Change in God’s pocket
Rich Nathan, pastor of the Vineyard Church in Columbus, Ohio, shared in a sermon, “John Wimber used to say that we need to be loose change in the pocket of the Lord that he can spend any way he sees fit. If you want to spend me right where I am, spend me, Lord. If you want to spend me overseas, spend me there, dear God. If you want to spend me in this ministry or this job or this non-profit or working with kids or elderly people or whatever, do so.” Have you ever said, “God, I give you the absolute right in this season of my life.” You may be a young person and single or you may be a retiree or an empty nester.”
I heard John use this term “change in God’s pocket” many times in sermons. It’s a picture that sticks with me. In our culture, people feel entitled to all kinds of privileges. In God’s great plan, he can do with us whatever he wants to.
“Come to Latin America”
Earlier this year I was in Mazatlan, Mexico, teaching and leading worship at a Vineyard church that reaches out to many groups of poor people in the greater Mazatlan area. One of the last nights, I was leading worship in a training meeting for local Mexican church members.
The meeting wasn’t well attended. I have to admit it’s hard to fly thousands of miles to a place, and sometimes only a small group of people show up to the meetings. But it’s worth it (vale le pena). It’s all about partnering with local churches who are pouring out their lives to reach needy people.
Though the meeting was small, on this occasion I was really enjoying leading worship in Spanish. When the worship set was finished, I turned away from the microphone to walk offstage and I spontaneously started singing, “I’m change in your pocket, you can spend me however you want to.”
On another trip to Latin America this year, God spoke to me clearly, reaffirming a previous word. I was leading worship and teaching at a Vineyard church in Santiago, Chile. After the meeting, I sat down on the front row and the Holy Spirit came on me powerfully, so I sat quietly and waited. God said to me very clearly, two times: “Keep coming to Latin America.”
This was part of God’s answer to a prayer I frequently pray: “God, what do you want me to do next?” Just to be clear, there’s nothing more spiritual about going to a different continent than there is in helping people in our own neighborhoods. It just happens to be part of what I do. What has he called you to do?