GOD ISN'T THROUGH YET
By Justin Davis: Growing up in church, there was really only one unpardonable sin. The Bible says that it is blasphemy, but in the church world I grew up in, it was adultery. When Trisha and I left ministry in 2005 due to my affair, I had no idea what the future held, but one thing I was sure of: God was done with me.
About a year after we left ministry, we came to Nashville to stay with our good friends, Pete and Brandi. They had journeyed with us through so much; coming to their house was a retreat in many ways. One afternoon, Pete and I sat and talked and he said something that I didn’t think was true, and had a hard time hearing. He said, “God isn’t through with you, yet.”
But over the next three years, God began to work on Trisha and I, re-growing a burden in our heart for ministry. We began sharing our story, helping couples restore hope in their marriage, and started RefineUs Ministries. The passion we had for the local church began to burn white-hot again.
Two years ago, we had the honor of coming on staff at Cross Point Church, and what an unbelievable ride it has been. To see now what only God could have resurrected in our hearts -- and in our ministry -- is awesome!
I’d like to share with you three things I’ve learned from this incredible journey:
1. It isn’t your past sins that disqualify you for ministry; it is the condition of your heart.
Here is what is wild: I was disqualified for ministry years before the affair started. The pattern of hiding and running and pretending and posturing existed in my life long before the affair manifested itself. Because things were going so well with my ministry, it was easier to hide my struggles.
Maybe some of you have given up on yourself because of mistakes you’ve made years ago. Remember what Pete shared with me: “God isn’t finished with you yet.” God cares so much more about the condition of your heart than he does the mistakes of your past.
2. The gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. (Romans 11:29)
This verse doesn’t mean that the gifts and calling of God are beyond accountability or purity. But it does mean that just because you’ve made mistakes, God doesn’t just rip away your gifts and your calling. If He called you, and He gifted you, then He has plans for you. It took me a few years to believe this. But what I have seen is that the more I have sought brokenness, the more opportunity He has given me to live out my calling. I get cautious when people desire the gifts of God more than they desire brokenness.
3. When your gifts outweigh your character, implosion is on the horizon.
If you are a gifted person, you will be given responsibility. If you are a gifted person, people will be drawn to you. If you spend more time developing your gifts than you do deepening your character, implosion isn’t a matter of IF, it is a matter of WHEN.
Giftedness is sexy. Giftedness is visible. Giftedness gets noticed, gains opportunity, and gives you reputation.
But character is often compromised so that giftedness can take center stage.
As I have reentered ministry and been given more responsibility and more opportunities to teach and lead, I know that my character is the most important aspect of my ministry.
Maybe today, you feel like God is done with you. You’ve sinned beyond God’s ability to use you. You’ve messed up more than can ever be redeemed. But take it from this cheating pastor…
God isn’t done with you. God has plans for you. He is the God of the second chance.