It was two years ago that Roger told me to start my journey to becoming a Senior Pastor. I was very happy and comfortable with my job as Youth Pastor, so I kind of ignored it. Six months later he asked me if I had done anything about it. I had not! So he encouraged me to get my resume together and start looking.
Last September, I heard the Lord say that He was going to do something for me in the spring. It is very hard to plan a youth ministry and all the summer activities that go along with it when you know you won’t be there. But, as you know, Road Trip is too amazing to miss, so I moved it up as early as I could and gave Roger July 1 as my last day.
In January, when I gave that date, I was confident that the Lord had a plan and I could trust Him. He has always had a plan for my life and that includes a place where I can serve Him. It also includes a way of life, a way to take care of my family, and a way to impact the Kingdom of God.
When June came around, doubt tried to creep in. It’s
comfortable to step out in faith and have the Lord tell you the way forward. It’s another thing to step out in faith and when all He’s said is ‘Go’. I preach faith and trust in the Lord. So daily, I reminded myself of what I preach and what I claim to believe.
I believe He has a plan because He said He does. His Word is His bond. We can trust His Word. This went through my head every day. Proclaiming God’s Word truly put my heart at peace. When doubt did its creeping, the Word of God quieted it and removed it from my mind.
God does have a plan. It is a plan to prosper us and to give us a hope and a future. The outcome of that plan will always be determined by our willingness to trust and obey. We can be lead to water but…
Roger declared on July 1 that I would be preaching in my own church by the end of August. I believed it, and at the time had a couple of interviews scheduled. I had applied to Vista Assembly of God back in March, but I did not hear from them until late June while on Road Trip. I had been praying that they would call.
Needless to say, Roger was correct in his prophetic declaration and I began as Lead Pastor at Vista Assembly on September 1.
The Word of God was there at the beginning (John 1:1). His Word is His bond, it is unbreakable, He is not capable of lying. You can take it to the bank. You can bet your life on it.
Toby Ray served on staff as Youth Pastor at Heritage for 7 years. He now leads Vista Assembly of God church in Vista, California. He and his wife, Shannon, raised two lovely daughters and now enjoy being grandparents.