Running With The Gospel
(Please listen to Peter’s story by clicking the white play button at the top of this post. You can read the transcript of the story below.)
When you tell your own story, at least for me, I get, I get encouraged, because I’m like, God, you did speak to me. And I joke because, you know, over the years, I’ve seen that when God speaks something really, really clearly, like supernatural clear, where there’s no shadow of a doubt, you get really excited. But as you as you walk along this journey of walking with God, and He speaks that way, that usually the louder and the stronger that he speaks is because he knows you’re going to need an anchor for your soul. Because it’s going to get hard. And it’s, the word’s going to get tested.
God wasn’t really real to me till 2006. It was sort of my parents’ faith, and they raised me in the Lord, and I’m so grateful for their foundation. But at some point, you’ve got to make your faith your own. I just got desperate for God, because I had a consciousness of God, but I didn’t have a relationship with Him. And I just cried out for months and months, and he met me, and he became real to me. And so I’d been walking with Him for about four years and just reading the Word with a new light and just felt like I was here hearing his voice. And in 2010, I was two years out of my professional soccer career. And I was back in Dallas working at a bankruptcy law firm. I’d given, you know, 15-20 years of my life to pursuing soccer. And so at 23, there was this big kind of pivot and change of direction. I just figured I would be in the marketplace and be a radical Christian, as an attorney, or, you know, my brother’s an attorney, my dad’s an entrepreneur, like I just I really liked that path. I like the tangible world. And ministry to me seems so ethereal. But this ache was birthed in me. I mean, I remember it was like a–groan is maybe too strong of a word–but I just, it was a discontent feeling. And it wasn’t just because I was bored or anything like that. Like I knew it was from God. I think sometimes we get bored with what we’re doing and God’s calling us to stay. But the only thing I knew to do was to seek the Lord.
And so I remember early one morning, I was down in Oaklawn and I was like, I’m just going to go to the church and pray. And this was before the church had an alarm system, it was literally I had a key. So I walked up to the church, I was the only one in there. I just poured out my heart to God, really, I complained. “Poured out your heart” is the religious way of saying I complained. I just complained. And I just said, “God, I don’t know why I feel the way I feel. But I need you to speak to me.” And that’s what it was. I was desperate for his voice and for his direction.
And I had been for an hour just saying, “Lord, I don’t feel like I know which way to go. Like, am I going to go to ministry, whatever that means, or am I going to go to be a lawyer?” That was the context of my of my groaning. Because I felt like something inside of me was telling me there’s something more.
But I didn’t know what that was.
And I just said, “You have to speak to me.” And it was like immediately in my heart, it wasn’t audible and and I just heard the verse, Jeremiah 6:16. And so I read Jeremiah 6:16. And it says this. “This is what the Lord says, stand at the crossroads and look. Ask me for the ancient path, and for the good way, and walk in it, and you’ll find rest for your soul.”
And I read that, and it was like, Oh, my gosh, God just spoke to me. Like that one scripture in all of the Bible articulated exactly where I was at. I didn’t know what the ancient path was, or the good way. I was just praying sort of this I had the word but I didn’t have clarity. Does that make sense? Like I had peace in my soul, because I had heard. And I knew I was on the right path asking him, but I didn’t know what that was. So still at the crossroads. So fast forward. It was in October, I went to the movie Secretariat. It was my brother’s birthday. We went as a family. The opening line of that movie is a quote from Job 39:19-25. And she’s reading it. She goes, “Do you give the horse his strength? Do you clothe his neck with a flowing mane?” And it’s this, it’s God questioning Job. But he’s using this analogy of a horse. And I thought that was cool and poetic and thought nothing of it. And then at the end of the movie Secretariat’s won two of the three races of the Triple Crown.
