One day, a long time ago, I greeted a potential customer with a very unusual greeting, but not on purpose. Instead of presenting myself by name, as any normal person would, I said, “Hi, my name is not important.” Well, both her and I took a brief pause, not understanding what had just happened. What I came to believe was that the Holy Spirit had given me what the Bible calls “utterance.” If you’re not familiar with that term, it simply means that the words you spoke came directly from Him. In other words, He gave me an indelible reminder that His name is important, not mine!
I actually thought one time about changing my middle name to “NOT IMPORTANT”, just so that I would be stating the literal truth whenever I might say that “my name is not important.” But I decided it’s enough to simply remember this little story… and to never start a ministry called, “Kevin Briggs Ministries.” For all ministers who have ever done that, no judgement from me… but I can’t.
The important here is not whatever I might have done in the past, because if it was something great and noteworthy, you already know it was Him anyway, for His glory, not mine. So, if I’m going to tell you any stories about what He has done in my life, I would rather tell you about some of my failures in ministry, than my successes. I’m talking about stories that pushed me to write this book and start the Vlog/Podcast by the same name and subject… stories that made me realize that I was losing battles in The Revolutionary War far too often. The good news is that soooo many “failures” over the years have given me lots to write about and much to talk about and discuss with you all!!!
Let’s just go with one story for now, to suffice:
Many years ago, I was on a short-term mission trip to Romania. It was my first ever mission trip beyond the USA and Mexico. Jumping ahead to the end of the trip, we were in the car getting near to the hotel where we were going to stay before catching our flight home. I sensed the Holy Spirit speaking to me, “Kevin, after arriving at the hotel, I want you to go for a walk. I have someone important to this country that I want you to meet.” Ok, so I did.
There wasn’t much going on near the hotel, but soon I arrived at a large convention center. I knew it had to e there because it was the only activity in sight. So, I went in and walked around. But here is where I started going wrong. I began paying more attention to all of the IT exhibits… and I stopped praying. There were lots of pretty girls working the booths, calling out to come check out whatever they were peddling, so I think I was doing more flirting than praying. Allright, so the enemy already had me trapped in my own sin, “harmless” as it may have seen to me at the moment. But my big moment soon came and I was NOT spiritually ready.
I began noticing a line of people following 2 or 3 people on the far side of the hall. They were walking parallel to me. I figured they would keep on their current path, so I took a right. If you think about that, it means that I was trying to pull a Jonas. I was trying to literally go the other way from what I knew the Lord wanted me to do. In other words, I had gone from praying to being distracted to outright escaping.
I stopped and asked one of the girls who it was they were following. She said, “The President.” I replied, “The president of which of these companies (referring to the companies represented at the convention.” She said, “The President of Romania.” I mean, C’mon… I should have known by common sense, right? By that moment, I was in complete disobedience to the Lord.
Well, instead of continuing on their path, they took a left and were headed straight towards me. I went forward a little, and plotted my course of escape. I decided to go around a row of booths, knowing for sure they would go right past me. Not so. They took another left to go around the same row of booths, but from the other side… which means I didn’t see them turn.
When I got to the edge of the row, I turned left to continue on past them… except that I almost ran him over. Security was as lax as could be. He rounded the corner towards me at the same time that I turned the corner towards him, and I had to slam on the breaks. Proverbs chapter 25 has much to say about being a faithful messenger. I was not.
Even though I wasn’t ready to do my part as a faithful messenger, He was determined to do His! My nose was LESS tan 3 feet from the man I was supposed to share a gospel message with. But the story doesn’t actually end there, even though I backed away and left the building… cowardly I might add.
After some time passed, not sure how long, I thought about that event. So, I got a little courage up to ask the Lord to share with me what was the word that He wanted to deliver to that Romanian president. I got an immediate answer. The impression I got was clear and it went like this: “Well, if you had been obedient that day, the word that I wanted you to share with him was this, ‘The Lord says to you that if you will cut the ties of corruption, and stop blocking what I want to do with my people here in this nation, I will allow you to remain president. But if you refuse to cut the ties of corruption, and if you refuse to stop blocking what I want to do with my people here, I will remove you from your presidency.”
Wow. That hurts. I had to repent all over again. But we’re not done yet. A few years later, I decide to Google that guy and find out how long he lasted as president. The answer: 2 months. Oh my.
Ok, so I don’t say this to condemn myself all over again, but rather to say that we have to be and REMAIN spiritually ready. Most of us are not as ready to serve Him as we think we are. He has sooo much more for us than we are walking in… and the truth is that we know it! We know there is more because we read it in His Word. But what do we do? We make up excuses, quite honestly. Excuses that aren’t going to work when we meet Him!
Ok, so let’s just finish this with a scripture that we should be living:
“Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”