I remember so clearly the moment when God first put it on my heart to start a Bible study at my college. It was the summer before my sophomore year. I was so scared to begin, because I wanted my Bible study to be open to anyone and everyone that wanted to hear the Word. I didn’t know how well received this idea would be by my peers, and I debated whether or not I should ignore the call I felt to do this. In my quiet time with the Lord immediately before the school year began, I promised Him that I would begin the work. I promised to begin pouring into others and to show up week after week, even if I was the only one there. I promised God that if nothing else, I would be there by myself studying the Word and crying out in worship. By His grace, there were five guys that joined my group. It seemed unconventional, but they came week after week. They called themselves the “Faithful Five.” Slowly, over time, the group grew, and I continued it year after year. There were great, fulfilling moments- moments when the conference room was packed. Moments when there were fifteen to twenty people at a time. However, there were also seasons where the group became small, and there were even moments where I honored my word to the Lord and sat by myself studying the Word. Regardless of the size of the group, the most beautiful part was that this Bible study continued throughout my college career and even after, when I passed it off to a fellow believer and friend.
Flash forward four years, and I felt a similar draw from the Lord. I felt a draw to begin a Bible study on the pursuit of purity. Again, I felt crippled by fear and was scared to pursue this call. The Lord reminded me, however, of those faithful college Bible study days and encouraged me to walk in obedience, despite my fears. He reminded me that ministry is not a “one day I’ll do that” kind of pursuit. Ministry is the everyday faithfulness of serving the Lord and seeking to save the lost. Ministry is keeping in step with the Holy Spirit and responding in obedience. So, in my room, as I mapped out this study, I made promises to the Lord once again. I promised to seek Him for wisdom and the words to speak. I promised to show up week after week, even if that meant no one came and I sat alone worshipping Him. The first two weeks were wonderful and were so full of hope. Individuals were so excited at the chance to study this topic. I couldn’t believe the startup of this study was so quick and painless. Yet, this morning, I found myself alone, honoring my promise to sit before Him and show up in obedience, even if no-one else arrived.
I walked out knowing I was being obedient and remembering the familiar growing pains but filled with disappointment, nonetheless. But our God is so incredible and so faithful to lift our weary hearts at the perfect time. When I walked out the door, I came across the very man I had handed my college Bible study off to. Across from him sat the man he had handed it off to when he graduated. That man proceeded to tell me about the man he had passed it off to. They then told me that my Bible study, started in 2010, was continuing to this day. They said because of those moments of faithfulness, the last two leaders of that Bible study had come to repentance and became followers of our Lord and Savior. I couldn’t help but cry and rejoice. There were so many days when I was sitting alone, honoring that promise of faithfulness, that I wanted to give up. I considered it many times, but the Holy Spirit would not let me. By God’s grace, I showed up week after week until the chairs would fill up again. And by God’s grace, fruit came about because of that obedience. It’s not often that we see the fruit from our everyday faithfulness, but God knew that today I needed that reminder. He knew that as I sat alone and once again honored that promise to Him, that I needed to be reminded to be faithful day after day and to leave the fruit up to Him.