As I sit at work listening to music and contemplating Him, I reach this moment of utter awe and electricity jumps from my heart; chills run to my neck, down my neck to my shoulders, down my shoulders to my arms; and im warmer than I was a second ago. It felt like time stopped. The Holy Spirit surrounds me, He raises a cup as a toast with the Father and the Son and then dumps the cup, full of agape, all over my head. A subtle reminder that whispers, "There is nothing you can do to make me love you less."
The feeling came through watching a lifehouse video, one which films a skit acted out live as lifehouse plays everything in the background. The skit depicts Jesus as rescuer, healer, redeemer, cherisher; but the strongest message I pulled from it was His intense, unfailing, personal love for each and every one of His children.
This moment came out of nowhere and was so refreshing to me. I've been doing awesome lately in my relationship with Him. But yesterday was chalk full of spiritual warfare and I began to believe in lies. The same lies I always believe in. My patience decreased and my frustration increased, my love decreased and my judging increased, my censorship decreased and my vulgarity increased, etc. On the outside I probably appeared fine, but on the inside I was anxious, afraid, and felt weak. This was the first day in a while that I wasn't walking in the Spirit, and i found the fruit of the Spirit being forced and faked rather than flowing from my heart.
this is all in response to the most incredible day ever on friday. we went to the beach to preach the Gospel. I preached to this group of about 20 high school seniors; 6 of them accepted Christ and were baptized right on the spot, tears were flowing from all of their eyes. This was confirmation for my gift of evangelism, for sure. But I let the enemy creep in that night and the next day, i let him whisper in my ear and instead of rebuking him and holding to what i know to be true, i listened and dwelled on this questions from the enemy.
Are you really a good enough Christian to start preaching all the time? Zach, that will be quite a burden no? What about all of your sins, you know, the ones you always struggle with... Just be comfortable. Relax. Slow down, youre burning yourself out by being so ambitious.
And as a result I lost my peace by warring in my head these questions.
But then today while watching the lifehouse video i was reminded of His love, and how He fought for me, and continues to fight for me, and how He died so that I could live. I was reminded that the only reason I'm here on this earth is to give glory to His name, and that the harvest is plenty, but the laborers are few... and that I am called to be a laborer, to make disciples, to preach the Gospel. "Beautiful are the feet of those who bring the Good News." and "Woe is me if I dont preach the Gospel." I'm reminded of the power and the strength that I have through the Holy Spirit, and that Jesus says if I want to find my life I will lose it, but if I lose my life for Him, then I will find it. I really feel like I'm taking another step deeper in alying down my life, and i think Satan is pissed off and afraid. In this new season of digging deeper into the lifestyle of a disciple, I'm finding it essential and absolutely VITAL to be consistent in my seeking; to daily step out of the world and just be alone with Jesus, to purify my mind and keep it clean from the crap on TV that takes my mind off of my calling, to invest all of my time advancing the Kingdom in my life, increasing my love for Him and increasing my love for others. I really am focusing on being not of this world. I feel strongly that so many christians these days have lost their zeal or their passion because it's slowly become okay for a believer to fit in with the world and to watch the same things, listen to the same music, have the same desires and struggle with the same things.... It's one of the enemies favorite tactics.
Francis Chan has a sermon where he says, "Church used to just happen because believers were so exhausted from living out the great commission that they simply had to meet to bandage each other up and exhort one another, only so that they could back out and share the Gospel."
That's how I want to live my life. I know i have a lot of growth and a lot of progress to make. But, By God, I am not going to let the lies of the enemy make me settle. I will settle and rest in His unfailing love and as a result I will preach the Gospel. He deserves nothing less. He is the King. The Almight God. The Creator. Everything was created through Him and for Him. I can't hold back for Him in order to recieve comfort here on this earth. I can't settle for less than everything I have. Through His power and His strength all things are possible.
Lord Jesus, I ask you for strength. Strength to never give up, to never be comfortable, to never be selfish in my walk with you and to never prevent sharing your love because i dont feel like it. Lord I need more of your love to fuel me. To push me forth into an evermore radical lifestyle. Jesus, please continue to show me the areas where you have set me free from this broken world, but I still choose to dabble in bondage. I want so desperately to go all in for you Jesus. The Spirit is willing but the flesh is weak, increase your Spirit in me Jesus. Continue to teach me and show me what it looks like to die to myself on a daily basis. Refine me, Lord. I want to suffer for the Gospel, and rejoice in doing so. Thank you for your unfailing love Jesus, I can't wait to see you. Amen