It is hard to believe that this tour is nearing its end. I am sitting in Canada right now (for the first time!) thinking through the conversations that have happened over the course of the past five weeks. If hindsight really is 20/20, I don't so much doubt it as I do wonder at what point in time true clarity becomes discernible. An interview yesterday in Toronto, Ontario left me wrestling through a few humbling truths that have acted as some sort of prescription for any clouded vision to what XXXChurch's presence has accomplished on the Fight The Silence tour…
Namely, God doesn't need me to accomplish anything. If God wants to give someone a heart for purity, he'll do it regardless of whether or not Levi The Poet or XXXChurch or Mattie Montgomery or For Today or anyone else has anything to do with it. The joy is that he not only allows but invites us to be a part of his miraculous work, which seems to me a miracle in and of itself.
And miracles have been happening.
Tonight's miracle, for example, is a young man - perhaps one of the only kids at the Montreal, Quebec show that listened to a word I said (I was a sad follow-up to the band prior who, to everyone's dismay, did not play "one more song." Oh, and also: I did an entire poem about porn in English in a city where everyone speaks French) - who allowed me to pray for him, even though he doesn't believe in God. Perhaps, after tonight, he will.
Yesterday's miracle was being able to resource a pastor in Toronto with our x3watch program and the Simply Youth Ministries' Pure Sex curriculum for his youth group. It was the newfound friend that we met at the San Antonio, TX date a few weeks back, who happens to live in Canada, and took two trains and a bus to come encourage Brandi and me, buy us food, and pray for our perseverance on the remaining week of this run.
Tuesday's miracle was conversation and prayer with a dude whose marriage had nearly fallen to pieces because of sexual sin which included pornography. It was the other dude who's father introduced him to pornography when he was four years old, a destructive addiction that the Lord later allowed XXXChurch to have a hand in purging from his marriage. It was the dude at the end of the night who met Jesus for the first time, and was washed pure as snow.
Monday's miracle was a day off (haha).
Sunday's miracle was Easter, the miracle that enables all others, and the hope that we stand on, as Jesus Christ died in our place, and rose again to defeat sin and death that would threaten you and me. The Bible says that he did so "scorning the shame" of the cross, which has been a recurring encouragement to many a person on this tour who has allowed the shame that accompanies pornographic lust to become their identity and believe the condemning lies it fuels.
The days prior were filled with similar stories, and though this run has been laced with some American version of persecution, Brandi and I stand encouraged by what we've been allowed to see happen, counting our trials for joy and standing on the confidence of the finished work of the cross, and the joy that we might be able to represent an organization that acts as and offers such practical ways to walk in obedience to the biblical mandate for pure sexuality.
Let's see… highlights:
• Telling a kid or two that God that doesn't desire purity for them because he's a jerk with a power trip, but because he's got a more powerful trip (eh?) designed for him than pornography has to offer. (Said kids got stoked to think that God didn't want them to stop having orgasms for the rest of their lives, just better ones in better contexts.)
• Starting tonight off with a foreboding word from a guy at the venue: "We'll see how this kid does. Montreal hates religion, and we love our porn." Oh yay!
• Being able to act as part of a "ministry team" at the end of For Today's set each night, where at least one member from each of the three non-profit organizations represented on the tour makes him/herself available to talk and pray with people that want it. Every night, without fail, pornography begins as the common denominator among most every young man, whether he is talking with me or not. The reason this is a highlight, though, is because the common denominator becomes Jesus in the end. By the grace of God, I've been able to introduce five men to Jesus just this week. Men that were searching and men that were adamantly opposed to searching. Men that were addicted and men that would have never admitted they were addicted. Men that were atheistic, unapologetic womanizers, and men that were theistic, hopeless moralists.
Men justified by grace. Men pursued by Jesus, broken by Jesus, rebuilt by Jesus. Men that will persevere via Jesus and change because of Jesus as every aspect of their lives, including sexuality, is reshaped and molded from one image of glory to another.
Keep praying for us! One more week to go! Keep praying that hearts of stone may become hearts of flesh! May the work that has been accomplished continue and compound upon itself tenfold as we finish this tour!
"The Lord redeems the life of his servants; none of those who take refuge in him will be condemned." - Psalm 34:22
Originally posted here at XXXChurch.com.