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My New World


05/06/2007 01:05 PM - Permalink

Oh, gosh, I don't even know where to begin!

Well!  I've been deep in prayer, especially recently.  God is good, always.  A few weeks ago, I attended a Wednesday night service, and Mother Parsley took over everything just as Jesse was about to preach.  This isn't strange behavior at all, it was just sudden, but very welcome.  :)  The Spirit of God prompted many to possible go back to Bible College.  I felt I was amongst those called back...  Elder Harrison made the call for "those who once attended the Bible college but did not graduate."  I fall into that category.  We'll see how God leads me.

I told God before anything with the Bible college was brought up, "I want this.  This lifestyle of you, this is what I want."  I was referring to ministry.  I was referring to serving people.  He used a phrase in response that made all the sense in the world, that came at the perfect timing, as only God can... a phrase that had revealed to me that love is a deed, and not a feeling, and thusly sparked the motivation in me to end a very painful relationship with someone very dear to my heart... "The proof of desire is in the pursuit."  Only My God could be so bold.  He was right, wasn't He?  He IS right, isn't He?  I'll prove my desire for Him and things of Him... my desire to serve and my desire to preach by my pursuit of those things.

After the service, I went to Steak & Shake to meet Jimi and Chuck.  Brandon also ended up coming a little while after.  I wanted to share with them, my closest friends, what God was doing in my life and in my heart.  Before anyone arrived, I sat there at table 2-4 (our table, in my seat), playing Sudoku on my phone.  I work for the church, and then my work went right into the service -- which was very emotionally wearing on me as it caused me to directly evaluate my life, and one of the waitresses who I had never seen before - (and she wasn't my waitress either) - came up to me out of nowhere and said I looked sad.  I explained I was just tired and had a long day, just came from church, etc.  This sparked this crazy conversation about God and the things of God -- our convictions regarding our call and where our passions are as apposed to the call... it was really incredible.  She really impressed me...  I'm truly looking forward to getting to know her.  She seems really wonderful.  Pray for me!  :)

Ever since I rededicated my life to Christ at the cost of distancing myself from romantic relationships that are either outside of Him or with people who are living a lifestyle that is outside of Him, my prayer had changed.  I told God I wanted someone who loved Jesus, and someone that was called like I was...  I told Him I wanted a good girl, who could love me, and someone that I could love the way Jesus loves us.... I wanted someone who would respect me and could be dedicated to a serious relationship... someone that believes in the truth and being honest... someone that desires the things of God and loves His ways... someone that I could cherish and respect and honor.... but someone that even had a little bit of a rebellious side (I want to lead my family to my Jesus)... as long as she is pursuing Him, and naturally, she's got to be be funny, maybe with a bit of an outgoing personality... etc... I just prayed for very specific things.

This girl who approached me because I looked sad... obviously I just met her and I have no way of knowing if she fits this profile *perfectly* or not... but she could.  And even if she doesn't.... I know that girl is out there somewhere...  I've always known God loves me.  In the past 6 months, those who are closest to my heart know of some very wonderful things that God did to show me just how much He loves me....  God loves me deeply.  DEEPLY.  But the whole experience made me really realize that BECAUSE God loves me, just as a loving father loves his children, works hard for them, provides for them, prays for them, protects them, defends them, corrects them, and leads them into being all they can be, so does MY Heavenly Father want to do all that for me.  I know He's made someone out there that'll make my heart sing... someone who will look into my heart and see something beautiful.  And not knowing that girl, or the thought that maybe I do know her, I just don't know it's her yet -- that's a very exciting thought for me.  Whoever she is, I know she'll be just what the doctor ordered, and everything I need to complete God's calling in me.

I pray for my future beloved -- my bride -- whoever she may be.  Maybe 3 - 4 times a day, I ask God to make her smile -- for no real good reason.  I ask Him to protect her and watch over her.  I ask Him to be near to her, and to call her to Himself.  I ask Him to wrap her up in His love, and lead her in all her ways.  I ask Him to whispers stories to her in her sleep about a man that loves her endlessly, to show her how much her husband loves her, and wants nothing more for her than everything beautiful and right and true and good.  I pray for our children -- that God should not give us any children whatsoever unless they believe in Him with all their being, accept His gift of salvation, and serve Him with all their hearts.

Anyway...

A few days after that Wednesday, I believe it was Saturday, I was asked to attend a church service the following morning by my best friend's family.  They were going to his father's boss's church.  This man's son had just recently committed suicide.  My best friend's family obviously knows my level of commitment to Christ and intimate relationship with the Spirit of God, so they asked me to go -- just to pray.  

Brandon and I stayed up late that night, and he stayed at my house.  When I got up the next morning, I was tired... I just laid in bed.  Brandon kept trying to get me up and out of bed, and I had expressed my distaste in his actions, and that I didn't want to go.  I was walking in the flesh!  My heart had compassion on this man's situation, but I didn't really feel it.  The part of my heart that felt it was the very same part that reaches out to all those in need that lose someone close to their hearts.  But suddenly, God interveined.  His presence filled my room, and so many scriptures flew through my head in incoherent ways, I knew I had to listen clearly and write it all down.  I sprang from my bed, ran to the computer, and typed a letter.... from me, to this man, containing the heart of God.  I wept as I typed it.  God's message was that of love and hope and peace and healing.  It was a lot about healing.  I finished it in about 20 minutes as Brandon waited, and then I had him read it.  He said it was good, and that he was amazed God had me write it so suddenly -- at the last possible second.

