Monday, November 28, 2011

Normal is NOT Enough...

"go and make disciples..."
- Matthew 28:19 NKJV

     "Are you ready?  Ready for total surrender and complete availability to God?  Standing up against the devil has to start with laying down our will to God's."  (excerpt from the ATF Leader's Pre-Event Curriculum)
     This weekend, Jeff and I get to take 25 youth to Acquire the Fire, to consider these very things!!  I am SO excited!!  Not only do we get to spend time with Amazing Youth and Leaders, we also get to be filled with Powerful, Challenging Teaching Word, and Uplifting, Loud Music (fav)!!  As we prepare for this action-packed 30 hours; we have been praying for wisdom and understanding; revelation and knowledge; and an Encounter with God that would be FULL of Unforgettable Power!
     We are passionate about raising up youth that are filled with abundant life and an ability to lead others in love.  I am confident that one of the first steps in the process requires total surrender to God.  Does this mean that we give up our ability to reason or choose?  NO!  The act of surrender is merely an act of faith, honor, humility, and love.  It means we obey even when we don't understand.  It looks like considering the promptings of the Holy Spirit before our own thoughts or feelings.  Surrender requires us to line up our choices to the Word of God.  This can sometimes be a one time decision - remaining sober or celibate (before marriage), etc. OR it can be a moment by moment choice - responding in love and forgiveness rather than reacting in anger...either way will require a great amount of commitment and awareness!  Surrender is a verb, and invites us to actively align our will to that of Father God.  This seems to be a lifelong that bears good fruit along the way!!  Once you understand and commit to total surrender, you must consider your availability to God.  Do you "seek first His kingdom and righteousness"?  These choices are NOT for the weak!
     Have you ever noticed how taking a Stand for Something can be followed by great opposition?  The Adversary is not interested in the Norm, the lazy, the lukewarm Christians who are more interested in how they look than how they relate.  These many are easy for "him"...they are no threat!  BUT, the few who choose to follow hard after God put the Adversary on alert!!  If "he" can distract, confuse or manipulate us; "he" can kill, steal, and destroy us.  When, however, we choose to Stand Up and be counted; we invite ALL of heaven to move with us, and We are no match for the devil..."he" is a defeated foe!!!
     The Bible is FULL of stories where One took a stand, and His-Story was forever changed!!  David, Joseph, Esther, Mary (the mother of Jesus) - just to name a few.  Notice that in many cases, God choose the Youth to Be the Change in the World...not just their bedroom, school, team or community; but the World!!!  YOU are just as they!!  Chosen for "such a time as this", armed for battle, equipped for greatness, and certainly NOT the Norm!!!
     It is time, our moment is Now!!  This is a New Season and therefore, a New Opportunity to Rise Up and Be Counted!!  I Challenge you to join us as we dig deeper into God's plans for our lives, knowing they are good - that we Will prosper and succeed!!  Rise Up and Be Counted as a Disciple N' Action - God's very D.N.A.!!      

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