Resurrection-we all need it! My family and I are so blessed to be friends with Brandon! He is an upstanding young man who is on fire for Jesus. He sings of it daily. Come and join us at OOTBWC for a listen! Here is Brandon’s personal “Resurrection” story. May you be blessed! d.
This past weekend I took a trip with a bunch of friends down the road to Gatlinburg, TN for Resurrection 2011. This note is going to be a bit of a “walkthrough” of my experiences, observances, and enlightenments. It’s going to be quite lengthy, but I guarantee you won’t regret giving it a read.
The first words the keynote speaker for the weekend (Adrian Despres Jr.) said to the 4,000 people gathered in the convention center Friday night were “Hello, my name is Adrian, but my wife’s name is Lisa.” He went on to describe and praise his wife and had every married man in the room to the same thing. Throughout the rest of his first message, Adrian explained that going through suffering for something you were passionate about was entertainment. Now I’m a fairly simple minded logical guy, this concept had me stumped from the get go. It wasn’t until our youth group’s devotional time back at the hotel that night that I figured out Adrian was telling us we should enjoy suffering for the things we’re passionate about.
Sacrifice should a big part of any Christian’s life. Whether it’s something as simple as tithing on Sunday mornings, or as difficult as giving up a meal so that someone who is hungry can eat. Without sacrificing these things we fill our lives with, we can’t make room for the awesome things God has to offer us! Sometimes as Christians we have to just let God “Bring The Rain’ in our lives, because through our suffering, we are made strong.
Saturday morning we were all introduced to a kid by the name of Chris (I believe that was right but if not then the name doesn’t matter anyway) who had struggled with lukemea his whole life. We watched a video of him speaking to a group of students. The most memorable thing I heard him say was “I’m not afraid of dying, I know where I’m going when it happens. What I am afraid of, is you guys that don’t know where you’re going.” Here was a teenage guy standing in front of hundreds of his peers saying he wasn’t afraid of his life ending, instead he was more concerned about the people who didn’t know where they were going when theirs did. What if we were all a bit more like Chris? What if we all cared so much for others, that we feared for their eternal destination more than our own?
The big kahuna. Adrian began this session by placing 4 chairs on the stage. The first chair was for Christians who were on fire for God and were sharing his word and trying to lead others to him. The second chair (henceforth refered to as the “vomit chair”) was for Christians who had gotten comfortable in their walk with God. Vomit chair Christians are the people who are “more worried about their roast burning on Sundays than they are about people burning in hell”, they typically have a self-centered mind set. The third chair was for those people who tend to say “I’m a good person and I don’t hurt people. That’ll get me into heaven right?” (the answer there is a big fat NO) These people don’t realize that the only way into heaven is to ask God’s forgiveness and ask him to come into your life. Then comes chair number four, the people who know God is real but choose to ignore it, the other group that wouldn’t be headed up stairs after they die.
Adrian invited people in the third and fourth seats to stand and ask God for salvation. At that moment I watched hundreds of people stand up and thousands of tears begin to flow. Can you even comprehend that? Hundreds of souls escaping the clutches of hell in a matter of seconds!
He proceeded to encourage these people to migrate towards the ends of the room, and asked the second chair people to stand. He told us (yes I’ll admit I was sitting in a pool of vomit) to find somewhere to just lay down on our faces and pray…..this is where it gets personal folks…..
I hit the ground hard and began to pray. The holy spirit was so heavy in that room it felt freezing even though it had to be eighty degrees with that many bodies in it. I began to pray and ask God to pick me up out of the rut I had fallen into and set me on fire for him again. I’ll never forget one of my friends coming and laying beside me and praying for me. “I have never seen a man with this much passion for sharing your love through his gifts.” That is what my friend told God about me….Around a year ago I began feeling a call on my heart by God into worship ministry. I hadd struggled with that concept ever since…..I began to sob at my friend’s words and everything around me seemed to fall silent. I began to hear a whispering voice quoting all my favorite verses about worship. Like I said earlier, I’m a very simple minded logical guy, God was the only logical explanation I had for what was happening. The voice sorta trailed away and I heard Adrian’s voice above all the others in the room saying, “If you’ve been wrestling with God over his calling in your life it’s time you submit to him.”
Ladies and gentlemen I can tell you right now what I’m going to spend my life doing. On Friday night I had shared with my group that sometimes God let us fall flat on our backs so that we would be forced to rely on him to pick us back up. If you’ve read this and you’re not sure which of those four chairs you’re sitting in but you’d like to know, stop what you’re doing right now find a quiet place and lay on your face humbled before God. I guarantee you’ll figure it out real quick. Don’t wait for God to let you fall on your back, speed up the process by laying down yourself.