A few months ago in our Winter Discipleship Training School (DTS), all of our YWAM base staff and students were together for a time of sharing and prayer. A student from one of our other schools shared a concept of our journey with Jesus being a series of opportunities to grow with Jesus and move forward in this relationship we have with Him. He shared about how often we hear people talking about taking things to “the next level”. This is often directed toward a ministry, program, church youth group or whatever the newest thing might be. Matt (this student) was challenging us to look at our lives and ask the Lord what an area was for us personally to take to the next level. The term he used was “Level Jump” (as in – “God wants us to Level Jump!” – see how that sounds?). It’s going on this crazy, eye-opening, adventure with God – where he changes us into being more like Jesus. I think it’s really our goal to Level Jump, but sometimes we just get stuck in the grip of fear, apathy, mistrust, hurt, routine, you can fill in the blank.
That day, I realized I had been stuck for several months – not completely stopped – but not really living free like I should be. For me, there was a leader outside of YWAM, who had said some hurtful things, not believed the best in me, and I felt misunderstood. I suppose, like in all conflicts, I was responsible for a part of it as well (I was!). I had previously asked for prayer from a few close friends and sought counsel on how I should approach this situation. Some felt I should just let it go and try to move on. I tried for a while…I realized I had to do something because it wasn’t going away. I made an appointment with this person, I prayed, I thought through what I needed to communicate and own up to, and I jumped in. It didn’t go perfectly, but it went good enough. Afterwards, I felt free again – free from conversations in my mind, judging motives, freedom from hurt. I experienced new levels of walking through conflict, freedom, and the grace of God – giving and receiving.
This was not the first time I experienced this type of growth, just the first with a new label, a new branding! Looking back on my life, here are some other examples of “Level Jumping” for me: experiencing God in worship like I had never before, hearing God’s voice for the first time and realizing He wants to speak to me, dealing with the junk in my life – beginning to really deal with sin and root issues, forgiving people who hurt me, laying down my rights, asking my parents for forgiveness and learning how to honor them, denying myself and realizing it isn’t all about me, learning how to serve my wife (and sometimes making her coffee or breakfast in the mornings), serving and sacrificing for my children (all four of them!), seeing God provide for me and my family where there was no possible way it could happen, praying for someone, praying out loud in a group – finally caring more about what God thinks than what other people think, fasting – wanting God more than keeping my flesh happy, sharing Jesus with someone for the first time, getting a heart for a nation, praying for someone for a physical healing and seeing God move, going to another nation and embracing the people God created there, and leading people from death to life. These opportunities are without number… and there are more right in front of you and me.
Take risks! Get ready to Level Jump!