From the desk of Steve Shultz:
People's personal testimonies are a great encouragement and can minister to many. We get to see God's faithfulness along the way as we walk into our calling.
In Bill Yount's word he poses a question: "Will the call of God interrupt your life?"
You'll read about this and much more in this latest "God's Mysterious Ways" article.
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God's Mysterious Ways:
When The Lion Roars His Call Is Not Tame
A lion roared inside our mothers' wombs: "I have called you to be a prophet to the nations." Think of it. God calls us to be a prophet to the nations. Nothing in me to this day can get a handle on that. This awesome thought puts me into a fetal position from the start. Most of my life has been uneasy with this call. Who am I that a King would bleed and die for and think of me in this way? Revelation like lightning flashes before me at times, but not on most days. And yet on my worst days the call rings true blue. It's who God says I am.
When you know what God has called you to do, nothing can stop you but yourself. I still never quite get used to ministering to people or typing out a message. But the butterflies are fewer. My knees are not so weak. The call of God reminds me: I can do this. This is what I was born for. And the greater One is in me. The roar of an untamed lion is in our call.
The Roar Will Interrupt Your Life
Check out Moses, Abraham, Jonah, the twelve disciples, and anyone walking with God today. You will see the divine interruptions that plummeted their lives.
At twenty-one years of age I began working in a steel mill near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. My goal was to save money to get married one day. Within a short time things were looking up. A new car paid for in cash. Everything was coming into view except someone to marry. After several more years of accumulating a sizable bank account for my dream, a voice spoke to me: "Lay down your nets and follow me."
I was certain that was not God. He would have known it takes money to get married. Besides, I was sure the Lord blessed me with this good paying job with great benefits and a secure future. As time went by it became clear, however, it was God knocking on the door of that factory.
"Son, lay down your nets and follow Me." I dragged my feet on those words for two more years, knowing that call could greatly hinder my dream from coming true. One day while eating lunch in the work yard I saw, in the spirit, Jesus walking past the factory. He didn't stop but kept walking as He pointed to me and said, "Son, I'm calling you for the very last time!" I knew it was now or never. I could stay where I was and be a light in that factory. But I knew I would miss knowing Jesus the way the disciples did when they left their nets and followed Him.
Two weeks later I gave in my resignation. The guys I worked with thought I was crazy for leaving a good paying job. They kept asking me, "What are you going to do when your money runs out and you do find someone to marry? I didn't have an answer. All I knew was God was calling me out of the factory and not telling me what my next step in life would be. All I could say to my co-workers was, "God is calling me to leave and He promised He would take care of me."
Thirty days after I left the factory, it began to shut down and never reopened. I knew then the Lord didn't call me because I was so spiritual. He was looking out for me. What I thought was my security wasn't. He saw the hole in the bottom of my boat. Will the call of God interrupt your life? Definitely! If necessary, it may close down a whole factory, business, or even your present ministry when the call comes knocking on your door. It often comes roaring like an untamed lion. The call can be wild.
The Roar Will Often Cause You To Do Things Backwards
My life Scripture was born in that factory: "By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going" (Hebrews 11:8).
The Lord wasn't telling me what to do next, but I knew He was calling me. He began stirring my nest at home also. While working in the factory, on occasion I would visit my brother in Maryland. I experienced God's peace there. After leaving the factory at the end of seven years, I sensed the Lord leading me to leave home and move in with my brother and his family. My brother began taking me to prayer meetings. I discovered something strange. I met the poorest Christians in the state of Maryland. Almost everyone in those meetings had a financial need.
After several prayer meetings and many financial requests, the Lord spoke to me: "I want to talk to you about My money in your bank account. Since I haven't given you someone to marry yet, you won't be needing it right now. But others do."
The next prayer meeting a man shared a need of several thousand dollars. I thought I had better give to this request before I heard of a larger one. At my brother's home that night I secretly wrote out the largest check in my life. As I wrote the check, I felt like a saw was cutting on my shoulder blade. Many years of hard earned money was now escaping me through the tip of a pen. And the Lord led me to give the check to a pastor to give to the man in need so he would never know where it came from. I didn't get to share any glory in my giving.
I have noticed something walking with the Lord. When I obey what He says, He continues to speak to me. But it's not always what I want to hear. Thirty days after I moved into my brother's home, the Lord spoke: "I didn't call you to leave your father and mother and cleave to your brother. I am calling you alone to know Me." I explained to my brother what God had said. I packed up everything I owned in my car and drove slowly out of my brother's driveway. All I knew was that God called me from the factory, from my parent's home, and now from my brother and his family.
