BUILDING RELATIONSHIP WITH THE CREATOR AND MAKING GOD YOUR BUSINESS PARTNER AND LORD presented by Christopher Burge at the 2018, Texas Men’s Advance

BUILDING RELATIONSHIP WITH THE CREATOR AND MAKING GOD YOUR BUSINESS

PARTNER AND LORD presented by Christopher Burge at the 2018, Texas Men’s Advance

THEME: PASSION.POTENTIAL.PURPOSE.

https://youtu.be/Id3glVMXJCo

   Christopher started his career in the Aerospace Industry as a custodian, promoted to an airplane mechanic, barbering in the evening, and now is a full stack developer that handles everything from database management, to building web tools. Chris is married with four beautiful children.

   When the devil is trying to bark in your face, you have to bark back; because he doesn't have any teeth. He's all bark. When you declare the goodness of God over your own life, in the midst of situations, a breakthrough begins to happen. That’s where my passion comes from. I'll tell you about why I'm steadfast in the Lord; and why I can walk with Him every day.

   When I don't want to walk with Him, He has His hooks on me and won't let me go anywhere.

   A walk that says even when we go through trials and things happen, you want to quit.  

   Something in you says, “I cannot quit.”

   This is the passion that I walk in.

   I dream about different things of God, about who I want to be, how I want to live, and what I want to do with Him. He keeps reminding me of who I am in Him. It's great to dream with God, but it's also great to know who you are in God. We have to know who we are right now or we're just going to keep looking at everything else and not taking advantage of our moments with our families, our friends, and our jobs.

   Let's start with jobs. When you're a kid growing up, you're asked what do you want to be when you grow up. How many people were asked that by somebody? Maybe not your parents but somebody, maybe TV, made you think about it. It's always a question, especially in a man's mind as the Provider defined by American, whatever. In the Word of God, we're the head of the household. We have to plan. And figure this out. Sometimes, we can come under the pressure of that and let the weight push us down.  

   When I'm growing up and asking God, what do I do with my life? How am I supposed to live? In fact, I prayed about it every night.

   I was raised in a Christian home, and my dad was the lead youth pastor of a Mega Church, with about ten thousand people.

   When you're raised in an environment, you pick up on things. You pick up on what to do, and what not to do. Even if you're not told that, you're around it. I knew that even though I prayed, I didn't have a real relationship with God. But I talked to Him all the time. One evening, I heard the audible voice of God, at seven years old. I felt like a weird person my entire life, until I met some others who've had encounters with God.

   I went, "Oh my gosh, I'm not alone." I heard a voice, and it said, "Christopher, do you love Me?" Just like Peter. "Peter, do you love Me?” Heard that, audibly and thought my Nana was saying it. I was staying at her house that night, and had my own little bedroom.

   I thought my Nana was telling me, "Goodnight. I love you." That's how I interpreted it. So, I said, "Goodnight. Love you, too." I usually heard something back like, "Okay." I heard nothing, and thought it was really strange. So, I lay back down.

   I heard the voice again that said, "Christopher, do you love Me?"  I thought, "This is weird. Oh, no. There's a monster under my bed. I know it." I didn’t want to look under my bed. But if it's there, I want to get out of this room.

   So, I looked under the bed, hoping there's nothing there. I was terrified. Nothing was down there. I thought, this is just weird. I even got up and went to the hallway. My Nana's door was shut and the lights were off. I got back into the bed, and heard the voice again, "Christopher, do you love Me?"

   For whatever reason, when I heard Him that third time, I knew that voice. It was like I'd known Him for a thousand years. I recognized it was my Father in that moment. I didn't figure it out the first two times. But that third time, it hit me like a ton of bricks.

   He said, "Christopher, do you love Me?"

   I said, "Yes, Lord. Of course, I love You. I mean I'm praying like I'm trying to go to bed here. Of course, I love You." 

   He says, "Then how come you've never asked Me to be a part of your life?"

