Planting City on a Hill Church has been one of the most faith building if not the most faith building experience in my life. It has also been absolutely the most challenging task I have ever faced. You can not strike directly into the heart of darkness in a city and expect not to pay a heavy price. This time last year I walked away from it all to follow Jesus and go on a faith journey called church planting. It has been incredible! By God’s grace I have seen Him call and draw wanderers from the North, South, East, and West back into His kingdom and back into His service. I have seen God call wanderers who were left to walk the city streets alone with no church family back into safe pasture. I have seen lost people found and those blinded by the god of this world given sight and saved by God’s amazing grace. It has been glorious. But I have also seen the enemy of our soul turn up the heat on the precious people of COAH. I have seen men and women of God come under heavy attack. I have seen the enemy of our soul try to sow seeds of discord. I have seen all out assaults on people’s homes, relationships, faith, workplaces, businesses, families, health, and minds. City on a Hill Church is a testament to the sustaining power of the grace of God. By God’s grace and the power of the Holy Spirit we have stayed in the fire fight. This battle is a battle that is fought and won through faith in Jesus Christ and prayer and fasting. I hold fast to this truth:
Isaiah 54:17 – No weapon formed against you shall prosper, And every tongue which rises against you in judgment You shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, And their righteousness is from Me,” Says the LORD.
I have seen this truth lived out by the incredible people God has called, appointed and anointed to COAH. I have seen this truth lived out in my own faith and life. I have experienced attacks from the enemy so strong along this journey of church planting. The enemy of my soul has sent attacks in the form of deep sadness, guilt, fear, anxiety, loneliness, and the like. By God’s grace I have weathered these storms. The Enemy of my soul has called for me to surrender and lay down my weapons. He has called for me to quit and give up. He has tried to create illusions of failure and false prophecies of doom and gloom. All of these I have stood up to through faith in Jesus and the vision God has placed in my heart, which isn’t for sale, rent, lease, or loan, and the hope that I have in Jesus to win the lost, bring home the wanderer, and send the Christ followers back out as missionaries to change this city one life at a time. Understanding this enemy of mine means that I fully understand this truth:
Ephesians 6:12 – For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
Living out our faith in Jesus Christ and the Gospel is a spiritual fight. Our struggle isn’t against flesh and blood but it is a spiritual war. I have found out a tremendously effective way of waging this war against the enemy of our soul. Call him out! Just like David called out Goliath and picked a fight with a giant he couldn’t defeat without God’s help we must call out the enemy of our soul. When I have struggled and battled I have shared it with my congregation. Some pastors would say don’t do that. They would say your people must not see weakness. I say your people must see your struggle it is not weak to admit you need God and you need each other. It is an example. It is leadership by example! It is teaching total dependence on God not self. It teaches people to turn to God and lean on one another. It is going on the offensive instead of always playing defense. I have seen this principle work and totally destroy the works of the enemy. Calling out bitterness, anger, strife, fear, loneliness, and the like have totally exposed the enemy’s schemes and caused him to flee. It has also garnered for the me the prayer and support I have needed to lead this church. It has called my mighty men of God to arms to surround me in prayer. It has called the mighty women of God to lift me and my family up and pray a hedge of protection around me and my family. It has driven me to seasons of prayer and fasting for City on a Hill Church, individuals, and our city. But key in all of this it has allowed me to remain authentic and to model true trust and transparency before my God and the people He has called me to serve and love. This kind of warfare spreads hope like an epidemic throughout our church. My encouragement to everyone is don’t fight alone. Call out the enemy’s schemes. Expose the evil deeds done in darkness and fight in the light of God’s love. I know I have many more battles to fight but the war is already won! I am ready, willing, and able to defend the vision God has placed in my heart and the people He has placed under my care. I will continue to fight in this unorthodox style pointing everyone toward Jesus. After all it is all about Jesus it has always been about Jesus and it is always going to be about Jesus. Until next time fight hard, fight well by God’s grace.