Thursday, December 14, 2006

Showdown at UCLA, (the Kindess of the Cross)

This morning, as I prayed about it, I felt led to share this story of what happened last week at UCLA. In the midst of finals, exams and the Christmas season, I knew in my heart of hearts last week that God wanted to reveal His glory on campus, how I wasn't sure? After watching the USC vs. UCLA football game, I was overjoyed with happiness to see UCLA make the big upset, (to be honest I prayed for them to win, and so did others at Passion Church =P) I know God loves both USC and UCLA, but I guess that day one team had a little more faith, in fact, I saw the head coach pointing to the sky, up to God right after the victory on national television. My point being this, the next day (Sunday) we had our Passion Church Zero gathering, as we were praying, I could not help but to think, the entire Rose Bowl was filled with CHEERS, SHOUTS, DANCING, SINGING, CELEBRATION and JOY. Tens of thousands were cheering ecstatically, thousands more in the UCLA dorms and in Westwood were celebrating this great victory over USC, yet suddenly a holy jealousy rose up in my spirit. "God where is your victory? If 40,000 UCLA students can cheer for the victory of one football game, how much more could not this campus of 40,000 cheer, celebrate, jump, shout and dance for the victory that was won on the cross 2,000 years ago? Oh God, I saw a glimpse of a football revival that day, how much more do you desire a spiritual revival, where one day, every dorm hall, every city street, every stadium and every classroom and shouting "WE WON, WE WON, JESUS HAS WON!" all across this UCLA campus? Why not? As we prayed during church, I began to pray with a holy jealously, Lord stretch out your might right hand this week at UCLA and show your glory, for Your names sake, make Yourself famous in this land!

In a interesting way, it sort of happened, just on a small scale. After 3 months of sabbatical rest, and finishing writing my book, I felt for some strange reason that I had to go out into the middle of campus to prophetically worship and possibly publicly preach the Gospel on Bruin Walk. It made no sense to me, because I had not been on campus doing ministry for 3 months, and there was only 2 weeks left of school, plus UCLA just won the biggest football game of the year, and that's when I felt the Holy Spirit say to me, "My father is always at work, go out and proclaim my glory!" Honestly, I had no desire to in and of myself, but in my spirit I felt this gentle push to do so, I asked Sam Kim to see if he would be willing to do so, and if said yes, I would take it as a confirmation to go out. Sam, "You wanna go out Wed and worship on Bruin Walk, maybe even preach?" He responds, "Yeah, I'm down, but you're preaching!" I was like, "dang it, why did you say yes?" So, in my heart, I began to pray and prepare.

On Monday a friend of mine called me up out of the blue from campus. She wanted to grab lunch and then mentioned she was out a Bruin Walk and there were two young preachers, preaching in the middle of campus, throwing down Bibles and condemning students of their sin. I thought that was interesting, made a note of it in my mind, and didn't think much of it. Then Tuesday, I went to go pick up my friend from campus to grab lunch, as I picked her up by the Ackerman turn around, she said, "Hey there are these two guys preaching out in the middle of campus, it's pretty serious, I think they are making people mad and there is a large crowd of students gathered in Bruin Plaza arguing with them. At this moment, as I listened with my spirit, I felt a conviction in my heart from the Holy Spirit, that He wanted us to go out that week to prophetically worship because there was specific warfare raging in the spiritual realm over the campus.

At our Tuesday night PC network prayer meeting, we begin to pray, "Lord silence the voice of the deception, lies and condemnation, of any false Gospel that is being preached on the UCLA campus, Lord open up a door, stretch forth your Mighty Right Hand and release signs, wonders and mircales and a door for the mystery of Your Gospel to be preached on Bruin Walk once again!" There was a sense in our spirits that something was going to happen the next day....

That Tuesday night I sent out an email to Passion church and other campus ministry friends from UCLA, to pray and meet us at the Bruin Walk steps to worship God in the middle of campus, to invite His presence and to see what the Holy Spirit would lead us to do if the two preachers would be out again on campus stirring up ruckus. I asked everyone, especially those going out to spend at least 2 hours in prayer the morning before going out, for the battle is won not in our words, but in our prayers.

Wed morning I prayed with everything in me back home. Seeking the presence of God and a fresh infilling of the Holy Spirit, without His presence we knew nothing could be accomplished. As I was waiting on the Lord and listening to the Holy Spirit, I heard Him tell me two things, "Showdown and Dismantle" I knew He was saying that there would be a divine showdown and that our assignment was to "dismantle" the false Gospel that was being preached on campus through these two young preachers. (We heard through reports that many were being condemned, told they were sinners, that on Tuesday one student whom the crowd believed was demon possessed was dancing around campus, mooning students, and then when being preached at by one of two preachers, attacked one of them, struck him in the face and was arrested by police, the hostility was in the air and the story of this was spreading around campus fast that there were Christian preachers on campus condemning students to hell, etc) I knew this bad news, had to be dismantled and the true Gospel, the Good News had to be told.

