Last night, FOPx hosted their first ever Impossible Night. In a time of extended worship, teaching and ministry, preacher TYSHONE ROLAND shared about how God prepares us to fulfil our divine purpose – even right where we are.
“We may hate where we are, and the season we’re in, and we may want to change our lives and the people we are surrounded by,” said Tyshone. “But God wants us to sit in it, so that we can get a heart for it. Then when He wants to use somebody to change it, He has someone to call. “
I was 12 years old when a preacher came to my church camp.
I came because someone had sponsored me to go, and I thought it would be cool to go.
But what I didn’t know was that my life was going to be changed forever.
From the moment the preacher got on stage, I felt like he had what I needed.
The whole time he was preaching, I said “God, I feel You doing something. I’m feeling something I’ve never felt before.”
At the end of the sermon, the preacher had a word for two people in the room.
After the first person, he scanned the room for the second person.
He looked back at me, and told me to come to the altar.
I remember going up to the altar. I was 12. I wasn’t looking for God, I was just at an event that someone invited me to.
The preacher looked at me and said, “God has a call for your life. God is going to use you, young man, to travel around the world and preach the Gospel.”
It’s been 18 years.
For the last 18 years, God has been developing me, correcting me, correcting me, and correcting me some more.
Now I get to stand here. Every time I stand and hold a microphone, I just think: “Man, this all started with a word that someone gave me when I was a teenager.”
Whether you know it or not, God has a purpose for you. God has put you on the earth not to take up space, but to make a difference.
I want to talk to you about Ezekiel today. On Ezekiel’s thirtieth year, fourth month, and fifth day of his life – God revealed to him what he was called to do.
It’s important to know that if Ezekiel had to wait till thirty, we don’t have to figure out everything at fifteen.
As we grow older, we begin to wrestle and wonder: What am I called to do? Who am I called to reach? Why am I on this earth?
It took Ezekiel thirty years to figure these out, and it may take you thirty years too.
So if you’re feeling empty of purpose, or you’re unaware of exactly what God has called you to be or do, you are in good company.
Ezekiel was a priest, but God called him to be a prophet.
You have to know this right now: God will put you in training in one area, only to prepare you for another.
If you look at your season right now thinking that it’s all you’re called to do, know this: today is preparation for tomorrow.
Your purpose has a process
When that preacher came when I was 12 years old and told me I was called to be a preacher, I said, “Give me the mic right now, sir. I’m ready.”
I took preaching so seriously. If you’re called to do something, be a good steward of your gifts. You don’t have to be the best, you’ve just got to do your best.
I remember being younger and just obsessed with my calling. All my friends were going to parties, chillin’ and doing things.
I didn’t go to parties. I stayed at home and watched preachers. I felt like God was developing me and using me.
At 12, maybe I was too young. When I turned 16, I could drive – everything made sense. I asked for the mic, and they said no.
Then I turned 21 and became an adult in America. I asked for the mic again, and they said no.
It was conflicting to me, because I thought that when God calls you, He shows you, and then uses you. But that’s not how it happens.
God will call you, then take you through a season of development. He has to correct you, mould you, teach you; He has to put you here and train you.
It’s not simply that calling is enough. Every calling needs development. So if you’re called to greatness, you have to be developed.
The mountain of ears
I did so many internships, I could’ve just went to college. I had to go through a process, and I didn’t like it. We don’t like processes as much as we like purpose.
Every one of you is called to greatness. There is an anointing on your life.
God has positioned you. He could’ve put you in any timeline, and He put you in 2023.
He’s placed a purpose in our lives, and it comes with a very interesting process. We can’t outrun the process, we have to face it.
Ezekiel had a process. The Bible says that he went to “the exiles at Tel-abib” (Ezekiel 3:15), which means mountain of ears. And there was where Ezekiel sat for seven days.
In Leviticus 8, Moses talks about the process of a priest, and what priests have to do in preparation of priesthood.
They’d have to sit at the entrance of the tent of meetings for seven days.
This is the consecration period for their calling. Every calling needs to be consecrated.
The Bible says that Ezekiel sat there and got overwhelmed with emotion.
While sitting there, he began to observe not just the acts of people, but their behaviour.
His heart was broken for the people.
Before God can call us, we need to understand the community we are called to.
Before He can use us on a stage, He needs us to sit in a seat and learn.
Take a seat
I remember my seat. After finishing one of my many internships, I got a job at Starbucks.
When I first started, I tried to wait it out. After all, I was going to be a preacher.
But I would go to work reluctantly and in anger, because I wasn’t where I felt like I was purposed to do.
As if purpose is a place!
Here’s my question: If you’re not in your purpose, what are you in? An accident? Do you think that God is making mistakes with your life right now?
My time at Starbucks – that was purpose. Where you’re at, whatever you’re doing – that’s purpose.
I was trying to push past the season God had placed me in to get to where He has called me to be, and I may have been missing out.
I started to wrestle with these questions.
What if all these prophecies in your lifetime do come true? What will these people say about you later, because of what you’re doing right now?
I was in a season when I wanted the stage, but God was giving me a seat at Starbucks instead.
He wanted me to observe the people. Most of us are so obsessed with purpose, that we don’t even care about people.
The longer you ignore people… God will keep you from your purpose because you’re a liability to the Kingdom if you get into your purpose but you don’t care about people.
You become a liability if all you think is that this whole Christian thing is about your purpose.
No, this whole Christian thing is about reaching people for the glory of God and telling them about the message of the cross.
So God says, “Tyshone, I’m calling you to take a seat.” So I was at Starbucks, and I took a seat.
My seat at Starbucks
There’s a big difference between seeing people and observing people. Some of us are so distracted by purpose that we don’t even see the people right in front of us.
I stopped seeing my co-workers when I started observing, and I noticed that one employee never smiles at all.
I began to see what my store manager was going through when I noticed the stress that she came to work with. I’d wonder what she goes through at home, and what she’s feeling.
I learned to love Starbucks because I realised I had my purpose right there and then.
I work with the people that I want to preach to, and the people I want to reach are at an arm’s length from me!
I had felt that God was doing something in one of my coworkers’ life.
She’d confide in me, because although I didn’t have the title of a pastor I was already operating in my gift as a pastor.
So I began to minister. Everyday, I’d pray for God to give me the right words and Scripture to say, and for the ability to put a smile on her face.
Eventually she got saved, and I saw God do things in her life.
God used me from my seat. I was waiting for the stage, and God used me right where I was in my seat.
Take your seat
Our seat is for development. Don’t leave your seat.
So many times, we hate our seats, because we can’t say anything while in our seats. It’s so weird to me, because prophets are called to speak, so why would I have to sit and be quiet?
But sometimes, God loves you so much that He’ll trust you to be quiet, rather than to speak.
We may hate where we are, and the season we’re in, and we may want to change our lives and the people we are surrounded by.
But God wants us to sit in it, so that we can get a heart for it.
Then when He wants to use somebody to change it, He has someone to call.
Sometimes the best thing you can do for God is to be obedient to the seat He’s placed you in.
Because if God cannot trust you with obedience, He will never trust you with opportunity. If you cannot do what He’s called you to do, you cannot be where He’s calling you to be.
God is doing something in our seats that He can’t do on the stage.
So if we skip our seats and get to our stages, we will be a vessel that hasn’t been properly processed.
Before God can use us to change the world, He has to change us right where we are in our seats.
This article was adapted from Tyshone Roland’s message at Impossible Night 2023.
- What does your “seat” look like this season?
- Practically speaking, what does being faithful in your current season and seat mean?
- Know someone who’s thinking about purpose? Share this article with them.