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 Passion for Ministry

In June 2008 it had been just over 13 months since the brain surgery and six months since I offered my life completely to God (pushing all of my chips into the ante).  I began to seriously evaluate all of the things that were deeply important to me.

Excelling in my professional career and being the best that I could possibly be had always been extremely important.  For early as my grade school days, I have always been encouraged to be an over-achiever.  In my professional career, this translated into passion to always strive to be the best of the best at my job.  You could say that being known for excellence in my work was like food to me, even more valuable than monetary compensation.  In some ways it is good to be motivated with this kind of drive and it had allowed me to experience many successes in my career journeys.

However, in June 2008 as I searched my heart and reflected on how God had changed it and opened my eyes to see what things were really important… what things were going to last as opposed to withering away like the grass in a field during winter.  He ignited a burning desire (a raging inferno) in me for His word, to know and have more and more of Him in my life, and to share this experience and knowledge with other people.  I realized that my passion had changed.  Not long ago my passion was to climb the corporate ladder and be Vice President, CIO, or CEO.  But now, my burning passion was very different… it was very much like Jesus said to His disciples in John 4, “My meat is to do the will Him that sent me and to finish His work.”

I realized that the desire of my heart was to do kingdom work… that if I could just spend all of my day in His word, pondering, nourishing, exploring, and doing the work of the kingdom of God, I would find my perfect job.

As I pondered these things, I started to routinely pray that God would take me away from my vocation as an IT Audit Manager and let me go into ministry full-time if it was His will and plan for me.  I prayed this quite often over the course of several days.

God gave me an answer to my prayer as He so often does, by speaking the truth in love to me through another man of God.  Our family took a trip from Austin up to Dallas to attend a special event at our former home church, Body of Christ Family Church in Red Oak, Texas.  While there, I spent a lot of time with one of the pastors and friend, Ivory Alston.  I shared with him some of the recent exciting things that God had been doing in my life and how I had been praying to be released into full-time ministry.

At a moment when we were alone in his truck after praying, Pastor Alston stopped and turned to me and said that he had a word for me and he shared the following:

He said that God knew what was in my heart and how much I wanted to be near Him.  But He wanted me to know that my ministry field at that time was there on my job in my work place.  He wanted me to stay there because there was something that He needed me to do there… something that no one else could do.

In the days that followed, God confirmed this word in my heart and gave me a peace in the knowledge that I was indeed here for a divine purpose.  I was content even if the only reason was to allow His Holy presence to be felt for a season in my work.  There would indeed be great things coming in my future at Applied where God would both touch the lives of other people and continue to do His work to transform me to be more like Jesus.

 

 

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© 2007 Gerald L. Prater

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