I arrived in Montana in April hungover from vodka, heartsickness and depression.
Crying out to God on my face in my living room in the middle of the day already hammered, I begged him to take away my free will for one moment.
"Father, please, I know you gave us free will and don't make decisions for us, but I need you to give me sure guidance right now. I'm so lost. I know what I'm doing is pointless and wrong and I know what my purpose is, but Satan has such a firm hold on my mind, I can't control myself right now. Please, I'm begging you, give me one thing to do that will rip me out of this grasp and I will obey instantly without question".
My phone rang as I snotted all over my cat-hair covered area rug in my living room and I snapped to attention knowing whatever was on that other end was going to be my first test in my promise to instant obedience to God's leading. Oh, it's just Steve. "Hi, Steve," I said camouflaging the inner trauma in my voice. "What's up"?
"Weeelllll.....", he began in my old friend's typical stalling because he thinks him asking favors is going to put someone out instead of helping them, "I'm short-handed for hay season this year and I was wondering if you wanted to come drive tractor for me".
"Yes! I'll be there right away". I exclaimed, words pouring over words as my affirmation to my promise fell out of my mouth. I don't think we hung up immediately, but I was dizzy and deaf with the power of what had just happened. I had gotten my first INSTANT answer from God.
I arrived the very next day in Townsend, MT to become an alfalfa farmer and let God speak to me, mold me. It was quite scriptural, actually. God taking me out of this prison I had allowed Satan to lead me to and placing me smack in the middle of an actual farm-wandering in the desert to cross the Jordan into my purpose's harvest.
We all must realize we are in bondage before we can hope to escape. We also must realize we want something more, or at the very least, see that there is something more to our life before we can ask for parole.
I have had conversations and love for several people who see their imprisonment, but don't want to leave because that is where they are comfortable. Drug addiction, crippling body issues resulting in social security money and handicap benefits, abusive relationships where they are not required to work or DO anything to better themselves so they stay. All of these people didn't want to leave their captor. They were so used to the way of life their imprisonment afforded them, the thought of having to change their routine, even to better their lives, was paralyzing. But God tells us stories in Hosea and the New Testament in the parable of the talents that not only tells us he wants to give us more, but reminds us that if we believe his promises and move according to his will, he will make our lives better than any of those earthly people or situations can.
But that's the key-free will. We have to see it, want it, ask for or accept it, and then repent or translated, turn 180* and "go our way" walking towards the blessing. PROACTIVE! God wants more for you than you want for yourself. He gets heart sick when he sees us burying our talents in a barren field for fear of losing what little we have, knowing that if we would just turn away from our captor (drugs, alcohol, a person, a place, a job) and walk towards our promise in faith, we would see it come to fulfillment.
It's rarely instant. He tells us we need to be prepared for what he is going to give us so he sends people ahead of us and leads us through a process that I have never seen as painless to scar us up, gird our loins, weaponize us for the blessings we are about to receive. I always think of it like a lottery winner. The stereotypical one is living in a trailer park with a back-breaking blue collar job and probably an alcohol, abuse or television problem. Too tired to do any kind of self-improvement when they return from work, they sit on the couch and turn on the tv and off their brain. For years. Then they win a couple million dollars, go crazy with purchases, not knowing how to invest and make their money work for them, just buying up all the toys they think they "deserve" after so many years of hard work. But they don't have the knowledge to keep that money coming in. These are the same people who live beyond their means, even if it means spending $100 a month on clothes at Wal-Mart the family doesn't need instead of saving it. So it goes away. All of it. Like a seed scattered on rocks, it gets some water so starts to germinate but then dies for lack of nutrients and blows away with a stiff breeze. No legacy, no promise, no future, nothing. Because they hadn't journeyed through the desert to get prepared for what's to come.
My journey is far from over. I've seen my purpose and my promise and I'm clinging to that as a 'for sure' in these times of learning and loneliness. I know what God has in store for me. I know what was prophesied over me is real because I was given scripture after a long period of prayer asking for it to be revealed to me. These scriptures directly reflected the dream I was given showing me in a kind of fantastically figurtive way what I would be doing in my life. I then got confirmation through a female prophet who did not know me or what I thought God had in store for me. Her prophecy confirmed the scriptures and dream given me, and colored in the lines, giving me a bigger picture of what, exactly, I was going to be doing. I had no idea before 5 years ago that my purpose involved working directly for God. I just thought I was going to be a hard worker, making lots of money to support my family and my extravagant taste and I would be successful because it would be blessed by God. I would minister to co-workers and associates through my work ethic, desire to succeed, and sense of ownership in any position I hold. Clear as a crystal now, I know that I will be a source of hope, encouragement, unconditional love and a no-nonsense or excuses approach to building up the humans God gives to me.
It's going to be pretty awesome.