May 2018 Newsletter - "The Harvesters" by Ray McDowell
Evangelism. What does that look like to you? For many, it may be something from their past experiences in church, like passing out pamphlets in a parking lot or sandwiches to the homeless. Perhaps you even have an image of some highly charismatic person pulling up to church on a Sunday with a bus full of people who were unable to resist the charms of the evangelist. Well folks, we are seeing evangelism with a very different perspective these days, and it’s a good thing. Was I the only one to whom those impersonal, “How to be saved” brochures just felt lifeless?
Before we share anything about the way that Father has been moving us in evangelism, let’s take a look at how He defines it. Euaggelistes (pronounced yoo-ang-ghel-is-tace) is the Greek word for “Evangelist” in the Bible. Go ahead and try to pronounce that aloud. Notice any significant words contained within? That’s right, our word for evangelist does indeed originate from the word angel! In fact, the root words that join to create this compound word reveal that an evangelist is an angel or messenger of the Good News! Wow, how simple is that? You may want to tuck that one away for the next time someone tries to tell you that you are just a mere human being.
Now that we know who we are, we can begin to function in the role that we have been created to fulfill. Brethren, our Father is so very faithful. The vision that has been cast for this ministry is to just go and do – release the nature of Christ that has already been put into us. We are just as equipped (or seemingly unequipped) as any of the saints in the Body. We don’t have all the answers, but Father does. We may not know how to talk to people, but that’s okay. He speaks through us. We are angels carrying His presence and a divine message. We are not just going without direction or leaning upon our own abilities, but we are truly sent – not only in our team’s outings but also in every place and every moment of life. It’s recognizing this fact and looking for the Lord to show up in every situation that is truly transforming all of our lives into supernatural adventures.
A quote was spoken the other day that really resonated with me. “You can’t create divine appointments; you can only seize them.” Well, it seems these days that Dad has been filling up our day planners, and I believe that it is merely due to two reasons. Firstly, He can trust us because we know the Truth and aren’t going to water it down or deceive people. We have a General that has been raising up an army of warriors, and so I would say that most people in the Body qualify here. The other reason I see is simply that we are willing to seize those opportunities that He presents us with. He’s just asking us to trust Him and throw the net into the water one more time. He will supernaturally fill it with the fishes.
We’re going to give you an overall view of what this looks like, sparing the individual details of these divine appointments for the sake of retaining focus. Pastor Roni coined the term, “divine dis-appointments.” This may sound like something negative, but allow me to explain. We had been hitting the pavement week after week. Every time Father sent people to us, and we knew clearly that it could have only been by His providence that we were having these encounters. Prayers were answered, counsel and direction were given, and many tears accompanied assured promises of seeing these brothers and sisters in service that week.
Yet, as much as we felt the Lord moving in the lives of all these people, only one or two followed through on attending. We’re talking months of outreach, several times a week. This can be demoralizing at times when you don’t quite see the fruit of what you are doing. However, it’s in these seasons that Father tests our faith and builds greater levels of patience in us. Were we going to trust the vision and continue on in the fight? Absolutely. This fight is for souls and all of the time spent and sacrifices made, even if only for one person, is more than worth it. So now He sees that we’re not going to quit, and He has now begun to send people to confirm His Word and His angels of the gospel that He has sent out. We have the most awesome Dad! Of all the thousands of High Desert residents and the relatively few that we get to meet every week, what are the odds that another “random” Forerunner would minister to them a few days later? Yet, it has become the norm rather than the exception. This can only be by the orchestration of our Maestro’s celestial symphony! What we are seeing is this: those that are called to be a part of the Body are coming, not because a man invited them, but because Yahuah has selected them and is calling them Himself. How very liberating! This completely removes any ego from the equation; our own strivings to perform and sense of self accomplishment are no longer factors.
Be encouraged, saints! We are in a season where many are hungry for what you have to give them. Be faithful to release and forgive the ignorance of the spiritually poor that Father sends you, and He will be faithful to send you more, as well as confirm His Word to those who are truly seeking Him. Trust His timing and know that the seeds you have planted will be watered and produce the precious fruits of His Spirit in their due season. Shalom.