Dateline Asia: Six Steps for Christians Hungry for More of Christ
[Editor’s Note: Everywhere we look there are encouraging signs that the Holy Spirit is preparing many of us for a glorious reawakening to the inexhaustible riches we have in our Redeemer and in what his reign today is all about. These updates from India and the Philippines from David Bryant will strengthen your hope about all the Holy Spirit wants to do in your life to bring you into more of Christ. He concludes with six steps you can take to feed your hunger.]
Are you hungry for more of the living Christ, to see more of his greatness, to move into more of his fullness, to experience more of his power and presence in your life?
Well, you are not alone! Increasingly, multitudes of Christians across this land and all around the world are growing restless to go further with God’s Son—to explore and enter into the whole measure of who he is as “supreme in everything” (Colossians 1:18).
But can a fresh engagement with Jesus as Lord of all really happen to YOU? The answer is an unqualified yes!
Frequently, the Bible says, “God is no respecter of persons.” In other words, what he is doing for others he is willing and able and ready to do for you too. Therefore, we should be filled with hope whenever we hear the reports of Christ Awakenings in other places—especially among people where one might least expect it.
So listen to two stories from Asia. They suggest six steps anyone can take right now to feed their hunger for more of the wonders of our Savior.
If Here, Why Not With You Too?
India. A land of one billion Hindus, 3000 castes and tribes, thirty million gods.
India. A land also permeated with thousands of Christian communities—bases of operation for the spread of the gospel just waiting to be set on fire with fresh passion toward Christ that springs from a new vision of the greatness and glory of Christ.
Two weeks ago I returned from ten days in India. A team of us from New York City helped equip hundreds of Christian leaders in Mumbai and Hyderabad to grow a larger vision of the supremacy of Jesus. We showed them how to use some of the free tools and resources available at ChristNow.com to empower their efforts to renew their people with that same vision.
It was thrilling to see that in both cities a great number of Christian leaders from all streams of the Church are committed to work together to saturate the urban world with the truth and saving power of Jesus Christ.
In fact, the events we facilitated actually were called Saturate India!—meaning saturate its peoples with the glory of Christ in the way promised by the prophet—“as the waters cover the seas” (compare Habakkuk 2:14 with 2 Corinthians 4:6).
The Hungry Ones Were Fed
But our New York team was equally fed and encouraged by our Indian brothers and sisters.
We discovered in them a readiness to explore and experience more of Jesus and his kingship, and to pursue and enter into more of his fullness. In other words, they are eager to fully participate in a genuine Christ Awakening among themselves and their people.
For example, the 1700 churches across Mumbai (and more are being planted every month!) have joined together in a united strategy to spread the glory of Christ through what they call Transformation Mumbai, which was launched nearly two decades ago.
I visited with Christian activists residing in the largest slum in the world. Despite indescribable poverty, I found them to be so radiant with the life of Christ that they are bringing others into the impact of his kingdom as a result. This reaffirmed for me personally how much more of Christ there is for me to encounter (by his Word and his Spirit) so that I too might channel his mighty river of life to others (John 7).
I share this with you because my discoveries are for YOU! What Jesus is doing in India through his followers means you have every reason to hope about how the Father wants to engage your life more deeply with his Son, because as Scripture reminds us, our Father is no respecter of persons. What he’s done for others he longs to do for you!
Dateline the Philippines:
If Here, Why Not With You Too?
When I arrived home from India a letter was waiting for me from my dear friend Steve Hall, regional director with International Renewal Ministries.
At this very moment, Steve is traveling for five weeks in the Philippines, ministering with his team there like we did in India. And guess what? He’s encountering the very same manifestations we found.
Christians there, including their pastors and leaders, are just as desperate to uncover and experience a much deeper understanding of all Jesus is for themselves, and then share more of his glory more effectively with others through the gospel.
Amazing Stories of Hungry Christians!
Here are a few stories from Steve Hall’s travel journal this month:
September 30: Our first conference was a couple hours north of Manila in Angeles for a group of Christian & Missionary Alliance pastors and their leaders from 26 congregations. They planned for 180 people, and about 260 came.
They responded with marvelous joy as I spent the entire day reminding them of the marvelous dimensions that make up the lordship of Christ today. In the midst of focusing on his greatness and glory, at the end they worshiped him with heart and soul and strength. Almost like we were in heaven!
October 3: We had another all-day conference with pastors and church workers from the Marikina Valley Ministerial Association. That is the oldest ministerial group in the Philippines, and the roughly 70 who attended were eager to know more of Christ and what his supremacy is all about.
October 4: We spent half a day with about 100 leaders associated with the Philippines Bible League in Quezon City. The room was packed—far more than the host anticipated. I loved looking into the faces of the attendees and seeing them “experience” with joy and hope a larger vision of the fullness of Christ.
The host, who travels much throughout the country ministering to local pastors, asked if I would return to the country soon and go with him to other cities and give the same presentation on the “whole vision of the whole Christ” I did this time. Everything inside of me cried out “Yes!”
October 6: We traveled to the island of Masbate (about an hour and a half flight south of Manila). Our flight arrived late. Already it was a couple hours after I was supposed to begin presenting what I thought was to be a brief message about Christ to about 30 people from Masbate.
Surprise!! When we arrived three hours late, there were about 60 people from Masbate and several other islands. They had waited to hear my message for three hours! That’s how hungry they were to move forward into more of Christ.
