When the devil is pressing in, that’s all the more reason to press in to Jesus. This weekend at Oak Hills Community Church we knew that the devil didn’t want us there because of the extreme amounts of spiritual warfare all around us. The good thing is that the victory we have is in Jesus and He was well aware of everything that was going to happen this weekend.
The students this weekend, although small in number, were mighty in faith. In our session groups we were centered on how knowing our identity, our calling, our mission, and our focus play a key role in being on fire for the Lord. On Saturday at the church while we were eating lunch, Henry passed out and became unconscious for about 10 minutes. During this time, many students were gathered around praying for him as GH did what we needed to get Henry taken care of. During this time, God was ministering to the students as they realized just how quickly life can change right in front of their own eyes. Although Henry is okay now, they didn’t know if he was going to be able to pull through in that moment. One specific student told us that when he saw Henry go down and heard one of the GH leaders tell Henry to wake up, he thought to himself “I need to wake up” spiritually speaking. He saw Henry’s example earlier in the day of his humility and kindness and thought “I want to be like him.” Our influence as Christians needs to be displayed in everything we do, big and small. It is important.
As Glowing Heart prepared to finish out the weekend without Henry’s leadership we knew that the one thing we all wanted more than anything was to prove to the devil that he is a loser and God was going to be the Victor this weekend. We expectantly prayed for the Lord’s will to be done and He did work. The Holy Spirit was on the move from the beginning of worship to the very end of the service. Students flooded the altar and got right with the Lord. We were in a room with a group of mostly saved people that needed to be reminded of the mission. That mission in the next couple of weeks will be crucial as the spiritual warfare continued on Sunday.
Glowing Heart knows all about how the devil seeks to steal, kill, and destroy us but this weekend the community surrounding Floresville, Texas was going to feel him prowling around and attacking God’s people in the worst way possible. Sunday mornings are always a joyful time for Christians so as we started the rally time of testimony we heard over and over again how much the Lord had spoken truth. We were encouraged as we started the service and heard a great sermon by Pastor Joel about the prodigal’s son and the celebration there is when we return to the Lord. It’s always when a congregation is at it’s best and most uplifted that the devil strikes. At the end of the service, the youth pastor, Scott, got everyone’s attention and began telling us that while we were worshipping, his brother’s church 15 minutes down the road in Sutherland Springs had just been attacked by two gunmen. The pastor’s daughter, Annabel, age 14, was one of the ones shot and killed along with almost 20 to 30 others. We watched the congregation go from celebration to fear and sadness in a matter of minutes but then Jesus reminded us in that moment that He is in control and people began to pray faithfully. Understand that there is not one thing that catches the Lord off guard. There is nothing that surprised Him about this weekend and He was even still the Victor, never to be striped of His crown. We watched people comforting each other and doing exactly what the church should do in the time of crisis.
This community is about to feel the weight of brokenness but before the wave hit God threw them the Life Vests they needed to make it to shore this weekend. As Christians “We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed;” 2 Corinthians 4:8-9. We were never promised an easy life or a safe one for that matter. In fact, the one thing we are promised are trials of many kinds whether we are faithful or not but because of the love of Jesus we know that He is with us in the storm. God is so good. We are thankful for His provision and safety this weekend. Glowing Heart Ministries is committed to being on the front lines of the battle. We are ready to continue on and give Him glory for the things that He will always do.