Sentinels For Christ :: Take The Risk! Joan Santon

Take The Risk! Joan Santon

Posted by jimgrier on April 25, 2018

Recently I went on my first mission trip since becoming a follower of Jesus Christ in 1985. Along with JP with SFC and seven of us traveled to Edinburgh, Scotland.  We were later joined by a pastor from New York, a team accompanying David Hogan, an American pastor and evangelist from Mexico and a gentleman from a church in Cody, WY  We were participating in a multi-national outreach in Edinburgh, Scotland        

Truly, my life began when I received Jesus as my Savior and was subsequently baptized in the Holy Spirit within minutes of my conversion. This began an adventure one could only dream of. As a child I always had a heart for God and attended church with school friends whenever I could. While in church as an 8-10 year old, I remember an alter call being given and the tug in my heart was astounding. Unfortunately, I didn't go forward for fear of what my friend would think. This was the same friend who had invited me to church, her mother picked me up and dropped me off at my house, and whose father was the pastor and had given the alter call.  What was I thinking??? Fear of man held me back. Later as a young adult, God would call me again. I had recently married and given birth to my second daughter and I felt an emptiness deep inside that I couldn't fill with anything. Everywhere I turned God was there. I looked out the window and imagined I saw the image of Jesus in the clouds. As a social worker, I was working with a client, who informed me, I was not going to heaven because I had not given my life to Jesus. Fortunately, God continued to pursue me and I found myself in tears asking Jesus into my heart. From that moment I purposed to know God and He heard the cry of my heart for more.                                                                            

A short time later, a gentleman in my church began a daily prayer meeting. Each morning at 5:00am a small group of people met to pray for one hour. We were taught how to meditate on the Word of God (selecting a scripture and with eyes closed rolling it over and over again in our minds) for 20-30 minutes. We then prayed in the Spirit for the remainder of the hour. Additionally, we committed to reading our Bibles for 30 minutes daily. It didn't take very long before the voice of God became real and His presence was tangibly felt.

After a short time passed the Lord began to use me in the prophetic gift.  It was wonderful when God chose to flow through me to speak to his people.  However, for a reason I cannot identify, I slowly began to lose my zeal for the Lord. I still attended church, read my Bible, served, etc. but the passion I once felt had waned. Through several monumental personal events, I began to only go through the motions of serving God. I was dormant for several years and often asked others what they thought could be the problem. No answer came from man. I tried to get back the passion I once felt and cried out to God to restore me, but I still felt lost. Often, I would be interested in being a part of various things in the church but nothing “clicked.”  

My going on this recent mission trip to Scotland was accidental really. I heard about the trip and was often asked if I were going. My standard response was, “I'm praying about it”. Little did I know that God had made the decision for me. When someone asked me the same question yet again I overheard my husband answer, before I could speak, that “Yes, she is going!”   I went through all the necessary steps involved in preparing for travel, such as getting my passport renewed, changing money from dollars to pounds, asking for time off work, etc. Somehow though, I never became excited about the trip. I was functioning in that place of apathy I had become so familiar with. The night before we left I questioned myself about why I was going “at my age?” “Would I be able to keep up?” “Would I be a drag on the rest of the team?” etc. 

Now lets fast forward to arriving in Scotland. Almost immediately I had the sense that I was familiar with the people I met. Instant connections with many of the people I met became more usual than unusual. The same familiarity I sensed with people was also present with the Lord. Suddenly, I was experiencing His promptings, sensing His presence, and understanding that we are never too old to be used by God or enjoy His presence and creation! The only thing that will hinder intimacy with God is of our own making.  I was away from family, friends, routine, and removed from all of the things that occupied so much of my time and life. For maybe the first time in my life, I experienced myself as God had created me!! There was no one present that I had to impress, or to act a certain way for, or hide behind, or otherwise suppress myself for. For the first time, I did not judge myself but discovered that God had created me uniquely. Not good or bad, but uniquely different! I discovered that all of my quirkiness, random ideas, views of life, distinct likes, dislikes, and opinions were unique to me.

This new revelation regarding God's unique design of my total make-up sparked an acceptance of myself and a new desire for the things of God.  Many times in my life, I was given the opportunity to follow God's promptings but let fear stop me. While in Scotland I bought a simple wall hanging that sums up my take away, “Take the Risk or Lose the Chance”! God continues to present each of his children with opportunities daily. Ask yourself if you are willing to take the risk...by His grace you will be able to take a chance!                        

Joan Santon

Joan is a member of City On The Hill Church in Boulder, CO. and a contributor for SFC. If you would like to contact her she can be reached through her churches email  at: coth@cityonthehill.com

SentinelforChrist.com - A network of Christians helping each other to press deeper in Christ.

 

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