathy N. says:

    This is so encouraging! Over-qualified compared to King David. Wow.

    I actively waited several decades for my first novel to find a traditional publisher. (Coming in October) While I waited, I tried to learn the craft. I sold several freelance articles, took classes, attended conferences, wrote for my church, and ghosted a couple of books.

    A recent Sunday School lesson on the priestly blessing in Numbers 6 has inspired me to measure my words and make sure I’m handing out more blessings than cursings in daily life.

  2. Joanne
    Joanne says:

    GASP! OK Ian. This speaks to me on a few levels. First off, wait until you receive your envelope and read the front cover! I have started doing just this a lot more and more recently. At one point I stopped in mid move and thought, should I pray before I do this? But I could hear God say, if it is something I would approve without question then why stall? I’m actually wondering WHO I AM these days? This is definitely NOT my old nature but it feels good and it’s EXCITING! As I read this I couldn’t help but think that this is going to tie in together somehow with the Wednesday post on the other “community” site! 😉


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