Habakkuk 2:3 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
3 “For the vision is yet for the appointed time;
It hastens toward the goal and it will not fail.
Though it tarries, wait for it;
For it will certainly come, it will not delay. For the vision is yet for the appointed time;”
It’s been on my heart for a while now to write about the way certain things actually happened. Here is one of the stories I want to tell. I probably could overlook the selective memory of pastors but I decided for my own sanity to write some things God, in His infinite wisdom, allows them to forget for some inexplicable reason. Blessed be His name forever!
This story begins about 2008. I’m a career firefighter. We work 24 hours shifts. I had just finished my shift and I was on my way home. Suddenly, the manifest presence of the Holy Spirit filled my truck and He began to speak to me from my left as He does periodically. He said, “between the time you receive a word from me and the fulfillment of that word you will enter a season of confusion. Clearly I’m not the author of confusion but you will go through it.” I pondered what was said and responded, “Lord, thanks for that but it’s not something I feel I need to hear right this minute. Why are you saying this?” My phone rang…my friend Evangelist Jeff was returning my call from earlier. He explained why he did not answer earlier, that he had just had breakfast with a close friend from College, David Holt. David had, in obedience to God, stepped down from a lead pastor role in Wisconsin to come home to Georgia. Now that he was here he was lost in a season of “confusion”. I explained to Jeff what had just happened before he called and he exclaimed, “YOU HAVE TO CALL HIM!” So, I took David’s number down and called him, a complete stranger. When he answered I told him our mutual friend Jeff had asked me to call and share what had just happened to me. That word was surely for him! He had heard from God and responded but was now in that season of confusion Holy Spirit had just talked to me about. I remember saying, “it’s like when you’re on a long drive and you start to wonder if you’re still on the right road so you stop and ask someone to confirm”. He said, “I just did that!” as he drove back north from meeting with Jeff. At the end of the conversation I gave him a scripture verse I felt fit the occasion (Psalms 105:19 NKJV) that says, “Until the time that his word came to pass, The word of the Lord tested him.” I gave that verse only as an addendum.
A couple of years later (2010) Pastor David wrote a book. He told me he recounted our story in his book so I was anxious to read it. This is what he wrote,”On one particular discouraging day, I got an unexpected but prophetic call from a man I did not even know. This man had just learned of my situation from a mutual friend, and he immediately sensed he was he was to call me and give me a “word”. This word happened to be a passage from the bible. While driving in my car and wrestling with God in prayer, I received his call. He said, “Pastor David, I was on the phone with Jeff and he told me about your recent step of faith. I believe I have a word for you. Check out Psalms 105:19 in the new King James bible. As soon as I was able, I turned to the passage and read, “Until the time that his word came to pass, the word of the Lord tested him.” (Psalm 105:19 NKJV) God used this to confirm to me that I was being tested and would be further tested before the word (i.e. clarity of direction) would come to pass in my life. This prophetic word did for me exactly what 1 Corinthians 14:3 speaks of: “strengthening, encouragement and comfort.” After reading his account I called David to ask if he remembered any of the rest of the story? Nope…So, the part that made the most impact on Pastor David was that verse I simply added at the end. A scripture verse…What else would a Pastor latch on to for surviving the storm? I get it..
Not long after writing his book Pastor David contacted me again. I think it was probably still about 2010. He wanted prayer about a job opportunity at a Baptist Church in Watkinsville, Ga. I had just parked at the Post office and the Holy Spirit AGAIN came upon me. I always appreciate the little signs. I’m at the post office when He has me deliver the mail. These instances leave me in a state of wonder and I never tire of them. What I heard was he was to take the Job. I also sensed some time in the future he would have favor with them to plant a church and THIS is why God sent him back from Wisconsin. As a side note, I would like to point out Apostle means “one sent”. Could it be God wanted Pastor David walking in more power so He sent him back to Georgia? Could be.. So, he took the job and two years later, sure enough, the Church gave him about $100,000 to do a church plant near Athens, Ga. where he and Evangelist Jeff became friends in college.
I can’t remember the exact timeline on this but I saw David’s home street address was on Persimmon Creek Drive. As I saw “persimmon” I heard, “Tell him he will plant the church when the persimmons are ripe.” I had looked up when they are ripe and it’s mid to late September. He felt that would be a good time because his son would be starting college then. So, Pastor David planted the church and, of course, when I asked if he remembered any of what I had said? Nope… He actually remembered someone else had said he would plant a church but I was able to ask, “did they tell you WHEN you would plant it?” Nope… “Do you remember me saying it will be when the persimmons are ripe?” He said, “Yes, I think I do remember that part…when are persimmons ripe?” I said, “They come ripe in mid to late September. A bow hunter like you should know that!” So, looking back, he explained to me his first church service at “Living Hope Church” was in April and they officially launched during Easter. I sat back thinking to myself, “how did I miss that?” when I heard, “ask him when he incorporated”. After I asked he sent back the above picture of the date of incorporation on September 20, 2012 and he added a little note saying,”wow, that’s cool.” In mid to late September the persimmon fruit from the tree of Life sure tastes good! Amen? I would like to use a couple of verses to sum up. 1 Corinthians 3:7-9 NLT says, “It’s not important who does the planting, or who does the watering. What’s important is that God makes the seed grow. The one who plants and the one who waters work together with the same purpose. And both will be rewarded for their own hard work. For we are both God’s workers. And you are God’s field. You are God’s building.” I believe Evangelist Jeff and Pastor David would agree all THREE of us played the part God ordained us to play long ago. Pastor David’s role took the most faith, no doubt. But it was also his relationships in the body of Christ that played pivotal roles along the way. Well done, Pastor David Holt.