Note: John Dawson wrote the following letter to his prayer supporters and to the YWAM family.
A few impressions while praying for our loved ones this morning, words from the Father for you and me.
You are entering into a new season. Even though there is failure and regret, things done imperfectly, the Lord is a merciful Father, a Father who presses on in His loving parental ambition for us, an intention described by Jeremiah in the following way. Do you realize how much responsibility God takes for our future under the New Covenant?
“This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel after that time,” declares the Lord. ‘I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. No longer will they teach their neighbor, or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest,” declares the Lord. (Jeremiah 31:33-34)
Jeremiah speaks these words in the midst of Israel’s failure. Just before the Babylonian captivity, Jeremiah gives a Messianic prophecy. He describes what it will be like when Jesus comes.
“I will give them singleness of heart and action, so that they will always fear me and that all will then go well for them and for their children after them. I will make an everlasting covenant with them: I will never stop doing good to them, and I will inspire them to fear me, so that they will never turn away from me.” (Jeremiah 32:39-40)
It’s time to reflect on His promise to us. “Take note of the highway, the road that you take.” (Jeremiah 31:21b) It’s time to withdraw a little from the clamor of urgencies, to quiet our heart, to enjoy His silent embrace until the mind stops racing, then to listen and record fresh Rhema. “Write in a book all the words I have spoken to you.” (Jeremiah 30:2b)
As for Julie and me, our lives must seem relentless to you. It’s true we live globally at a fast pace. We live at risk as we lean forward into impossible circumstances but there is a luxury of time for those taking steps of obedience to the Father. His presence is a shelter. He is at work in the circumstances, protecting our fragile hearts.
Nearly 400 missionaries from 65 countries gathered to us in Singapore. A great density of important things happened daily that will affect Asia, the nation of Singapore as it approaches its fiftieth year, and of course the global movement which is Youth With A Mission. Julie suffered a severely sprained ankle and spent two days at the hospital. In spite of this, the Lord used her to bring profound healing to several leaders. Our room at the conference center became a sanctuary filled with the presence of Jesus.
I have been calling people, thanking them for their covering prayer but there are too many, hence this note and the things that have come to me as my heart filled with gratitude toward you.
What to do? The default position for the believer’s heart is to return to the place of worship, to return to our place of rest in the presence of God. It’s not so easy. It must be chosen. A. W. Tozer taught that spiritual insight is often painful. To see deeply into the nature of things is to grieve; to anticipate the result of the present actions of today’s generation in the years to come.
I have never been more involved in social, political, educational and marketplace action, because our ministries confront injustice and serve the poor and needy globally, yet I cannot be deeply entangled in these things. They must not become my primary focus or yours. We must stick to the essential privileges of our created purpose which are the things related to enjoying the Lord Himself for who He is, beyond our service to the Lord and to people, to become a child in His presence in simplicity and solitude, to enjoy the wonders of knowing our Creator in heart communion. Are you with me on this?
Uzzah touched the Ark with some sense of responsibility, yet death came of it. In order to put the Government on the shoulders of Jesus, we need to remove presumptuous yokes from our own shoulders. We need to trust Him to govern. That is what God is calling us to in Youth With A Mission. We are finding it easier to grasp the concept than to live it as a global family. This has been a twelve-year travail among us. We are still in a very vulnerable moment. We are tempted to call for definition, to look to human authority for too much. There are ways that only God can truly parent us. We are a global movement, five million people and growing, a reality completely beyond human management.
Before he was rejected, before the people clamored for a king, God Himself was their Father/King. He used a strange assembly of leaders that we remember as the judges. A similar thing happened when the New Testament Church was born. Theologian historian F. F. Bruce points out that the Church had no “monarchial bishops” for its first 200 years. A. W. Tozer thinks that the pattern was established at the beginning saying “When the Holy Spirit came on the day of Pentecost, why did the believers break out into ecstatic language? Simply, it was because they were rightly worshipping God for the first time. Intensive worship unexpectedly leaped out of their hearts. It was nothing planned or perpetuated by some ‘worship leader’. God was in their midst. Whenever there is a move of the Holy Spirit, it is always a call for God’s people to be worshippers of the Most High God above everything else. Whatever else revival does, it must restore the purpose and meaning of being a worshipper.”
Well said. Who do you want to become? David the psalmist left us a magnificent legacy. The legacy of David the king was much more questionable. “Help us Lord.”
We have talked a lot about councils of elders, spiritual grandparents, area circle teams, vision, values, covenants and callings, and all the ways the Kingdom of God might function effectively but the main thing is this. The Kingdom has a King.
Not a distant ruler, He’s a friend closer than a brother. Not an overbearing examiner, He brings to our remembrance that which He has taught us. Not an overwhelmed emergency service responder, He is an ever-present help in time of trouble, omnipresent; all-knowing, “before you call I will answer you.” Not the occupant of a capital far away, He is Immanuel, God with us. He will never leave nor forsake you! It’s time to look away from lesser things. “Come let us worship and bow down. Let us kneel before the Lord our God, our Maker.”
As we relinquish Saul’s armor, as we enthrone Jesus again, as we turn away from an anxious preoccupation with responsible leadership (an inner voice that says, “Give me leadership position! Give me a leader I can rely on! Give me the details of the plan!”), the glorious result will be that good people who’ve been waiting for ‘the leaders’ to act will take initiative. Christ being truly the head, the Body will rise and run. After all, it was the unencumbered shepherd boy that killed Goliath, a tenderhearted youth with a mission.
So if you’re watching us, if you’re praying for us, receive this blessing. Receive the promise from your most able King. “Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things that you do not know.” (Jeremiah 33:3)
As for the work of your hands, the godly dreams, present disciples, the children born to you, the weight of ever present responsibilities? Remember this: You are His workmanship. Take a look at 1 Corinthians 3.
“…7 So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow… 9 For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building…. 18-22 Do not deceive yourselves. If any of you think you are wise by the standards of this age, you should become “fools” so that you may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight. As it is written: “He catches the wise in their craftiness”, and again, “The Lord knows that the thoughts of the wise are futile.” So then, no more boasting about human leaders! All things are yours, whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future—all are yours…”
In these promises rests my hope. May the seven-fold wisdom of God now set this house, His house, in order. Let praise arise, and every soulish dynamic and unclean spirit be scattered. Speak it with me. Speak of His greatness and love. Let us begin a new season as those who are newborn, our youth renewed like the eagles as we wait upon Him, our mouths filled with praise, followed by prophecy that releases earth-shaking power – commissioning, releasing, creative, loving power.
Well beloved. I never really meant to say all that, however Jesus knew that I for one needed to hear it. Whatever grace, whatever blessing rests upon me and my family, may it be upon you. Thank you again. As the Bible says, “How can they go unless they be sent?” Your generosity, covering prayer and counsel have become sacrificial acts of love that gave us the victory together.