It is very difficult to be at a standstill spiritually. If you’re not moving forward in your walk with the Lord, you’re usually sliding backward. I like to regularly take a check of my life as to how I’m growing spiritually. Over the last 40+ years of ministry, I’ve grown the most in prayer and vision.
When I graduated from seminary, I believed that Christians should pray. I now believe in the power of prayer as I have never before believed. One of the most exciting things to me in my walk with the Lord is bringing everything to Him in prayer as it comes to me in life. I talk to Him about everything and anything—my next speaking engagement, illness, my family, my next hunting trip, a forthcoming car expense, and the numerous requests of those near and dear to me. I also talk to Him anywhere and anytime—during my quiet time in the morning with Him, during my daily run, driving down the highway, sitting in a deer blind, and behind my desk at work. There is virtually nothing I don’t bring to Him and no place I cannot speak to Him. 1 Peter 5:7 has become one my favorite verses: “casting all your care upon Him, for he cares for you.” I love the way it encompasses everything! I even read as many books on prayer as I can because of how important it has become to me and how much I’ve grown in my confidence in prayer.
When I graduated from seminary, I don’t know if I really believed that God could impact the world. Now, though, I not only believe that God has that power, but I also believe that He has that desire. His concern is for the neighbor next door whom I have met but, it’s also for the person across the world whom I may never meet this side of heaven. That’s one reason I try to be the strongest I can be in leading and endorsing EvanTell’s training emphasis. Since God’s concern is the entire world, the only way to impact every person everywhere is to train others to present the gospel clearly. The trained believers can go to places our staff cannot go and talk to people we cannot meet. My vision of the world has so grown that I want every person everywhere to hear the most important message that we keep saying can be contained in 10 words: Christ died for our sins and rose from the dead. What is commonly called the Great Commission has now become the GREAT commission in my mind and life: “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 20:19–20). Each year as I grow spiritually, my vision for the entire world does nothing but increase!
Quite honestly, I hope I never stop growing in these areas. I’m not where I was, but I don’t want to be satisfied with where I am!