One life can make a difference.
I pondered this as I attended an event in California called Azusa Now led by Lou Engle. The event was calling thousands in the body of Christ to come and pray and stand together for the purpose of unity, miracles, healing, and the proclamation of the Gospel. Our rally cry: Come, Holy Spirit! Over 60,000 people were in attendance that significant day - April 9, 2016 - celebrating the 110th anniversary of the Azusa Street Revival. Lou Engle’s ministry, The Call, has held large prayer gatherings around the United States. For years, he has challenged our nation and young people to fast and pray. One man’s vision called a nation back to God and thousands have responded.
Many well-known ministry leaders in the Body of Christ participated. Loren Cunningham shared and I thought of YWAM bases all over the world where thousands of young people have been trained and sent out into the nations with the Gospel. Bill Johnson spoke and I thought of the influence of Bethel, how their teaching and worship music have circled the globe. Jack Hayford, Dutch Sheets, Cindy Jacobs, Heidi Baker, Todd White and Shawn Bolz prayed and prophesied over the crowd.
I reflected on the beginning of Aglow International in 1967 that was started by 4 women in the little town of Edmonds, WA. I am sure these women could never have imagined that Aglow would spread all over the world and affect millions.
I can think of 3 life-changing steps these leaders took at the beginning of their calling to set their course:
- Prayer, Vision and a Dream
- Counted the Cost
- Stepped out in Faith and Obedience
Know what God has called you to and be an individual. Our generation has grown up with social media and celebrities. People want to make it big, to be noticed and have a platform. Seek God’s presence not a platform.
Learn from leaders in the body of Christ. Let mature men and women of the faith pour into your life. Be careful not to put leaders on a pedestal. We can admire, respect and learn from great leaders, but we are called to know God and be who He has uniquely created us to be. I hear young people say, I want to be like this person or I want to have a ministry as large as that person. Be YOU! Hear God’s voice and walk in obedience to the vision and dreams He has placed in your heart.
As I’ve been reading through some genealogies in the Bible, a couple of men have stood out to me.
1 Chronicles 1:10 Cush became the father of Nimrod; he began to be a mighty one in the earth.
I wonder what it was about Nimrod that the genealogy stopped its regular pattern and not only listed his name, but called him “a mighty one.”
1 Chronicles 4:9-10 Jabez was more honorable than his brothers, and his mother named him Jabez saying, “Because I bore him with pain.” Now Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, “Oh that You would bless me indeed and enlarge my border, and that Your hand might be with me, and that You would keep me from harm that it may not pain me!” And God granted him what he requested.
I think of Jabez and his powerful prayer that God answered. He was born in pain to his mother and then asked God to keep him from pain. He had a new identity. Powerful.
Dream big! Run the race God has marked out for you. We are living in incredible times. Let’s allow God to use us to greatly impact the world. Thousands or maybe just one could be waiting on the other end of your obedience. Every life matters. Every life has impact. Make YOURS count!