In the last several weeks we’ve interviewed Reagan Couch and Lucas Vos. I’m not only hearing their message but seeing it in their lives. This week I want to introduce you to Duane Smith. He’s a real estate agent who’s interview has been posted for some time. We occasionally get emails from 3rd world countries asking for financial help or for resources to support their ministry. Duane got one from Kakinanda, India. Instead of writing it off as a potential fraud, he emailed back, got acquainted, asked for references, and then began supplying Bibles and blankets for Pastor Anil’s Church. After a few months they decided a trip to India would be appropriate and they’ve planned a pastors conference for 170 pastors, and an evangelistic crusade for 6000. Duane’s home church (Desert Rock) pastored by Steve Watson got involved with the vision. Steve is going on the trip to conduct the pastor’s conference and Duane is leading the crusade services. You can see the details in their brochure. Here’s the story of how it all came about.
– is not someone you would put the “extroverted entrepreneur” label on. He’s thoughtful, quiet, and studied in his approach to life and ministry. He turned 50 recently and was rethinking what he wanted to do with his life and career in real estate. At the same time the Lord was asking him, “What’s the desire of your heart; What do you want to do.” Duane really didn’t have an answer. Most mature Christians have learned not to answer a question from God like that casually. It’s like having 3 wishes… he applied his thoughtful, studied approach to his answer. The process took about 6 months and some fasting. He wanted to find the place in his heart’s desire that truly reflected the desire of God’s heart as well.
– The Lord spoke to Duane in the verses below. The Lord invited Duane to set his heart on ministering to the poor. Duane had some leanings toward missions already in his heart. But now he understood this desire to minister to the poor was clearly in God’s heart. That was the key that allowed to risk funding Bibles and blankets for a pastor on the other side of the world that he had only met through email.
6 “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: you loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? 7 Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter — when you see the naked, to clothe him, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood? Isa 58:6-7
Here’s the consequence of Duane aligning His heart’s desire with God’s desire. Duane is 50… wondering if his life as a real estate agent really matters to God – or anyone else for that matter. Now he has a clear sense of making a difference in the Kingdom. He’ll still be investing in and selling real estate, but he’s connected to something in the heart of God that is a well spring of life.
…and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday. 11 The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail. Isa 58:10-11
Discern your heart’s desires carefully
– This classic “miss” regarding heart’s desires is when we start to explore those desires and find a yearning for something really “off the wall”… like another person’s spouse. Some have invited destruction into their lives because they didn’t hold those desires up to God’s word – both written and quickened. Duane’s caution in answering God’s question (What’s the desire of your heart?) was wisdom.
For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. 13 Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account. Heb 4:12-13
For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light 9(for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) 10 and find out what pleases the Lord….17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. Eph 5:8-17
You can “Set Your Heart”
– God has already placed within your heart certain abilities and desires that reflect His own heart. However, you can fine tune your heart’s desires by understanding your ability to set your affections on things that are also in the heart of God.
Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. Col 3:1-2 NIV
And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. 30 For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. 31 But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well. Luke 12:29-31 NIV
10 Do not trust in extortion or take pride in stolen goods; though your riches increase, do not set your heart on them. Ps 62:10 NIV
Make in Practical
– What Duane has done isn’t such a big leap when you understand his background. Although he’s worked all his life, primarily in real estate, he has gone on mission trips before. He and his wife even went along for the ride on a previous trip to India for ministry. I went with Harold to the Netherlands the first time and went alone on the second trip. From a practical standpoint of confidence the first trip made the second one possible. Take your first trip and let someone else worry about the details. Andy Briesmeister can help you get connected for ministry trips to Africa and the Philippines through WorldCast Ministries. Duane can help you network with similar opportunities in India.
Back to Duane
– Do you think Duane will be successful in turning an email into new salvations and healings in a crusade expecting 6000 and blessing 170 local pastors? I do. In fact, I believe he’s walking through a door in the spirit that is wide open to many other Kings. He already has similar emails from the Philippines and I have several from Africa. It’s a new day… What’s in your Heart?