   So I literally paused, being seven years old. I registered what He was saying. Maybe it's in the spirit of revelation. I said, “I've never thought about that. I had never thought about it.”

   Pretty simple answer for a child. I never thought of it before, I guess.

   He said, "Would you like to?"

   I said, “Yes.” So, being around church folk, I know what you do. You get on your knees and say a prayer. You ask God to forgive you for anything you think of. Which at seven years old, there were no long lists. But I laid it all out before the Lord, whatever I thought I'd done to offend Him. I remember lying in the bed, and a supernatural peace hit me like it was so thick, you could cut it with a knife in that room. I could feel the weight of it.

   When I got older, they talked about the kind of glory, it's like the weightiness of God. I experienced that when I was seven. It almost pinned me to the bed. I remember the ceiling fans spinning around really slow and just feeling this tremendous piece of God. The world can never give you that kind of peace. 

   The one thing that will draw people to Jesus, is when you love Him and pray for them to allow the Spirit of God to come into their lives. They'll feel that peace and you know it. You've seen it happen. People that are non-believers or even believers that don't walk with God, feel this thing come over them. It's because they're in the world, and they cannot get what you have until they ask the Lord for it.

   I experienced that and became pretty much an evangelist from that moment. I began telling everybody. The next morning, I told my Nana and the first thing came out of my mouth was, "What are we cooking for breakfast?" I then told her, "I gave my life to Jesus last night." I called my parents and they were happy about it.

    I grew up doing a lot of street ministries with my dad and going to the inner city. What God implanted in me as a young man, was the Father's heart and the Father's love.  Years later, I said, "God, people are freaked out when I tell them the story." He said, "Yes, your story is unique." I asked, "Well, why? What did you do that for? Nobody can relate to that story."

   He answered, "Because that's what you needed. You needed Me to come to you, in order for Me to do what I need to do in your life. I had to do it privately, so that you always know that at seven years old, you didn't earn it. You didn't deserve it. You didn't ask for it. I chose to come to you and invite you to my Kingdom to let you know you're loved and you're wanted."

    I meet so many people that don't think they're loved and they're wanted, because they haven't heard the voice that I heard from the Father. All we have to do, is let them hear that one voice from the Father. Let them have an encounter with God. They can do whatever they want with it, because the last thing that God said to me, Would you like to? That was it. He didn't say anything else. He did pressure me. He didn't give me options. He said, "Would you like to do that? If you do, then you know what to do. If you don't, I'm okay. I'll still be here."

   My passion actually was thrown into my life at seven years old. I had a passion for Jesus. I wanted to be like Him. I wanted to act like Him. I wanted to do what He did. I had all these encounters with God while growing up. I had dreams about angels all the time. This was happening in my life; because I had this unshakeable encounter with God that I could never get rid of. It was an Ebenezer. You know when Moses and the Israelites went across, when the Red Sea parted, they set up an Ebenezer on the other side. A memorial to what God had done. It's our job to set up memorials in people's lives.

    So that they remember that encounter they had with God. If we can just get out of the way enough, so that the Holy Spirit can give them what they do need, then they'll be okay. They can choose what to do after that. That's not our problem when it comes to that. We just love Him.

   I used to be an aircraft mechanic for the Air Force for about ten years. I worked for the Air Force. There was a young guy and his family were all bikers. They lived in a nudist colony, and he grew up in that as a child. Girls thought he was cute, because he had a dimple. Girls think dimples are cute, or whatever. Well, he told me where that dimple actually came from. His dad stabbed him with a coat hanger one day, just to teach him a lesson. His dad wasn't really nice to be around, and so, he grew up with a really skewed view of the world. I remember one night, I'd never really said much about God to him at work. He asked me one day about God, because he knew nothing about Him. He'd been so secluded from God and didn't hear anything about Him. There's people in the world like that. You think people have heard about God, but they haven't all heard about God or who He is.

