Hey guys, I’m sorry it’s been so long since my last post. I had a computer mishap and had to transfer machines and then things got super busy and I’ve since been coordinating a mission trip with a handful of Penn State students so it’s been a hectic month.
Needless to say, I’m sitting here writing this post in the lobby of the hotel the first night of said mission trip and I’ve been incredibly humbled by the day. I just want to take the platform to share several different insights and realizations that have spoken to me today. These thoughts aren’t necessarily tied together, they’re just things I’ve heard, learned, and observed throughout the day.
1.) The first thing is this: I’m surrounded by worshippers. American college campuses aren’t exactly the easiest mission field that one could be sent to. I know that probably sounds crazy when we have missionaries in literally some of the most hostile environments all over the world. But American college campuses are difficult for a different reason; the spiritual dynamic is just heavy.
Everybody is on a mission, get a degree and get out. The mindset is that putting down roots isn’t important because college, by it’s very nature, is a temporary situation. That lack of connectedness to the community and the people around you creates a disinterest. Creating anything meaningful or lasting and putting the effort into something that you are almost guaranteed to walk away from upon graduation is a hard pill to swallow.
So trying to connect with someone in a deep enough way to get to share the love of Jesus with them isn’t always the easiest thing, because that deep relationship isn’t particularly in the interest of a lot of students.
I say that to say this; It’s easy to get discouraged sometimes. It’s hard to remember sometimes that you’re making an impact for the Kingdom of Heaven. Today opened my eyes to something incredible; these students that I love and have committed to pouring into, if nothing else, have learned how to worship. If I give them nothing else, that’s enough.
I had the privilege and honor to lead worship this morning at a church that I have been forming a long standing relationship with for about 3 years now. And this morning, while leading, I got to witness some of the most incredible acts of worship that I’ve ever seen, and they weren’t coming from the regular members of the church; they were coming from our students. People on their knees crying out to God and receiving the Holy Spirit before my eyes. Praying and prophesying over each other. Rich, exuberant, organic worship where the presence of God isn’t just hoped for, it’s undoubtedly there. God was just moving in amazing ways and our students were the catalysts for that to happen.
This filled my heart with joy today. I’ve been part of the process of creating a generation that knows, above all things, how to worship.
2.) The second thing is this: In this life, relationships are paramount. As children of God, we actually exist in the Kingdom of Heaven now; we have access to it now and the Kingdom exists in the relationships that we form. The family that we have here in Georgia, at Grace Community Church and Take the City have been such a proponent of the spiritual growth of our ministry all the way up in Pennsylvania, they aren’t even aware of the enormous influence that they have had on us. The point stands that in relationships and deep communion with each other is where the power of God dwells.
3.) A major distinction between us, as children of God that exist on this earth versus our eternal beings is that on this earth we get to worship God through our pain. One thing that we get to do in this life that we won’t get to do when we go to eternity is to make the choice to worship God in spite of our pain. Because there won’t be any pain to worship through. So outside of this life, we’ll never get to offer our pain to God as a sacrifice. Point being, choose to worship God through the pain.
4.) The final thing was a word shared by an amazing friend and teacher, Andrew Chalmers. The word can basically be boiled down to this: There is a level of blessing and favor that God wants to release to us when we honor the authorities that He has placed over us that isn’t otherwise available. Honoring our authorities unlocks treasures that God has stored in that relationship, whether the relationship is good or bad.
The thing to consider is that if somebody is in your life, they are there because God has placed them there knowing full well that there is some kind of gold to be uncovered from the interaction that comes with that relationship.
Honor is receiving the gift of who someone is in your life. Honor doesn’t depend on whether or not the relationship is good, bad, healthy, or parasitic. Honor has everything to do with the condition of our hearts. Is our heart in a state that believes that God has sealed a treasure in the hearts of every human being and are we willing to honor that person enough to draw that treasure out of them for them and for ourselves to experience it?
Seek out the incredible treasure that God has placed in everyone and that treasure will spill over and become your blessing as well.
So there it is. Just a few thoughts from the day. I hope they’re not too jumbled and they’re insightful and speak to your heart the way that they did mine. Much love guys! Stay tuned and check back regularly throughout the week for updates from our week of ministry to the people of Columbus and Phenix City! Peace.