Church For The Nations in Flagstaff, Arizona.
They show love to neighbors in Flagstaff and around the world in an extraordinary way.
Jesus loves you and so do we.
LIGHT IN THE VALLEY AS IT IS ON THE MOUNTAIN
These folks didn’t always walk this way; they had come from many different valleys in the shadows of the mountain. The valleys were filled with dark and enticing temptations. On their way to the mountain, folks got delayed by all sorts of battles. All of them had to fight with the enemy of their destinies just to even get near the trail leading up the mountain. The enemy caused them to crave a fake self-fulfillment that tricked them into enslavement to self-destructive habits. The devil used weapons of drug and alcohol addiction, sexual abuse, slavery and human trafficking, selfish pride, pornography and many other evils and generational curses to keep the people from reaching their destinies on the mountaintop.
One by one, though still mired in the quicksand of the enemy’s deceit, they saw a bright Light on top of the mountain. The Light beckoned them with an extraordinary force; it was like a personal invitation. Every time they looked at the Light, they felt a pure and holy power surge from the tops of their heads all the way down to their toes. It was a cleansing purge that wiped out any emotional feelings of self-loathing or dark foreboding thoughts of self-worthlessness. The desire to change welled up within them. It filled their whole hearts, their whole souls and filled them with new strength. The light touched their bodies; piercing even to their joints and marrow. It judged the thoughts and attitudes of their hearts. It shined into the shadows of their valley existence. Separately and at different times, the people began leaving the valley of shadows and headed toward the Light on the mountain.
It was a long and very hard trek up the mountain. Sometimes they would slip and fall; causing them to backslide back into the valley of temptations. When they lifted their heads to look again toward the Light, courage welled up in their hearts and they began to climb once more. Near the top, the terrain was the steepest and most difficult to climb. Sometimes they had to stop and be still, resting from near exhaustion. The winds grew very strong as they began their final approach toward the Light that drew them. It was if the enemy was using his last gasp as a storm to stop them. Evil was hoping their struggle to reach the Light would be too hard, and they would return to the bondage of the valley.
There were crevices in the cliffs that gave them some shelter from the fierce winds. Pushing their faces toward a crevice in the Rock allowed them to gain some relief from strong winds. The crevice in the Rock became a quiet, almost secret place. The wind became a whisper and they heard words in the whisper. “I knew you before you were born. I have set you apart for a special work. I will teach you. I will lead you and guide you in the way you should go. I have already established the work of your hands. I have prepared a place for you. Keep climbing.” They now knew beyond a shadow of a doubt they had to keep climbing and never give up. Those whispers left indelible imprints on their souls. Quickened with a new resolve to persevere, they left the stillness and faced the storm..
Pulling their faces out of the cleft in the rock, they looked up and saw a trail of stones. Their eyes were almost riveted to trail of stones that appeared above them. A voice in the storm said, “This is the Way, your personal pathway to the Light. Lift your eyes unto the Light; this is where your Help will come from.” The stones stood out as perfect handholds and footholds to grab onto. Climbing this Way would keep them safe as they climbed the hardest and steepest approach to the mountain. The stones had words etched into them - like petroglyphs. Each stone had a word on it and they were in order. Chiseled into each one of the stones was a word. The first stone said, “GIVE.” The second stone said, “PRAY.” The third stone said, “FAST.” The stones seemed to cry out in unison, “GIVE, PRAY, FAST!” The cry of the stones became a cadence in their hearts as they climbed upon them. One by one, on different pathways and at different times, the people reached the top of the mountain.
Their shared experiences of overcoming the chains that bound them in the valley created a bond of communion in their hearts on top of the mountain. Shoulder to shoulder they stood and vowed to each other that they would live lives dedicated to giving, praying and fasting. The Light was in the midst of them and walked with them. They burned with a newfound love for each other greater than any love they had ever known or could have ever imagined. They invited other folks to join them. They held Christmas celebrations for almost 500 children and their families. They loved on people in other countries. Men prayed. Women prayed. They fasted together and they gave their hearts away. One woman laid down her life and moved into another couple’s house to care for them when they were ill. Creative people invented small things that kept pancakes from getting soggy. They opened motels for the homeless. They mentored youth in detention. Young people played basketball and learned about the Light. They held family style gatherings in their homes to study and share the Light with each other. They held worship services with baptism ceremonies so people could come and be immersed in the Light. The village on the mountain of Light grew brighter as they gave, prayed and fasted.
The list of what those people are doing is as immeasurable as the Light that shines on them. Yes the Light shines on them. That Light is in you, especially when you share love with folks you don't even know. You go into the dark valleys and share love. That's an extraordinary act of selflessness that goes beyond what the world is accustomed to. You are showing the Light you've on the mountain with folks in the valley from whence you came. God the Father in heaven has seen your giving. He has heard your prayers. He has been honored by your fasting. All in recognition of the Way our Father gave us His only Son – the Light of the world, to break through the darkness of our sins and die for us. God, your Father in heaven is saying, “I’m proud of you. I’m proud of you on earth as I am in heaven. Stay the course; help others to see the Light. Jesus loves you and so do we.”
Jesus Is the Light of the World
“Later, Jesus talked to the people again.
He said, “I am the light of the world.
The person who follows me will never live in darkness.
He will have the light that gives life.”
John 8:12 (ICB)
“Send Your light and Your truth;
let them lead me.
Let them bring me to Your holy mountain,
to Your dwelling place.”
As you freely receive love from heaven,
freely make it known and make it happen on earth.
“A light to lighten the Gentiles,
and the glory of thy people Israel.”
We have been called to be
the Light of Christ to the world.
It is our privilege to share the Light
that will lighten the darkness of lives
living without the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.
Giving is presenting the
Intimate knowledge of
Victory of receiving
Eternal salvation in Christ
Pursuing a personal
Your God completely.
Fasting brings the
Awakening of greater
Spiritual revelation to
Teach others about the Light of Christ.