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Ga. governor underscores importance of obeying God

ALPHARETTA, Ga. (BP)–Imagine being named CEO of a $1.6 billion company. “You’ve got a hundred thousand employees, but they know your contract’s only for four years. And you’ve got a board of directors of 236 that meet for 40 days.”

That’s how Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue described the job he assumed in 2002, one that has taught him more than ever of his need to rely on God.

“It takes everything you have of supernatural gifts from the Holy Spirit to be effective in that kind of atmosphere, and that’s what I depend on day by day,” Perdue told staff members of the North American Mission Board April 15 during a chapel service. “… God’s not going to trust my skills and my talent and all of my winsomeness. …. For him to get the glory, I’ve got to be absolutely obedient to his call.”

Perdue, originally from Bonaire, Ga., currently is a member at First Baptist Church of Woodstock in Atlanta’s northern suburbs. Perdue and his wife, Mary, co-teach a Sunday School class on marriage there with NAMB President Robert E. (Bob) Reccord and his wife, Cheryl.

The governor shared the story of how God had called him to run for governor, a move he said he honestly thought was more about teaching him humility than actually allowing him to win. Since he’s taken office he’s tried to maintain the same attitude.

“It’s easy to stay humble as governor,” he said to laughs from the crowd. “I’ve got those board members [state legislators]; they’ll keep you humble. But it’s only easy as we are compliant and obedient in God’s Spirit to allow Him to work in our lives. And that’s my goal.”

Perdue asked that people pray not just for wisdom in the decisions he makes but for his continued obedience.

“I’ve got confidence in everything else working out if I am obedient. I am the determinant factor in that,” he said.

One of the biggest secrets to success in any field, he added, is authenticity.

“I think the world is hungry for authenticity in Christians,” he said. “People want to see authentic Christians, and I think the spiritual victory we’ve had is God has enabled me to live an authentic life among my peers, my colleagues and my staff.”

One of his greatest spiritual victories, Perdue said, has been the opportunity of being part of the Easter-Sunday public launch of North Cross Baptist Church in nearby Cumming. The church is being started by his son. Jim and Stephanie Perdue, appointed NAMB missionaries, began working to start the church last fall.

“As your governor I want to tell you what a thrill it was to watch his excitement in seeing 203 people attend. Now he’s asked me to speak Sunday, and it’s my challenge to make sure I have that many people there,” he said.

“I want to encourage you in your work” in support of such ministries, he told the NAMB staff members, “because that’s the difference you’re making in the lives of the future.”
(BP) photo posted in the BP Photo Library at http://www.bpnews.net. Photo title: PERDUE SPEAKS AT NAMB.

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  • James Dotson