For a number of years now, there has been a stirring in my heart. I couldn’t explain it back then, but what was happening inside me was that a fire was growing. God lit a fire in my heart that burned so intensely, I could not explain it. I wanted to shout from the roof-tops. I wanted to yell down the streets. I wanted to challenge the everyday thinking of everyday Christians, and cause them to be uncomfortable in their own skin. I wanted to create that feeling so that people who called themselves Christians would examine their hearts and understand exactly what makes them a Christian. Is it a prayer someone says at a certain time in their life? Is it going to church on Sunday and serving on a music team or in the Sunday school?
I wanted to do all these things, but there was a struggle inside. It was clear to me that God did not want me to do that. He desired that I simply moved on in my faith, leaning on Him and learning from Him.
But this fire kept growing. And it kept getting more intense. The apathy of people who call themselves Christians and followers of God bothered me, and continued to grow. There really isn’t any fruit, or evidence of Christ’s impact in their lives. How can someone say they are a Christian and advocate for same-sex marriage? How can someone say they are a follower of God and still laugh at all the tasteless, offensive jokes? How can someone say that Jesus is Lord of their life and pass by the homeless? The needy? The orphan? The widow?
And the fire kept growing. It is continuing to grow, and become more and more focused, and more and more intense.
And then, on Sunday, June 19, 2011, things changed.
That was the day my church commissioned me as their full-time youth pastor. I have been operating as a youth co-ordinator for four years now, and just at the tail end of the fourth year, I was commissioned as the full-time youth pastor. I didn’t realize how God was working beforehand. I didn’t understand it all, but on Sunday, June 19, 2011, that little bit of light to light my path became clear.
On that Sunday, they had a question and answer period during part of our morning service in which the conference pastor, Keith Poysti, asked me a number of questions and gave me opportunity to address everyone in attendance. My answers startled even me at some points, so I’m sure they startled some of the people sitting in the pews.
And that is when the revelation hit me: This is the moment God had been waiting for.
“It’s time to let the lion out of the cage,” were the words I heard. It’s time to roar.
And roar I shall.