I wish you could have been there. When I received the call it was hard to believe. I rushed to the hospital only find that what was conveyed to me was true. He had suffered a stroke, and was now in critical condition.
It was one of those heart wrenching moments when you wished you could change the last 24 hours, but nothing you could do would make the attempt successful. There he was, laying on the hospital bed. A soldier was down; a soldier whose daily bread was to go and share Jesus with as many as possible while he was still alive. I realized at that moment what a soldier looks like, and what his life is all about.
While I sat there with him many thoughts moved through my mind. Would he be alright? Would he recover from the devastating blow of a massive stroke? Would he be able to walk and talk again? Would he be able to visit and give Bible studies ever again? How would his wife care for him if he did not recover? Would we ever see him in church again? As I considered all of these things, with a whisper he began to preach to me.
“You can’t put limitations on Him” he said. I wasn’t quite sure what he was talking about, but in my heart I sensed that it was one of those moments I should be listening, because I knew the Lord was speaking through His servant. I sat quietly and listened as this fallen soldier attempted to communicate with me. With his eyes closed, and his body limp, he spoke these words. “We have done much work in this area” he said, “but with seemingly little success. People have responded, but they did not stay. We cannot put limitations on Him.” “On who?” I asked. With all the strength he could muster, he simply said, “The Holy Spirit. Don’t limit Him. You can’t put limitations on the Holy Spirit.” It couldn’t have been more clear. God had spoken through his servant. To put limitations on the Holy Spirit means that God cannot do the work in us and through us that He longs to do.
Are you limiting the Holy Spirit in some area of your own life?
At COMPEL we will not limit the Holy Spirit. We have realized that the same power given to the apostles to accomplish the work of preaching the gospel to the ends of the earth is the same power promised to us today. It is this power that we are dependent upon as we prayerfully prepare to give our students the most incredible 14 weeks of their lives. No limitations on God means there are no limits when it comes to our experience with Him.
Art is recovering well. He may never be the same person he was before, but he will always be a powerful witness, because he has resolved in his heart not to place limitations on the Holy Spirit.
One final thought. If God could use Art to send a crucial and timely message to someone like me who needed to be reminded of this powerful reality, what could He do through you?» Read more
In 2001 I left the Federal Prison System behind, and where I was headed only God knew. One thing was for sure; I would never return again to who I used to be. My Grandmother told me about the condition of things in the world – and in the church. She warned me ahead of time that things would not be easy, and that the church may provide more challenges and discouragements than support and vision. I knew one thing – I would serve God no matter what, and that is where I began my new life. Knocking on doors, following up on media interests, giving Bible studies; all led to one realization – I needed more training.
Enter Mission College of Evangelism. I will never forget the experience. It changed my life, as well as many others. Upon my exit from Mission College a question was presented to me. What was my vision for the future? Answer. I wanted to see more evangelistic training centers established throughout the country, giving light to the world.
Enter the present reality. Since then, more training centers have been established. Incredible realization? – God is at work, in a phenomenal way, and yet another center for evangelism has been established. COMPEL. Dream come true? Absolutely. Is there anything too hard for the Lord? Absolutely not.» Read more