Part 2. Continued from [my story part 1: the journey out]
….(from part 1)… I distinctly remember reading the Book of First John. I was shocked. Surely, everything I dreamed of was already written in one simple sentence: God is love. Contrary to what I was being taught or at least the way I was understanding what I had been taught, love was not just another side of God. It was God. And it followed that every other attribute would flow from this essence! Slowly my heart began to awake. I was still confused in my mind but I finally knew something in my heart. And that was new…
So for several years I tried to understand. I raised my hand many times in my youth group and debated with any who would. I had to know! And God started to feed my hunger. I read more books and more scripture. I decided to become a child in my thinking. I wanted true, real relationship and nothing was going to stop me. The battle in my head over who I was and what I would become continued but it could not speak as loud as the hunger in my heart. In the summer and fall of 2016–when I was seventeen–things began to change. I decided to start to simply obey what I believed Jesus said. That meant getting baptized. It also meant ending a relationship and changing churches. It meant going to the Christian book store and reading any book I could find. It meant dreaming and hoping and praying.
God didn’t let me down.
Somehow, I came across several books that hit the chord of what I was looking for. Two I distinctly remember were the books “Is that Really You, God?” by Loren Cunningham and “Epic Faith” by Marty Meyer. Both of these books told stories of men who had decided to risk it all and follow the voice of God. And he spoke to them. And worked miracles through them. My heart quickened. I was stirred. I decided to enroll in YWAM and in January 2019 ended up in New Zealand. Before I left I told my sister, “I don’t know if all this is true [the voice and manifested presence of God], but if it is I have to find it.”
And I did. I spent six months learning to hear the voice of the Father and operate in the gifts of the Spirit. I saw him perform healing through my hands and bring others to salvation through my testimony. My deepest doubts were destroyed. I saw demonic manifestations and had prophetic dreams. I had pictures and words while praying over people that could not have originated in myself. I received directions and guidance on important decisions I had to make. I also broke free of addictions to masturbation, pornography, and lust. It was wonderful! But most of all, I finally had a relationship.
The whisper that said, “I love you. You are my son”, has never stopped saying that. He won my heart.
Fear was driven out by Perfect Love himself. I’ve never been the same. I came home and He kept speaking. I dreamed with Him about bringing stories and unity into the international church, why? Because he told me that was on his heart! I went back and staffed for a year in New Zealand, why? Because I heard a whisper. I started a very intentional relationship with a girl from my DTS after being in love with her for almost a year and a half because he said so. I came home again and got involved with a house of prayer, and he kept speaking! I recently had the privilege of taking an around-the-world trip to Africa and Asia where I saw Jesus move in more power than ever before. People gave their lives to him for the first time! I know deep in my heart that this what was I was made for.
My dreams of what He can do through me and anyone who sells out to him have never been bigger. Step by step, because he says so. Because his voice has influenced every decision, I can’t take credit for the transformation in my life. Everything that has changed, well, it was changed by him and him alone. I cannot separate anything in my life from him anymore.
So I guess my story isn’t really my story anymore. It’s a story of what Jesus can do. It’s the story of Love vs. fear. Insecurity vs. security. The Father vs. the enemy. The voice of God vs. the voice of lies. He came into my story and rewrote the very core of my DNA. He did this and I simply want to bear witness.
Maybe you have lived in fear for too long. Maybe you need an internal overhaul. Maybe you need to pray this with me:
Father, would you come and touch my life? I don’t want to live for myself, I don’t want to be stuck! I know you have dreams for me. I agree with your Word that says all of your plans are for my good! I need your help to know what they are. I need your help to learn to hear your voice and trust your word. I want you. Come fill me.
If you are searching for a real relationship with Jesus, don’t stop with what you’ve seen in the past. There’s more to Him than Sunday School. He loves you. Passionately.