children · God's work · Highland Lakes Baptist Encampment · Preteen Camp · Psalm 8:1-2

The Church of Today

The Lord wrapped up the month of July for the Zbylot family in the most powerful way.  (Yes, I know I am still writing about July, but please indulge me as God’s work in our lives is never boring.)  On July 30, 2012 I posted this message on Facebook as Scott, Hannah, Dawson, and myself left for a week at Preteen Camp:

“Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.” Psalm 150:6 

I can’t hear or read this verse without being taken back to that small church where my mom and aunt took my sister and I to a concert. The pastor got up and spoke those words and in my eight-year-old heart I thought, I have breath and I need to praise the Lord. I walked down front and gave my life to Christ. I remember walking out of the church and telling my mother I felt like I could fly. It wasn’t until the summer after my ninth grade year that I realized while I knew I was going to heaven, God wanted so much more. He wanted to have a daily relationship with me. At that point I began a lifelong journey walking with Him. I am praying for all the campers this week that they too will understand that a daily relationship with God will rock their world and compares to nothing this world can ever offer!

Little did I know what God had planned just several hours later and throughout the week in answering that prayer.
            After several hours in the bus and a stop at Brazos Bend Park for lunch we arrived at Highland Lakes Baptist Encampment.  Excitement was everywhere as we found our dorm, unpacked, settled in, and enjoyed the new swimming pool.  After supper we made our way to the worship center.  The worship team was outstanding and drew our hearts straight to the throne of God in praise and worship of our Savior.  Tommy Tombs then took the stage and presented the gospel message and the importance of walking with the Lord in a fun, yet meaningful way.  I happened to be sitting next to Hannah that night and as Tommy began to wrap things up, Hannah leaned over, took my hand, and began to cry.  

****I need to share this side note so that you can fully understand the impact of the work God is about to do in Hannah’s life.  Scott and I along with several of our closest prayer warriors had been praying for Hannah to adjust and accept the fact God had moved us to a new church.  She had been fighting it the whole way and we could tell had lost her joy in the Lord.  We had several people praying for her and this is a testimony to the faithfulness of their prayers.****

I led her out to the counseling area where she shared with me that she had gotten away from the Lord.  I asked her why she thought that and she said she was already a Christian so she didn’t quite know. We talked about some of the things that keep us from God and about how Jesus was able to stay close to His Father while on earth.  Then God laid on my heart the story of Jonah.  I reminded her God told Jonah to go and tell the people God loved them and he didn’t do it.  I shared that I thought God was telling her to go to Silver Springs and she was rebelling.  God used His word and the prayers of His children to penetrate Hannah’s heart that Monday night and she prayed and asked for forgiveness for many things including having a poor attitude regarding going to a new church.  It was a sweet time for Hannah and I share and I am so thankful God allowed me the opportunity to see His work firsthand in the life of my daughter.
But God’s work did not end there.  During dinner the last night we were at camp, I mentioned to Scott I thought a huge spiritual battle was being waged among several of the boys we had brought to camp.  Several did not have a relationship with the Lord and you could feel Satan had a strong desire to keep it that way and was providing all kinds of distractions.  As the worship began for the evening, an overwhelming pull to pray for those boys came over me.  I told Scott I had to leave to go and pray for them.  I left the worship area and knew I needed to pray with someone.  As I was walking out, one of our counselors was sitting studying God’s word and I asked him if he would pray with me for the boys.  We prayed over the boys by name and for God to show His power and love to them.  I went back in and you could feel the difference in the room.  Tommy presented the gospel again and that night several of the boys professed Christ as their Lord and Savior. 
What made it even more special is that Dawson also went down front, but not to make a profession of faith.  One of his friends asked him to go with him as he was accepting Christ.  Dawson was able to share with him and a few other boys his own testimony.  Afterwards, Dawson told us that made two.  What he was referring to is last year at camp one of his other friends had asked him to go with him to accept Christ and now it was happening again.  Dawson has an extremely sensitive heart for the lost and for God to allow Dawson to have a part in the work He is doing in young boy’s lives is amazing to me!
During that same time, God had invited Hannah into His work as well.  She felt she needed to go down front to pray.  While she was there she said she felt she should pray for a girl’s dad next to her.  She leaned over and prayed for her dad and then went back to her seat.  Hannah didn’t know fully why she did what she did, but she just followed in what the Holy Spirit was prompting her to do.  Then after it was over and we were headed to concessions, that same girl she prayed for came running up to Hannah and asked if she was the one who prayed for her dad.  Hannah said yes.  The girl told Hannah that she had not seen her dad in six months.  Hannah told her that maybe God was allowing her to go through this time so that she would be able to share with others who parents were divorced and they were not able to see their dads for a long time either.  WOW and tears were all that I could say and do as Hannah shared this story with our church group that night!

****Another side note…we shared with Hannah that she probably would not have heard the Holy Spirit’s prompting had she not surrendered and asked for forgiveness of her rebellion just two days before.  It was a huge reminder to her, Scott, and myself of the power unconfessed sin has in our lives to prevent us from being a part of the work God desires to do through us.****

One of the last things that struck me from the week at camp was something Tommy said towards the end of the week.  He mentioned that many people would look across the worship center and see the church of the future.  However, he said he looked across the worship center and sees the church of today.  Young people today do not have to wait until they are older to be the church.  They are just as much a part of the church body today as they will be five or ten years from now.  As I witnessed God work through my own two children at camp, I saw Satan silenced through them.  Praise be to God for our children and let us not hinder them from coming to the Lord and seeking His will.
“Yahweh, our Lord, how magnificent is Your name throughout the earth!
You have covered the heavens with Your majesty.
Because of Your adversaries,
You have established a stronghold
From the mouths of children and nursing infants
to silence the enemy and the avenger.”
Psalm 8:1-2
My Heart’s Prayer:  Lord, forgive my disbelief and help me to have faith.  Lord, praise be to Your name and glory given to You in the highest.  Thank you for using 10, 11, and 12 year olds to partake in the work You are doing in the midst of the church today.  Help me and other adults not to stifle the work You desire to do through the lives of our children.  May you continue to silence Satan through the mouths of babes.  In Jesus Name, Amen.

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