Captured is a good word for it...

If I am trying to explain how I got to this point or why I would ever be compelled to completely change what was once a political podcast to a podcast all about God.

There is no other explanation for it.

I will be the first to tell you that I am not educated enough... that I sin too much... that I am completely unqualified and unworthy to utter the name of God. Let alone think that my words and thoughts would be of any value to God or His people.

And yet,

I can tell you that I have no doubt, at least for this season, this is what He wants from me.

I have tried to run from His service for a long time.

Growing up I was always at church, and sometimes I loved it. Other times I found it mind numbingly boring.

Then my dad became a pastor and got a first hand look at what the ministry means for a family as a whole. I have seen the church love so deeply that hope returns to an abused child's eyes. I have also seen the church cut a sinner so deep they swear they're are never going to step foot into a church again.

As a Chaplain's Assistant in the Army, I learned the frustrations of counseling people for hours, only for them to go do the opposite of everything you just told them. I could continue but the point is, I firmly decided that I didn't want to have anything to do with "ministry".

However, God didn't seem to care what I had decided.

For years I would struggle to ignore the little voice inside of me, I didn't want that life.

I wanted to be anything else!

Still, whenever I searched for contentment and meaning to my life I would hear the faintest whisper in my mind, "you know what you are supposed to do."

I would tell myself, "I was crazy" and go on about my life in denial.

All the while, becoming more and more desperate to be "happy" and have my life "mean something". 

My life began to crumble, and the more it crumbled, the faster I ran away from God. 

It wasn't that I stopped believing or that I didn't want God in my life, quite the opposite. I wanted God to do all sorts of things except bug me about this "ministry thing".

Eventually, the misery of my life reached a breaking point, and I lost almost everything. My home, my job, my marriage, and my hope, they were all destroyed.

God restored my marriage over the next few years but the trials were far from over.

Luckily, I knew now, I didn't have to worry about this "ministry" thing though, because there was no way God would want me to associate my name with His. Or so I thought...

I decided to replace all my "bad" behavior with "good" behaviors over the next few years. Thinking that working out, education, or success would fix my life. It would at least provide me some comfort, right?

Even though I was trying my best to do the right thing, life was still kicking the proverbial poo out of me.

Finally, I decided to seek Him for answers.

That was when the adventure really began...

I heard that same quiet voice say, "I want your mornings!"

Fine, I thought a short little quiet time each morning won't kill me. 

God in his great mercy instilled a deep thirst for His word and my short little quiet time quickly became intrusive to the rest of my day. I found myself aggravated that I had other responsibilities. It was the only part of my day that I found peace and joy.

But...

It was also one of the most painful experiences of my life. I can't tell you how many tears I shed each time I would encounter His holiness, or how many doubts of my salvation I had when I would read about His justice. The intense fear that made my insides quiver, when I read about his power and righteous vengeance. 

Finally, I reached the Gospel hoping to find relief and some "good" news, but I was left with more questions and doubts then ever before. 

There were so many things I was seeing with a new perspective. Most of them so hard to wrap my mind around that I would wrestle with them for weeks. 

At last, God relented when I got to the gospel of John. Probably, the book of the bible that I had read more than any other, but it was still completely fresh and new.

The radical grace of God that I encountered in that book was like Niagara Falls in the middle of the desert. It swallowed me in it's waters of love and said breath deep! For the first time in years, the reality of my identity moved from my intellect to my soul. 

I still didn't know what to do. I still had no money. However, I no longer cared the way I did before.

The Holy Spirit began shifting my perspective and desires from earthly to eternal. I am afraid His work is far from complete in me, but I am sure that He will finish it perfectly.

For months I prayed for direction, only to feel like I was getting the silent treatment. After that encounter with His radical grace though, His silence was bearable now. God, in abundant kindness, has given me the faith to know even in His silence, He is always with me.

Even the idea of suffering for the Gospel transformed from something I would want to avoid at all costs, to a privilege and honor God bestows on his servants.

Then a couple weeks ago, I was mowing my yard when that little voice said, "give Me The Rebellion I want ALL your attention."   I thought, "It is all that I have left God. You have closed every other door and pursuit I have had what could you want with my podcast about politics?" Then I heard, "You know you can't serve two masters, and I want it!"

I don't normally "hear" God, maybe a handful or two in my entire life have I been convinced that God was behind the voices in my head.

Happily I said, "Fine, you want it? It is all your's."

I don't know how the show is going to work. I don't know why He would possibly want me to talk about Him. In fact, there are more things about this I don't know, than I do, but I wasn't going to pray for direction for months, then ignore it when I got it.

So I hope everything I do and say here, glorifies God and encourages you to seek him. 

Be blessed!

 

Sincerely,
Caleb Bradford