Hey everyone, Brian here, and I just wanted to share a particularly awesome moment from the recent YFC conference we attended in Manchester, England.
The moment I speak of was a beautiful encounter with God that ended a really hard season in my life. Over the past couple of months our ministry in England had begun to feel like an incredible weight. The amount of life changes Morgan and I have gone through in the past 8 months was catching up with me and my focus had begun to shift off of ministry and onto myself. It felt I was just trying to stay above water. It came to a head around Christmas time, and I remember sitting in one of the night services completely numb (not a great place to be in ministry). I couldn’t hear, sense, or feel God and I began to offer up such a simple prayer. “God I can’t feel you, but I know You’re here and I know You sent me here. Please rescue me and breathe new life into me.”
Flash forward a couple of weeks and I found myself in Manchester at the YFC Conference. One night a gifted speaker from London was preaching on David and Goliath, and having the courage to face giants in our lives by simply having the willingness to step up to the fight. She said that God promised that He would do the rest. It spoke directly to my situation. I felt I had been willing to come to England and now I was waiting for God to really move in me and move in the lives of the youth I was ministering to every day.
Before she could even finish her alter call, I began to walk toward the front. I trust my God and I knew that I needed prayer to continue to have faith that He would move. I could feel that He was already stirring something new inside me and I could sense a fresh call inside me to pursue the youth in England with much more passion and focus than I had before, but I was still so apprehensive. Even though I could sense something new, I was still so afraid I’d fall back into the place of feeling so drained that I was in before. Nothing particularly special happened at the front of that room. In fact the guy that prayed for me prayed so quietly I didn’t hear a single word he said. I felt confident though. Confident in the promises in scripture that the more I continued to just say “I choose You God” that He would come through for me. I’d seen Him do it too many times for Israel and David in the Old Testament to be fooled into thinking He wouldn’t do the same for me, His beloved adopted son.
The next morning, during our coffee and tea break, a man I had never seen before in my life came up to me and asked if I had gone to the front the night before. I said yes. He told me that he’d tried to get to me last night, but the crowd was too big and he lost me, but as soon as I began to walk to the front he felt God slam something on His heart to speak to me. He asked me if I had ever been repelling. I said yes. He then said that God had shown him I was on the edge of a cliff and I just needed to trust that when I stepped off the harness and the rope would catch me. He said that God just really wanted me to know that I could trust Him. I was floored. Firstly, because a random person has never come up to me and said they felt God had shared something for me with them. Secondly, because it spoke to exactly what I was going through. I knew my God was speaking to me through the man that came up to me. It was so beautiful.
That’s not the end…
Morgan then walked up to me and asked if we could go over and meet Wes Stafford, the founder and CEO of Compassion International. He was one of the speakers at the conference and was chatting with people after the morning message he had delivered. I said ok, and joined my wife with the crowd of people surrounding Wes. He shook her hand and began talking and answering the questions of the group. The whole time I was just quiet, and quite honestly not listening to a word he was saying because I was still just thinking about the incredible way my God loved me and was breathing new life in me. I noticed Wes was beginning to say his goodbyes and move on, when we made eye contact. He did a double take, parted the crowd, and walked straight to me with his hand out. I shook his hand, and while my face looked quite startled I’m sure, he asked where I was from with the most intense curiosity. I told him I was from Oklahoma and that I was here for a two year commitment with YFC. He asked what was next, and I said I had no clue. He then asked if he could share some advice…. Needless to say, I said yes. Wes then went on to tell Morgan and I that often times we won’t know the next step, but we have to be wherever we are 100% for the time we are there, and if at all possible try and give 110%. He then looked in my eyes again and said, but I can already tell you will.
It was almost too much. Out of sheer joy I could’ve punched through a brick wall I was so fired up. Why? Because someone important told me he could see potential in me? NO! Because a fellow believer who has been in ministry for years looked me in the eyes and could see that God was doing something in me. It was the icing on the cake that what God was doing in my heart, made a man do a double take, part a crowd, and walk straight up to me to see what I was about. He wasn’t drawn to me. He was drawn to the flame Christ had lit in my spirit.
The moral of the story? God delivers on His promises. When the desire of our heart is to have more of Him, He gives it to us. Every. Single. Time. I can say that with no fear because it’s not a promise that I’m making. I’m a witness to it, but it’s a promise that the living God made to all who seek Him.
A month before, I was at the end of my rope. I was drained and feeling so numb. I began to press into God and there was no immediate answer. I continued to press into God, and finally my eyes were opened to the wonders of a God that loves me so much. He used three random people I had never seen before and will most likely never see again to tell me the same message: I’m with you and I love you.
It wasn’t just a cool experience though. That’s not how God works. He’s not in the business of flashy emotional highs, He’s in the business of breathing into the dust and creating new life. His touch doesn’t leave a fingerprint it completely alters what He comes in contact with. Today we had our first day back in schools. Normally it’s a time that is particularly draining. The kids have generally no interest in God or me, and today the atmosphere was flat out different. I came into a classroom and I felt I couldn’t contain the love that was beating in my chest for those kids and they responded to it. I could travel this whole world and talk to a billion people, but if I’m not submitted to God, it’s all dust. When a person is submitted to the living God, He could ask them to pick a gum wrapper off the street and save a whole nation through the act. Not because the act is significant, but because HIS words are the MOST SIGNIFICANT in all of existence.
Thank you so much for your prayers! God is moving so much in her and I’s lives and we are so thankful for you and your support! Please continue to pray for us and the youth we work with. Morgan and I are experiencing revival in our ministry and we pray that we see a revival in the youth here to follow.
Song: Overwhelmed (by Big Daddy Weave), Give Me Faith (by Elevation Worship)
Deuteronomy 4:29 – But from there you will seek the Lord your God and you will find him, if you search after him with all your heart and with all your soul.
Proverbs 8:17 – I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently find me.
Jeremiah 29:13 – You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.