LOUISVILLE, KY – If God gave you a pen and said you could write the story of your life from here on out, what would you write? I often tell people that if given that opportunity, I would have written the story too low. Reflecting on the past seven years, the Lord has taught me that for most of my life, I had been living by “sight” and not by “faith.”
God revealed this to me in 2009 when I began to sense a desire to pursue theological training. At the time, I was serving as the Youth Minister for Middlebelt Baptist Church in Inkster, Michigan. I had been born, raised, and planned on living in Inkster for the rest of my life. By American standards things were great, I had a beautiful wife, three wonderful children, and a great career in Information Technology, all while being surrounded by the love and support of family and friends. Yet, there was a deep conviction in my heart that if I was to be prepared for what the Lord had in store, I needed to receive specialized training for the work of the ministry.
After much prayer, my wife and I believed that the Lord was calling us to leave the great state of Michigan and head to Louisville, Kentucky in order to attend The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. During this time of transition, we began to learn what a “by faith” walk was. One example is when we were just 6 weeks away from relocating, I still had not found a job. I eventually sent my resume to the IT department at Southern Seminary, not knowing they had just been approved to hire an additional Software Developer. I received a follow up email and phone interview the same week. Also, without my knowledge my former pastor spoke with the pastor of our sister church in Lansing, and informed him we were headed to Louisville. That pastor called his former youth minister who had just begun serving as the lead pastor for a local church, and they were looking for a youth and family pastor. After a quick trip for interviews, I returned with not one, but two jobs. The job at Southern Seminary would pay for seminary and the position at the church would pay for books.
I could go on and on about how God has been a constant source of protection and provision since we’ve been in Louisville. I have since graduated from Southern, and now have the privilege of serving that same local body of Christ as lead pastor. I also have the privilege of serving as an ambassador for the ERLC, and have the honor of personally hearing from Dr. Moore and his team on key topics regarding kingdom focus cultural engagement. I can’t help but wonder what Abraham may have thought when God instructed him to go to a land that He would show him. I’m sure he had all sorts of questions and concerns, but I have to believe that at the end of the day, Abraham believed that if God had enough power to call him, He would have enough power to equip him. I’m so glad that we serve a God who’s not only capable of calling but He’s more than capable of equipping. So I ask you again, if God gave you a pen to write the story of your life, would you right it too low because of fear or would you simply write what He tells you by faith?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Nathaniel Bishop Jr. is lead pastor of Forest Baptist Church in Louisville, Kentucky. He also serves on the board of the Louisville branch of Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA), and is a trustee for Crossings Ministries (Kentucky Baptist Convention), and part of the 2017 ERLC Leadership Council.