On a spring afternoon in 1975, while sitting in my dorm room in the Sid Richardson Dormitory at Howard Payne University, I really sensed that God spoke to me some of the most powerful words in my life. Through His Word, the Bible, He shouted some words into my soul that still live today.
You see, I was about to complete my freshman year, and really did not want to get a secular job again for the summer. I knew God had something for me, but I did not know what it was. I wanted to preach. I wanted to make a Kingdom difference.
When We Are Desperate, God Speaks
I was so desperate for God to do something. As I cried out to Him, in time, the words written in the Scripture shouted at me. Surely you have been there in your life. You know, when the written words on the pages of the Bible stand up and shout truth to the deepest part of your soul.
Yes, to this simple college freshman preacher, desperate for God to use him, these words came to me from Psalm 75:6-7:
For promotion does not come from the east, north, or south; but God is the judge. He puts down one and sets up another.
Oh my, when He declared those words to me, I owned them! I claimed them. Better yet, those words owned me! Yes, when we are desperate, God speaks!
It Is Not Who You Know, But the God You Know
When I was growing up, I heard these words again and again from all kinds of people. You have probably also heard them: “It is not what you know, but who you know.” I bought into that phrase hook, line, and sinker, even though I did not know anyone of fame!
Growing up in my hometown of 5,000 people and being raised in a very small church, I did not know anyone with any great influence, and no one with great influence knew me. Yet, until that spring afternoon in 1975, I bought into that pseudo-counsel from the world, “It is not what you know, but who you know.”
Here is what I learned on that afternoon: “It is not who you know, but the God you know!” You see, that afternoon, it all connected. All of those private moments with God had helped me develop the most important relationship we have in life, our relationship with God Himself. Knowing Him is the key to your future.
God Uses People, But God Is Sovereign Over All People
Sure, God uses people, but let’s remember today: God is sovereign over all people! As I walked by faith in the power of Psalm 75:6-7, God placed people in my pathway of life. He used those people to lay the roadmap for my summer. I preached in all kinds of places, even in the state of Montana. He met all of my needs.
I am convinced God promoted me and raised me up that summer to teach me a long-term lesson about ministry. The life lesson was, “Ronnie, I will promote you, you don’t have to promote yourself.” I felt He did not want me to play by the bondage of the ministry game, but walk with Him and trust Him.
What happened in that dorm room in the spring of 1975 had a major impact on me. Psalm 75:6-7 are my life verses. I have tried my best to pray them consistently and to live by them daily.
Next week on Wednesday, August 7, I’ll talk about the Four Lessons Every Pastor Needs to Know that I have learned from these verses.
Yours for the Great Commission,
Ronnie W. Floyd