"Do you see a man skilled in his work? He will serve before kings; he will not serve before obscure men" (Proverbs 22:29).
I was sitting in a room of 400 business people from 75 different nations to begin an international conference. After a time of worship, a man stood up and exhorted Christians in the United States to pray for their president. It was a difficult time in our nation because president Bill Clinton was in the midst of a scandal.
The man who challenged us to pray was pastor Romain Zannou from the small African nation of Benin. Romain had earned the right to exhort us. Many years ago, God had given him a burden to pray for his Marxist dictator president, Mathieu Kerekou. For 10 years, he prayed for two hours a day for Kerekou's salvation and for God to give Kerekou wisdom to lead the nation. One day while he was praying, Romain felt that the Lord had a message for the president. Within 24 hours, he was standing in a room with Kerekou to deliver the word of the Lord.
Though he and Romain had agreed to meet after their first free elections for a time of Bible study, the former president refused to meet with Romain after only a few meetings. Almost every day after that, Romain went to Kerekou's home, only to be told that Kerekou did not wish to see him. Each day he said, "I will wait," and stood outside the wall for hours, many times in the rain and heat, in hopes that Kerekou would let him in.
After a year and a half of these unsuccessful visits, the former president finally received him and greeted him with the words, "Pastor Zannou, you are a very persistent man." They began an in-depth study of the Bible. Through this study of the word of God, the former president received Christ.
Romain Zannou is one of many unknown leaders being used to impact nations through their own workplace calling. They are an unlikely group of people - pastors, flower shop owners, builders, industrialists and even a former golf pro (me).
Be skilled in what you do. You may be standing before a king in the future.
For more from Os Hillman and T.G.I.F., visit todaygodisfirst.com