One of the things that we have learned over the last two years of being a part of a church plant is the battle that comes after we see God show up and do something amazing. This last weekend at Elevation we were priviledged to share the gospel message then see the Holy Spirit move in the lives of 10 people. We have already heard from some of the people that responded to the gospel and there has been freedom in their lives when it comes to addiction, brokeness, and loss. I love being able to be a part of a church where people see it is a place for the “jacked up” and that they can encounter the radical grace of Jesus Christ. But then we also were able to celebrate with five men as they were baptized. Five men that are going to be leaders in their homes, five men that are going to be fighters for the gospel, and five men that are chasing after Jesus. We can claim that at Elevation we are living out Matthew 11:21 where we see the Kingdom of Heaven is advancing.
But then comes the Monday and Tuesday after an amazing weekend. These are the days that we have learned that there is an enemy that does not want us to be able to celebrate what is going on in Elevation. So we have things that happen that will discourage and divide the team. People get upset about things, people don’t like how things were done, or people well they are just people. But we know it is just the enemy that is trying to get us to lose focus. Maybe to even get us to hate or be bitter or even give up. These are the verses that came to me this afternoon while I was praying:
12 For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:12 (NLT)
The fight is never with a person or even with the problem. The fight is with the enemy and you can choose to either allow the enemy to take you down or you can by the power of Jesus Christ put a double leg take down on the whole situation. The way that you do this is by getting down in the bottom position (if you wrestled you know what I mean). From this position you just pray. Anytime that you get on your knees and pray is the best way to fight. Then you you use the stand-up (basic wrestling escape) and stand on the power of the bible. That is the only way that you are going to be able to make it through the battle. If you are going through what you feel is a battle then please let me know how can I be praying for you. Fight the good fight!
It is always a great feeling to finish off a Sunday and be able to think about all that I was honored to be a part of when it comes to Elevation. I get so excited that I get to be a part of a movement of God here in Aurora. Today we started our series called the “F-Bomb” and it was quite explosive when it came to dealing with the area of forgiveness in people’s lives. Here are a few of the things that just blew us away:
- We had 7 first time decisions for Jesus Christ.
- Then had the honor to be able to pray for up to 40 people as the share the gift of forgiveness with those in their lives.
- Was honored to have a friend from High school show up with her daughter that I have not seen since I graduated. (Yeah I am old)
- Enjoyed the opportunity to have 8 new families check out Elevation and all that is going on.
- Was able to enjoy an awesome lunch with the awesome volunteers at Elevation as we had our Fall Leadership Community.
- Was told today by the custodian at Dalton that she was listening to message from her office and she said, “I was thinking that this is a message that my friend should hear, but then realized that Jesus was talking to me.”
One of the things that I am constantly reminding myself and others about as we start a church is that we are all “Jacked Up”. That there is not one perfect person in our church. That the person that God is using to start the church is “Jacked Up” and that’s me. In fact when I was speaking a couple of weeks ago in Jefferson City, MO I really felt God pushing me to remind everyone there that we are all a part of the “Jacked Up” in fact I had everyone there that night turn to the person next to them and say exactly that, “Hi I am part of the church of the Jacked Up.” We all come with our baggage, our hurts, and the feeling of being damaged. I was reminded this week of a scene in a movie that resembled this thought. It comes from the movie “Black Hawk Down” and it goes like this:
Lt. Col. Danny McKnight is in a fierce battle. The vehicle is filled with wounded and the blood from the wounded is all over the place. He then orders Private Othic “You get up there and drive!” Othic yells back, “But I’m shot, Colonel!” McKnight yells back, “Everybody is shot!”
There is not one person involved in our communities that have not had to deal with some type of hurt. But what we can do is be the M.A.S.H. unit that is available to each other. And we have the ultimate doctor that is able to heal and mend those hurts that we have experienced. We know this because in Matthew he said that the doctor comes for the sick not the healthy. We have a Doctor that has wounds that were made so that ours could be healed. That is why I can say that I am part of the church of the “Jacked Up”.