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Earlier this year, I took a Myers-Briggs personality inventory. I was getting ready to explore new career options, and I wanted to see how this tool might match me up with different career paths.

Among other findings, the analyst who briefed me on the results shared that only 5.8 percent of the population’s leaders (e.g., executives, managers) matched my personality type.

I can’t recall demonstrating any remarkable leadership propensity in high school or college. Somehow, despite this apparent deficit in leadership capital, I served as a U.S. Marine Corps officer, retiring after a very rewarding and successful 23-year career. Going by the data mentioned earlier, this was a very unlikely outcome.

But one little word from a very big God made all that data immaterial. The first time I met the Marine Corps officer recruiter in my student union, God said, “Go!” It made absolutely no sense to me, but I went.

God initially sustained me with the words from 1 Sam. 16:7: “The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart” (NLT). It was impossible for me to succeed as a Marine Corps leader on my own, so what kind of heart did God need?

I eventually figured it out; He wanted His heart in me, evidenced in three elements: obedience, faith and prayer. I was to obey His command to go and trust that I had been sent by God, and I had to pray in order to have the ability to accomplish His will.

After retiring, I was offered a great teaching job just five minutes from our house in sunny Southern California. We thought we were all set: job security, stability, great fellowship and no more moving. Then that voice returned, “Go!” And guidance followed: “It’s time to make disciples in Boone.”

Boone is a small mountain town in North Carolina, 2,000 miles from home. My family and I knew no one there, and I had no employment options. Obeying the Lord would mean a cross-country relocation with two little ones.

The Lord gave me a new lesson from Isaiah 55:8-9: He not only sees differently than people do, but He also thinks differently. Still, I was afraid to share this experience with my wife. Then one day she approached me and said, “I think we’re supposed to move to Boone, N.C.” 

So—now we’re in Boone, and it’s time to make disciples. We’re still working through the “how” of that, but we know what God wants us to do. We also know that, with our obedience, faith and prayer, God will handle the rest. He always has. He always will.

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is senior pastor at Hope Chapel Appalachia (Boone 2 Foursquare Church) in Boone, N.C.

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