So to start of, I’m gunna let you know that SO much happened since last week. God opened my eyes to a couple new and exciting things this week and we had an adventure in design school. I honestly can’t believe it’s only been a week!
First off; last Sunday was incredible. I feel that Lord is calling me into missions work. This is something that I’ve never really put a lot of thought into nor felt extremely called to. You know? I mean, I’m excited for people that feel called to go over seas and spread the good news of Jesus Christ but I’ve never had a tug on my heart that way until about three years ago when my friends went to the London Olympic Games in 2012. I missed the boat by literally a day – but obviously I wasn’t meant to go. Anyways, my friends went to the Olympics to share Christ with all of the people that would be there because the Olympics is one of the very few times when people from all over the world travel to one place at the same time. When they got back and shared all of the incredible miracles God did, the conversations they had with complete strangers and the new drive to share about their faith with everyone they came in to contact with. Everything opened a desire in my heart to do the same! Obviously, I have not traveled the world to share my faith; but since then, God has given me smaller, random opportunities to share the gospel with people and to pray with them. When my friends all came back from London, we all immediately began thinking about the Summer Olympic Games that would take place in Rio de Janeiro. Almost three years later, and I have never forgotten about going to Rio to share my faith with hundreds of different people from all over the world. But, my desire has grown since then. Like, I want to be able to share Christ with people from all over the world that are right in my neighbourhood, my school, my work, everywhere!
This sermon is what got the ball rolling; Pastor Bryce is an amazing speaker and God totally spoke through him the past Sunday! I’d totally encourage you guys to listen to it, because it totally moved my heart!
Sunday morning God dumped a gallon of gasoline on my spark for short term missions and sharing the gospel with others. Recently I’ve been a little discouraged. Ok, a lot discouraged – I’ve been feeling like I’m not good enough. Not good enough at being a witness for God to others in my life. Not good enough of a friend to the people around me and to many of my close friends. Not being good enough at school. Not being a good enough leader in the things that I have committed to. Etc. Like, I could honestly go on, and on….. buuuuuuut we don’t have time for that. ANYWAYS. I was journaling and doing my devotions before church (normally I don’t like sharing my journal because it is strictly between me and God but I know that God wants me to be sharing this in order to give Him credit for what went down at church…) this is what I wrote, “God, I pray for my future and whatever your Will may be for it. Maybe you will bring a man into my life, maybe you will provide an amazing career or maybe you’ll have me move and travel over seas for whatever reason! Whatever it may be Lord, I ask that you would help me to submit my own will and be willing to follow yours! Prepare my heart NOW for what you have planned. I love you Lord and I know that you love me and only want what’s best for me.” So then I closed my journal, walked to church and my Pastor, Bryce started to speak on Acts chapter 1 and 2; which is when Jesus’ disciples receive the Holy Spirit. Acts 1:8 hit me like a frying pan in the face, here, Jesus is speaking, “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be my witness…”
So Pastor Bryce dove right in and began talking about the Pentecost; which is a time where people from all over the world; speaking different languages all gathered together in Jerusalem to celebrate what God has done. It was a celebration that had continued for years and years. Immediately I clued in to God’s tap on my shoulder. Pentecost = Olympics. Also a time where thousands of people from all over the world belonging to different cultures and backgrounds gather together at the same time to celebrate one thing. Bryce continued speaking and I was all ears. “Something miraculous would happen on the day of Pentecost,” he said, “In Acts 2:1-13, we read that the disciples began declaring the wonders of God in different languages! It was so crazy and unbelievable that the people who heard them began to say that they had too much wine and must’ve been drunk!” My mind was racing, I felt that Bryce was speaking directly to me; there was no one else in the congregation except for me. He continued to speak, “The Spirit dwells in everyone that has chosen to follow Christ.” Speaking for myself here; I know that the Spirit is active and working in my life; meaning that God will empower me to accomplish His will no matter how qualified I am. You see, God never calls the qualified – He qualifies the called. “What is the first thing the church does?” My pastor asked, “they tell the world – in their own language about all that God has done!” I started to question and doubt myself – I feel called but I don’t think I can learn Portuguese! God, is this really from you? “PAYTON! You have felt this calling for Rio for nearly three years now and what have you done with it?” I froze in my seat. I’ve done nothing. As of now, I’ve told almost no one about this desire in my heart to share Christ to different nations and cultures. “Payton, I have given you my Spirit and that is all you need to accomplish the mission that I have for you! Acts 1:8, “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be my witness…” There it was again. As Bryce continued to speak, the same message was banging like a gong inside my body. “GO. JUMP IN. TRUST IN ME ALONE.”
