Jan and I are part of a conference taking place for the pastors of the North Pacific District of Foursquare Churches. The conference is being held at Westside Church in Bend, Oregon. This is a beautiful part of the country to have a conference and a warm and hospitable host church in which to gather.
In the pre-service meet and greet time hundreds of us mingled for casual conversation in the atrium of the church. I was able to connect with people I had not seen in many years along with others we have had the pleasure to see more recently. As several of these conversations took place, I saw the word “Exchange” printed across the heart of several of the pastors and their spouses. This morning as I lay in bed in the darkness praying for the coming day, I was reviewing last night and the Lord said, “I have brought them here to make an exchange."
Immediately, I knew what the Lord was saying because for the last 35 years of ministry each new season Jan and I have entered began with an exchange. In one season we exchanged a betrayal for trust. In another season we exchanged our strength for God’s. In yet another we exchanged well-meaning programs for a display of the raw power of God. Every new season began with an exchange. We had to let go of something in order to take hold of something.
God asks us to give Him the things that fill our hands with a false promise and the illusion of control. Once we give God the things we employ to make life work without a full dependence on Him we become candidates for something new and wonderful – something beyond our ability to fully comprehend.
For the next few days at this conference and in many places around the world, candidates for change will be making a significant exchange that will reset the course of their life and chart a new direction for a journey into a new season.