Counting Down

24 days until I make my way down to New Orleans. Although there’s some nervousness, I can honestly say that I have never been more sure about anything than I am about this move to N.O. God has not only called me inwardly and given me a peace about it, but He has also confirmed this move to be His will for me in so many other ways–in outward, objective ways. It’s like my job, place to live, and financial ability to transition cities has (and still is) fallen right into place. I haven’t had to “struggle” to make any of it happen. Christ is literally establishing my steps before me in such a way that I have no choice but to acknowledge it’s Him.

 

Knowing that my move to N.O. is in God’s will is assuring, but with that assurance comes some anxiety. Anxiety about what the days, weeks, months and years ahead of me hold. I feel that hostile confrontations, resistance, and demonic oppression are going to be inevitable realities in this city if I truly live a life worthy of the gospel of Christ. The past two years have been a time of nurture, growth and trust-building in my relationship with the Lord—but not much “work”, so to speak. But I feel as if now I’m being sent out to start doing the Lord’s work. I am still very much a young Christian and very much in need of ongoing guidance, discipleship and teaching— I’m not in any way saying I’m “past that.” But I feel like The Lord is showing me that it’s time to step up and to really intentionally reach people with the gospel. That weighs heavy on me (not in a bad way)—because I desire to speak and act in a way that truly reflects Christ’s absolute truth and Christ’s loving character. I don’t want to sacrifice truth for the sake of being ‘nice’—but I don’t want to sacrifice love for the sake of being ‘right’. Does that make sense? If you want to pray for me in this regard I’d really appreciate it.

I don’t know what’s in store for me and the rest of our church plant team in New Orleans, but I trust that Christ will equip us powerfully to do His work if we really seek Him out with our whole heart.

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15 thoughts on “Counting Down

  1. Praying for you as you make this transition. To be in the center of God’s will is like no other place in the world. You just keep relying on Him to provide and He will never forsake you. Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you says the Lord the plans to give you a hope and a future… Seek ye first the kingdom of God and all these things will be added unto you. Matt 6:33 – So thankful for your willingness to share your life with others and to be the hands and feet of Jesus.

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  2. Dear Matt,   I prayed for you this morning and I will continue praying for you.  The devil has so many ways to try to deceive us.  I know this from my own experiences.  You sound humble and sure of your convictions to follow and obey the Lord.  I thank Him for you and your obedience to Him.  I pray that God will protect you and keep you on the path He has for you.   Your sister in Christ, Kathy

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  3. Hello Matt,

    A saint among sinners ;)

    Wow this will be quite a adventure. We all are called to be holy, to be saints, and repentance, and overcoming our own sins is a daily “shovel ready” job.

    All of us are called to purity and conversion and the willingness to follow our Loving Savior no matter the sacrifice or difficulties we may encounter.

    Blessings and good luck I wish you well on this new endeavor

    FDM

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  4. Matt, it has been great to see how you have been discovering God’s love for you and how you have been sharing that love with everyone through blogs, e-mals and in person. Now the Lord has called you to take a part in his Church. Not just the local church or the organized church, but in THE CHUCH, his Body of Believers. (That means many of us who follow your blog and have come to know and love you :)) As you do that God is showing you and will show you even more the love and support of his people, the Body of Christ. As to your concern for how to speak to those to whom you are sent, remember what Jesus said to his disciples about the end times in Mark 13: 9-11. “…do not worry beforehand what to say. Just say whatever is given you at the time, for it is not you speaking but the Holy Spirit.” Just stay in tune with the Holy Spirit and you will see wonderful things from God’s hand! I’m sure of that. That is what our Father does!

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  5. Well…I got saved when I was 18….I’m 66 now….but still learning, still following, still being discipled…. Still growing. Still humbled by His grace & provision. It’s been and will continue to be an amazing adventure of life,faith,Love. It’s a lot of fun! Be blessed & enjoy…..

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    • I’m glad to be reminded sanctification is a life-long process—keeps me from feeling discouraged when I see my short-comings. Thanks, Bob!

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  6. Matt,

    Be praying for you. This process of sanctification continues even after 25 years. It is based on simply abiding in Christ because in him is all that we need. Renewing our minds by the scriptures and seeking daily empowerment by the Spirit thru prayer ensures that we walk in the Spirit so others can see Christ’s grace in our lives fulfilling what was given to us in the teachings found in scripture. The greatest danger that I face is self-sufficiency which empowers the flesh to have its way again with me so dying daily is constant in my life. There is power in close fellowship with others so I will be praying that your group stays united in Christ and centered on the gospel so you can be more effective in your witness in New Orleans and safeguard against the deceptive attacks of our common enemy satan. God is faithful even when it seems that our message is being mocked by so many in our society who see our freedom as repression and truth as hate. Have you seen the new discipleship training from Francis Chan and David Platt? They have videos on this at http://www.multiplymovement.com

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  7. Hi Matt,

    Do not be afraid of insufficient theological knowledge. Initial contact with people may be very basic. But keep on studying your Bible from Genesis to Revelations as a primary source of knowledge. The many books written by theologians are most helpful, but cannot replace reading the Bible. It remains most risky to expect somebody else to read the Bible on one’s behalf and then explain to us what is written in the Bible.

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  8. I think this is awesome, and I’ll totally be praying. Church-planting is something that I think lots of people overlook as a ministry. It’s really important not to just hoard people, but to be training people in a way that they can go out and be disciples too. My church is really big into multiplying. Our goal is that everybody in Tucson will be within 10 minutes of a Revolution Church. We’re already looking at planting 2 more churches, and Revolution is only 4 years old. One will be in mid-town near the University of Arizona, and that’s going to happen in the next year to 18 months.((:

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  9. Matt,

    I’ve been following your blog since a friend shared your “Dear Gay Kid” post and I’ve been meaning to drop you a line since I first read of your church plant venture. I was about your age 25 years ago and fresh out of Bible school when my home church announced a church plant to Virginia Beach. God had previously put this area on my heart while I was on a missions internship so it seemed like it was a clear invitation.

    Having been here 25 years, it’s hard to imagine taking on a venture like that again, but reading your story reminded me of the excitement we all shared when we first started out. God used it to establish what has become my local church home and it continues to thrive, preaching the Gospel of reconciliation to this day. I know he will use you and your team to reach NOLA with the message of the Cross in the same way.

    Thank you also for your humble, transparent confessions on this blog. The contrast you present between being lost in the depravity of sin (of any kind, not your particular struggle) and then rescued and brought into the light of God’s grace is stark and powerful. It is clear that God has called you for His own (John 8:36) and that you are bearing much fruit for His Glory. Keep on!

    Grace to you,

    Steve

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  10. I just read your excellent paper on homosexuality in RaptureReady. Its the clearest most biblically accurate statement on the subject that i’ve ever read. I’m excited that you’re moving, or I guess have moved to NO. I’m in Shreveport. Thank you !
    Mike

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