Recently I have not been too active in my writing as I have been preparing and then actively traveling through eastern Europe (Hungary,Bulgaria and Greece). I unfortunately do not have many photos to share from my trip, but I do have something far greater than these that is a testimony of God working in lives of people including my own. Before the trip ever began I was really aiming,praying and expectant for a word from God to be received in the time of travel. I had a simple prayer that God would reveal at least one truth in my time of travel. The first part of the trip was devoted to an international conference including almost 2000 men and women from various european churches gathering to share the word with each other and be encouraged by a reunion of sorts for the many missionaries who have went into Europe with the gospel. The theme was, there is an open door, an effectual door and there are many adversaries. Suffice to say, the first week was packed with amazing truth, amazing messages from anointed pastors and teachers and plenty of truth to last for ages. The content for this week alone will most likely be what I will actively chew on and share with all of you in the coming weeks through poetry, devotions and messages. The theme I caught within the messages simply circles around the word of God itself. Its value, its eternal nature, and its amazing truth. This was a great meditation and a great theme to rehearse, as it is so often neglected as elementary or basic in Christian circles. A message still resonating is a message, I believe is titled “have you never read”. Within this message this phrase have you never read from Matt 21:42 was being used over and over as the pastor went through the many promises of God.The context of the scripture is Jesus addressing the religious figures of Jerusalem, the figures who were well versed in the scriptures but were not truly reading the scriptures to reveal the truth that their messiah stood right before them. The message focused on the fact that we so often receive with filtered ears and do not receive the finer things of the scripture. The gold and silver of the word that establishes us and reveals the truth to us is often lost in transit through our filtered ears, truly amazing. Above all things the message really rejuvenated my adventurous spirit to delve into the word of God to receive the fine treasures. Not that I was lacking in my studies and disciplines but that there is so much more, there is so much more we can find in the scriptures and receive from our pastors. I was finding that all we need is to just fully be there to receive it. Bearing this stirring message in mind, I continued my trip and was beginning to find this treasure within Isaiah 40-42. There are so many jewels in this section, but one in particular seemed to be calling out to me. The simple thought of God holding my hand, taking me to a truth that I could not get to alone, leading me to the deeper things of His word where I could not swim before; this was gold and an amazing meditation for the whole trip. God was ready to show me something great in this trip, I just had a sense of it as I was being so touched by His word through the messages of the conference, it was only a matter of time until it was manifested.
Finishing my first week and the week of the conference I then moved onto traveling into Bulgaria. In hopes of assisting in a future work in the country,I was off a 12 hour bus journey through Serbia from Budapest. Excitement at its peak and my spirit so full of what I had received the week before, I set out with a small team and an amazing Pastor who had seen many churches ignite from the simple planting of the word in Ukraine and Poland. The focus of this trip was people simply people, not church shopping, not convention planning, just people. Starting this trip God began to show that one truth I had prayed for. That one growth point in which I had weakness or arrogance in was being revealed in my time in the word. It was the practice or discipline of soul-winning, reaching with the gospel out to people, being in God’s spirit affecting the souls of man. This is such a neglected area in my life and so many believers today. We so often dismiss evangelism to the “gifted evangelist” but it is truly a call that all are to answer. I would not at all label myself a qualified or gifted evangelist, I may be able to communicate the message of Christ, but I rarely honestly even feel moved myself in its delivery. This is such a fallacy and God was revealing what a gem I was leaving on the ground for the swine to eat up. I began to realize in not being moved myself in evangelism, I was all to often performing evangelism without God at all, it was a pre manufactured message aimed towards preferred audiences. God was showing me that apart from His spirit, apart from His work, my work or effort in evangelism was worthless no matter how great the delivery or well rounded the message was. I was brought back to reality that I need God to do God’s work, and deliver God’s heart to broken hearts. I need an anointing of the spirit before I can ever go take a giant in Jesus Name. Given the 12 hour bus ride, I was given a gracious amount of time to process this and begin to focus on first receiving from God before I ever consider giving to others. The result was astounding, my spirit was rejuvenated with a new life like never before. For the first time, I truly felt equipped by God to speak of Him and when I spoke the words they affected me not just the person I spoke to. There was such an anointing on the trip and God was showing me the heart behind evangelism, the necessity of it and the life changing effects of it. I ran into a section of scriptures in Proverbs 11 stating “he that winneth souls is wise” and that the righteous are as a tree of life bearing fruit. Hungry for more persuasion or stability in the conviction I dug more and found the end of the road at James 5:19-20. God won in my argument against Him concerning soulwinning, the word became so clear; the heart and mind of God towards the matter became so clear from this passage. The thought of covering a multitude of sins for another, the thought that Jesus Christ had this in His heart on the cross, that we may be covered from the imminent death due to us by Sin, the truth that today Christ is still in His heart crying out to seek and to save the lost overwhelmed me and broke the hard ground and stone of my heart. The thought that what I have received from God can change the eternal destiny of another, and cover sin for them is astounding. To give them a Savior that will take the blows of consequence that their future may hold in Sin inspired me so much more to be in Bulgaria, speak to the people about truth, weep over those who were hurting, help those that I had ability to help, and sit where people were at. The heart of God was rejuvenated within me, and the fruit of this life cannot be overstated or even defined. God gave us all a ministry that week in eastern Europe, it was such a blessing. Because of this transformation, because God was faithful to meet me where I needed Him most, and soften the stone of my heart for people, I can look back on these past two weeks and see names of people touched by the ministry of Christ, changed by the power of His word and transformed into eternally living souls. The testimony of this trip is simply God changed me, and in that fact I was able to be used to change others. I pray that I can continue to simply receive from God and give to others this life, this freedom, and this grace beyond understanding. It was such a gift to be able to travel, and even greater is the gift of God answering a simple plea to receive one truth and one piece of His heart. I thank all those who have been praying for me, supporting me in my work and receiving the mundane things I have to write here. The prayers are being answered, my life is being transformed and I hope and pray the same is happening to you. The ministry to save the lost is just as real today as it was in the time of Christ, in the time of the first church and in the time of great revivals throughout history. The fields are white already for the harvest, but the laborers are few. Be transformed to His way in evangelism today reach out to the strangers, the neighbors, and the friends with the amazing life in Christ.
If you have journeyed this far in my post and have not received this life I speak of, it is just a matter of simply receiving it. Just as the thief on the cross simply said “remember me” you today can say to Christ remember me, remember that I am looking towards you for life right now and remember that I realize that I cannot ever attain a life eternal apart from your finished work on the cross for me. The simplicity is profound, but I assure you this is the whole truth of salvation, God sent His son to die for your sins, that you only have to believe and receive that what is already done for you. If this is you, and you have repented this in your heart, know that you today, right now are God’s and God wants to speak with you more through His body the church. Find others who have received Christ, be with them in church receive messages from the pastor, these things will establish your soul, give you rest in your spirit, and provide a tremendous and ever growing sense of freedom in your life. There is also the reality that you will change. You cannot do this on your own, but as you are God’s, God will initiate change in your life and this process, no sugar coating is not always the “easy life”. If you find that this process burdens you, know that God is with you, His people are for you and His church is for you. Be transformed to His way, don’t look at what may be lost but rather look to what in eternity is to gain,Christ himself!