The Beauty of God's Plan
By: Caleb Finch
There is no mold or prototype for who God saves and who he calls. Many people try to predict who and how someone will be used by God, but ultimately God decides how he will use people and very rarely is it who people have in mind. Ashton Humphries is one of those chosen not just for salvation but also for Christian ministry. Several years ago, Ashton was not regularly attending church, but now he is confident that he is called to serve God with his gifts for the rest of his life.
When I interviewed Ashton, he told me that like many kids in Oklahoma, he grew up in a culturally Christian home. He was never taught anything of depth but was still aware of many of the moral rules attached to the Christian faith. Looking out and around him, Ashton did not see good examples of biblical Christianity lived out.
In December of 2018, Ashton began attending First Baptist Choctaw with his girlfriend, Sarah Kendrick, and was soon attending every Sunday and Wednesday. He admitted that he largely only attended at first because Sarah wanted him to be there. However, this changed one Sunday when the sermon covered the background of 2 Timothy, where the Apostle Paul encourages the young minister Timothy in his faith and in his ministry. Ashton explained to me that, unlike the sermons previous where Ashton had been largely disengaged with the message, he now found himself drawn in and waiting on every word and phrase. He said he felt as though he had been drowning but now found he could stand in what had been shallow water all along. Here, he felt the beginnings of God’s call to salvation, and what God ultimately had in store for his life. Soon after, at a church prayer night, while at one of the prayer stations he stopped to talk with Dakota more in-depth about salvation and that night received God’s gift of salvation.
Following this, Ashton was baptized at a church-wide fellowship in the pond in the park along with several others. As he continued in his walk with the Lord, Ashton told me that one of the biggest encouragements in his faith has been his relationship with men in the church such as Dakota Scott, Colt Johnson, Alan Eaton, and Andy Finch. He explains that the way they have modeled Godly manhood has encouraged and inspired him to grow in his faith daily.
As Ashton continued to grow, he was given the opportunity by Dakota to lead the Bible study on a Wednesday night for the youth. That night, as he led, he felt yet another call by God, the call to ministry. However, that night he did not fully understand what this new calling was and did not fully surrender to ministry until Falls Creek that summer. There, after an evening service in which the speaker spoke of the call to ministry, Ashton said he truly felt his eyes opened to God’s call on his life and what it entailed for his future. That night, during the in-cabin devotional, Ashton began to ponder what God’s call meant for him and how it would change him for God’s kingdom purpose. As he prayed and pondered, several people gathered around and began to pray for him, and as they prayed, he felt a peace for his future in Christ and His mission.
Since that time at Falls Creek, the church has continued to pour into Ashton and provide guidance for him and his call. He emphasized how the staff has helped him realize that, when he speaks or teaches, it is not himself who is speaking in his own power, but instead it is God speaking through him. Also, he spoke of how the church and staff have helped him set realistic goals for his future and his calling to lead now and in the future.
When I asked Ashton what his goals for the future were, he explained that he felt his call was to youth ministry. Ashton has a heart to teach the youth and the younger generation. Ashton sees the necessity of teaching spiritual truth to the youth during a time when their hearts and minds are so influenced by the secular culture around them. Because of this, Ashton desires to help strengthen the youth and share the gospel with those who he is given influence over. To continue to grow in his faith, Ashton plans on attending Rose State College for the next two years before transferring to Oklahoma Baptist University and gaining a degree Bible or Ministry.
In Ashton’s story, I see the beauty of God’s plan. Two years ago, not even Ashton himself would have guessed that he would not only be actively involved in church, but also called to Christian ministry. His story shows that we cannot pick or predict whom God will call to salvation or the ministry, but that it is something picked and chosen by God in his divine plan. God calls us all to something – what is his call for you?
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