I got ready and went over to his house to meet his parents.  I explained to his dad what happened, and offered to him to read it before I deliver it.  "Obviously, his name is on this too, and if he doesn't agree with it or desire it to be delivered, then it won't be," I thought to myself.  I respect Brandon's dad as my own.  I wanted his blessing before I continued.  He said he'd read it at the church and left.  We would meet them there.  We waited for another friend of Brandon's to show up, and we headed out.  I drove.  The church was on the west side of Columbus.  I'm very familiar with the majority of the city, so I figured I was the best fit to drive.  When I arrived, Brandon's dad found us and we went and sat with them.  The service was good.  I could tell the pastoral staff loved God.  I enjoyed my time there.  He told me after service that the letter was good, but that Tom, his boss and friend, was strong in his faith.  He said it would probably be more touching for his friends and family.  I told him if he didn't think I should give it to him, I wouldn't, but he said if I felt like God led me to, that I should.  

Brandon and I found Tom and I gave him the letter.  I told him God had placed him and his family on my heart and that I would be praying.  He asked if it was meant for him and just his family, or if it was meant to be read in the memorial service.  I said it was up to him.  I said I didn't know what God wanted to do with it, but I wrote it as a result of the level of compassion God had placed on my heart for them, and that it was completely up to him.

I got a call a few days later.  It was Tim, Brandon's dad.  He told me that the letter was used in a major part of the memorial service.  He told me one of the Pastors had read the entire letter, nearly word for word, and that it took up a significant portion of their message, and that many people gave their lives to the Lord.  I was humbled so much by how God used 20 minutes of obedience to touch so many lives.  A few days letter, I got a message from a close friend that one of her friends had a friend that was going through some hard things and was backsliding... and that they didn't know what to do.  Then she remembered I had sent to them this letter, and she read it and thought it was perfect for this other friend, as it was a message of healing... a message of love from our Creator to our hearts...

As I said, I'm humbled that God could use me in this way... but at the same time, I remembered my call, and how I desired to touch many people in this way, and how honored I felt to have been used by God in this way -- I surely didn't do anything to deserve this from Him.  But then I thought to myself, "How can I touch the world when I can't touch my friends?  How can I intercede for people I don't know when I can't intercede for people I do know?  How can I pray for the lost that are faceless to me when I can't pray for those that are close to my heart?"  In the Bible, God says, "ask me, and I shall give you the heathen for your inheritance."  But I don't pray for them like that... at least I didn't.  I was selfish in my walk with God, pursuing only my own fulfillment of God's plan, and pursuing God's will only for myself, and a little bit for my friends -- when it was convenient.  I asked myself, "how can I believe God for the miracles in the lives of the many if I can't believe Him for the miracles in the lives of the few that He's entrusted to me -- the few that He's placed in my life."

IF I WANT THE MANY... IF I WANT TO TOUCH GOD'S WORLD, I MUST FIRST LEARN TO TOUCH MY OWN.

So as you can tell, I've made many changes.  I pray earnestly for my friends.  I have notebooks and notebooks of serman notes and outlines.  I know the Bible better than almost anyone I've ever met, and I love worship and praise songs.  But I have friends -- close, close friends that are on their way to hell... and I haven't really done anything significant to put an end to that... to show them Jesus' love... to reach out to them in with the love of an almighty and everlasting God whose heart breaks to see them live life without His blessing... to live the life He gave to them without His heart...

It is my ongoing determination to reach out to these, my friends, because I love them.  It is my determination to reach out to these my friends because my Jesus loves them.  And if I'm not living my life for Him, then my life is lived in vein.  "The APEX of all Christian endeavor must be to place the jewel of a soul in the crown of our Savior, that the Lamb of God slain may receive the reward of His suffering."  Had I forgotten this so soon?  Had I abandoned God's call on my heart??  Not I.  Pray for me as I make this pursuit.  I want to serve Him.  I want to love Him...  and if He loves people... and desires to touch them, then can't I prove my love for His sweet heart by letting Him use me to do it?  By showing them His mercy.  By showing them His love?

This is my desire: that I should love the Lord my God with all my heart, all my soul, and all my mind... and that I would take advantage of every opportunity I have to touch someone, to bring healing to someone, to bring salvation to someone, that MY Jesus loves... each and every time such an opportunity presents itself.  If it were not for that mission, everything in life is nothing but mere vanity.  And I want to make My God smile.  He deserves it.  He's been so good to me.  He's been so wonderful to me, without a reason.  I love Him.  And I'm going to aspire with all my heart to live my life in such a way that He shall never have to ask me if I do.  I want Him to know by my fruit.  I want Him to, at the end of my life, look back over each and every moment -- each and every breath and smile.

Sure, I've sinned against Him.  Even when I knew I was doing it... but if He can look back over the moments of my life and think in His own heart, "boy, I'm glad I made Jay.  He was really worth it..." then my heart will be content... and I will ever be with my Savior, Redeemer, Restorer, Rebuilder, Deliverer... my healer.... to only a God like Him do I give my praise.  Forever and ever.  Amen!

Oh, and click here to read that letter.
 
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