It has been over a month since my last post and sometimes that is how life is. However, a major life change has happened, and I could not be more excited about how God is moving. After 15 months of being back from our missionary journeys, plugging in wherever we can, God has sent us to a church. God has confirmed in us that we are to be assistant pastors at Living Water Church in Burleson. I have started working here part-time this week, and the more I get to know the pastor, the church and the people; the more convinced I am that God has us right where He wants us.
Things rarely happen how we think that they will. I would have loved to be doing more sooner, but God accomplishes His plans in His timing. It is how we handle the things that the world throws at us and the times of waiting that allows us to determine our destiny. This is the fourth devotion in the Destiny Series [1: Designed for Destiny, 2: Best Possible Signal, 3: Destiny Destroyer (Unforgiveness)].
In a superhero’s life, there are moments when one choice determines their destiny. For Bruce Wayne, the death of his parents could have caused him to become insane or a criminal. However, he chose to use this as an incentive to dispense justice. This choice made him the greatest hero of all time!!!
Sadly, Batman is just a fictional superhero. However, you have the ability to affect your destiny, as well as the destiny of those around you, today. Right Now!!! You do not have to be a billionaire or be special in the eyes of the world. You just have to be willing to listen and be obedient to whatever God speaks.
Read Acts 9:10-20
Here, we meet a certain disciple. Ananias was listening and heard a disturbing word. “Go and pray for Saul of Tarsus”. Saul was known as a destroyer of the church, and he had authority to imprison and kill believers. Ananias had the choice to be obedient against his desire and comfortability or disobey. Because of his obedience, Saul was healed and saved. In effect, all of Paul’s missionary journeys, salvations, churches he established, and books of the Bible that you still read today resulted from Ananias’ obedience. What a destiny for someone who is never mentioned again before or after!
If you are walking with God, you are a certain disciple just like Ananias. You may feel unimportant and meaningless at times; however, as you position yourself to receive from God and are obedient to what He speaks, you become infused with His power and presence. As He leads you to speak and pray for others, God’s presence can be infused into other’s lives. Your choice to walk into your destiny with God has the power to transform you and everyone around you!!!
One tiny word can change, save, or set a life free when spoken out of Obedience and Truth!!!
One simple act can affect a person, a nation, or all of eternity if you are walking with the Spirit into your destiny!!!
Challenge: Take time to listen carefully to Holy Spirit. Write down what He reveals. As He gives a word or action, be obedient to take action, do it or speak it. Talk to a leader if you have questions or need someone to help you be obedient.
Suggested Reading; James 5:17-18, Hebrews 11, Jonah
Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!
It has been a very challenging season for us over the past few months. First of all, we would like to apologize for not being more up to date on posting as well as sending out monthly newsletters since the one we sent out in September. The day that Katie began to work on the newsletter for October, our computer that contains just about everything we do for ministry stopped working mysteriously. We have had to wait too long for the means to get it fixed and returned to us in a usable form. But praise the Lord, we are now up and running again!!! 🙂
Coming back to “normal” non-missionary life has been difficult in many ways. As we were traveling, we were standing on the word of the Lord to go, and we obeyed that word to the best of our ability. Now that we are back, it has been hard to understand what God has for us here and what He is saying next for work and ministry.
Although it has been a challenging time, we have been privileged to be able to carry on ministering in many different ways. We are privileged to be a part of leadership in Encounter God’s Presence (EGP). Formerly, this was an annual youth camp and leadership retreat, but now it has been developing into weekly meetings and numerous youth rallies across our network of churches. Katie has been involved in the organization and administration of things as well as being able to use her prophetic gifting to give words at several events. Recently, we traveled with an EGP team to Hobbs, New Mexico to put on a rally for the youth. Over a hundred youth came together and worshiped, prayed, and sought the Lord together. During this time, many were ministered to, and Katie even got to pray and watch as a young girl’s leg grew out. This along with her prophetic words touched the lives of many youth there.
This church invited the team to lead worship the next morning so that the entire congregation could be a part of what God was doing. We went early to pray and prepare our hearts to be filled with His presence and then give out what we had received. God had been speaking to me during this weekend a word that I was able to share with the worship team before they were able to minister to the congregation. During the service that followed, the power of God was displayed throughout the church and the pastor gave up his message to allow the Holy Spirit to minister as the worship continued to usher in the Kingdom of God!!!
