The Circuit Rider, Steel Horse, and The Cross
Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. Matt 16:24 KJV
On October 14, 1735, John Wesley set sail on a four-month journey for the new colony of Savannah, Georgia. He began this long journey via invitation from George Whitfield, a minister responsible for spreading the Great Awakening in Britain and British North American Colonies.
On February 8, 1736, Wesley began his ministry to Savannah. He left quite a legacy, which reaches worldwide to this day. He is said to have traveled more than 250,000 miles; preached over 40,000 times; and written, edited, & translated over 200 sermons, commentaries, dictionaries, and hymns!
I bring up John Wesley to particularly mention that he sent Francis Asbury to perform the Methodist liturgy throughout America. This mission was the beginning of the Circuit Rider Preacher! The mission of the Circuit Rider Preacher was to preach the Gospel to whoever would listen. Riding horseback from Georgia to Maine, leaving any creature comforts behind, these men would ride day in and day out with one purpose…to spread the Gospel!
This is of utmost importance to me, as in these last few weeks, this ‘Savannah, Georgia boy’ has traveled 3,850 miles up the East Coast, to Maine, and back, with a band of circuit riders, spreading the Sound of Awakening! I guess you can say we are carrying a mantle of those Circuit Riders who have gone before us.
Almost fifteen years ago I received a powerful word from Bishop Godwin Ekejieuba from Nigeria. His word for me was that I would be a horse rider and would never quit riding my horse! Little did I know my horse would be one made of steel. Those of my generation all may chuckle as I say this, hearing Bon Jovi’s famous song, “I’m a cowboy, on a steel horse I ride!” However, in many ways, this has become a theme for my life. Whether in a car, van, or jet plane, I am seeing the beginnings of this word that took root many years ago, bear fruit in my life and ministry.
In 2010, I had the privilege of traveling to the UK, South Africa, twice to Brazil, many times up and down the East Coast, and over to the West Coast. This year, 2011, looks to be no different! We are embracing His move with a heart of gladness and have entered into this New Year with eyes wide open and ears inclined to hear the voice of our beloved. Our hearts and minds are to go wherever the Father leads.
Even as I write these words, I continue to hear the voice of one of my spiritual fathers, Dan Duke, saying, “The greater the sacrifice, the greater the Fire!” You see, on January 10, 2011, our team and I left our homes and families, to set off on what would be a powerful, yet dangerous, tour. With those very words shouting loudly, we chose, in-spite of reports of snow, ice, and rain, to venture on and release a Sound of Awakening!
There is so much that happened on this journey, from hitting a patch of ice and being thrown into a guard rail on a bridge, to replacing the brakes, alternator, a tire, and a rim. But I have to say, there is no price too great, no distance too far, that one must pay when you consider the Cross! This is not a convenient life. We weren’t called to live a life of convenience; we were called to live a life of sacrifice!
Many have seen our journey and ask why we do what we do. I would like to join the heart of the Moravians and I quote, “May the Lamb, who was slain, receive the reward of His suffering!” Knowing this gives us faith that God will come with His Fire on every place we plant our feet and WHOA did He!
From our stop in DC, to New Hampshire, to Maine, to Boston, to Virginia, every gathering different, but each one filled with the release of the Kingdom of Heaven. There is nothing more beautiful than seeing God releasing identity and that identity unlocking the key of destiny!
We continue to hear testimonies of those whose hearts had grown cold, and in just moments, in His Presence, the Fire of His Love melted the ice. Testimonies of physical healings, marriages healed, ministers rejuvenated, musicians and singers finding their voices, songwriters and poets releasing new sounds!!!! I could go on and on and on!!! The amazing thing with God is, as we follow Him He backs us up!
In His Fire,