“God wants to use us when we are not ready, that way we are forced to trust Him and for God to empower us to do what we need to do to tell the world about Him. Trust that God knows what He is able and will do through us” Everything Bryce said seemed to blow over any doubts that I had in my mind. God was completely speaking through him. It was as obvious as a chocolate stain on a white shirt. As we read through the first two chapters of Acts, he stressed the fact that the disciples did not teach the language – they learned the language, but more importantly – God empowers His people to speak another language! God brings His Word to those who are lost because when you think about it, God came into our culture. He sent Jesus to us – so we must go into other cultures and give the gospel in their own language. The other thing that Bryce really stressed was that this whole happening was completely supernatural. God empowers His followers to do this, there is no way they could ever have done this on their own. I started thinking about me learning Portuguese. For those of you who know me… you know how absolutely ridiculous this is. After three years of struggling and trying to take French classes growing up in school, my teacher actually asked me to drop the class. Through the three, excruciatingly long years of French class for both myself and my poor teacher; I learned one, truly valuable sentence. “Puis-je se il vous plaît aller aux toilettes” and as Google so faithfully translates, “May I please go to the toilet?” I confess, this was how I got out of class when I simply couldn’t take any it more. I’m not even kidding you. But it got me thinking even more! Jesus’ disciples were no wise men – no offense. Yet they were speaking in SEVERAL different languages. Honestly, if it is God’s will, He will usually make it happen in the craziest way, shape or form. We don’t have all the answers, we won’t be ready – we just need to be willing and GO! And quite often, it won’t make any sense to those around us, but we need to obey God’s calling on our hearts. People will be amazed and think we are out of our minds! Why have you spent time to do this? You have no money, how do you think you will make it work? You have no talent or skill in an area. Etc. God only asks if we are willing. Willing to get up and follow Him. We need to step out and trust Jesus. Be Willing to trust, and be surprised. God has this HUGE adventure that He wants to take us on, but if we’re not willing to get up off the couch, it’ll never happen. We’ll become fat, lazy and unhealthy followers of Jesus Christ! As the sermon came to a close, Pastor Bryce said, “If you are feeling this call for missions and serving the Lord with your time, I want you to come up to the front pew here after I close so that I, and a few others can pray for you! Immediately God said to me, “Payton, you need to go up.” I was stiff. See, I NEVER go up on calls like that. I’ve never had the tug on my heart and personally, I just don’t like bringing attention to myself like that. Cause everyone sees you when you’re up there and after, they ask you questions and it’s…. just….. no. But God persisted, “Payton, you NEED TO GO.”
As Pastor Bryce said “Amen” my heart started to race. My friends came around me, and started talking about where we wanted to go for lunch. My mind totally tuned out and I just stared at the front. No one else was going up. But Bryce was waiting. He knew. I scanned the people standing around and talking and no else was making a move to go forward. So I waited another moment. “Payton, what are you waiting for, I have told you to GO.” After that last nudge from the Lord, I finally walked to the front and Bryce turned toward me and lit up. I started to tell him how much God spoke to me through his message when I started to cry. Hard. I don’t think I’ve cried that hard since my Grandma’s funeral roughly a month ago. As I tried to tell him what was going on in my heart, what I had literally just journaled about that morning and how I feel called to missions work and about Rio all he could do was smile. It felt SO refreshingly good to share this big thing that God had placed on my heart years ago. Two other ladies came up and joined Bryce; Marion and Nita, and we all prayed together. They encouraged me to continue writing all the God was placing on my heart because Nita promised me, that when I am out on the Mission field and I am having a harsh day – I am going to need that encouragement. Marion also encouraged me to begin learning Portuguese right away, because a little is better than nothing. “It seems like God keeps testing you to see if you are truly willing to trust and follow Him, by giving you the choice to make the first step.” Marion said, “He waited until you asked Him to prepare your heart now, for later. He waited until you got up and came to ask for prayer and encouragement this morning. He is going to keep testing you and you have to continue taking the first step to where He leads.”
Jesus focused. Christ centered. I will GO.
God continued to burn His encouragement and strength on my heart. “Jump in and I will empower you. Jump in because I will give you everything you need. Jump in and move forward with Me because the battle has already been won. Let us do this together.” A few days later, I had an incredible and vivid dream that I believe is from the Lord. I posted about it a couple days ago but it was about Jesus coming back and I believe that God was testing me once again whether I was willing to step out into the unknown and follow Him. There are so many reasons why that dream is so important to me, but the #1 reason is because I haven’t had a dream about the rapture since I was 10 and back then, I woke up terrified and screaming but now I wake up energized and peaceful; excited about the Lord’s return. That alone is an encouragement to me because God showed me just how far He has taken me. Through Christ he has helped me to eliminate fears and has helped me to over come them! The other thing that God totally opened my eyes to, is that He has been writing on my blank page. God has been writing this whole time, I just never realized it – and He is gunna continue writing on my “blank list” (which is technically not blank) and that, is flipping exciting.
Guys I am totally pushing you to step out and take a leap of faith. I know, I know. That is probably one of thee most over used, cliche, typical statements a person can say. But it’s true. Only when you are willing to move forward – past your fears, beyond your worries and farther than your discouragements, that’s where God meets you. I know this because that’s EXACTLY what He did for me this past week. And I think the craziest part, is that God is literally revealing more and more pieces to the puzzle everyday. It’s actually mind blowing. I want you to think about what is holding you back from doing the Lord’s will. I think we all know deep down what this is. Obviously it’s our own will but WHAT is that specifically? Is it a job? Schooling, schooling and more schooling? Is it a person in your life or maybe even a group of people? Are you where God needs you to be or are you refusing to move? What ever it is… Ditch it. Drop it like it’s hot. Cause it’s not worth it. God has something incredible for you but He’s only going to give it to you when you stop refusing to do it His way. Look at it like this: lets say you are a donkey. A hard working, strong and fully capable donkey that is continually striving for that carrot that is being dangled just out of reach in front of you. No matter how hard you push and pull and work for that carrot that is always JUST in front of you – you never get it. Ever. BUT, if you were to simply let someone guide you – allow the bit to be put in your mouth and to trust that whoever is steering you knows where they are going. God could guide you to a pile of carrots. Truth is, He wants to do this for you, but if we are not willing to simply trust and obey, we will forever be striving towards something that we will never achieve. Think about it… like actually… what’s worth more to you?
– Stay Satisfied