The word that God had been speaking to me was a simple phrase, “A Moment in Time Changes Everything!!!” As I meditated on this word, God began to reveal more. We live our lives from moment to moment never really knowing what will come next and not being able to change what has been done in the past. Each moment, we are given the opportunity to be obedient to the Lord and the Truth that we know. Each moment in time changes what will come next for better of for worse. As we are faithful to the Lord and His word to us, our moment in time will come into contact with another person’s moment in time and they will be changed by the Presence of the Lord we carry with us. These life changing moments may not seem different than any other moment, because it is not even us doing anything but being obedient to the Lord. This obedience to Him allows Holy Spirit to flow supernaturally through us to whomever we come into contact with.
In Acts 9:10, we come upon “a certain disciple at Damascus named Ananias”. He appears to be no special person, not a pastor or leader in a church. He was a certain disciple like you and I are supposed to be. He was spending time listening to the Lord and allowing his spirit to be filled by the presence of God. When he got a word to go and pray for a man named Saul, he did not even really want to. He had heard of all the evil horrendous things that Saul had done in the name of God, and did not want him to be healed. This would be a bit like God telling you to go and pray for a well known member of ISIS. Nevertheless, because of his relationship with the Lord he was obedient. Saul was miraculously healed and chose to follow the Lord. Ananias, a relative nobody, had a moment in time that God’s power and presence was able to be infused into Saul’s life, and this changed everything!!! Saul became Paul and later became a traveling missionary and church planter, was appointed as an apostle, brought the word of God to the Gentiles, and wrote most of the letters that still influence us to this day. Ananias gained a mighty eternal inheritance of all of these things because of a simple act of obedience that he did not even really want to do. His moment in time still influences us today and changed all of eternity!!!
We can see all kinds of these life-changing moments throughout the Bible and even to modern day history. At the time, they do not even seem to be that important, but because God was able to infuse Himself into the obedience of His people, miraculous things took place and a supernatural legacy was brought about. Think about Abraham who left everything behind to follow the Lord, and his willingness to give up his most precious son Isaac, we are his inheritance. Moses gave up the pleasures of the palace and the solitude of the wilderness to speak the words of truth to Pharaoh, and he became the leader of God’s chosen people. After much resistance, Jonah spoke a word of destruction to Nineveh that saved the entire city. The Bible is made up of simple individuals like you and I (Elijah was a man with a nature like ours… James 5:17) who chose to follow and obey the Lord and this changed history!!!
This is who you are!!! This is your inheritance!!! This is your destiny!!! God calls you as His own to walk in faithful obedience to Him. As you walk out the simple mundane acts of obedience, it allows God to inject His Spirit into the situation so that the miraculous can occur. At the time, you may not see, realize, or feel anything special.
One “little” word or one “small” act of obedience will change the world when God is the one leading and directing!!!
A tiny word can change, save, or set a life free when spoken out of Obedience and Truth!!!
A simple act can affect a person, a nation, or all of eternity if we are walking with the Spirit!!!
One moment in time changes everything!!!
Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!
This past week, we were able to return to Dharmapuri, Tamilnadu, India; where Jeremiah visited on his last adventure here in India. Jeremiah was stoked to be able to finally go. We took rest when we arrived there on Friday after very long and hot bus rides. We stayed on the second floor, above Pastor Daniel’s church, and one floor below where the girls from the orphanage stay. On Saturday evening we went to 5 different houses to pray over the families and people of the villages. Some of these people lived in very small “hut” houses and did not have very much to offer, yet they still gave us something to eat and glorious chai tea.
On Sunday, we attended Pastor Daniel’s church and I got to experience what a real Indian church is like, 5 hours full of clapping and bouncing, loud prayers and Holy Spirit happenings. Jeremiah preached about tasting the Lord. Afterwards we prayed for everyone in the church and I was part of a deliverance of a woman who was afflicted by something I could not understand due to language barriers; but I was really challenged to seek the Lord for more discernment when it comes to those type of things. That evening, we went to two different leper colonies and I spoke about the compassionate love of the Father; we fed them and Jeremiah and I laid hands on and prayed over them.
