From Pew To Promised Land
One in a Million
by Priscilla Shirer
I watched her. For days. For weeks. For months that turned into years.
This woman was filled with God’s power, overwhelmed with His joy and consumed with His peace. She heard God’s voice on a regular basis and was seeing evidence of His presence in the regular rhythms of her life. She would pray and then believe. Expect and then see. Ask and then receive.
So I watched her. She was a wife, a mom, a daughter, a sister, a regular woman with problems and concerns just like mine, and yet her life was different in so many ways. More than anything, I wanted what she had, and I was determined to figure out how to get it. Our first conversation over two piping hot cups of tea began with a shower of questions. I just couldn’t help myself. I was so curious about her relationship with God and how what she’d learned on the pew had become such a startling reality on the pavement of her life.
That first conversation led to deeper, more intriguing ones that kept me on the edge of my seat. Like a little schoolgirl with my chin in my hands, I soaked in her wisdom and reveled in the times she laid her hands on me and prayed. A refreshing friendship developed, and I was challenged to be one of the few who would refuse to trust God with an ordinary faith or settle for a complacent walk with Him. I was compelled, not just to hear about God on Sunday but to expect to experience what I’d learned about Him throughout every other day of the week. I wanted more of Him, more of His Spirit, more of His gifts, more of His fruit, more of His power, and more of His manifest presence in my life.
I must admit, it’s been quite a surprising journey. But once my appetite had been whet, there was no turning back. I was ruined. Mundane Christian living would no longer suffice. Not then, not now, and by God’s grace, not ever again.
I’m so thrilled that you are with me for this ride because having company makes any road trip more fun. This expedition began for me several years ago and is still in progress. God’s call from mundane Christianity to a radical experience of Him has taken me down roads that, honestly, have been quite narrow. Not many travelers have chosen to take this route. It appears that not much has changed in two thousand years. While definite numbers are not known, it is believed that between two and three million Jews were freed from Egypt with the opportunity to experience the milk and honey promised by Yahweh. Yet only two of the original multitude of adult pilgrims would ever walk on Canaan’s soil.
Hmmm . . .
I guess I can see why many don’t choose to go all the way with God. I’ve sure been in that category myself at times. It’s easier to stay on the main road where there are more people and far less uncertainty. And besides, the travel isn’t easy when you’re headed in the direction of abundant living. While I’d like to tell you that the sun has glistened on every leg of the trip and the cool winds of ease and convenience have brushed across my face without incident, I can’t. On the contrary, there have been some days when I’ve had to take cover from the storms that life often brings. On occasion I’ve had to whisper a prayer for help when loneliness knocked on my front door and came in to stay a while. When I’ve met other travelers willing to brave these winding roads, our eyes have met, and an instant heart connection has been made. Without having to say much, we’ve encouraged each other to continue.
I thought I knew where God was taking me when I first started out, but each leg of this voyage has led into territory I’ve never seen before. Sometimes it’s exciting, and other times it’s daunting. Either way, it’s a ride I’d rather take with you.
I can’t guarantee you much, but I can say with full confidence that you won’t be bored. God’s way is too unusual and mysterious for boredom even to be an option.
It’s been quite a ride so far, and I don’t want to encounter what’s next by myself. In the pages of this book, we’ll traverse spiritual territory that will cover mountain peaks and deep valleys, grassy knolls and barren sand dunes, but the journey will be worth it. With the turn of each page, you and I will round another corner. What we’ll meet around one bend will bring a smile to the depths of our souls while others will create a sting of conviction that will send us straight to our knees. Either way, the prize of abundant living will make the trip well worth it. So buckle up and grab a venti-sized latte. You are in for the ride of your life.
Taken from One in a Million by Priscilla Shirer. Copyright © 2010 by Priscilla Shirer. Used by permission of B&H Publishing Group. All rights reserved.