For years I struggled, trying to get a grasp on what exactly God wants me to do in my ministry. I can tell you that I knew where I was in my ministry was not where God wanted me to be. I honestly felt as though the Lord was not going to give me a sign. What frustration. Things were not right, my world was not at peace, (notice I said “MY” world), it was clear to me that there was something more that I needed to be doing…but WHAT?
A few years ago I accepted a friend request on Facebook. I could see that the request was from a fellow minister but I didn’t know him. I figured that he’d just friended one of my current friends and thought “what the heck, I could use another contact.” Boy was I wrong. This guy started contacting me. When my wife was struggling with her decision to go back to school he would IM me with a prayer for her. No one had ever really done that. Then, when my doctor sent me to have some testing he prayed for me, again through IM. This happened over and over again. I thought this was nice. It actually felt good that someone that I’d never met would pray for us.
One day, I get a phone call, and it’s from this contact. He was very concerned about me. He told me that his ministry was a healing ministry and that he was blessed with the Holy Spirit and had several gifts…one of them was healing. And I thought, interesting! (That’s my Spock voice coming out). You see I was born into the Presbyterian Church, at 13 I accepted Christ, I was never exposed to healings, demonic influences or anything that he was dealing with. My father and mother left the church and started going to a Nazarene Church and I eventually chose to go with them. This was my first exposure to a “holiness” church. They weren’t Pentecostal but they were spirit filled which made for an interesting first few visits. I’ll get more into that in another post. But it was obvious that my family was moved by this new denominational group and, eventually, so was I.
I got my first exposure to demons at age 16. I’d come home one night and my mother, who’d suffered with manic depression, was awake. It was late and she was in our living room chanting when I walked in. She asked me if I was “right” with God and I told her “sure am.” Then she spoke to me in a different voice; a deep scary voice. She started telling me that I was never going to heaven that she wasn’t going to heaven and then her voice changed back and she said something was wrong. That Satan was attacking her. She was sweating profusely. I tried to comfort her. I touched her forehead and I nearly burned my hand. It was as if I’d touched a hot burner on the stove. I was clueless. I didn’t know what to do so I just prayed that God would help her fight Satan and that he leave my mom alone. A few minutes later, mom was fine. She was back to her normal self and went off to bed.
A few months later I felt “called” to go into ministry. I told my pastor and I began working at the church in the music department. I would lead the choir, performed many solo performances, sang in quartets…guys, I was hooked. I liked the music and the people really responded to what I was led to sing. I was encouraged to go off to Trevecca Nazarene College (now University) in Nashville, TN. However, I never pursued any form of ministry.
In my 40’s I got the call again…this time I answered. I knew I was ready. My wife was supportive and so were my kids. I knew that I was human and that I had a bad temper. Someone would cut me off on the highway and I’d accidentally blurt out a cuss word. My daughter would bring me back in line by saying, “bad pastor!” I’d laugh and tell her that, no matter what, I’m still human. Honestly, now when I look back on it. She was right! I was a bad pastor. Things weren’t pulling together like I wanted it to. (Notice, I said “I”).
Anyway, here’s this new influence coming into my life. He’s a healing minister. He speaks in tongues. I read his posts and think, wow, this guy’s good. He begins to work with me and praying with me. He knows that something’s not right. My eyes weren’t open. My heart wasn’t ready to accept this new direction in ministry. He told me, it wasn’t going to be easy for me because of my formal education. You see, I wasn’t praying and teaching in the “spirit.” I was dealing with all the feel good aspects of ministry and avoiding the dark forces that are plaguing many who want to believe. I trusted that God had given us psychiatrists to deal with those problems. I was wrong.
Last night, I got it. My eyes were opened and I saw, firsthand, what he’d been trying to teach me. Last night, I was helping someone close to me who’s been fighting demons for nearly her entire life. With his help, he walked me through every step to help her. We’d stop and pray that God would open my eyes and ears so that I could see and hear the demons when they spoke. Let me tell you…it was truly awesome to see God work. This morning I had a song in my head and, for the first time, I listened to the words. It was written back in 1895 by Clara H. Scott. Here are the lyrics and I’ll close this post with this song:
Open my eyes, that I may see
Glimpses of truth Thou hast for me;
Place in my hands the wonderful key
That shall unclasp and set me free.
Silently now I wait for Thee,
Ready my God, Thy will to see,
Open my eyes, illumine me,
Open my ears, that I may hear
Voices of truth Thou sendest clear;
And while the wave notes fall on my ear,
Everything false will disappear.
Open my mouth, and let me bear,
Gladly the warm truth everywhere;
Open my heart and let me prepare
Love with Thy children thus to share.
Have a great day!
Pastor Jeff Godsey