“An altar is a place where God and life collide.” Tim Gaddy
I have experienced some holy collisions of late in my own life. In the year 2013, God has orchestrated several encounters with Him, mile markers on the road toward His will.
I recently attended the 2013 North American Youth Congress in Louisville, Kentucky. I planned, drove and chaperoned the 4-day, 3-night trip, which included 14 teens and young adults. I did so at the request of our youth committee, and being a couple of years removed from youth ministry, I saw it as an opportunity to relive some of the many good times and great God-experiences of my past. Prior to the conference, I did not see how this journey would play into my present work or future calling.
The truth is I was on a collision course with Jesus Christ that would unite my past, present and future, allowing me to step out of my linear living and juxtapose the elements of heritage, calling, and legacy.
I collided with my past in Christ- my Heritage. I am not a 1st generation Apostolic Pentecostal. I have to thank my great-grandfather Riley Jones, whom I had the privilege to grow up knowing before he passed away, for giving me an Apostolic heritage. My great-grandfather was a founding member of the Beech Bluff Pentecostal Church, which formed as a result of a brush arbor in 1945 and has been a United Pentecostal Church since its inception. He raised my grandmother in church, who raised my mother in church, who took me to the same church my great-grandfather founded as soon after my birth as she could. My mom received the Holy Ghost in that church and was baptized in Jesus name; in fact, I vaguely remember this as a child. My father began attending church with us so that I and my little brother would have both parents in church, together. It would be several years before he would completely give his life to God and be baptized in the water and Spirit in Jesus name, but he wanted to be a part of my spiritual heritage. I have so much that I owe my family as a 4th generation Apostolic Pentecostal.
I collided with my present in Christ- my Calling. The signs are too certain and undeniable- my family and I are called to start a church in inner city Jackson, TN. For 9 weeks as of this writing, my wife and I have been ministering in homes through prayer and Bible study, building our first home group. We have had to postpone a couple of times due to time conflicts with members of the group, but the first time I had to miss and needed someone to fill in, I was heart-broken. I was supposed to be there with my group. I felt like a real pastor. Since we have been doing God’s will in this, great blessings have come our way. We needed a car. The Monday before I left for Youth Congress, God provided a car so my wife would have transportation. He led a buyer to us for our old car the Saturday I got back. He is helping us with other financial needs, because God cares for His own. Confirmation after confirmation comes that we are in the will of God, and it serves to make us more grateful and humble.
I collided with my future in Christ- my Legacy. Bro. Cortt Chavis preached the last evening service of Youth Congress and titled his message, “The Divine Balance Between the Fork and the Field.” He exhorted us not to stay inside the church having good services, but to get out into the field to reap the harvest. He called on us to intercede with God over each field of labor- our cities, schools, churches, and homes. I prayed on my face in an arena with nearly 20,000 people around me, but it was just me and God. I went back to my heritage- the truth of God’s Word given down through the apostles and passed to me from my own family- and looked forward to my legacy. My legacy is two young men that have the same blood and the same last name I do- my sons. The heritage I have is one they will share in- if I will pass it on. My present calling is the heritage I will leave for them- my legacy. I may not leave money, possessions, or property, but I will leave the work of God that I have been called to. I want them to love God and His work so much, and that will only happen if my wife and I love the work and do it to the fullest extent. Through tears, I staked my life in my mission field, and determined I would leave a legacy to those boys. If I can’t do God’s will, then I can’t leave anything of value to them. So I will put everything I have into building God’s work.
I can’t help but express how thankful I am that I attended the North American Youth Congress. More than that, I am grateful for the plans God has for me and my family. There is no better life than living for God, right in the center of his will.
So what is your heritage, calling, and legacy? What are you willing to stake your very life to in order to do good, now and into the future?
Copyright (c) 2013 Glen Gaugh