I spent six amazing weeks in Tacoma, Washington at a discipleship training school called Catalyst. The focus of Catalyst is prayer, restoration, and missions. The very first day one of the staff members told all thirty nine students that, “Death is a good thing; die to yourself so Christ can live in you.” Feeling confused I asked the Lord to teach me what that meant. Little did I know how faithfully and completely He would answer that first simple prayer.
My Summer weeks went a little something like this: Every Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday after class we would go to the street corners, shopping mall, and the beaches to share Jesus. Even as I’m typing this, tears are streaming down my face as I remember all the many lost and broken people I encountered this summer. I got a glimpse of God’s heart for the lost and broken like I've never had before! Jesus is always after our hearts and while he walked on this earth he was always willing to stop for that One Lost Sheep. On the streets of Tacoma we got to pray for people, sit and hear life stories, laugh, cry, and share Jesus’s message of freedom with them. Almost every time I would walk away thinking that, “That person just blessed me WAY more than I blessed them”.
One of the greatest lessons I learned through those experiences is this: If you want to die to a lot of fear-of-man and a quick-to-judge mindset, share Jesus with your neighbor, friend, co-worker, or a stranger; trust me it works!
Doing life with the staff and students at the catalyst mansion made community REAL personal and constant. Living under one roof with thirty five other people is quite the adventure I tell ya! They truly loved me unconditionally throughout all the spiritual heart surgery the Lord did on me. We did so much together! From the spikeball, soccer, good talks, nights in the basement, girl times, dinner times, worship nights and so much more, the Lord grew us together insomuch that I consider them family. Every single person honestly challenged me to love like Jesus loves. Life long friends? I think yes.
We had class just about every day except Saturday and Sunday. Through this intense schedule,I saw continually that God is always after my heart! Not only is He my Master, He is my loving Father. Because of Christ’s death and resurrection, I can live this life abundantly; He died and took the curse for me so I could live, for Him and not for myself; for others and not for myself. Praise the Lord! I learned and experienced the importance of repentance as a key step to walking in complete freedom. As a believer, the Holy Spirit has the power and authority in Christ to tear down strongholds that satan, the world, and myself have set up. There is power in declaring truth, and I have learned how important my words are. They have the power to build up or tear down; the power of life or death, to create or destroy.
“For the LOVE OF CHRIST CONTROLS US, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have DIED; and he died for all, that THOSE
WHO LIVE MIGHT NO LONGER LIVE FOR THEMSELVES but FOR HIM who for their sake died and was raised.” 2 Corinthians 5:14-15