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Monday
Aug072017

Where Self-Dependence Ends

“You pray as much as you depend on God.”

When I heard the speaker say that, I was brought up short. A quick mental inventory of my prayer life yielded a dismal level of dependence on God. Perhaps that’s why I was getting some of the results I was getting. And maybe it’s the reason God brought it to my attention.

We serve a God who has Genesis 1 on his resumé, yet how often do we still try to do things in our own strength? It would be comical if it wasn’t so tragic. Self-dependence is an enemy of God, but many believers still struggle with it.

Before the Fall, Adam was completely God-centered. Everything he needed was supplied through relationship with his Creator. He was aware of no lack because there wasn’t any. But when Adam sinned, he immediately became aware of what he had lost and of what he was not (Gen. 3:7). He recognized his separation from God. He and Eve had become independent of God.

The results of their independence, both sweeping and devastating, are obvious in the world around us. Lack, chaos, and fear dominate the hearts of people. That’s because self-dependence, or independence, is the mindset of fallen man, and it prevents us from accessing the abilities, assets, and resources of an infinite God.

In Andrew’s Faith Builders series, he talks about the importance of coming to the end of self:

“Paul said, ‘When I am weak, then am I strong’ [2 Cor. 12:10] . . . You could turn it around and say, ‘When I’m strong in myself, when I am trusting in myself, then I’m weak. But when I am not trusting in myself, when my trust is 100 percent in the Lord, then I’m strong.’ We have to come to a place where we quit putting confidence in ourselves.”

As the oldest girl in my family and, later, a single parent for fifteen years, I’d learned a little too well how to rely on my own strength to get things done. I had gone to college, been self-employed, had homeschooled my children, and bought my own home. My self-reliant mindset continued to thrive even after my children were grown and out on their own.

But just like God had to bring Moses to the end of himself, He had to do the same with me. So, in the summer between my first and second years at Charis, the Lord orchestrated my own personal “burning bush” experience. Though I didn’t travel any farther than my comfortable bedroom rocker, the impact of the encounter left its mark on my life. Speaking directly into my heart, God let me know in no uncertain terms exactly what He thought about my ability to accomplish His will in my own strength:

“The only way this is going to work is when it stops being about you and it starts being about Me. Get yourself off your mind and get Me on it. If I don’t show up, you’re toast anyway, so why make it about you?”

Wow!

Thankfully, God is both loving and patient. It has been a process, but for the first time in my life, I am actually learning how to lean on Him. And He’s revealing to me that, no matter what, He’ll never let me fall.

Build your faith in a loving God by catching the full teaching of Faith Builders on Andrew’s Gospel Truth broadcast. If you miss any of the programs, you can watch them free or listen to the Faith Builders series on our website.

Written by Sylvia F. Wells

For resources and products in the U.S., visit www.awmi.net; outside the U.S., visit www.awme.net.

Monday
Jul312017

Share It with Confidence

“Before my first mission[s] trip to Ecuador, people encouraged me by saying I would change lives with the Gospel, while others said it would change mine. I didn’t know what to expect, but I quickly discovered it wasn’t one or the other, but both. It is impossible to not change when God is all about transforming our lives through Christ.”

Pascal Gravelle was just one of the several students on the 2017 Charis Bible College missions team sent to Ecuador. He went armed and ready with new revelations and with excitement to share what he had been learning
at Charis.

But a missions trip is not only a time for students to reach out to others with the Gospel; it’s also an opportunity for God to transform students outside the classroom, students like Trisha Calhoun. After arriving in Ecuador, Trisha quickly learned how good the Holy Spirit is at taking what believers have to offer and translating it into the hearts of His people, regardless of culture
or language.

“I came prepared with messages, as instructed,” Trisha explains. “However, I lacked confidence that the messages would be received or relatable to the people we were serving. I had the wrong perspective, though. I was focused on me and my messages rather than realizing they were His messages that I was simply presenting.”

Trisha remembered something one of her Charis instructors taught: If you believe God gave you a word to share, then act like it’s His word and share it with confidence.

