Taking the Fire Home
At a conference in Brisbane, Australia in 2001, Cindy Jacobs prophesied over me what would become the outline for the next decade of my life. “I see you being enrolled in the School of the Holy Spirit” and then “being shot like one of David’s smooth stones at the giants of the land...God is going to give you nations.”
My heart leaped at the words, and it was like someone turned the lights on in my heart and I could now see what had before been a hazy dream.
“So, God, what do I do now?”
I felt Him saying that if I wanted it to come to pass, I needed to believe Him and ask Him to lead me into that reality. So that’s what I did.
Back home in Melbourne, I continued studying at the university, but life seemed very normal. I couldn’t see how the big, fun, inspiring prophecy was ever going to happen. I was far from influencing nations. I couldn’t even find a church I wanted to get involved in! Have you ever felt like the dreams are in your heart, but then there is stark reality?
Throughout the past few years, God has led me step-by-step toward what He promised. I have learned that God is faithful and that no one is too small or normal to live a world-changing life!
I felt even more restless and dissatisfied with where I was and where I was heading after university. The only option that gave me peace was to attend the TACF School of Ministry. So after a year of working and saving, I found myself walking out my decision to go wherever He sent me. The first stop was the School of Biblical Studies at the TACF School of Ministry. I quit my job, sold my car, said goodbyes to loved ones and trusted my future to God. I imagined that after the school, He would call me to the mission field somewhere, so I sobbed my goodbyes.
I know now why God chose the SOM for me. He wanted to change me on the inside. At the SOM, they encouraged me to allow God to heal my heart – and He really did! He told me the truth about the things I’d experienced in life, and slowly I began to trust Him and have hope in areas that I’d been too scared to face before.
The Holy Spirit had filled the gap for me between my regular life and my dreams.
During the Biblical Studies Module, I really got to know God. My lecturers, in particular, Gordon Harris, showed me how to understand what I was reading and how to properly apply it to my life. I received so much during this time, but at the same time I learned how to “give it away.” They taught us how to heal the sick, drive out demons, comfort the broken and basically do what Jesus did. I discovered how much fun it is to pray for the sick and see them healed!
God wasn’t finished with me after one year, though! After completing the Biblical Studies Module, I stayed another two years interning and working with the Youth and Young Adult Network of TACF under the leadership of Duncan and Kate Smith. During the day, I worked as an administrator; but after work, I led a cell group in the downtown area of Toronto, taught various classes, ran encounter weekends, took teams away on ministry trips and preached. I loved it! I saw the sick healed, demons leave, people grow up spiritually and physically and new people meet Jesus and get connected into the local church! The gospel that Jesus preached made sense to me as I began to do the things Jesus did.
The Holy Spirit had filled the gap for me between my regular life and my dreams. With the Holy Spirit living inside me, I discovered that “all things are possible.” I changed from being like one of David’s brothers who looked at Goliath and felt inadequate, to being like David who realized that God was his strength and Goliath didn’t have a chance! Like David, I started to rely on God to win my battles. I discovered for myself that He really is big enough, He really loves me, and He really does live inside me. That reality has changed everything for me!
John and Carol Arnott have developed a culture of releasing and sending at TACF. The vision God gave me was to plant a TACF-like church in Melbourne, Australia and see it multiply throughout the region by releasing others to church plant. Cathy Harris, a pastor at TACF and co-director of SOM, agreed to send me to Australia to church plant. She had already realized that God wanted to release those who had completed the SOM to start churches at home and to be able to put into practice the ministry tools and experience they had gained while at the school.
God had placed the same dream in both of our hearts at the same time!
Cathy has been mentoring me this past year and a half. I have moved back to Melbourne and planted a church named Southern Fire. I started very simply meeting with my sister and her husband at their home. Now they are trained leaders and are leading their own cell group. I am now leading another group we started mid-year in the city center. It is growing numerically. This year we will begin having open meetings in my home. Last year we held an Encounter Weekend and plan to run more this year.
I am having a wonderful and fulfilling time ministering to those God puts in front of me, while staying accountable to Cathy and receiving input from my church family in Toronto via the Internet. I work a normal job as a physiotherapist just as Paul worked as a tent maker at times. But I also get to do the fun stuff! We have had people healed in our meetings and are sharing the gospel each week with non-Christians who attend. The Holy Spirit is present in our meetings and I feel as full of life and love as I did when I lived in Toronto. I’m so glad that I never have to get dry!
You do not have to live a frustrated life with blocked dreams!
Southern Fire is currently a little mustard tree of faith, planted in the fertile ground of normal life! It is small now, but I believe that God will cause it to change the nation! David didn’t start with killing the giant, but he first learned to trust God by killing the bears and lions that threatened his sheep. I thank God that He grows our faith step-by-step as we choose to trust Him in our battles.
I believe in a few years Southern Fire will have people in each area of Melbourne, meeting in homes and coffee shops and parks. We will also meet up for wonderful worship sessions all together and preach the Word with signs and wonders! We want the fire of God to burn throughout Melbourne and the rest of Australia and also through the nations. I am not satisfied to see anyone die without Jesus, but I have agreed with God that His will is for “none to perish but all to inherit eternal life.”
You have a great big God living inside you by His Spirit. His wonderful plan is to live His life through you! You are in the right place, and this is the right time. You do not have to live a frustrated life with blocked dreams. Instead, ask God what He wants to do where you are and allow Him to live through you. You can be sure that He will always save, heal and deliver people as you pray. God wants to transform you on the inside and heal your heart, and then take you to fight the giants who dare to live near you! “All creation eagerly awaits the revelation of the sons of God.”