Supreme Ambition Ministries

To Know Christ and to Make Him Known – Philippians 3:10

Passing the Torch

torch.jpgThe story behind the statue in the picture is one of faith and endurance in the midst of trial, a vision for Christ and His Church in these last days, and promise for the blessed wedding between Christ and His Bride, yet to take place.

There really is no good starting place so I will just begin with a vision for Church that is somewhat different than the typical “going to Church” system we have made for ourselves in Western civilization. From my days on the campus of Marshall University in the late ’60’s to the present my vision of Church is more of an organic relationship between redeemed people, who love their Lord and express that love through their fellowship with one another. I believe man is made in the image of God and a great part of that image is the desire of man to find his “counterpart” with which he can share life. Since we are made in God’s image, it follows that God, too, has a desire for a “counterpart”, His Bride…the Church. S;ince the early days of my ministry, I have been on a quest to find the Bride; those believers, who have a deep passion for their Lord and, who are not satisfied with the the status quo.

siesta-key.jpgMy quest took me to Sarasota, Florida where I met Steve Coder.  Steve is the President of Hand to the Plow Ministries , a mission group with a heart for help, healing and hope. We immediately had fellowship in the Lord. His heart was as mine, longing for the Church to awaken and rise from the dead.

A short time later Kathi, Nathan (our youngest son), and I moved back to West Virginia and began a House Church. It was during this 3 1/2 year period that I began to question the vision of Church God had given me. I wondered, if I was on the right trail or not. Finally, in the summer of 1996 I put out a fleece and asked God to let me know by September 12, 1996, if my vision of the Church was the direction in which He wanted me to go.

Steve called from Florida and asked if I would meet him in Atlanta, GA for the Open Church Conference. A friend of ours was to be the keynote speaker. I agreed to meet him there. We arrived at a beautiful 5-star hotel with a winding staircase, waterfall, and green foilage everywhere. After the afternoon session, I stopped by the book table and purchased a book by James Chen, a disciple of Watchman Nee. The book was titled, “The Passing of the Torch”. The gist of it is that there are times when God puts his hand on a group of people and uses them uniquely for a period of time and for a specific reason. Mr. Chen further commented that just as surely as God puts his hand on a group he may also withdraw his hand of special anointing. Chen reasoned, “Wise is the man and wise is the group, who recognizes when God has PASSED THE TORCH to someone else”. Watchman Nee once said, “to be used of God once in a lifetime is worth a lifetime of living”. What does one do in the ‘before’ and the ‘after’? Our assignment is simply to love and serve our Lord and leave the special anointings and ministries to him…I digress…

I purchased the book, which, incidentally, had a picture of one passing the torch to the other on the cover. Steve and I decided to go to the deli in the hotel to get a sandwich. While sitting at the table. I suddenly realized it was September 12th and it was nearly dark and I had not heard from the Lord about the direction for my life. I said to Steve, who had been praying with me, “Well, brother, I can’t tell that God has said anything about direction for my life”. Steve said, “It’s not over till it’s over.” When he said that, I looked up and coming down the beautiful, winding staircase was a bride and groom in full wedding apparel. I looked at Steve and he at me and he said, “Do you need any other sign?”

torch-medium.jpgThe wedding couple walked past us and out the door into a beautiful garden. Steve and I followed them. But as surely as the anointing of God was on them in the hotel, it left and we were drawn to continue walking. It was then that we came upon this statue. I had just purchased a book by the title of “Passing the Torch”. God had confirmed mine and our vision of the Bride of Christ and now he seemed to be saying that we were among those who would take this message of passion and organic commitment to some measure of the Body of Christ. The torch has been passed to us. For how long I do not know. Who passed it to us? Don’t know that either. But I do know this is a vital part of Supreme Ambition Ministries. I stand in that knowledge today and run with perseverance the race set before me.