A Divine Appointment

The Story of Pastors John And James

A Fictional Narrative

“Show me Your Ways, O Lord; teach me Your Paths” (Psalm 25:4).

John was raised in the church and was saved at an early age. While growing up he served the Lord with his whole heart. Even with the temptations of youth and the exposure to the ways of the world as he made his way in life; John always sought the Lord in all he did. John knew he was blessed in knowing the Lord. He felt the Lord had a call on his life and he was eager to serve Him in any way the Lord led.

John attended a Bible college and became a pastor of a small church in the same area he had grown up in. He felt blessed in being the pastor of this church and those in the church appreciated their pastor. The church members seeking counseling came to John on a regular basis. John would point them to the Word of God and encourage them as best he could. However, John felt that what he was counseling people to do in their search for victory, in whatever area they needed it, was not working. He would tell them to try harder and to read the Word more. He always encouraged them in the Christian disciplines, but he knew deep down that he was failing them.

One of his parishioners came to him confessing a serious sin in His life. He knew the man loved the Lord and wanted deliverance from this sin. John’s counsel to this man was basically, to try harder. He knew this man was trying to gain victory in all the ways John would counsel on, but still failing. The man agreed to try harder, but the crestfallen look on his face as he left told the whole story. John knew the man was walking away from John discouraged and with little hope for the victory he sought. He had seen it before so many times. This meeting haunted John. What could he tell those that came to him seeking help? Where was the victory? He knew these people loved the Lord and were trying to live for Him as best as they could.

John had a friend who was also a pastor of a church in his area. James had been the pastor of his church for many years and John appreciated their friendship and the wisdom James shared with him as a new pastor. They met regularly for lunch and both men so appreciated their long talks on the things of the Lord. They both loved the Lord supremely and loved to talk about the Lord with each other. It was a blessing that both men cherished.

John and James had the same issue in their ministries, however. It was in regard to counseling their parishioners? They both knew deep down that what they were telling them was not working. The discussions during their lunch meetings always included the need to find victory in their own lives and the lives of those the Lord had entrusted to them.

One day as they met for lunch, a man at the next table started a conversation with them. John and James welcomed the chance to share the Gospel with him. The man seemed kind and had a humble spirit. The three of them began to converse about the Lord. As the two pastors started to share the Gospel, the man responded with an understanding of the Cross that astonished both men. It was obvious to both John and James that this man knew the Lord. He began to share with them how he had found the way a Christian could walk out this life in victory. He spoke in an authoritative way and the pastors listened intently.

The man explained that just as we come to the Lord by faith in Christ and His sacrificial death on the cross; we are to continue to place our faith there daily to have victory over the world, the flesh, and the devil. He went in to say that the Christian disciplines are something we should practice, but having faith in these is works, not faith, and will not give us the victory we seek. He then went on to say something that really hit home with the pastors. He said that if we could have victory over the sin in our lives by prayer, fasting, or any other way, then Christ need not have come to die on a cruel cross. He explained that victory comes through the power of the Holy Spirit as the object of our faith remains in Christ and Him crucified. He gave them scripture for this by quoting Romans 8:2 which says:

“For the Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the Law of Sin and Death” (Romans 8:2).

The man thanked them for the conversation and told them that He had to leave. The three men said a prayer of thanksgiving together before the man departed. After he left, John and James sat there in silence for some time. When they did begin to converse they spoke about all that the man had said. They had a witness in their spirit that what they had heard was the very thing that they were missing in their own lives, and it was what their parishioners need to know as well.

They wondered just who this man was. They had not seen him before and as time passed they never saw him again. Was he an angel sent by the Lord? They didn’t know, but they both believed that what had just happened was a divine appointment. They had no idea who the man was but were so thankful that the Lord had sent him and that they now knew the way to victory. Both churches were blessed by what their pastors heard that day.

“As you have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in Him” (Colossians 2:6).

Always Remember,

God Loves You!

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Here I am, Lord – Tom Quinn Ministries – tqministries.com 2023

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