What a humbling experience for me as I led these dedicated disciples by message and music into more of the majesty and kingship of Jesus.
October 7: We had an all-day conference with about 100 pastors and church workers in the village of Mandaon. This is about an hour west from where we were staying in Masbate City.
The setting was very rural—including water buffalos and lots of snakes! The roads to and from our hotel in Masbate City were “interesting”; the driver constantly negotiated with “tricycles,” motorbikes, and multitudes of people who seemed dangerously close to the edge of the road.
But this proved to be a pretty extraordinary gathering. It involved over 100 pastors and other Christian leaders, many of whom walked or came in vans or tricycles from long distances. Their hearts were so ready for the worship as they were led by a team of young people who were sold out to the Lord.
Even more, it was obvious these leaders were very hungry for my topic: “Jesus Christ is Lord of all.” My team and I sensed this might have been the most significant event so far in our journey.
Many Filipino Christians have so little materially and in terms of opportunities. Truly they are among the poor of the earth. Yet, there they were with spirits rich in faith, profoundly ready to feast on Christ.
May a genuine Christ Awakening movement come upon all of God’s people in these islands and spread from here to all parts of Asia.
A Christ Awakening for You?
Start With These Six Steps
(1) Rejoice in the many awakenings already happening for others.
Praise him for all the Spirit of God is doing for so many other Jesus followers, especially right now in India and the Philippines. Thank him for his renewing love and grace toward his people. Celebrate how all of this awakening to more of Christ serves to spread among the nations the wonders of who Christ is and all he offers the world today. Declare your faith that what the Father is doing there, you know he wants to do with you.
(2) Reflect on the magnificence of Christ throughout Scripture.
For example, read Colossians 1:15-23—doing so out loud and slowly, pausing after each description to meditate on all the reasons Jesus must reign “supreme in everything.” Then spend a few moments worshiping him.
(3) Record your own “hunger index” for more of Christ.
Consider what dimensions of the greatness of the Lord Jesus Christ you long to see more clearly and experience more deeply (just as Christians are doing in India and the Philippines) in terms of:
• who he is TO you (his nature, qualities, passions, love, righteousness, etc.);
• who he is FOR you (by his work of redemption, from his incarnation to his ascension);
• who he is OVER you (as Lord of all and Lord of you);
• who he is BEFORE you (taking you with him into heaven, into all of life, and into the world);
• who he is WITHIN you (transforming you by living out his victorious life in you by his Spirit);
• who he is THROUGH you (ministering to others by his power at work through you);
• who he is UPON you (all the ways he wants to deepen, increase, and fulfill his involvement in your life).
(4) Dare to pray big prayers for a larger vision of Christ.
Encouraged by these stories of how the Father is working in other lives and other places, begin to pray more boldly that the Father will do the same for you—that he will satisfy your hunger for more of Christ in each of the ways you have listed.
(5) Start watching for the amazing ways the Father answers you.
Enter into every day expecting for the Spirit to feed you that day with more of the glory of who Jesus is today. Identify how he is weaving your life into the larger work of the advances of Christ’s kingdom in all the earth. Get ready to be surprised by his supremacy.
(6) Let others feed you with their resources for helping you know Jesus in the fullness of his reign.
To help you stay aware and stay focused, download our new, FREE ChristNow App with all the excellent tools (including lots of videos) it freely offers to help you start feeding your hunger for Christ in whole new ways.
Seeing Jesus at 30,000 Feet
Flying back from India in a jumbo 777, I noticed the TV fastened to the bulkhead that allows passengers to witness, through a camera embedded in the nose of the plane, precisely what the pilot is seeing.
As we ascended out of Mumbai International, I watched the screen as the dense smog that envelops the city of 22 million gradually gave way to a panoramic star-studded night sky at 30,000 feet, revealing thousands and thousands of luminaries I hadn’t seen in so long I’d forgotten they were there. I was astonished—mesmerized. I’d forgotten how their wondrous splendor could enrich my soul until that flight.
The thing is, you know, this celestial extravaganza is there for all of us to survey every single night. However, for most of us, city lights, or perhaps some smog or cloudy skies, obscure this magnificent spectacle.
Similarly, there’s a growing hunger inside many believers today for a grander revelation of the regency of our Savior. Our souls long to be enraptured by awe-inspiring discoveries of how majestic and marvelous he truly is, actively reigning over us as well as a billion galaxies.
Like those radiant heavenly bodies above Mumbai, the Lord Jesus is there—and here—at this very moment, waiting for us to come to him to feast on all the richness of his saving, spectacular supremacy so that, by a renewed view of his vastness, we might become the Person-driven, purpose-driven disciples we’re meant to be.
May the Holy Spirit give all of us a 30,000-foot encounter with Jesus—a deeper, wider, higher, clearer vision of him who is the “light of the world” (John 8:15) and the bright Morning Star (Revelation 22:16), whose majestic glory will be the light of the new heavens and earth—brighter than all of the heavenly stars of his creation put together.
This is the One we seek.
About the Author
Over the past 40 years, David Bryant has been defined by many as a “messenger of hope” and a “Christ-proclaimer” to the Church throughout the world. Formerly minister-at-large with the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, president of Concerts of Prayer International (COPI) and chairman of America’s National Prayer Committee, David now provides leadership to ChristNow.com and to Proclaim Hope!, whose mission is to foster and serve Christ-awakening movements. Order his widely-read book at www.ChristIsAllBook.com.