When it comes to the new year, most people post things about making everything new and changing everything about themselves. And up until this evening, I was planning on writing that very same thing tonight. But as I was sitting with a couple of friends in our cafeteria finishing up dinner, all of that changed. My whole life was changed completely from a conversation that lasted no more than twenty minutes.
We were just sitting there, getting ready to leave, when out of nowhere comes a guy that none of us had ever met before. He comes and asks our names and simple things about ourselves that everybody in college always asks. “What year are you? What is your major? Where are you from?” After a few minutes, a couple of his friends joined us and we all started talking as a group. This all seemed pretty normal to me. These are all things that are very typical for college students. What happened next, however, was not.
As the other people in our group began talking, the first guy who had walked up to us, Denario, turned to me and started simply saying how great God was. He told me that God would use me in a huge way to impact the world. I thought that he was simply giving me a compliment. I realized soon that what he was saying to me was so much more than that. He began telling me things that he could not possibly have known. He has the gift of prophecy. I never knew whether I really believed that God still moved in that way, but trust me, he does. Sure, a lot of the things he said to me were kind of generic and I’m sure that a lot of people could have heard what he said and applied it to their lives. But he was not speaking to other people. He was speaking directly to me, and I could feel the presence of God in a way that I have never felt it before. It’s so hard to explain, but I knew that the words coming out of his mouth were fully and completely from the Holy Spirit. He told me how last semester was rough, and how I couldn’t understand why things were happening to me and why everything went wrong at once. He told me that when I gave my heart to God, I only gave up some things and decided to keep some under my control. He told me that God had asked me to give up some things, and even some friendships, and I had refused to do that. But he also told me how much God loved me, and how much God wanted to use me, despite what I was holding back from him. He told me that he saw me so filled with the power of God that people would hear my words and fall on their face before God. He told me that I would minister to young people, and that the elderly would see my ministry and it would effect them as well. He told me that I would be so filled with the Holy Spirit that I would walk into hospitals and merely calling out the name of God would heal people who were sick or hurt. And even while I was thinking to myself that there was no way that it would happen, he then interrupted my thought to say that it was completely possible. He said that where he is from, the Bahamas, he had touched people and prayed over those who had cancer, and the cancer was immediately gone from their bodies completely. He told me that he had seem sick healed and broken homes restored. The reason we don’t see that today is that we have a complete lack of faith. Most Christians today are not real. We think that simply learning things from church or from a Christian curriculum can take the place of learning from Christ, the only one who not only knows the truth, but IS the truth. Can you imagine what could happen if we all stopped putting ourselves first and started seeing the world for what it really is? The world is lost, and we are the light. It’s high time we started acting like it. I’m tired of wondering what faith can do. I want to see it work, not just in my own life, but in the lives of everyone who claims to be a Christian. It may be a new year, but God is the same today as he was when he spoke the world into existence. The same God who walked with Adam and Eve, the same God who delivered the Israelites from Egypt, the same God who saved Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego from the flames of a furnace hot enough to kill even the men guarding the door, the same God who protected Daniel from the hungry and ferocious lions, and the very same God who was willing to give up even his only son for a people who had completely denied him is the same God that lives inside of us. The scripture tells us that nothing is impossible for God. If the God who has no impossibilities lives inside of us, then there is nothing that is impossible for us either.
This year, instead of simply saying that we are going to eat healthier or start exercising, I pray that you join me in vowing to give everything that we have and everything that we are to the only one who is everlasting, never-ending, and worthy of all we have and so much more. Let us vow together to learn more about him, not only from devotion books or from our pastor, but straight from Scripture, straight from prayer, and straight from the most reliable source of truth there is. Let us serve our massive, powerful, incomprehensible God in the way that he deserves.