Friday, June 24, 2011

My testimony & the 2011 New Hope Summer revival

Wednesday through Friday night of this week, my church has had a revival and I feel moved to talk about it. The title of the sermon on Wednesday was "Their eyes were watching God", Thursday's sermon title was "Waiting without worrying" and tonight's sermon was titled, "I got the victory".

All three nights dealt with 2 Chronicles chapter 20. In this chapter, Jehoshaphat, the king of Judah learned that 3 nations(the Moabites, the Ammonites, and others beside the Amonites) were coming against him to battle him. After finding out about this, Jehoshaphat gathered all the people of Judah in the house of the Lord to fast and to pray together to ask the Lord what they needed to do in the midst of this impending battle.

After they prayed and waited on God, the spirit of the Lord fell upon Jahaziel, and the Lord spoke through Jahaziel, "Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not your's, but God's." In verse 17, still speaking through Jahaziel, God says, "Ye shall not need to fight in this battle: set yourselves, stand ye still, and see the salvation of the Lord with you, O Judah and Jerusalem: fear not, nor be dismayed; tomorrow go out against them: for the Lord will be with you."

The words alone from the Bible are enough to make me happy about the power of God, but the preacher spiritually set the church on fire Wednesday through Friday, and by Friday night, a few were slain in the Spirit. I know I'm not doing this revival justice because the true power and gift of God's word was being in the sanctuary listening to this revival. One point that really stuck in my head from tonight's message was an anecdote. The preacher talked about a new phone system in his church and on the phones, there's a button labeled "ICM callback". Whenever the preacher calls another line in another office of the church and that line is busy, all he has to do is press "ICM callback" and the phone will keep calling that line until there's an answer. Bringing it around to us and God, whenever we pray to God and we don't get an answer to our prayers, we can keep praying until we get an answer from Him.

Now, on to my testimony. In 1995, my dad passed. There are 2 reasons I had to smile at his funeral. One, he had the chance to see me go to college, and two, some of the last words I said to him was, "I love you." To this day, I still think about him, but I've been blessed to have good men in my church and the father of a best friend, to be in my life, and these are men that I love and respect like a father.

Then, in 1997, I was in a single car collision (that I caused) that was so bad that you couldn't tell the front of the car from the back of the car. I was knocked unconscious and life-flighted to a nearby hospital. After I awoke hours later, the doctor told me that I came to the hospital looking like I had been scalped by an Indian. I really had been busted till the white meat in my head was showing. But by the grace of God, and the prayers of many family members and friends, I'm alive and I'm smiling.

There's also been 2 occasions where my mom has been in the hospital for a serious medical issue. The last time was a couple of months ago, and it was so bad that she actually said to me, "I don't want to live anymore." These aren't words you want to hear from anyone you love, but the first thing I did on this occasion is the same thing I've done in most situations I'm not equipped to handle, I prayed(hard). And just like every other situation, God came through with an answer, and I'm happy to say that my mom is back on her feet, and doing almost all of the same things she was doing before. Driving is the only thing she isn't doing yet, and that's only because I want her to take her time before she starts again.

I say all of this to say that when I was growing up, I used to watch the people in the church clap their hands, shout, cry, dance, or run up and down the aisles, and I would wonder, "What got into them?". After all the things I've been through and everything I've seen, I've changed my tune. Nowadays, I look at the people who are sitting in church stone silent, and I wonder, "Maybe the word hasn't hit them like it's hitting everybody else, and maybe they haven't been given a reason to praise God yet." But all I know is that after all the reasons I've been given to praise God, I want to share my testimony just to let you know that He's still performing miracles on a daily basis.