“During one of the church services, I shared one of the messages I felt God had laid on my heart,” Trisha recalls. “I admit that I was nervous and did not feel overly spiritual as I was sharing. However, the response from the crowd blew me away! I had to stop multiple times as the crowd praised God, shouted, and clapped. It was apparent that God was speaking to their hearts and downloading revelation to them. I could see joy on their faces as they came up to talk with me after the service.”

Trisha continues, “Joy began to spring up in my heart, as well, as I realized that it’s not about me or my abilities; it’s about God! This may seem like an obvious fact, but for the first time in my life, I am beginning to experience freedom in sharing the Good News as I learn to simply say ‘Yes, let go, and let God.’”

As the students continued to step out in faith, the people of Ecuador became more to the team than just a mission field. “We built good relationships everywhere we went, had many open doors to minister, and shared God’s love everywhere,” Pascal recalls. “No one remained a stranger as we embraced one another as family with the love of Christ.” Pascal adds, “What a privilege it is to build friendships with people through love and [to] point them back to the arms of the Father.”

When you partner with Andrew Wommack Ministries, you are helping send missions teams around the world to both disciple and be discipled. For information on partnership or to give toward Charis missions trips, you can find more information online. Together we can take the Gospel farther and deeper than ever before.

Written by Jessica Giaimo

For resources and products in the U.S., visit www.awmi.net; outside the U.S., visit www.awme.net.

Monday
Jul242017

Overcoming on the Mission Field – Part 2

Last week we shared the first part of Annerine Tomlinson’s testimony about her experience in Sri Lanka for her Charis Hong Kong missions trip. Part two reveals some of the challenges she faced and how she overcame them.

“On the first Sunday afternoon, we had the privilege of going to a Hindu village with a pastor associated with Smyrna church. . . . It wasn’t the friendliest reception. In fact, while I shared, I could see several men glaring at me with folded arms. For a split second, I felt unsafe. Some of my teammates also saw this. One of them told me he was thinking, Man, we better wrap this up and get out of here! Another just prayed in tongues. A thought went through my head: What if nobody responds to the altar call today? But right at that moment, I had another thought: This is exactly where I want to be, sharing with people in a context where this is not what they expect or believe in. This is where I want to preach my heart out, right here on this spot.

“Even before I had finished the altar call, hands shot up, including from a lot of the men who were glaring at me. Of the small crowd that assembled there, I guess almost three-fourths of them accepted Jesus. After that, some of these people went to get family from the little houses and brought them to be prayed for. Almost every old lady that I prayed for received Jesus. It was wonderful to have some young people of Smyrna church there translating and praying with us. Team members went with people to their houses and continued praying for people. I am beyond thankful for that day; it’s the stuff I dream of!”

Before her trip even began, Annerine had to count the cost of going on the mission field. The price she had to consider was the condition of her health.

“One of the things that I was slightly concerned about in the natural before we went was how I was going to be able to give out so much and go non-stop for so long. . . . I remember one night we had to climb seven flights of stairs up to a place to practice the skit, but I haven’t been doing that kind of physical exercise in many months because of a major health setback. It was huge for me! I was blessed beyond words to be able to go and give and minister non-stop and not being more tired than any other member of the team. That was incredible! That was really incredible!”

Annerine shares a few closing thoughts on making this missions trip possible:

“I feel completely alive and alert in these kinds of settings. The missionary and evangelist in me are in some kind of heaven if I can go somewhere where ground needs to be taken. I think it is the joy of the Father connecting with his children that explodes in our hearts. . . . Almost every day was my favorite day of the trip.”

Annerine says, “Thank you for this opportunity!”

Your support means changed lives. It’s that simple. If you are not a Charis Bible College World Outreach partner, consider becoming one today. If you are, then thank you! Together, we’re changing the world.

Comment below to share what part of Annerine’s testimony ministered
to you.

(Note: Testimony has been edited for length and clarity.)

Written by David Moore II

For resources and products in the U.S., visit www.awmi.net; outside the U.S., visit www.awme.net.