As we got out to Bruin Walk around 11am, it was a weird feeling. I had not been back on Bruin Walk for some time, but as I carried the 6 foot Cross with me once again, it felt right, to proclaim the love of the Cross, for Jesus did not come to condemn the world of its sin, but to save us from our sins. I walked back up and saw old friends from the Latin and Asian fraternities, people still knew what we represented, a message of God's love and power to transform, a message of hope and redemption, not of sin and shame.

About 10-15 of us were out there prophetically worshiping and declaring God's praise on the Kerkhoff steps, it was a time of pressing through, for it had been some time since we had broke spiritual ground there. As we prayed, and worshiped we continued for over 3 hours. One self proclaimed Atheist came up to us, and asked if he could play his harmonica with us, we said sure, it actually sounded incredible. At the end, when he left, I asked if I could pray for him, he said sure, we spoke a few prophetic words over him, he said to me, "it's interesting you know these things, that I need financial help with a few projects I'm working on, I know today must not have been by accident, but that God brought me to you all here today, thank you for your prayers and this experience...then he smiled and left." We were all bewildered, just one hour before he told us he didn't believe in God, an hour later he leaves saying God had brought him to us, only His presence could have done such a work.

During the 3 hours we worshiped we didn't see the two preachers come out to Bruin Walk. But, right after the 3 hour mark, after we felt a breakthrough in our worship, God's peace descend in our hearts we all knew that we had worshiped and prayed enough, God was with us and now we were just awaiting His marching orders. Right around 2pm or so, someone told us, "the two preachers are in the middle of Bruin Plaza!"

We regrouped, and asked the Holy Spirit what we should do? As we waited in silence at the top of the steps different students got different pictures and impressions of what God was asking us to do about the situation. At least three students felt we were to go in "peace" and not stir up dissension, but rather we were to go and continue praying and worshiping nearby where the two preachers were amassing the crowd, but to be quite and just listen to God's direction. So we went, about 15-20 of us.

By the time I got there, there were maybe 50 students gathered around and one of the young preachers had his suitcase out, preaching to the crowd one by one. As I listened to him preach I didn't sense to do anything, I just listened. I could tell he truly did love God, but he was focusing his preaching on "the law of God" and nothing of the "grace of God" we need both, but one without the other is not complete, dangerous and can cause much disaster. There were many students arguing with him, one student in particular was a lesbian orientation, she began to yell at him saying, "So yeah, I'm a homosexual, so does God hate me?" Then the young preacher in a loud voice, face red, yelled back, in anger, what sounded like "Yes, God hates you!" (later the young preacher told me this is not what he meant or said, but at the time it was what was communicated to me and others). Well, for some reason this is what I heard and at the moment something in my spirit rose up, and was like "NO" this is not of God! Then something mysterious happened....

All of a sudden, I felt a wind of the Holy Spirit gently, but forcefully push me into the center of the circle where the preacher was debating. I was not sure what to do, or what the Holy Spirit wanted me to do, so I just walked next to him for a bit, as he continued to argue with this student who was a lesbian, I stepped in, and simply looked at the student and said, "Yes, God hates sin, but He doesn't hate the sinner." I asked her for an apology for the words of cursing spoken over her, I shared with her that God thinks she is wonderful, created in His image, that she is awesome and she said, "I know that I am awesome" I smiled and said, good :) Then what transpired after that was like a surreal dream.

For the next 30-45 minutes I began to share my testimony, of how God had saved me as a sinner, turned me from my sin and gave me a new life in Christ. I began to preach the Gospel, the power of the Cross, the passion of Christ Jesus and His passion for us, as I continued to preach the crowd grew to over 200-250, the Bruin Plaza was almost completely silent, the Gospel was echoing throughout the middle of campus, the Cross was being lifted up, the Good News of Jesus Christ was being preached and hearts were listening. The presence of God was evident, you could feel electricity in the air, and for some reason, the whole time, the two young preachers were listening themselves and decided to stop preaching as I shared the Gospel. Yes, we are sinners, our sin has separated us from God, but Jesus paid the price of our sin and we are now forgiven, no longer sinners but saints! Yes, God is a God of justice, holiness and judgment, but He is also the God of mercy, grace and forgiveness to a thousand generations, yes, God is the kindest Person I have ever met.

As I gave the challenge to surrender their lives to Christ, a few students rose their hands, one student in particular who had never been to church, nor never heard the Gospel gave His life to Christ right then and there! Praise Him. Sam Kim immediately followed up with him, had dinner with him that night to make sure of his new salvation, and was already desiring to be baptized as soon as possible. Another student, I will not mention her name, but she came up to me after, sharing, how she had given her life to Christ in the summer, but had fallen away for a month or more, she was ready to give up on her faith, not knowing if she believed in God's goodness anymore, but that morning she prayed to God if He could show her a sign that He was still there in her life, she randomly or divinely walked by Bruin Plaza as the Gospel was being shared, she listened and gave her life completely back to God, we prayed for her and now she is plugging back in to a Bible study with one of our sisters. Even after, the two young preachers came up to me, decided to no longer preach that day, we discussed our differences, but had respect for one another, the one who was hit in the face the day before, let me pray for his hurt face to be healed, and even the demon possessed student came back, and asked for forgiveness from this young preacher after I had prayed for him. There were more divine stories that were happening all over that Bruin Walk that afternoon, I'm sure those divine encounters continued as students went their ways, but something significant had happened.

