I remember the exact moment that I decided I was going to live the rest of my life for Jesus. I remember exactly what He said to me. I remember how I felt. I remember waking up the next morning and knowing that I'd never be the same. That'll be ten years ago this October and still ten years later that moment in time, that decision, that interaction, it effects every. single. day. of my life.
I fell in love with Jesus that day and have continued to fall more in love with Him as I've grown to know Him more.
Every time I've been to Africa I have seen things or had things happened that impacted me. They changed my way of thinking and God molded me. That's why in the blog before I left I could so confidently say that of all the things I knew God would do in Africa, I knew He would change me. However, I wasn't even prepared for what happened.
While in South Sudan I heard horrific stories, I saw extreme things, but more than anything I found a group of people who live what I say I believe. They don't just believe Jesus is healer, they rely on Jesus the healer, they don't just believe He is peace, they live in His peace, they don't just think He loves, they live in His infinite love. There were young children worshiping in the middle of the night, praying for the sick to be healed, declaring the goodness of God constantly.......... I was convicted and had no one to run to with all of this CRAZY EMOTION swirling inside of me, so something happened.
I ran to Jesus. I went to my tent and I said God, you met Moses in the tent of meeting, I have a tent, and I need a meeting. He showed up, over and over again. A transition took place in me as I HAD to rely on Jesus in a way I never had before.
I began to fall into a deeper love than I've ever experienced. In just ten days I found myself craving and needing Jesus like I always thought I did, or I always sang about doing. I remember before I left for Africa as we sang a song in our youth group "I need you more, more than the air I breathe" and I remember asking the youth, really? Do we really live like we need Him more than breath? Little did I know that He was speaking to me then, BUT IT WAS ABOUT ME... It's one thing to sing songs about being in love with Him and it's another to really love Him. It's one thing to say we love His presence and it's another to actually make time to be in His presence. It's one thing to say we need Him and another to live relying on Him. It's one thing to say we believe His Word, and another to live it.
God is still stirring in me. I'm still "analyzing" (thank you Kayce) the things that took place inside a tent, on the ground, in South Sudan, a few miles from a massive war, but I know one thing. I've fallen in love with Him again and much like that first time, I think it'll affect me every. single. day. for the rest of my life.
Be Blessed, J. Tate