CASTING OFF HINDRANCES AND RUNNING MY RACE
An Update to Ministry Friends and Partners
"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off every hindrance and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with endurance the race set out for us.
Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”—Hebrews 12:1-3
Many of you are already aware of the storm that has been raging on social media. In an era when we should be using Facebook to share the message of the gospel and encourage each other, it is tragic to see other ministries weaponizing social media to destroy other people in the Body of Christ. This is a really unhealthy way to deal with conflict in the Body of Christ; a vicious campaign like this ends up hurting others in the Body far more than it hurts me—and this is what really breaks my heart.
As far as this concerns me, I have already admitted to areas where I’ve sinned in the past and I’ve been very broken over it for a long time. As you can see in my previous interview with Michael Fickess, I have admitted to inappropriate texting, I have repented, and I have set up safeguards to avoid anything similar from happening ever again. I agree that I must answer to the Lord for areas of past failure. However, I also must answer to Him for my faithfulness to the calling He has given me. This is why I am accepting God’s forgiveness and pressing forward to rebuild my life and run my race. This will take a lot of patience, perseverance, and a continual pursuit of the Lord. In this time, I ask for your prayers for myself, Jessa, and our family as the past months of personal attack have taken a brutal toll on us.
I am choosing to avoid getting caught up in the back-and-forth of vicious Facebook accusations because it is unhealthy and dangerous for everyone involved. Instead, my primary focus going forward will be encouraging the people I’m connected to and sharing whatever the Holy Spirit puts on my heart—including the amazing things God has done through this ministry in the past and what He plans to do in 2020. Even as the storm rages, I am resolved to build a life of intimacy with God in the Secret Place. The Presence of God remains our Rock, the tower we run to, and our safe place of refuge when the world grows dark and tumultuous.
I have always preached the Gospel and I will continue to champion this message—whether that is in my own church and event, at a Magnificent Man beard product table at a secular event, or under someone else’s ministry. It is the primary message I have been called to preach and it is only by God’s grace that I am compelled to keep preaching it!
In terms of the Tribunal panel report, I agree that I have had some significant failures in my years of ministry. I am really grateful for those who have worked closely with me as pastors and friends to see me deal with these hindrances decisively so that I can run my race again. It is really difficult to be in a place of controversy again, to feel that you are the center of a storm that has wounded many people. However, this is when we need the message of the cross—a message of hope, recover, and restoration all the more! Like Zechariah, I feel like “a burning stick snatched from the fire” (Zechariah 3:2). Like Isaiah, I feel like a “man with unclean lips” (Isaiah 6:5). However, the remarkable power of the cross gives a chance to be forgiven and justified afresh, to have a second chance to run our race and fulfill our calling. I am grateful to those who have seen my heart and understand the power of restoration because they are the ones urging me to keep running and not give up.
Unfortunately, it appears that we live in an era when the Body of Christ believes that “revenge broadcasts” and slander is acceptable food for the Body of Christ. However, I want to let you know that you have the power to stand above the fray and reject these things. Let us resolve to fix our eyes on Jesus and to get really full of His light so that we can have a clear vision for moving forward and fulfilling our calling together as a united Body of Christ. It was Jesus who taught us:
“No one lights a lamp and puts it in a place where it will be hidden, or under a bowl. Instead, they put it on its stand, so that those who come in may see the light.
Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eyes are full of light, your whole body also is full of light. But when they are full of darkness, your body also is full of darkness. See to it, then, that the light within you is not darkness.
Therefore, if your whole body is full of light, and no part of it dark, it will be just as full of light as when a lamp shines its light on you.”—Luke 11:33-36
I hope you will join me in rejecting the darkness and stepping into the light of the gospel. As we approach a time of increasing harvest in the nations, we need to start to create the kind of environment that the lost want to come into.
Events and Projects
Since I’m still running this race by God’s grace, we are moving forward with the January 16-19 Secret Place Conference, hosting some great speakers and breakthrough worship. It’s all about Jesus and we plan to seek His plans for the coming year.
I am also still active daily on my business at the Magnificent Man company page. This page is meant to be a platform that hits the dual purpose of reaching the lost with the gospel and also providing for my family so that all ministry funds can remain dedicated to the ministry.
We deeply appreciate those who are covering us in prayer during this difficult time and continue to sow into us financially. May the Lord also empower you to run your race and remove any obstacles in your way!