Hey Vintage Family.
Thanks so much for all the prayers and support during this time of rest and retreat. God has already encouraged us a ton and we can't wait to get back. As many of you know, I have been taking a break online and specifically my phone is completely turned off. I have sent this important message through Annabeth to the Pastors.
The last few days have been filled with a ton of prayer and weeping as we have all witnessed hatred and murder in our country. My prayers go out to all the families and friends of every victim. I can only imagine all of the conversation that is on social media right now. Turning off the online chatter has been such a healing time for me as I've been able to focus more on the Word of God than any word from the world. I'd encourage you to try and find some time to do the same. Here are a few words of encouragement to pray during this crucial time in our country and world.
I wonder what it is going to take for God's people to truly and desperately call out to God in prayer. I'm all for social activism especially when those movements rise up against injustice. However, we need a movement of God. I was watching the news this morning and a famous politician shared that they believe something evil has taken hold of our world. I agree and the only way this evil will be overcome is by the only One who has overcome evil. We need Jesus! Devote yourself to a season of urgent fasting and prayer. This would be a great thing to do with your vGroup!
There are so many things for us to pray for but my fear is that a continued vague intercession will continue to produce apathy. It's so easy to over generalize in every area of life. Saying that you are praying about something on twitter is meaningless if you don't pray. Just today I was shocked by a conversation that I had with a security guard. As I thanked him for his service he immediately replied that he could not believe that the #blacklivesmatter people killed those cops. I told him that I completely disagreed. I went on to say that part of the problem is that people are over generalizing different ethnicities, religions, and even our law enforcement. Not every #blacklivesmatter rally is bad and not every police officer, especially white police officer, is a racist and murderer. He interrupted me and then said as he left the room, "I guess you're one of those Hillary supporters." Sad.
I want to encourage you to pray specifically. Who are the people in your life in need of prayer? What sin do you need to confess to Jesus and your neighbor? Don't just pray for Jesus to overcome racism, write down specific local, national, and international needs.
As you pray specifically, I want to encourage you to reach out and follow up with those prayers in action. After the security guard left me I decided to go and find him. On top of confronting him of his ignorance and even generalizing me and my beliefs, I just shared with him that I was praying for his heart to be changed by Jesus. I told him that I still believed that Jesus can overcome all evil in this world including what was in his heart and mine. He still wasn't happy with me as I shared the Gospel with him but I'm thankful to now have a specific and active need to pray for. Please pray for Mr. Dickie.
I wonder how different our world would look like if we decided to spend more time actively loving our neighbors than watching and judging them on facebook. Talk is cheap and faith without works is dead.
Why? Because Jesus is completely victorious. The enemy might be winning a few battles but he cannot win the war. Don't pray little prayers to this victorious Jesus, pray boldly. The gates of hell cannot prevail against Jesus and His church.
On this break I've been listening to a song by Leeland called "Lion and the Lamb." I've always appreciated Leeland as he came to New Orleans right after Katrina to encourage our ministry in the city.
Listen to this chorus.
I love you guys so much and I can't wait to be back preaching the Gospel with you in New Orleans and beyond.