Pulling onto Interstate 70, doubts flooded my mind. The devil shouted. "What are you going to do now if you do find someone to marry? How will you survive?" I had to answer that voice before I could continue on. I said, "Devil, if Jesus doesn't do one more thing for me besides what He did at Calvary, I will still follow Him!" Dead silence. The subject was never brought up again.
I held tight to my life Scripture message: "By faith Abraham [Bill Yount] obeyed and went out, even though he did not know where he was going" (Hebrews 11:8).
After driving for a while, I saw an exit sign called Hagerstown. I had never been there before. I just happened to take that exit. Looking back, I know God knows how to drive an automobile. Since I had no agenda of my own, it was easier for Him to guide me. I drove into the center of the city and parked the car. Walking down an alley I discovered a Christian coffeehouse there. I walked inside and the Bible teacher was teaching on "Abraham going out, not knowing where He was going." Very interesting.
I'm On A Mission: I Am Has Sent Me
Once I arrived in Hagerstown, Maryland, a spirit of giving came upon me. I actually wanted to give my money away wherever I saw a need. This had to be God. I remember the Sunday morning in church there, when I had just three one dollar bills left. As the offering plate was being passed, I put my last bit of money in. It was the first time in my life I was without any resources. That Sunday evening the pastor was preaching and stopped in mid-stream. He said, "There is someone here who has left everything to follow Jesus. The Lord wants you to know that He is going to meet your needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus!"
A bolt of electricity surged all through my being as it did right now writing this. The lion was roaring loud and clear. From that moment on I began to see the Lord's provision for my life. I have learned that when God calls a man or woman, He calls for everything, including the wallet and purse, before He can trust us with true spiritual riches. I can tell you why I had to leave everything: So I could find my future wife, and I did. She was where God was leading me to the whole time.
After a year and a half of getting to know each other, we set a wedding date. I had no money. Neither did she. But the Lord had been preparing both of us for years to live by faith. We had no furniture or housekeeping supplies of our own, but we knew the Lord was bringing us together for marriage. I was living in an apartment at the time and volunteering for a prison ministry. The Lord was providing in unusual ways to pay the rent and daily needs.
Two months before our wedding date, the Lion of the Tribe of Judah roared the loudest I had ever heard Him up to that time. I was singing in a little country church, and a friend was preaching a revival there. A man came up after the service and asked my friend if he knew of anyone who could use a bedroom suite. They had it in the paper to sell, but it didn't sell so they felt led to bless someone by giving it away. My preacher friend explained that I was getting married in a couple of months and I was believing the Lord to provide what we would need. The man delivered it to my apartment. It was a three piece cherry bedroom suite!
A week later the man calls me and invites me and my future wife, Dagmar, to their home in Winchester, Virginia. They began sharing their testimony with us. They said, "God is calling us to go to Bible school out West. And we are unable to take everything with us. He is showing us that He is going to take care of us as we go. And besides that, He has told us to give you everything in our house! I looked at Dagmar and said, "If this is a dream, don't wake me!" Everything from their furniture, washer and dryer, down to the cereal boxes in their cupboards! It was worth far more than what I had tried to save in my measly bank account. Our apartment couldn't hold it all. We had to give certain things away.
I said, "Lord, why are You going overboard in blessing us like this?" He said, "Son, when you were willing to lay down your nets and follow Me and die to your dream by giving your bank account away, My Word promises: "Give and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom..." (Luke 6:38).
Don't Apologize For The Call Of God On Your Life
We have been married thirty-four years, and have three children and two grandchildren. I have been young and I am getting older. But I have never seen the righteous forsaken nor their seed begging bread. I have heard my children cry out to God at times, but they have never begged for bread.
For many years I had doubted the call of God on my life – until the day an apostle spoke over me, "Bill, it's not your fault that you're a prophet. But you have to walk in it."
Don't apologize for the call of God on your life either. Walk in it, and let the lion roar!
Blowing the Shofar Ministries
Bill Yount has been a member of Bridge of Life in Hagerstown, Maryland, for the past 33 years where he is now an elder and a home missionary. He is currently an advisor at large for Aglow International. Bill faithfully served in prison ministry at Mount Hope for 23 years and now travels full-time, both in the U.S. and internationally, ministering in churches and Aglow circles. "Humility and Humor" characterize his ministry as he brings forth a fresh word that is "in season," proclaiming the word of the Lord! The shofar (or ram's horn) is often used in his meetings, breaking the powers of darkness over regions, churches and households. The shofar represents God's breath blowing into the nostrils of His people, reviving them and awakening the lost. Many of God's messages, which Bill ministers prophetically, come out of his everyday life with his family and friends.