Haven't been on in a while, it's been a crazy busy last 2 weeks. At the moment I am really conflicted. In some ways I am more grateful for Christ's grace than I have ever been in my whole life, but life does always have its problems. I added this sentence after having written the whole thing and I realize that I'm not really that conflicted, because in all of my anxiety and worries of life, I am joyful and I'm excited to see that reflected in the following stuff.
I am completely surrounded by evidences of grace. After participating in Poverty Immersion, which consists of living a weekend in extreme poverty and homelessness, every day that I wake up in my warm bed, get up and eat breakfast, go out to my car, eat lunch, and never worry about my next meal or whether I have money in my bank account or not is a good day. God has blessed me with so much comfort and support in my life. Though I have never REALLY been homeless, to even spend a weekend in such a state really changed my mindset regarding the impoverished and homeless. Any preconceived notions or judgments I had were completely shattered.
As far as future plans go, things are really starting to pick up and God is starting to open some doors. Within the last month, God has revealed a lot of stuff to me. This coming summer, God has called me back to Africa, and this time for an extended stay. The extended stay, which could be anywhere from 6 months to a year, will be an excellent opportunity to depend and focus wholly on God while doing the work I have been called to do, which is evangelize to unreached people groups. Though the prospect of leaving behind everything in America, especially my girlfriend, family, and friends is very scary and unappealing, I know God will do great things through that. Within a couple weeks, there is a very good chance I will have some definite plans for next summer as far as location and length of stay. I am really nervous, but also really excited to begin stepping into the calling God has on my life.
The conflicted part is in my personal life. I have been excited my whole life to find that one person God has for me in this world and to be the spiritual leader in that relationship. God has definitely brought that person in my girlfriend Jennica. She is an amazing woman of God and I am blessed to be with her. Though I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world, the role of spiritual authority in a relationship has its tough times. I don't want to go as far as calling it a burden, but it is definitely a heavy responsibility. It carries a lot of weight and I don't take it lightly. Many times I don't feel up to the challenge. However, God spoke to me Monday night at Chi Alpha. The word of the night was identity. For a long time, I had allowed Satan to speak the identity of a "worthless leader" in my relationship. That no matter how hard I tried, I could never be the spiritual leader God calls me to be in my relationship because of my own personal sins and struggles. Since I'm not perfect, every time I would screw up in any way (which happens every day and often) in my mind I was continuing to confirm that false identity. However, Christ didn't die for us to live in false identities the world has spoken over us, but to be more than conquerors. Romans 8:37 "No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord."
When we allow ourselves to be controlled by false identities in our lives, we are separating ourselves from our true identities as children of God, co-heirs with Christ, one with Christ. As soon as that separation happens and we quit walking in the true identity God has for us, we quit hearing His voice and walking in the purposes and plans that He has for us. We lose the peace that surpasses all understanding and quit living the the Sabbath rest that is promised in Hebrews.
God is so good and as always, the greatest evidence of grace is the redemption of all man by Jesus Christ.