Planting a church provides many opportunities to be available to God, to minister when He calls. More ministry happens when we receive a situation that is presented to us prayerfully and with the intent to be Christ’s hands and feet. Being a 40/40 missionary involves a daily going, a willingness to be where the Holy Spirit leads. Last week, they were presented an opportunity to minister in a powerful way, to be the Love of Christ, to speak Life into a situation that Satan surely meant for death.
This past Friday after our fasting service in the church, a lady came up desperate for help because her daughter wanted to take her own life. Some of us went to her house to help her and in fact, her daughter wanted to commit suicide. She was very anxious and shouted again and again “I already made my decision and I told God I’m going to kill myself!” We did not know what to say or do, but each of us prayed for her in our minds.
“God the Father knew you and chose you long ago, and His Spirit has made you holy. As a result, you have obeyed Him and have been cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ. May God give you more and more grace and peace.” -1 Peter 1:2
In accordance with His plan, God decided to choose you to be His people. And through the Holy Spirit and the death of Jesus Christ, God has cleansed you of every sin so that you might obey Him and that you can live in His love with a peace that surpasses all understanding.
The spiritual gifts that God has given you are gifts to minister to His people. He has chosen you for this time, for this moment, and each thing that happens in your life is meant to strengthen you in your faith. Diamonds have to pass through a process in order to become what they are. And you are this precious being that God is polishing, so that you will be the best. Never forget that victory comes from God and that you are an instrument in His hands. He sees your heart and not what human eyes see.
“Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me.” –John 15:4
Do you desire to be used by God? Do you want others to see God’s hand of blessing on your life? Do you long to experience miracles in your daily life? Me too.
I am learning that there is no other way to experiencing these things apart from my intimate relationship with God. It makes sense that God’s presence would not flow out of me if I am not spending significant and intentional time in His presence. Jesus says, “Apart from me, you can do nothing.”
We all know how important prayer is and for those planting a brand new church in a city with no Nazarene Churches it seems all the more urgent. We also know that God hears our prayers and every once in a while he makes his hand in the situation so obvious it is impossible to attribute the answer to anything or anyone but God. Many of you have been praying for Ibarra and specifically for a good location for the church to gather. If there had ever been any question of God desiring a church plant in Ibarra (which there hasn’t really been) the story of the church’s new home should put them to rest.
From the start the search of a gathering place had been difficult. Property was expensive or unavailable, finally they thought they had found the place and the deal fell through. Here is the account as told by Chase Howard (40/40 church planter).