I was just 13 years old when I came face to face with someone who would forever change the position of my heart.
At the time, I was concerned with boys and popularity alone. I wanted to be known. I wanted to be seen. I wanted to be accepted. I wanted to be loved. I was a wild child, with the will to do almost anything I wanted to do. But, as my childhood was appropriately sheltered, so much of my innocence was preserved.
No doubt, at 13, I was searching for more. Unafraid to try anything and a natural adrenaline-seeker, there is no doubt in my mind that without a divine intervention, I would have dived head first into alcohol, drugs, and sex. Who knows what sort of damage I would have done to my teenage body and soul.
But I am the daughter of parents with worn out knees. Whether in correct context or not, my parents clung to Joshua 24:15 as their promise from God – “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”
I will never forget the day I came face to face with Jesus. It felt as if my heart was being gently pulled out of my chest, and it compelled me to walk towards an altar call. I fell to my knees and sobbed. I had found what I was looking for, or maybe what I was looking for found me.
I was known. I was seen. I was accepted. I was loved.
That day, the position of my heart was twisted towards a divine calling. The moment I gave my heart to Christ, I knew beyond the shadow of a doubt that I was called to be a minister. I had no other goals. No other interests. No other ambitions. All I wanted was Jesus. I was consumed with Him, and the fire of the Spirit lit up every fiber of my body.
I could not be silent. Like the woman at the well, I ran back to my town and told everyone I knew… “Come, meet the man who knows everything wrong I ever did, but still loves me.” And many of my friends believed.
My number one calling is evangelism, and it always has been.
It was the calling laid upon my life while I was still in my mother’s womb. I am a Christian, an evangelist, and a feminist, in that order. So no other silencing mechanism stings my heart more than, “It seems like you love feminism more than Jesus.”
It’s a lie, straight from the enemy’s mouth, that he speaks into the ears of the religious. Scripture calls Satan an accuser of the brethren (Revelation 12:9-11), and he delights in using Christians to accuse one another.
We must never presume to know the condition of one another’s hearts. We must never believe that we have figured out the correct way to spread the gospel, and accuse our brothers and sisters of doing it wrong.
Satan will speak through the best of Christians, if they have even one self-righteous bone in their body (we all do). Remember, even the Apostle Peter spoke the words that Satan whispered into his ears, and Jesus responded by rebuking him – “Get behind me, Satan.” (Matthew 16:23).
If we would only take the words of Jesus as seriously as we take the Apostle Paul’s words, we just might find freedom from our self-righteousness and self-judgement:
“Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. For you will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged. And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own? ” (Matthew 7:1-3).
Judgement is toxic. We attempt to “teach” others the errors of their ways, but we end up poisoning ourselves. Humans are naturally judgmental, but we are called to live among the supernatural.
Every Christian is called to spread the Gospel, but sadly, we live in a nationalistic culture here in America. The Jesus we created is not the real Jesus and the name of Christ has been dragged through the mud by oppressive, legalistic, and self-centered “preachers” and “politicians.”
Therefore, Americans who are not believers are sick of hearing about this “Jesus” who is wealthy, sexist, oppressive, racist, hateful, selfish, greedy, exclusive, judgmental, privileged, and intolerant. America has made Jesus in its own image.
“Why can’t you just preach the gospel?”
Because “the gospel” in America is not the gospel. It’s severely tainted and is destroying lives instead of saving lives. Men and women who grew up in the Church are walking, no, running, away from American Christianity. Unbelievers want nothing to do with Jesus, because they feel more loved and see more justice out in the world.
I wish I could be an old-school evangelist, set up a tent, and let the people flock to the meeting to hear about Jesus alone, but that would only attract other Christians these days.
We must be honest with ourselves; most people are not rejecting Christ because “the truth is offensive,” but because many American Christians are offensive.
If you want people to be open to the real Jesus and the real Gospel, take up a worthy cause and give it everything you have got. On top of that, focus your energy on loving and accepting people, right where they are. Let us be a beacon of hope, restoration, and renewal once again.
We may be surprised how many people start running back to the Church.
“Preach the Gospel at all times. When necessary, use words.”
(Often Attributed to St. Francis of Assisi’s life)
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