“Everything in my life has been leading me here. Now I am on the doorstep of destiny and it is consuming who I was and remaking me into something more. Something unstoppable through the power and grace of God.”
My friend Aryk wrote that to me yesterday. What I want you to understand is that a month and a half ago Aryk wouldn’t have said anything close to this.
I grew up with Aryk and we have been good friends for years. About a year ago we sat down and I shared the Gospel of Jesus with him. He didn’t respond at first and we politely agreed that he didn’t want it and I wasn’t going to push it but what is so amazing about the Gospel of Jesus is that it is relentless. Over the past year Aryk and I have had countless talks about Jesus and life and Purpose and every single time we talk he is the first to bring up Jesus (although he said he didn’t want Jesus? Ironic?) and those talks have been some of the highlights of both my spiritual journey of the last two years and also of my life. Over the past two and a half years I have been pursuing the Lord, my talks with Aryk were some of the most genuine because he didn’t take what I said without proof and sureness. He challenged me with my own words and pushed me to be solid on my relationship with the Lord.
A few short months ago things became very serious as he came with me one night to a presentation of the Gospel at Fellowship. I asked him to come and told him very clearly what it was and why he was coming, so not to trick him into Jesus. See, Aryk has heard the Gospel from me, but I wanted him to hear it in a different light and I can truly say that the Lord used Brandon B. in huge ways that night as he discussed how humanity went south in the Garden. I remember Aryk saying something along the lines of “damn, Adam and Eve really messed that up” shortly after the sermon was over. That night he came to my house and what awaited me was one of the most monumental discussions of my entire life. For four hours we sat in my room and discussed why we were breathing. For just as C.S. Lewis so prophetically reminds us, “If the universe has no meaning, we should never have never found out it has no meaning.”
And side note here, you must understand that Aryk has one of the purest hearts for people that I have ever seen. He authentically yearns for people who hurt and wants them to be happy and would give his life in a moment for another to live. But the problem was that Aryk wanted to offer hope to people, but in turn he had no hope to offer. I told him over and over again that if Jesus is true then He is the only hope and there is no way offer others hope if you yourself have no hope.
What Aryk couldn’t see is that Jesus is the only way.
As the weeks went on after that night, Aryk became more and more fervent in our talks. He seems to be rushed and wanted something more everyday but couldn’t find it. Finally one day he told me that He had had an epiphany. I remember turning around in my seat in English class eager to hear as he told me how the night that he came to my house he had talked to my brother Cody for a few minutes and Cody had told him to read John. So in turn Aryk decided to try it out and was stumped after the first chapter. He went on to explain how he sees clearly how there is no way to God except through Jesus and why Jesus had to come and so on and so forth. Then he looked in my eyes and said, “Chris I am going to life to Jesus.”
Weeks went by before he did and later he would explain to me that the devil really got into his head and convinced him that he couldn’t follow Jesus with all the crap he had done in his life.
But on March 15th I was sitting at Starbucks when I got a Facebook message from Aryk saying, “Well, I'm not sure if I did it right, but I swore my life to Jesus, or however you put it.” I called him right away and was driven to the most joyous tears I have ever cried. I could have died right then with a full soul. One of my best friends was now my Brother.
Over the past month or so Aryk and I have been meeting and I have had the privilege, the honor, the blessing of watching him fall in love with Jesus and people. He has only read half of John and he already understands the Spirit-filled life more than most will ever grasp. He sees and knows that Jesus is the only hope.
What is so beautiful about this story is that he didn’t give his life to the Lord as a result of some really emotional experience, a conference, a high intensity sermon, or out of guilt. Aryk gave his life to the Lord because he knew there was no other way to experience life and he desperately wanted life.
I heard once that since Jesus is the Bridegroom in this relationship, He does the pursuing. And it’s much harder to run away from the Groom than it is to embrace Him because His furious love is chasing us because He desires us. I got to witness, first hand, the furious love of the Almighty God chase Aryk for over a year until Aryk finally fell to his knees and looked with love upon the face of his creator.
I do not tell this story to bring glory to Aryk or to me but simply to Jesus. I tell you all this story to challenge and push you to live Christ because I promise you it’s the greatest adventure that has ever been known to man. Just as Aryk wrote sentences before the quote I used to open the blog, “Nothing compares to this.” And my dear friends, he is right, nothing compares to this. Nothing in all of the world compares to getting up each day to walk with Jesus, to get to know Him and to make Him known.
Aryk is going to go out and make more disciples for Christ and then those disciples are going to go out and make more and so on and so on until this world is overrun with disciples of Jesus.
In the midst of this Revival, we must open our mouths because how many more Aryk’s are there in this city who are just waiting to hear about Jesus? But not the Jesus many of us teach in church or the Jesus known on billboards around America, but the real Jesus: the loving, merciful, passionate, compassionate, and enemy-loving Jesus. The Jesus who takes you no matter where you have been and changes you, the Jesus who offers much more than the American dream and a good life but the Jesus who offers a rich and fulfilling, purposeful and satisfying life in Him. The Jesus who offers hope. The real Jesus.
My prayer is that Christ-followers will start having their hearts broken for the lost and start telling everyone about this King and Kingdom they serve. I pray that Little Rock will not be able to contain the fire that will spill from our hearts as we draw near to Jesus. For just as Jesus said in Luke 12, “I have come to set the world on fire, I wish it were already burning.”
It’s time my brothers and sisters. Here’s to our King and here’s to a new world where we will not only die for Christ but we will also dare to live for Him.
In that same note Aryk wrote a charge to not only me but to all who claim Christ. He said this, “Chris, if we all live like Jesus, helping others, we can change/save the world.”
Welcome to the revolution my brothers and sisters.