The third race is the longest, and Secretariat was only supposed to be fast for short distances. And so he was expected to lose the final race. And so there I am minding my own business, and I’m watching this movie and and Secretariat starts off and he normally starts off in last place and then comes from behind and wins. Well this time in this third race, where he’s supposed to start off slow, he starts off really fast. And he just gets faster and the other horse is pressing him in and you’re watching this and you’re going, he’s going to burn out, and he’s going to lose the race. All of a sudden, about three-quarters through the race, and the movie does a great job of portraying this, the owner finally just goes, “Let him run, Ronnie, let him run.” And you see Secretariat just take off. And as I’m watching this movie, and I’m watching Secretariat just get this massive lead over Sham, I start crying in the movie. And I’m like, I don’t cry at movies. I mean, I’m not a super emotional guy. And the announcer’s, like, “He’s running like a tremendous machine.” And something inside of me, that same thing that was aching, you know, for three months, I just feel this like, I can’t describe it again. It was like deep calling to deep. I’m like, why am I crying? Why do I feel so connected to this moment? And, and I heard the Lord speak to me at the end of that movie, and it wasn’t audible again. And it was just a subtle whisper. And he said, “Son, I’ve made you to run like that horse.”
And he said, he said, “Most people think that I’m a God who just wins at the finish line, just a photo finish.” He said, “But but you know me to be the God who dominates the enemy. Who, who –he’s not even in the, he’s not even in the picture.” And he said, “Son, I’ve called you to make me known in that way.” And so I immediately went home. I read, I read Job 39:19-25. And it was like the Lord spoke to me my identity. And he said, “Son,” he said, “this is who you are. You’re this, you’re warhorse.” He said, “I haven’t called you to be anything else. But this, this describes who you are. And what I’ve called you to do on this earth.” God was speaking to my identity, more than what I would do for him, he was trying to show me who who I am in him. And that, that was really, you know, when a father affirms a son, there’s nothing more powerful.
So the next morning, I go to a prayer set that was a Friday night. It was Saturday morning, we had our prayer meeting at 10 o’clock. And a friend of mine came up to me after the prayer set. And he said, “Hey,” he goes, “we were praying this morning.” And he goes, “I just had this thought I wanted to share with you. I said, “Cool, what is it?” He says, “I know you were an athlete, in the in the natural, you’re a professional athlete,” he said, “but I just feel like God wants you to know that you’re an athlete in the spirit. And I just see you like leaping really high and running really fast.” And he just gives me this word. And he has no idea that the night before God’s told me that I want you to I want you to run like this really, really fast horse.
And so I’m like, okay, there’s a little theme here of running. I’ve got the ancient path. And so God’s piecing this thing together for me, all them, all the while I’m still working at the bankruptcy law firm, but I feel this thing and I’m like, okay, maybe this is something. And it was one morning, I was doing something in my kitchen. And I was unpacking this bag, and this oil dumped all over my feet. Again, this was in the span of like a few months, all of this happened.
I was by myself in my house, doing some random tasks. Oil dumps on my feet. I’m frustrated. It was like God’s presence and voice came into my kitchen. And he said, “Peter, I’m anointing your feet to run with the gospel.”
And this oil dumped on my feet. I was like, man, what a mess. And immediately, and this was, this was as audible as God’s voice could be without actually hearing it in your ear. It was just a knowing. People say how do you know when you hear God’s voice? You know. Like, his voice will shake you, it will make you tremble. And this is what it was. I was by myself in my house, doing some random task. Oil dumps on my feet. I’m frustrated. It was like God’s presence and voice came into my kitchen. And he said, “Peter, I’m anointed your feet to run with the gospel.” And that that shook me. Because I realized that he literally anointed my feet. And there was oil on my feet. And I couldn’t argue with the fact that somehow my Father through an accident, anointed my feet. I thought that was pretty cool. And so finally, I felt like I had some clarity to that ancient path, that good way. It had to do with the running with the gospel. That was the only phrase I had. And there was a knowing like, okay, Lord, I think you’re actually calling me to run with the gospel.