There was a "showdown" kind of like Elijah and the prophets of Baal (1 Kings 18-19) but this showdown was not against two young preachers, it was a showdown between the principalities of the air that were trying to deceive a generation of God's true character and heart. We need law, but we also need grace, there is a time for war but also a time for peace. I don't know what happened that day in totality, but something in the spirit realm "switched" over Bruin Walk. There was a sense of hope, no longer hostility, lives were changed, hearts were renewed, a sense of God's presence was in the middle of UCLA that afternoon and through the night, a small whisper of God saying "I'm here, I reign and my love remains unchanging from generation to generation"

Others told me the next day that the two preachers went back out to preach, but not many were listening, something was "dismantled". I'm just happy that God's name "GOD IS LOVE" was made famous for a moment, for a day, at UCLA, there is more coming, but yeah, may His kindness lead us to repentance.

"Or you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and long suffering, not knowing that the goodness (kindness) of God leads you to repentance?" Romans 2:4

God is the kindest Person I have ever met, Graham Cooke

Thank you Father, for loving me this much, that You would send Your only Son Jesus to die for my sins, it was my sins that nailed you to that Cross, forgive me Lord for my iniquity, thank You, thank You so much that Your love, Your kindness covers the multitude of my sins forever and ever, You love me the same and see me as perfect, for this Jesus, may I live my life in holiness unto You. Amen.

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13 Comments:

At 12/14/2006 02:55:00 PM , Anonymous Jimmy Li said...

Tell me, what is the good news?

 
At 12/15/2006 01:53:00 PM , Blogger Jin W. Yi said...

VERY AWESOME!

I got good news, Jesus is coming back

hehe :D

 
At 12/15/2006 02:02:00 PM , Anonymous Rob Dog said...

What do you think of the "Way of the Master" program?

 
At 12/16/2006 12:14:00 PM , Blogger Christina Ratna Dewi said...

Thank you for sharing!
Very encouraging to me!
Yeah, I can feel with you. This summer (World Champions League Soccer), I felt like: "Man, those German people actually can show their feelings. But how would it be when they all would start worshiup God like that?" You know, I also mean the christians. It makes me sometimes sad when I get the impression that some christians are not so passionate for Christ.

Yesterday my housechurch and me went out to just make music in town at the christmas market. We were joyful and people even started to dance. We had put on a sign "The joy in the Lord is our energy" :) and we gave some chocolate with bibleverses away. People even danced and clapped their hands. They truly liked it. I think, they felt the honest joy coming from our hearts. We had so much fun! We're going small steps. Let's see, what happens when we go there the next time!

Greetz from GER!
tina.

 
At 12/16/2006 05:12:00 PM , Blogger Karin said...

Thank you for sharing, Jaeson! I see parallels between UCLA and UW, and that has encouraged me to keep interceding for UW, even now as an alumna. Keep resting in God as you begin traveling again!

 
At 12/17/2006 03:37:00 PM , Blogger Eric said...

Wow. God is good!

 
At 12/18/2006 08:23:00 AM , Blogger Eli said...

Hi Jaeson. Thank you for sharing your wonderful testimony to the students that day at UCLA. Keep preaching the liberating gospel of Jesus Christ to our lost and needy world. Proverbs 3:34

Love your brother in Christ,
-Eli (the preacher)

www.timothyministry.com

 
At 12/18/2006 07:56:00 PM , Anonymous mel said...

God can turn all the bad into the good :) How awesome is He? thanks for sharing, i am truly encouraged!

Godspeed!

 
At 12/19/2006 10:37:00 PM , Blogger Anita said...

finally...i was there to see it. hahah. took me long enough. :)

 
At 12/19/2006 11:57:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do not be discouraged or dismayed Jaes. Sometimes delays or detours in the natural are promotions in the spirit. His timing is perfect. Joseph's journey of being demoted again and again was really his training for reigning -- to one day be set as the leader over nations. He wants to love you to death but then kiss you back to life. I pray that you can see things through God's perspective. All the triming and cutting back will produce much fruit. May you have His perspective this holiday season! Merry Christmas.

 
At 12/21/2006 11:21:00 AM , Blogger Belinda said...

Thanks so much for sharing your testimony of God's power. I praise God for faithful followers of his name, that don't care what others think but cares about obeying the Lord of lords and the King of kings. I pray that all of these things going on around all campuses will spread like a forest fire but it truly does start with prayer and worship. Thanks for being a inspiration and being real and not fake. Praise God! Praise God for the team that is there as well, working as a body! (UNITY)

 
At 12/23/2006 02:59:00 PM , Anonymous Jimmy Li said...

So when are you going to lay down the gospel...
what's the gospel?

And can you say that you preached the gospel that day?

 
At 1/12/2007 02:26:00 AM , Blogger Jaeson Ma said...

hey christina, just want to say its always good to get your notes on the blog, you are blessing and encouragement! Everyone else too, this going to be a great year in God's grace! jaes

 

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