There are times with the Lord that I wish I could just bottle, times where heaven seemed at my fingertips. Last Friday at Virginia Tech was one of those times. I had the chance to speak at a join meeting between their IV chapter and a Korean Christian Fellowship, and also speaking was a YWAM missionary stationed in South Africa named Rich Hodges. I'd been asked to speak on identity in Christ, and the Lord laid on my heart to share Jacob's story from Genesis and talk about how God wanted to rename each one of us, setting us free from old names that we had embraced. Our identity is found in Christ alone, and He is renaming us as His new creations, replacing words like Shame, Liar, and Lustful with Holy, Accepted, and Truthful.
The Lord led Rich to scrap his original message and continue on the theme of identity, urging students to embrace their identity in Jesus as priests of God.
1 Peter 2:9-10 (The Message) - But you are the ones chosen by God, chosen for the high calling of priestly work, chosen to be a holy people, God's instruments to do his work and speak out for him, to tell others of the night-and-day difference he made for you—from nothing to something, from rejected to accepted.
And I believe that this word on identity was just what those students (and I) needed, because what followed was a time of worship unlike any other I have been a part of. Not because it was loud or crazy, but because there was a freedom and a love for Christ in the room that was unreal. I marveled at God's goodness to me in the gospel, and also how He could put a 32-year-old guy from Greensboro and a 51-year-old guy from South Africa, who had never met before, and put our messages together cohesively to exhort and encourage college students in Virginia. I had an amazing time pouring out my heart to the Lord, and it was a small taste of heaven. I can understand how David could say, "Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere." That's just how good the Lord God is.