Greg and I really started fervently seeking the Lord on this whole Australia thing at the end of January. It wasn’t long before a clear direction and confirmation came. Greg attended the C3 conference in Dallas February 16-18th. During one of the services, Bishop TD Jakes was speaking and Greg heard the Lord say, “You are going to plant a church in Australia.” Greg describes this moment as an overwhelming impression, not an audible voice. I wasn’t there and I’m not Greg but what I DO know is that my husband called me at home and told me the exciting news! He said he cried throughout the message Bishop preached. His tears came from being overwhelmed with the presence of God, a download not from the stage, but straight from heaven. It had nothing to do with what was being preached, rather an intimate moment between our heavenly father and Greg. I heard a confidence in his voice that wasn’t there before. Somehow he just knew it was God.
I tried to pinpoint what exactly happened… part of me wanting to talk him out of it or maybe justify his emotion some other way- maybe he was just tired? Maybe he was homesick? I knew deep down none of this was the case. It was the confirmation we had been seeking. By the time I hung up the phone, I had total peace about this monumental decision. God was asking us to GO!
I am very thankful for this pivotal weekend. God is so kind to give us this landmark day where He moved powerfully in that service; we will forever hold onto this experience. All of us can have moments like this where God speaks in a clear and direct manner about our futures. God converses with people just like you and me all throughout the Bible. He also stays silent for hundreds of years at a time! What makes the difference for God to speak or not?
One common characteristic among those who hear from the Lord is that they are “soft-hearted.” Greg is one of the most open and “soft-hearted” people I know. Some might call him a “crier.” If you have ever seen him in worship or heard him talk about his kids or really anything he loves, you will probably see a few tears. I LOVE this about my man. I believe God loves this quality too.
The Bible often uses the phrase “hard-hearted” when referring to someone who is closed off to the things of God or who is unwilling to listen and obey the Lord. The Egyptians and Pharoah are considered hard-hearted and stubborn. Notice that Ezekiel connects a heart of flesh (versus one of stone) with being filled with the spirit and walking in God’s ways. Isaiah declares that those who are hard-hearted are “far from righteousness.”
The Bible says in Mark that Jesus is grieved by the hardness of the people’s hearts. What we can find over and over again is that God desires us to have an open heart towards Him. We can all maintain this by daily asking the Lord to forgive us for our sins. We should spend time with God- read His word, pray, and seek Him. We have to forgive others who have hurt or betrayed us. The easiest way to harden our hearts is to harbor unforgiveness towards someone. To keep ourselves softened to the voice and will of God, we must walk humbly and serve others.
I believe God desires to use each and every one of us for His glory. He wants to send us out into our communities, schools, workplaces, churches, and mission fields to spread the gospel and unite with other believers to make a difference. To lead others into a saving relationship with Jesus Christ, we must be open vessels before the Lord. I’m thankful for my husband’s soft heart! I’m thankful for a husband who isn’t afraid to open himself to his family and friends. Most of all, I’m thankful he is open to the Lord.
Even if it does mean we are now moving to Australia!