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Burn the Bridges, part 2

Much to my bride’s surprise, I agreed to go to a conference in Kansas City in early March 2007…

We have a lot of very dear friends in Kansas City serving at the International House of Prayer (IHOP) as intercessory missionaries - some since before the actual IHOP prayer room was even going.  And, the Lord had drawn us into relationship with some of the leadership from (then) Metro Christian Fellowship through their Master’s Commission internship and a beloved brother in the Christ, Zach Drinkwitz.  However, when IHOP first began to explode, I was really turned-off by the folks who were always “running off to Kansas City for their next fix.”  It was like, man, come on guys, the Lord is in Alma, Arkansas, too - let’s press in.  But, honestly, there wasn’t much pressing - and honestly, although I didn’t judge IHOP itself, I allowed reluctance to turn into something way too close to rejection.

So, there I am, standing in the back of the sanctuary (at the Forerunner School of Ministry - FSM) in Kansas City during a worship/ministry time after the Word was given by Mike Bickle.  Honestly, I couldn’t even tell you what he had taught about.  I’m worshiping, singing new song to the Lord - both scripture and my own thoughts, prayers, and praises, when a very third-person thought breaks in and says, “Burn the Bridges.”  Immediately I knew that the Lord was speaking of my vocational investments - four years of college and almost two years as a programmer, coupled with the birth of three children in three years equals six years of deep, painful challenge… “Burn the Bridges, Aaron.”

So I began to sing a new song about burning the bridges - and no sooner had I sang it that it was echoed from the platform by the singers on the worship team.  We’re talking like 1000 people and probably 60 yards away.  “Okay, Lord - you have my attention.”  Then it started to sink in - He really wanted me to burn the bridges; He was asking me to just drop it all.  I began to cry, and my thoughts and my heart turned into a sand-covered, grumbling child of Israel and I cried, “Lord, You didn’t bring me out this far to take me back again….. did you?  Why, Lord!?!  Why?!”

Again, I began to sing my sobs and my thoughts to the Lord.  Again, those sentiments were echo’d from the stage by the prophetic singers.  I turned to Robin, and gently put my hand on her cheek and turned her head towards me and asked, “Will you be poor with me?”

“I’ll be poor, as long as you’re really WITH me,” she replied, which even drove the jagged spike of reality of what I had lived like for the last 6 years - the time I had invested, the long nights, the neglect of family, the place of prosperity we had come in to, and now the Lord was asking me to go back to that place of uncertian finances… well, poverty was the word in my thoughts.

 ”Lord, why would you take me from poverty as a full-time minister, to poverty as a self-employed entrepeneur student, to prosperity as a programmer who is still ‘ministering’ and serving as you allow, and now back to poverty?!  Why, Lord!?”

“I’m not taking you from a place of poverty, to prosperity, to poverty.  I’m taking you from a place of ‘not really trusting me’, to another place of ‘not really trusting me’, to a place where you are going to have to trust me fully.”

Robin and I prayed and talked A LOT that weekend, and on the way home, we made plans for me to quit my job as a programmer, start finding my way out of the business partnership I was in with our computer store, and just to trust the Lord and see what opportunities He would provide for ministry and finance.

Here we are.

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