Wednesday, April 27, 2011

"Every revolution starts with ONE act of defiance." [Josh Mayo]

TAKS.

The most dreaded acronym in the public school system these days.(until of course they change it AGAIN)

Yesterday I was stationed outside a lovely(yuk) bathroom in which I had to monitor children as they would steal away from tests just to get a minute to breathe. At least thats what I would do. And today was going to be no different, except that last night changed everything.

A friend and I ditched our typical routines and went after God. You know you have those moments where you are just so excited to enter into a house where the main thing is worship and letting the Holy Spirit lead and its spontaneous and God inspired? Yeah thats where we were! I can't remember the last time I felt the presence of God so near to my heart that I was literally shaking and crying, and I saw people just randomly walk up to others and begin praying over them because they were listening to the voice of God speak.

It was amazing. Add onto the fact that the speaker they had come was real, gave it to us straight. After the service was over we talked for a couple of hours about the Word he brought and its sad to say that I haven't gushed over a sermon like that in a while.

"Do you believe that God has a purpose for you in this life? That you are meant to be more, apart of something bigger than yourself?" Everyone in the sanctuary raises their hands in a room of young adults, most of which attend theological institute we are visiting.

"I DON'T CARE." DEAD SILENCE ENSUES. And then he continues: "I don't care because everyone believes it but very few ACT ON IT. I DARE YOU to stop talking and start living."

He talked about so many things, that we are a people motivated not by faith but by feelings/emotions and circumstances. That when we cry out "God I want to be a living sacrifice, I lay my life on the altar! USE ME!" we tend to forget that when God begins to use us/change us pain is usually involved and then we say "Woah...uh that hurts, thats uncomfortable..." and we slip ourselves back off the altar. And then we get back on an emotional rush and do it over and over again...a spiritual cycle of take backs. "Oh yeah I remember when I said I'd devote my life to God, but its really hard." or "Oh yeah I remember when I asked God for direction and he told me I'd be a missionary, but I got really lonely..."

*WHEN YOUR FEELINGS FADE DOES YOUR FAITH KICK IN?

I remember when God told me that in order to do the things that I was called to do it would take much more than what I had thought, and I remember weeping before him bowing at his feet saying "Yes LORD, I am ready and willing to do it for You." But along the way, it got hard, I've been feeling tired drained and, yes, lonely. One thing that John Mayo said that really touched my heart was this:

*NEVER DOUBT IN THE DARKNESS WHAT GOD TOLD YOU IN THE LIGHT.

What a powerful statement, it was like he was speaking to me. He WAS speaking to me. And not just about that aspect, but every point he hit upon seemed to related directly to something in my current life situation. Thats when you know you've just met up with a divine God given appointment. I was leaning forward in my chair, I was drinking in every word of the message that God had meant me to hear.

"There are a lot of great starters in the kingdom of God, but very few FINISHERS."

I do that a lot, I start something so passionately and then WHOMP WHOMP it was just a passing faze that gathers dust on the shelf. Lord I want to finish it, I want our relationship to last until I walk into your arms, help me to be a finisher.

He talked about Jacob wrestling with God, he was alone. Its easy to believe/follow God in a crowd, but when you're alone, when it really matters its truly hard. And when you fight a battle with God, struggle there with Him about something it'll change you, it'll mark you up, it'll MESS you up but we have to realize that GODS VICTORY DOESN'T COME AT DISCOUNT PRICES. The very thing you curse might be the thing that God allows to change you forever.

Another thing he said about Jacob is that he knew what he wanted, God's blessing. "When was the last time you knew exactly what you wanted? GET SPECIFIC!" God answers specific prayers. So instead of just crying out "Oh Lord touch me, touch my heart, heal my soul..." get specific. Tackle the real thing/situation in your life and tell God, "Lord I really need you to keep me from gossiping because its like verbal pornography coming out of my mouth." And so at the end of this sermon God gave Jacob a new name Israel. This one act or defiance, this wrestling with God brought about an entire nation of God.

And so I sit back and I look at my life and I look at how stagnant it has been and I ask myself, do I know what I want? Do I spend enough time with my God? Do I know what endurance is to continue running the race that the Lord has set before me? Am I willing to lay everything down for the sake of His kingdom and forsake all else? Am I ready to devote myself like the early church to the NEVER CEASING proclamation of God's kingdom? YES. I AM READY.

So today I am sitting infront of the bathroom, and I am reading deeper into this book by John Piper Let the Nations be glad! and I am reading about the sacrifices and the suffering that the first missionaries went through and it gave me such joy to know that they too had a passion for Him, and that there are others that have gone before me, others who are there with me now, and others that will follow me that know exactly how I feel now.

Henry Martyn once wrote these words:

"Whether life or death be mine, may Christ be magnified in me! If he has work for me to do, I cannot die."

I want to life my life like this, willing to do the work set before me and unwilling to let even death make me hesitant to take a step out in faith and trust in my God for all of my needs. Either way he will be glorified in me.

Now I leave you with these final words:

I DARE YOU. STOP TALKING AND START LIVING.

A.

Prayer requests:
1. I just heard that David Wilkerson (writer of the Cross and the Switchblade) was killed in a car accident today. Pray for his family and loved ones in this time of mourning.(Matthew 5:4)
2. Changes are happening, big changes pray that there would be continued unity in the body of Christ no matter circumstance or situation.
3. I am seeking the Lord about what I am to do this summer, take some photography classes or go another route please pray for guidance.
4. Also my friend and I are taking a trip to Chicago for the AWAKENING CONFERENCE put on by Jesus Culture, it is going to be an amazing experience. Please pray for the right doors to be open for financial provision for transportation and such. []

Praise Reports:
1. Easter services this weekend were awesome, our church did a Friday night out reach called Rock the Block and the turn out was amazing. Many seeds were planted so I praise God for that.