Thank you to those who have supported me during this time of silence and transition. A good friend asked me “what did you do wrong to be silenced?”, to which I replied not that kind of silence. It is the silence you experience when God is moving you to a new place and new assignment that causes you to stop, reflect on the past, review His promises for your life and recall the provisions He has provided when you were entering into other places that stretched you beyond your current situation. When God instructs, prepare to move forward in a way that requires your faith to be strong. I have been silent on this blog for the past four weeks out of obedience to the guiding of the Holy Spirit. A preparation process for moving forward. The New Urban is not about showing hopeless kids hope; it’s about changing attitudes of kingdom building among the adults and young adults charged with leading our youth through this transitional state to adulthood. It’s about a collective vision of moving young people forward, not a siloed classification of young people. The Bible teaches that all have sinned and come short of the glory. All need him, not just the poor, not just those experiencing challenging circumstances but everyone. I truly believe God is moving Youth Ministry to a new understanding of faith, vision and equipping of young people.
Faith can be idle when circumstances are calm. But, when adversity hits then our faith is exercised. Like muscles, our faith grows stronger when exercised. I have learned that faith states the dream, examines all options, uses all resources, removes all nonessentials and then moves forward. I now understand what it means to say – “a man able to see in faith sees things that do not yet exist in the natural realm and sees the potential to bring to pass something marvelous.”
In the Bible, the Hebrew word forward is about taking a journey that has many stages to it. In Exodus 14: 13 – 15 the people had to first stand still and then go forward. This has been an incredible journey the Lord has me on to this point. I walk in expectancy of all that He has for me going forward.
I invite you to also move forward in your relationship with Jesus Christ, in your ministry and in exalting God, engaging unbelievers and edifying the believers:
F – represents the future. Things do not happen by chance, they happen according to His will. Don’t be distracted by circumstances seen with the natural eye. (Prov. 19:21)
O – signifies ordinary people. God uses ordinary people to accomplish His will. Throughout history it wasn’t about titles, degrees or pedigree – just ordinary people. In Romans 16 Paul mentions 24 people used, Luke 10:1 speaks of 70 that went out 2 by 2.
R – stands for resiliency. The Bible tells us that “a man who holds his ground can become strong like the oak” (Prov 24:10). As Christian leaders we are to cultivate our ability to endure under pressure, rise after failure and push ahead when others quit. Spurgeon said, “by perseverance, the snail reached the ark”.
W – represents wholehearted prayer. Prayer is an intense dialogue with diety. It is your decision to personally pursue and seek guidance from the Lord. It is an intense, continual, wholehearted seeking of relationship and conversation.
A – indicates the attitude of faith and courage that fuels your moving forward to fulfill the vision God gave you. Courage is not the absence of fear, it is the mastery of it. You must be able to see your vision, say it and seize it. You must have faith to see what God is doing.
R – stands for remember. Looking back over your life, recall what God has done for you. Even as you look back over your test and trials, you will see where God has brought you through. That which seemed like there was no way out, no solution or now path forward . . . look at you now. And if you are in the midst of a storm now, look around and remember – “you have been here before.”
D – signifies decisions. Decisions determine your DESTINY. Every decision in your life has a consequence; some positive and some negative. When we take matters into our own hands, that is when God allows us to struggle in the darkness created by our decisions. To move forward, learn from wise men’s (and women’s) lifestyles and decision making processes. Don’t be afraid to seek wise counsel. (This is the biggest mistake most young leaders make – The I Know It All Syndrome). Don’t take my word, read Prov. 1:5; 8:33; 9:8,9.
Your path forward belongs to the Lord . Be confident and stay conscience . . .