I knew it would be difficult for me going there and seeing these people’s lives and bodies being rotted away through the death sentence the enemy has placed on them. Even then, I was overwhelmed with compassion, as I read so much that Jesus was, and filled with faith that God would bring healing to them. We did not see anything physically happen when we prayed over them, but so many of them asked for prayer and I believe that God touched them and will continue ministering to their hearts, bodies and lives. Afterwards, we went to a street corner where there were some homeless people gathered. I spoke again on God’s love, we sang some songs, and we fed them and prayed over them.
Jeremiah and I were very excited when we found out that we were going to be teaching at the first YWAM DTS in Dharmapuri during the week. This DTS is all local natives to the surrounding area, except for a few staff members that are from a different state. These 16 students, some families, are going on their outreach in three weeks to Sri Lanka and Malaysia, however, a few of them are having issues with getting their visas and passports, some due to finances, so please be in prayer for them that God would provide all they need so that they can be sent out to these needy nations.
We felt that God was calling us to talk about missions throughout the week. On Monday, we talked about original design vs worldly thinking. Our original design is who God made us to be apart from sin, but the enemy through the ways of the world tries to separate us from the truth of who God says we are. I taught them the 4 R’s: Repent (Confessing the sin of believing the lie – Acts 3:19), Receive (Receiving God’s forgiveness and asking Him to fill you with more Holy Spirit – Psalm 103:8-12) , Rebuke (Rebuke the enemy’s grasp on you because of the sin – James 4:7), Replace (Declaring the sin as dead and “paid for” and asking God to come and flood your heart and mind with Truth and empowerment to walk it out – Galatians 2:20.) We then took them through breaking the chains of the past, negative self-image, and false humility; and broke them into groups so they could all ask the Lord for each other’s original design. Great blessings came from this!
On Tuesday, Jeremiah talked about waiting for the word, promises and call of the Lord. I shared on counting the cost and taught primarily from Luke 14:25-30, which talks about the cost of being a disciple. Afterward, I had them ask God for 2 promises for the present time and 2 promises for the future and to write it down, as instructed by God through Habakkuk 2:2-3: “This is what the Lord said to me, ‘Write My answer plainly on tablets, so that a runner can carry the correct message to others. This vision is for a future time. It describes the end, and it will be fulfilled. If it seems slow in coming, wait patiently, for it will surely take place. It will not be delayed.’” On Wednesday, Jeremiah shared on faith and perseverance out of Hebrews 11 and faith without conditions. I taught about fear of the Lord vs fear of man and told some of my testimony of how bound up I was in every type of fear there is and how God set me free. I also taught out about unbelief out of Mark 16:9-18 and how unbelief can hinder us from receiving the promises of Jesus through this passage. Then we took them through the 4 R’s again and broke off fear and unbelief. There was so much freedom and fruit brought forth this night!!!
On Friday, Jeremiah taught on bearing fruit out of Luke 8: Parable of the Farmer Scattering Seeds, avoiding burnout, and planting seeds. I talked about the importance of the secret place (Psalm 132:1-5) and how intimacy fuels missions (Luke 10:38-42). It was obvious by the time we left Dharmapuri that we were sent there for reasons other than what we had in mind. From the fruit that was brought forth through teaching at the DTS, we see we went there for that seed planting. Proverbs 16:9 says, “We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.” At times we can be so set in our plans, but God has the ultimate plan. So be encouraged that even when things might not go our way, God’s way brings forth far greater fruit and blessings than our way ever could!
Katie, Pure Fire of Yahweh!!!
I shared in the previous post the message of the Call to Commitment that we as followers of Christ are called to walk in. After I delivered this word to the church, the Holy Spirit came upon me in a powerful way. As I sat there, He began to speak to me that for the people in the church this message would cost them much more than it would ever cost me. He said that this would even cost some of the hearers their very lives. As the Lord spoke this to my heart, I began to cry and be moved in my spirit for the people.
Here in India, Hinduism is predominant, and Christianity is the minority. It is legal to be a Christian; however, it is against the law to share your Christian faith. This being the case, we are international lawbreakers!!! For us, the worst thing that would happen to us is that we would be deported. However, the nationals we minister with every day, face much more life changing consequences. They can be fined, beaten, imprisoned, or even killed in keeping with the law. This persecution causes the people here to make a complete commitment to Christ every single day fully knowing the cost of their actions. In America, often we will face the “persecution” of people mocking us, calling us names, saying mean things to us, treating us poorly… Here, when the people turn from hinduism or islam (both of which are much more prevalent than Christianity) they will be completely disowned from their family and possibly village. This along with physical persecution causes Indians to truly understand the cost in following Christ before coming to Him. By the time they are willing to come to Him, they know that there is no turning back and give themselves completely to His service.
