But then, JESUS!

At Invest we are in a busy season as we prepare for Journey Summer 2012 to happen and continue to interview and prepare for Journey Fall 2012. I get really excited when I think about all God has done through Journey but I get most excited when I think about Jesus. I love that as I come back to faces and names both in the US and Africa my heart cries out for more of Jesus and my heart cries out for them to follow Jesus. I have been reading a lot in the book of Galatians lately and I keep coming back to the same phrase, "BUT THEN".

People ask us a lot what we do.. what we do as a family, what we do as an organization, and why we do it. The only answer I can give you is Jesus. We desire to follow Jesus, we desire to live for Jesus, we desire to give our life over to Jesus that he would get glory from this vessel, we desire to spend eternity with Jesus, we desperately desire the same for others . Why? Because we know that life, true life is found in Jesus. (John 6:63John 8:12John 11:25)
Out of all the people in the bible I consistently feel like I relate most to Paul. I truly believe it is because I know what I was before and I know what I am now and the only way I can describe any part of the difference is Jesus. The atonement, the grace, the mercy, the love, the sacrifice, the power, the fulfillment, the resurrection, the exchange, the life of Jesus in me. If I get a minuscule portion off track from that I am a disaster.
I have been in Galatians 1 for the past few weeks. As I have been wrestling through a lot and realizing the responsibility God has stewarded to Nathanael and I, it became evident the Holy Spirit was leading me back to Galatians as a reminder of the beginning of my journey fully following Jesus and surrendering my will to His. The only way I can describe it is "but then, Jesus!"  As I have read through the text I have been encouraged and in awe of Christ in Paul, the hope of glory.
In Galations 1 Paul tells the the people how they can trust that his message does not come from human reasoning or logic, for his message came solely from the super natural revelation of Jesus Christ.  In verse 13 Paul says, "13 For you have heard of my former life".. You know what I was like... BUT THEN SOMETHING HAPPENED!  "15 But when he who had set me apart before I was born,[d] and who called me by his grace, 16 was pleased to reveal his Son to[e] me"
What happened to Paul was the revelation of Jesus Christ in him through the grace and the mercy of our Heavenly Father. What amazes me is that it is the same for me, it is the same for us. I love those words, they are beautiful to me because the revelation of Jesus Christ in us changes everything. I know that I am not called or appointed by human authority (and to be honest if I were it would freak me out). I know my call is from Jesus because it is HE who raised me from the dead!  I once was anxious, fear filled, OCD, a wanderer, hyper sensitive, filled with worry, people pleaser, hurt, lonely, and doubtful of my calling and gifts; the list goes on and on... the reality is that I didn't self help my way to the other side or go to enough counseling that one day I walked out and was healed.
The truth is simple, I once was like ___________, and THEN SOMETHING HAPPENED,  JESUS!
That is why Choose to Invest, that is why Journey, Rejoice Project, and Kimbilio! That is why we do what we do.  That is why I am who I am!
The reality is that BUT THEN, JESUS happens daily in me so don't believe the lie that surrender is a one time deal. There are daily things that I am dying to, daily things I have to surrender back to Jesus and daily I have to make a decision to take off my grave clothes. BUT, one night as I was sitting in a college gathering something powerful happened in my life, something to this day I cannot explain other than Jesus. Jesus revealed himself to me in the truth that was spoken and through the power of the Holy Spirit I was changed.
When God reveals Jesus to you, you will never be the same.  It is not I who changes me, it is I AM! It is not by my power and my might, but by His. We live because HE IS ALIVE IN US!
God, thank you for your word and your truth that never fails and never fades. Thank you Lord that you are the one who calls us, and you are the only one to live for. Thank you Lord that in your mercy you chose us and called us to you before we were even born.  God thank you that you are the only one who gets the glory because it is your work in us. It is you Jesus who died for our sins in order to rescue us from this world and it is you who makes us new! To you belongs the glory forever and ever, Amen!