Update 20 - Understanding God's Missions 2018: 3.0
The opportunities ahead of us are in steady supple. God is constantly monitoring our obedience and willingness to take advantage of what is set before us. Unfortunately in Western culture, we have become blind to the nature of such offerings. They are rarely associated with things of this world, at least in the context of personal gain or self-glorification. Sadly much of the prosperity gospel preaching would like to get you to think differently. One only needs to reflect on this, Matthew 4;8-9, NKJV: Again the devil took him up on a exceedingly high mountain, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to him, all these things I will give to you if you fall down and worship me. This is where the deceiver of this world will ensnare so many. He even tried to do it to Jesus. Praise Yahweh the enemy was unsuccessful.
By the grace of God our intentions are to do our best to operate completely in line with the principles of the Word. These words that I write will be a living testament to whether or not we were able to achieve that. As the Almighty continues to unfold the story, remarkable things are coming into existence. The conscious awareness of His presence in and around us is quite mesmerizing. The hollow center that we all feel and desperately try to fill with things of this world, now can be satisfied. Only by the presence of Jesus do we realize we are completed as we were created to be. All things of this world that once had value dissolve into a haze of distraction. We still have to operate within the haze but it should not affect how we go about our day living for the Lord.
Martin and his family continue to be a blessing to all of us. Yahweh brought him to us to be a powerful fellow warrior in battle. In many cases, he will be the leader instructing the troops to charge. Time will tell whether or not my words are empty, but this is what will come to pass. We will continue to battle against the forces of darkness and take back many that have been following the wrong god. None of this will take place by our own strength. Only the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit teaching and guiding us will allow this to happen. I hope that most of you that are reading this will have the opportunity to experience what I am referring to. Just a few years ago, I would have thought it was impossible to be on fire for Jesus. Yet here I am today, by God’s mercy, eagerly anticipating what will be revealed next. The cost is everything if you are willing to take a journey like this. All that you are, all that you have, all that you will ever be will need to be laid at the feet of Jesus, completely. Do not try to fake it-He knows your heart. Only by doing this will you be able to understand what it means to walk with Him.
Tony and Martin organized a day when the pastors went out to the construction site and helped make bricks. We are onto another set of pastors at the teaching house. There seems to be a significant improvement in their willingness to be servant-hearted. The old man that we now have as a resident at our teaching house has become a rallying point for servant-hood. He was more or less rejected by one of our earlier groups. This was very disturbing to say the least. It was a blessing to hear how this group of pastors have embraced the opportunity to serve not only in the care of the old man, but also to help make bricks at the construction site. Many of them were wearing good clothes, including some suits and ties. This did not stop them from helping dig dirt and assist in the process of making bricks.
These are the types of opportunities which I was referring to earlier. Any time that we reject the opportunity to help our fellow man, we are missing out on the opportunity to see the love of Jesus in action. This is what makes the power of Jesus Christ undeniable: when you know that you are doing things now that you would not have done before. This is one of the most powerful signs of Jesus working in us. You may consider many photos nowadays as selfies. In my opinion, that is wrong on so many levels, especially considering the fact that Jesus requires us to be selfless. Fortunately in this picture from Malawi, it shows a group of people doing selfless acts to help one another. Even Samson (Martin’s son) is in the background. I am just beginning to know this young man, however I can say with a high degree of confidence that he demonstrated love to all he encountered this day.
The kind of photos that we are showing are not to brag and say “Look at us.” We will report our mistakes, missteps, errors in judgment, and corrections from the Master just as we report the good. Our earnest effort is to be on this journey together to see where God (Yahweh) is leading. Our group is not interested in kinda Christianity, half-baked holiness, lackluster loving or sometimes surrendered. For us, it is all or nothing. We believe the truth of the Word can be lived out today. I personally believe that at some point, I will witness someone being raised from the dead. There are many of you that would laugh and scoff at such an idea, but you have not seen the things that I have seen. We do not have the faith yet in our group for such an event, but God is patiently leading us down the path to see His glory revealed. Unbelievable boldness is growing within me, that feels a lot like the beginning of a mustard seed, that will move mountains.
