God works in many, various and sundry ways in the lives of those He calls to be saved and become HIS disciples. I was reading a biography on Richard C. Halverson this morning. His change came while listening to Dr. George S. McCune, a pioneer missionary to Korea speak. Here is his account of what happened: ” The issue was very clear; CHRIST wanted my life in full surrender. I literally broke out in a cold sweat as I realized this. At that moment surrendering to CHRIST seemed to mean the end of everything I’d ever dreamed of for myself. To me it meant turning my back on everything I had wanted to be and do. I left the meeting that night in a terrible condition, having refused to yield to CHRIST. However I was rushed from there into a cabin prayer meeting during which time GOD met me in an unusual way. I surrendered to HIM as completely as I knew how; and of course experienced the deepest peace and happiness I had ever know. This experience of utter yieldedness to the SAVIOR and consequent joy that filled my life was far more cataclysmic than my conversion.” He went on to say “As “the result of that experience, The Holy Spirit has always been real to me. ” He later made commitments called “THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE BURNING HEART. The following are those four commitments:
“Having come to a personal belief in the Lord Jesus Christ and realizing that the urgency of the hour in which we live demands the highest type of Christian Discipleship, I wish to unite with a band of young people offering themselves as expendables, with a vision of evangelizing the youth of the world for Jesus Christ in the shortest possible time.
I AM COMMITTED TO THE PRINCIPLE that Christian discipleship is sustained solely by God alone through His Spirit; that the abiding life of John 15 is HIS way of sustaining me. Therefore I pledge myself to a disciplined devotional life in which I promise through prayer, Bible Study and devotional reading, to give GOD not less than one hour per day (Psalm 1)
I AM COMMITTED TO THE PRINCIPLE that Christ Discipleship begins with Christian character. Therefore I pledge myself to holy living, that by a life of self denial and self-discipline, I may emulate those Christ-lie qualities of chastity and virtue which will magnify the Lord (Philippians 1:20,21)
I AM COMMITTED TO THE PRINCIPLE that Christian Discipleship exercises itself principally in the winning of the lost to Jesus Christ. Therefore I pledge myself to seek every possible opportunity to witness in order that I may always be engaged in winning someone to Jesus Christ ( Matthew 28:19, Acts 1:8)
I AM COMMITTED TO THE PRINCIPLE that Christian Discipleship demands nothing less than absolute consecration to Jesus Christ. Therefore I present my body a living sacrifice, utterly abandoned to God. By this commitment, I desire that God’s perfect will shall find complete expression in my life; and I offer myself in all sobriety to be expendable for Jesus Christ. (Romans 12: 1,2, Phil. 3:7-14.)
GOD being my guide I desire to make these commitments to HIM.
Reading this testimony this morning made me realize that I too had one of these moments. Years ago at a church we were attending we had been told missionaries were coming that Wednesday night to share what they had been doing in some foreign lands. Everyone was encouraged to come. Wayne and I were so excited as fairly new Christians to go. We got there early in fact were were the first their and had a key to the church, we went in turned on the lights and sat down and waited for everyone to arrive. The missionaries arrived and we chatted with them and then in came a member, then another, then another, then another. Four member and Wayne and I showed up and no one else!!! We were embarrassed and apologized to the Missionaries and they said, well maybe we should just go. I jumped up and said no I’ve been waiting to hear what God is doing in your lives and the lives of those you work with please don’t leave!” They began to share. My heart soared at what they shared. Especially when they shared about lives that received the Gospel with surrendered hearts and the changes in their lives. I heard the missionaries passion for Jesus and for lost souls and my heart burned. When we left that I told Wayne I was going on the mission field. He told me not to get carried away, we could do just as much from home sending money to missionaries. But he didn’t understand. Years later, while reading a piece of mail while riding in a call I saw an ad for a meeting and call for people to go on a mission trip to Romania. I knew instantly that was where God wanted me to go. Wayne said no. I said I’m going. The next day I headed for the car and he wanted to know where I was going, I said to the meeting. He said you are NOT going, I said “I am!” He said he’d drive, the whole way he tried talking me out of it. I was so angry by the time we got there, when he headed down an aisle on the right side of the auditorium, I went to the left. I would not sit with him. At the end of the meeting the man and his wife who were leading the team asked people to raise their hands if they were committed to going, my hand shot up and something caught my eye across the room, it was Wayne raising his hand! God used that first trip of many to Romania to teach us, train us, speak to our hearts and souls and we knew that He was calling us to do full time mission work but Wayne could not give up his business. So we continued going to Romania and then to the Dominican Republic. Upon going on my first trip there I knew I was home. This was where we belonged. It took the Lord taking away our business two years ago and losing everything we had for us to look at each other one day and say “we need to go to the Dominican Republic”. The rest is history, we have been here serving for two years as missionaries and chaplains, yes we are graduated, certified chaplains! These last two years have been the joy of our hearts. Seeing literally hundreds of souls receive Jesus Christ, right now we are doing discipleship with a whole family along with Conrad who also is a missionary, the three of us with with Tim and Trena Johnson of La Casa Grande Ministries who have graciously allowed us to join them in the great work them have been doing here for years. With them we are building chapels, restoring chapels damaged by the earthquake a few years ago, building an much needed addition on a church in which the Pastor and his wife teach, feed, and minister for about 200 plus children, we have repaired a widow’s home almost destroyed by the earthquake, built a chapel on a remote mountain village, we have many more chapels lined up but are not able to go out as the whole country like the U.S. is shut down. But God is still making a way, through the literal hunger of many because they can’t work now, we are feeding people. Yesterday alone we provided food for about 40 to 50 people. God is moving and working, yes things are trying right now, but God is trying to get us all to see that its not about money, it’s not about our homes and cars and toys and trips, and cruises, etc. It’s about His passion for us to KNOW HIM and BE KNOWN BY HIM. It’s about finding out what GOD wants us to do and be and how we can help each other, love each other and minister to each other. My prayer today, is that while we can’t shop, work, or play, that we’d understand the Lord is saying, “Hello, I’m here, I’ve always been here. I will supply all your need according to MY RICHES in glory. I have a plan for you, it’s all laid out from Genesis to Revelation. Come unto ME, all you who are heavy laden and I WILL GIVE YOU REST!” Jesus is calling us all to something higher and greater than our plans and hopes and dreams. Time is running short for all of us. Only God knows the number of our days. Seek the Lord while He can be found, call upon Him because HE IS NEAR. Trust HIS HEART, He died for you, He died to pay the penalty for your sin and mine. All He asked is for you to come to Him and trust Him, to ask forgiveness for your sin and He will forgive every single one and cover them with HIS blood and remember them no more. Today is the the day. Please, I implore you. Give Him all of you. You will not regret it. I promise.