I think this is the ancient path. I think this is the good way. I’m not supposed to do law school. And so I told Christie, I said, “Babe, I think I’m supposed to, to run with the gospel.” And she had seen all these things unfold. Now, it sounds all nice when you tell all the God’s story part, but you’re having to live this out with with finance implications and relational implications. And she didn’t hear God say and, you know, like, there’s real dynamics. And my wife is amazing, because she she just knows God. And she knows how he speaks. And so she had seen the unfolding of this and the ache in my heart. And she goes, “Babe, I think this is God.”
You know, but we were both–didn’t know what that looks like, do I need to leave this law firm job? What am I going to do? There was no job at the church. The church wasn’t even a church. It was a prayer meeting. There was no like, it wasn’t like I like oh, I’ve you know, I’ve got a job waiting for me. There was nothing. I hadn’t finished my education because I did the professional soccer thing. I mean, I was, I was as as naked as you can be in terms of opportunities and having your ducks in a row. I was trying to walk with God the best I knew how. And I said, “God, I’ll leave. I want to obey you. I told you, I would walk in it.” I said, “but forgive me. (I felt like Gideon, you know), give me one more sign.” It was like that, just I need one more–“If I’m going to leave my job and not have any certainty, like I told you, I’d walk in the good way the ancient path. Christie’s down, but like, for the sake of both of us, give us something concrete, that we can really stand upon that when this gets hard, we know.”
Two weeks later, we were at church. And the wife of the husband who gave me the word came up to me, and I hadn’t been sharing anything about anything with anybody. And she came up to me and she said, “Hey”… You could tell she was real embarrassed, because, that she wasn’t used to like sharing, you know, encouragement or prophetic words with people. And she said, “Hey, this may be really random and weird.” She goes, “but I got a picture popped into my head earlier today. I didn’t know what it was. And when I got here tonight, the Lord told me to just to draw it out.” And she was an artist. So she goes, “I just drew it out on my journal page.” And she said, “The Lord told me to give it to you. I hope it makes sense.” And I opened the piece of paper. And she had drawn in pen, a guy crouched down in the starting block, like in a starting block about to start a race. And she had written on it, “get ready, set, go.” And “go” was really big. And with an exclamation point. I had been praying Lord, okay, you’ve called me to run with the gospel, I need to know is it time to go? Is it time? And, and I get this piece of paper, and she doesn’t have a clue. She’s like, does this make any, does this make…. and all I can do is laugh. I’m just laughing. And what was amazing to me, and I say this, and I’ve told them this publicly– that couple separately from each other, but together, were used by God, to send me into full-time ministry to run with the gospel. Because both of their words confirmed what God was saying to me already, through His Word, and through all these other cool things. So that really was the start of my life and ministry. And it took time for for it to unfold. And here I am 2019. And I have a ton of clarity. And I’m in full time ministry. I have a ministry called Braveheart Ministries. I’m a teaching pastor at Room. And all of my kids eat every week. And we have a roof over our head, we have five kids, and God’s providing for our family. And it started though, with just a little baby step of faith on his voice. And for me, the most profound thing, the most radical thing, the best thing about being a Christian is learning to discern the voice of God. And one of the ways for me personally, that I’ve found the ability to discern His voice is just taking time to be still. And to be quiet–without my music, without my Bible, without Instagram. Without Jesus Calling, you know. It’s just to sit and to quiet my soul and to just wait on God. And it seems like when I do that, I recognize his voice throughout the day, whether it’s through a movie, whether it’s through a billboard, whether it’s through a license plate that reminds me of a scripture.
But everything he always speaks will point us to his Son, into his Word, and it’ll it’ll, it’ll strengthen it, it’ll confirm it. But what it does is it builds our faith. And that’s what we need in this hour, I think, is people who, who take risks for God on his voice, because that’s when we’re going to see the fruit. So that’s my story, bro.