In spite of all this persecution, the church in India is growing and thriving in a mighty way. Too often, in the US, we will make the half-hearted commitment to the Lord and easily turn back from doing the great things for Him that we were all designed to do before we were born.
How would each one of our lives be different if our commitment was true and full; and no matter what happened to us, our families, or our lives, we pressed in and were completely committed and obedient to the Lord???
What would the day to day changes be, in full commitment to Christ, that would cause us to be “persecuted” in our school, work, and even church?
When we seek to be committed to the Lord in such a way, the enemy will come in and try to make us do far less than the great exploits that Daniel spoke about. The devil will try to use anything he can to keep us from being fully committed and doing great things for the Lord. These are just three key lies the enemy has used against great men of God to keep them from being used greatly.
3 Lies that Make us Ineffective
- Too young (Jeremiah 1:5-10) Here, Jeremiah buys into the lie that he is too young to do what God is calling him to. God encourages him that He will be with him and do great things. The rest of this book proves the great things Jeremiah does when he overcame this lie and committed fully to the Lord.
- Past sins that are too horrible (Jonah 3:4-10) Jonah gets a call from the Lord and simply does not want to do it. He runs from the Lord, and his heart is so hardened against the Lord that it takes three days in the belly of a fish before it is softened enough to repent. Jonah grudgingly carries out the command of the Lord and offers a simple eight word proclamation to Nineveh. As a result, over 120,000 people turn to the Lord and the whole city is saved. God used him in spite of His unwillingness and blatant disobedience. In the same way, God can and will use you if you are committed to Him no matter what the past held for you.
- Excuses, Excuses (Exodus 3-4) When God comes and supernaturally speaks to Moses, Moses gives Him any and every excuse that he can come up with. He says “I am nobody,” “I cannot speak,” and “Use someone else”. God continues to destroy all of these lies, and Moses is used to free an entire nation of people.
Sadly, people are so steeped in the wisdom of this world that even in the church, they can rely on their own insights and miss the wisdom of the Lord. When we were preparing to go out on this mission we knew that God had clearly given us a word to “Go”; however, there were many good Christian people that advised against it. These counselors knew us and wanted the best for us, but I understood later that they had no investment in our lives. The people that we called to pray and fast with us for a week, all gave us the confirmation that we were to go. The ones that listened fully to how God had called us and the word that He had spoken to us understood and have encouraged us along the way. The Lord had called us and we had to choose whether to follow Him in full commitment or to do what made sense. We do not know yet the full outcome of our obedience, and I pray that we are always able to follow Him in what he calls us to do no matter how others will end up treating us. In the end, we have been obedient and the Word of God has gone forth. Whatever things that come from this mission, whether great or not, we know that we have been obedient to the Lord.
I pray that you are encouraged to be committed no matter what the cost may be or the tests that may come. Whether we are ever tested as the Indians are or not, we must stand as truly committed followers of the Lord no matter what!!! We are designed to truly carry out great and mighty things. James 5:17 tells us that Elijah was man just like us. There is no difference between us and this great man of God. Wherever he came from and whatever the Lord took him through, he stood the cost of commitment, and God did great things through him. For us, the choice is the same as every one of these men in the Bible. Leonard Ravenhill said once that sometimes “the enemy of the best is the good.” We can do many good things, but if we settle for these because they are easier or require less of a commitment, we are not doing the best that God has for us!!! You have been created the best, by the Best, for the best!!! Never settle for only the good, press in for the very best!!! Never back away from your commitment!!! Always stand for the Lord in every situation!!!
Are you conquering the lies of the enemy that will hold you back from being truly committed to Him?
Ask Holy Spirit to reveal any lie that has caused to you settle for less than the best He has for you. Examine the cost of following Him into the great things He has for you and ask Him to strengthen you to walk in the very best ways!!!
The promise of the Lord is that if you are completely committed to Him you will be strong; and just like Daniel, Jeremiah, Jonah, Moses, and Elijah, you will do great things!!!
Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!