Acts 20:24 NKJV
But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.
I have to confess I am quite the Lord of the Rings fan. *Places nerd glasses on* I have read all the books, own books of the compiled notes of Tolkien (there are over 10 books or so just on notes), have seen all the movies and am anxiously awaiting The Hobbit movies. One of my favorite scenes is at the end of the third movie where Aragorn and his army decide to mount an offensive against the very gates of Mordor themselves. They place their hope in two small Hobbits to throw the One Ring into Mount Doom to finally defeat the incarnate power of evil, Lord Sauron himself.
This offensive had one purpose; to distract the eye of Sauron long enough in hopes of giving Frodo and Sam (the hobbits) a chance at destroying the ring of Sauron (comon I know you know the story, everyone saw the movie!!!). They don’t even know if Sam and Frodo are alive, they are just taking a chance on hope.
The battle is against all odds and they become surrounded on all sides, just when all hope seems dim and death certain weary eyes look to the horizon to see the tower fall and the army of darkness flee. They did it, Frodo and Sam destroyed the One Ring and Middle-Earth is saved from certain destruction. Everyone had a part to do, but Aragorn fought valiantly and stood fast; not counting his life dear to himself. Despite having hope in such a small thing, in something that he couldn’t even see happening, he stood fast in the face of death so that hope could have a chance.
Thankfully our hope is much more sure than Aragorn’s; although it can feel sometimes like we are in the same circumstances.
There is only so much I can tell you guys on here. I have learned that part of being in the ministry means there are very few things you can talk to people about, you know too much of the in’s and out’s of a church or of people lives to talk about your day. When someone asks me, how was your day and what did you do? What can I really say? Especially if you know things people have told you in confidence. It takes a faithful spirit to serve God in leadership, to those of you who want to serve in the ministry start praying for self-control ahead of time.
What I can tell you is that I am battling. I am fighting for my faith and I am fighting for the faith of others. I have already thought a few times about going back home. You may have noticed not many posts recently, it is because I couldn’t find the strength to do so.
God is faithful though, I have learned I have none but Him to trust and rely on.
A few weeks ago I was walking home on Calle Larga and the sun had started to set. Once the sun goes down Calle Larga turns into a party street, where people gather to wait for the clubs to open. I started to remember how much of a joy it was for me to share the Gospel in the streets of York, England to the same type of people. Mostly college or high school kids drinking in the streets. Since the Lord had been stirring my heart it was an easy answer to Klever (the new worship leader for all the services, he will be going on staff in October) when he asked if I wanted to go street witnessing last Friday night. We passed out at least a thousand tracks and three girls accepted Christ, and many more were interested in learning more. We are praying about making it a regular thing.
Besides that we will be having an all night prayer vigilia October 5th, a mission trip to Loja November 1-3rd and a Thanksgiving Day Feast November 22nd. We are starting to get more and more active, but I am not really sure how ready the English service is for that. The English service is what I would call explosive. This can be both a good and a bad thing. It’s explosive because it has people from all over the world, with different backgrounds, different denominations, different ideas on how a church should be run, etc. Because it is primarily made up of people over 50 these are ideas they have had for a long time. The good news is we can use their ideas, their lifelong experiences with Christ to explode for Christ in a good way. The bad news is that there may be some things that they have been taught for years that are not Biblical and changing that might be difficult. What we need the most right now is structure, a solid leadership team, and the grace and miraculous power of God to make it work. I can already tell you if God doesn’t build this house, there is no way it will stand. In fact it is already starting to split at the seems, so pray for us.
Despite all these complications the Lord is adding to the church daily, although they are always surprised to see such a young shepherd serving the flock there.
Although for the past week I have felt overwhelmed by one thing after another the Lord has strengthened me. The secret is alone time with the Lord, in prayer and in His word. I have decided to stand fast with the convictions and vision the Lord has given me for the English service or die trying.
None of these things move me, I will finish the race that I started. The key will be endurance and laying aside the things that weigh me down. One step after another. Thankfully I am not running alone, the Lord goes before me and with me, and if I do finish this race that I started it will be for no other reason except the grace of God that caused me both to will and to do for His good pleasure.
Get back up. Purpose in your heart to fight and do what the Lord called you to do, only then will your heart begin to heal from the pain of defeat. Place your hope in the sure confidence of Christ, your God and your Savior, the promises of His Word, and the empowerment of His Spirit, only then will you be able to say “None of these things move me”.
Stand fast. Fight the good fight. Keep the faith.