Pastor Jared is in the midst of a mighty battle in Kenya. The forces of darkness mistakenly thought they had the area under control. The Almighty knows different and is calling up His forces to do battle. If you do nothing else concerning what you have read, do this: Pray that God’s forces will obliterate the demonic forces and recover those souls from the control of the enemy. Please understand the boldness that we are obtaining is empowerment of the Holy Spirit. Nothing of us could make us stand against the forces we are encountering. Everything in Him gives us the confidence to make such bold statements. We are done fooling around and realize we will need to get demon blood on our hands to be victorious. The only way you dare be this bold is to operate in undeniable, complete surrender to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. In His name He will honor our faith to go into battle. When we proclaim these words with our mouth and follow them up with actions, our faith will materialize into fulfillment of the glory of our Master.
Jared and Grace have begun to distribute Bibles and prepare the mission house for pastor training in Kenya. Chad and I will be traveling there in October. Spiritual calisthenics will be a major aspect of our preparation process. There will be life-changing events that will occur and Chad will be witness to them. This will mark the beginning of a journey that God already has laid out for him. God has already identified him for specific areas. He has let me in on some of it, but I feel strongly that much more will be revealed during our time in Africa. One of the things for sure is Chad’s powerful voice proclaiming the truth of God’s word. The intensity of spiritual awareness that he conveys with his eyes is a strong indicator what lies within his soul.
One thing is for sure: Yahweh is assembling a body of believers to tear down the gates of hell wherever He sends us. I am almost daily reminded of the dream I had back in November. Before all of this started, two 20-foot tall angels were flanking my right and left side, and then a voice in my left ear was gently saying, “Do not even look side to side, have faith that I am always with you.” There have been several opportunities for me to draw strength from those dreams. I believe so far, this is just the warm-up, even the four thugs and lawyer that tracked us down one night. Listen to me, many people do not understand this. I did not for most of my adult life. Without faith, it is impossible to please God. At best, we will get fragmented hints as to the direction He wants us to go. If the opportunity that we find before us lines up with any of the instructions the Bible tells us, consider that a green light. That is where the journey of faith begins. Once the Almighty sees us beginning to turn the pages in the playbook, He will continue to give us opportunities quicker and quicker if we are responding to those opportunities according to His will. I am not referring to the Bible when I say playbook. I am referring to life lessons that we must learn to have opportunities for a deeper lesson. I will give you a small example of how this works.
God has been working on Heidi and I regarding little silly issues that may arise between us. Praise Jesus they have probably reduced by 90% over the past year and a half or so. One thing I am learning when He is calling up the troops is that He expects extreme focus on the mission at hand. The Holy Spirit has reminded me several times of my shortcomings. The voice goes something like this, “Seriously, are you going to let that comment give you an attitude that to take your focus off of me?” Usually I quickly hang my head in self disappointment and acknowledge, “No, Lord.” The beautiful thing is when we quickly surrender to His authority, He will oftentimes give you a nugget of supernatural truth to chew on, and here it is.
After apologizing to Heidi about a rude comment I made in a convenience store, the Holy Spirit prompted me. “If that woman had the money stolen from her, would she have reacted more severely?” Now I know you have no clue what I am talking about, but here is the other piece of the puzzle that will connect the dots. Heidi had met a woman at one of the hotels we stayed at in Kisii, Kenya. She felt led, to give the woman a few hundred dollars. Remember now, to them, that was a couple months of wages. Shortly after she had given it to her, the woman reported that someone had stolen it. From the very beginning, Heidi had a catch in her spirit whether she was being truthful or not.
Fast forward a few months, and she still is trying to claim that someone took the money and that her children were starving and she needed help. While we were in Cedarville dropping off our daughter at college, there was a conversation going on between the lady and Heidi concerning assistance. Now think back to the comment the Holy Spirit planted in me and this will make a lot more sense. At the time, I had never shared the comment with Heidi. Less than 24 hours later, she stated the exact words to me. Remember now this event had taken place a couple months prior. The moment she spoke the words to me I had a flashback of the previous day. I told Heidi “This is a test.” I believe God has just confirmed for sure that this woman lied to us. We are to have faith and boldness to say that God told us something. Reflecting on the fact that the Bible says the Holy Spirit will confirm by two or three witnesses gave me great confidence in the statement. What do you think the woman said to us after we told her that God revealed to us that she was lying?