I am back and it is official. The fire of the Gospel has been rekindled within my being. It was a long two year layoff and I know why, but I just was not myself for two years. Even in the midst of preparing and going to Uganda, I was not my true self. I have not been my true self ever since July 2011 when I received the call that I would not be going to India. It stung me like no other and in the midst of that I lost a part of myself. I knew I lost something, but I couldn't figure out what. So, days turned into weeks, weeks turned into months, months turned into a year, a year turned into 2 years, and here we are on October 13th, 2013..... a little over 2 years. People have been asking me why I stopped blogging. And, I would answer them with a resounding..... I don't know. Then something clicked tonight. Not just tonight, but the clicking moved throughout the entire day.
I took a walk this morning. Pretty normal for me. My parents and sisters went to church. Let me preface something first. At the church we go to, there are five services so I opted to go to the 7 pm service tonight because I am on the Prayer Academy. I will talk about that later in a future post and go in depth on how God has been working in my life since not being called to go on the India team in July 2011, to making the Uganda team for April 2013, and to officially being accepted onto the Prayer Academy at the church I call home. However, it began with a walk. I was praying, listening to Christian music on my I-pod, praying, listening, praying, listening, praying about everything... whatever would come to my mind. Lord, keep my future wife pure and give me eyes to know who she is. Lord, I love you please rekindle and ignite a fire within me. Yes, I did pray that prayer and I literally had no idea it would come true tonight.
Now, fast forward to when I was washing my parent's car before church. I was listening to a few songs on my I-pod that I had not listened to in about maybe a year. And, they happened to be on the cross of Christ. One of the songs was 'Before the Cross' by Sovereign Grace and the lyrics hit my hard like a ton of bricks because I have been going through a lot lately with God bringing different things to my attention that I have needed to take care of. The lyrics that hit me were: No need, no want, no trial, no pain can compare to this. That the wrath of God once meant for me was all spent on Him. Then, it goes.... Your finished work captures my gaze. You bore the wrath, I know the grace. Pretty easy lyrics, but very weighty. When I first heard those lyrics, I stood next to the car with goosebumps running all the way up and down my body. I began to tear up and prayed that God would give me the grace and the strength to battle through these struggles I have been dealing with. And, He is able because Christ knows what it is like. He has been through the storms of dealing with our sin and being tempted like no other yet without sin. He can sympathize with our weaknesses (Heb. 4:15). We can lay everything upon Him because He cares for us. How astounding is that!!
So, after that graceful tide, I headed off to church for pre-service prayer @ 6. It was like no other time I have had before. God brought the James verse to my attention where it says consider it pure joy my brothers when you encounter various trials of many kinds knowing that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. I thought the Lord was teaching me to be joyful in the midst of my trials, but He was teaching me something more direct, something I needed to regain a firm grasp a hold. And, it happened to be the Gospel of all things. He gave me a quick new insight that I will share in a bit on the difference between the victory cry and the resurrection, which proves I am back and that the Gospel has been reignited within my being. Though, it all started with going back through where the Gospels describe Jesus' death and His victory in doing so. It was pretty amazing. Then, it led into yours truly praying for someone and telling them that Jesus paid the ultimate price to set them free..... that they can bank on Jesus because He cares for you.... He loves you... He redeems you. The Gospel is all they need to know to start living, the Gospel is all they need to know to continue living and growing in sanctification, and the Gospel is all they ever need to know when it is all said and done (1 Cor. 2:2). Jesus is everything and more. You need nothing else. And, because of that, I want to continue what God has already accomplished in part of setting the world on fire based on His Son's atoning work on the cross for our sins. Let's get this party started and proclaim this truth that is faithful, that is absolute, that is everlasting. May God be glorified!!!
Now, I will share what the Lord revealed to me about the difference between the victory cry and the resurrection. When Jesus cried out, "It is finished!" Light broke through the darkness and victory was secured. The exclamation point was placed on the game, but the game was not over. Hope is fully secured when the Father raised Jesus from the dead. And, when Jesus rose from the dead, the game was officially over. Game, set, match!!!
Sola Deo Gloria!!!