I asked Jesus to be my Lord and Savior or my life back when I was around 4 or 5 i think. To this date, myself or my parents don't really know the date for certain. Even my grandma, who keeps a journal, didn't write it down. But i tell people that i 'got saved' when i was 4 or 5. Got baptized in water when i was about 8 or 9 (again, i don't think we have a certain date (at least to my knowledge) and then was baptized in the Holy Spirit around 12. All that is great... really, it is.
In 2000, i went with a group of youth and adults to Pensacola, Florida to what was known as the Brownsville Revival. As far as i'm concerned, many good things have come from that. I've had people tell me to my face that they think the revival was 'of the devil' and all that wonderful stuff. Of course, they were never there. It's just their thinking and their 3rd party hearing of what happened. And them trying to judge it from a far off perspective. And no doubt that there was a lot of things that probably happened that were people just getting out of hand (welcome to life folks). I know that many of those people who were involved w/ that revival are now not living for God. I also know that a lot of folks who WERE involved are still currently living for God. FIRE is actually a result of that revival. I think that all of FIRE's leaders to date served in some capacity of that move of God. Granted, the way FIRE was started wasn't the greatest... but what satan means for bad, God knows how to turn it around. Why do you think God would entrust His church (His bride) with beings that He knows would mess it up? I dunno... thats why i'm asking that...
People would judge it by the manifestations and be like "well, thats not a God thing..." People being 'slain in the Spirit' or laughing like crazy or weeping profusely... I say 'look at their eventual fruits of their life. I can tell you from a personal perspective that i've done all three of them. And guess what, it's not about the manifestations.
I've had people who would openly criticize the revival and yet love the many ministers who served in it! I would point that out to them and they would stop dead in their tracks. It was quite funny actually...
All this to say that in 2000, the Holy Spirit deposited something in my Spirit that cries out for more of God.
In the past 7 years, i've been involved in the following:
- a church plant team to a local town down in Charlotte, NC.
- an outreach team to a local university where we saw souls won to the Lord and people healed.
- a local youth group here where i've seen the lives of teens touched and radically changed, many of whom who are currently serving the Lord whole heartedly in their lives.
- ministered to countless folks via prayer and fellowship
- traveled and preached the gospel to various other people groups
- traveled locally and nationally to minister to youth and adults a like
- helped in various capacities here in the local church
- steered clear of sex, drugs and alcohol.
I'm sure there's a lot more... but thats what i can think of right now. To date, though, my heart still cries out for more. At times, i have a hard time going to malls because my heart breaks for a generation to be touched and changed by the power and presence of God. I have the hardest time sitting still. I would love to go do some traveling even as i speak.
My life has been dedicated to the expansion of the Kingdom of God. And it's not always going to be easy. Life happens... get used to it. People will hate you. Jesus never promised us an easy life. Matter of fact, He promised that life will get difficult. Most come to Christ because they're promised a nice car or nice life... I don't know why we think we have to preach like that. All we're doing is hurting ourselves by presenting it like that.
At the same time, i understand and realize that as a Christian, I have inheritable rights as a child of God. My Daddy is the greatest King over the World. This world is mine! But that's not for my own good, but for His good. That's for the expansion of HIS Kingdom... not my own empire.
Last night, i was talking to one of my spiritual parents and I mentioned to them that when it feels like i'm not doing much of anything, things are still happening. God is setting me up for the greatest move of His Spirit yet to come. And i'm going to be privileged to be apart of it and minister in it.
But do you realize that i'm still largely unsatisfied. Matter of fact, i'm quite bored at times. I know there's more of God to be had and if only i can discipline my self to get more of Him. And then when i get more of Him, to properly steward it.
That is one thing that has really been on my heart for sometime: to learn stewardship. Godly stewardship. Learning to handle His presence in the right manner.
Lord, teach me to be a steward of Your Presence.