Well there I was working quite happily in Afghanistan with over six months to go until the end of my contract. After some spiritual kick up the bum from a few friends of mine I was back on track with God and disciplined enough to be in the word everyday, this was also spurred on through lent and a sermon I heard from one of the US Army chaplains talking about ‘Giving God the first fruits’.
This was translated to me to get my life in order and start giving God the first part of my day and not waiting till the end of the day when I was tired and full up on God’s gifts that He had given me. So I got up earlier, not easy at first, and started praying, and then reading the Bible and using a study. It got easier as do many things after time of perseverance and effort.
It was a strange time of spiritual growth, not only with me, but with a core group of friends that I had made where I was based. We had just set up a church for the contractors from a shared belief that it was needed due to the fact that the Military had their military chaplaincy and we didn’t want to take more resources away from the ones who were doing the nitty gritty stuff.
Through this time also, I was getting a sense of God telling me that He had more for me. Its strange when you are happy in what you are doing and quite happy that things were in the right place that God then spurs you on or moves you on. You see I had been in touch with Carl Beech, who heads up Christian Vision for Men over a course of two years with an intention of meeting up to discuss men’s ministry. But with me being away four times a year, only being in the UK for about eight weeks a year and Carl being on the road most of the time, this was proving difficult.
The time had come though when we had booked into Spring Harvest as a family and then found out that Carl was going to be there the same week. It was also apparent that the seminar that my wife and I wanted to go to was in fact the one that Carl was co running with Tarn called the ‘doing zone’. Brilliant, this meant that we could meet up over a beer and catch up.
I attended a blokes seminar and waited behind to catch up with Carl. After a greeting mans hug, the next words that came from Carl mouth were ‘when are you coming back from Afghanistan’ in which I replied ‘December this year, why?’. The following conversation was nothing in which I would ever imagine but the exact plan that God was sharing with me previously. Those words were ‘CVM has some vacancies, would you be interested?’.
The following days/weeks after many discussions and prayers were exciting and to cut a long story short, I can say that I am now a member of the CVM team. Amazing, I am now working for God and for something that I have great passion about, to see men saved through the power of the cross and what Jesus sacrificed His life for.
What I am trying to say and what I have found with my walk with God is that when you are trying your hardest to be with God and trying your hardest to impress God, this is the time when you need to learn that you have much to learn. When you are looking you are not in the right place, but its in the ‘not looking’ and just ‘being’ when you find that God wants more for you and when its time to move on with what God wants you to do.
This is the place where God ultimately wants you to be. ‘Love God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind and love your neighbor as yourself.’ Luke 10:27