   I asked the Holy Spirit, “How do I answer this question? He was asking about You.”

   He said, "Well, just give him the quick Romans rules so he has an idea of what I did. He needs to hear what the Law of the Lord says so he can be accountable to it, and then let him know what I provided to give him forgiveness, and to come into my Kingdom."

   So, I did that in a quick, 30-second deal. I just laid it out for him so he had an idea and said, "Look, it's more important that you hear from Him; because if I tell you, I could be lying, right? You could walk away from our conversation and not believe anything I had to say. It could be anybody telling you anything. But when you hear from Him, you're never going to question what He tells you."

   And so I say, "Here's what you do. The word of God says, if anyone would ask God, ask the Holy Spirit to reveal Jesus to him. Then he will do it. It's the revelation of the blood of the lamb. I told him that scripture and said, "Here's what you do. When we’re through talking, you go by yourself with no distractions and no one else around and say, “Holy Spirit, reveal Jesus to me.”

   He relies, "Well, how will I know when He does it?"

   I said, "You'll know, because He'll do something that no person on earth could do for you. He will speak in a way only you understand." Because He made you. He knows you better than you know yourself." There's no pressure, just do what you feel like you need to do. If you pray that prayer, He'll follow through."

   Your life is multiplied through your kids and grandkids. What you do triple affects everybody around you. You have more influence than you're aware of, because we're not always aware of the influence we have. But when you have others that look to you or connect with you in any kind of way, you are being able to move in their lives and you could actually bring the passion out of them. Something that I love about God showing me what my passion is, that I now can look at other people and find theirs and help bring it out. Find the good thing in the other person. God would begin to tell you what that is, then you draw out of them because we get so negative with our failures and our shortcomings, that we don't see the good things that we could be great at. I'll just say this some people are only great at one thing.

      So, now we're moving out of our current tunnel vision thing, and now we're broadening our vision. We can see the future in what God has called us to do. I grew up wanting to figure out what my job is and what I'm going to do. But I just wanted to do ministry, because that's all I cared about. I loved reaching people and telling them my encounters and seeing the light bulb turn on for them, getting them saved.  

   So, I went to college just out of obedience to my parents, because they wanted me to do college. But I've never had a heart or a drive for it, and I always wrestled with that. I need to do this because it's the thing to do. I want to have a good future. I put all my chips on the board thinking that, maybe if I get an education, it will take me to different places. No matter what I did, I had no desire to go. But I went and I got a lot of stuff knocked out, and I found out that I had a gift for skating. So like X-Games kind of deal, not ice skating.

   I started competing and was good at skating. I took second place a world champion in California. So, we're talking worldwide. God put me on that platform with second place. It was like a big deal, being televised and all that. Well, I'll take that back. It was filmed, but then they had an issue. I didn't see them until they cut all the footage that year. But anyway, I just want to be honest. I'm not going to say, it was all on TV, but it was filmed. So, I'm doing this and God has put me in the spotlight.

   I went with my dad on a mission trip to South Dakota. I went on a tour by myself to do demos and shows at skate parks and park suites. We built this whole grand set, put it on an eighteen-foot long trailer. We'd go around and do shows and demos and then we minister. We trained evangelists and different people to go out and minister to those that came to watch. Primarily kids and teenagers, and they would go out and minister to the young people while we skated, while we did the show, I would do a really short, down to earth testimony. I’m doing really well with this, and it’s really exciting, hanging out with all the top professional skaters. I also design clothing for a company that was based in California. They took my ideas and made some shirts with them. I gave them some ideas for skates that they made the next year. But, you can’t really make your career out of doing dangerous stunts your whole life.

   I ended up finding my wife, got married, and have four beautiful children.

   I had to get a real job, and ended up getting a job in Aerospace, being an aircraft mechanic. It was a cool job, because when you’re asking people, what do you do for a living? Well I do this and, Chris, what do you do? I tell them I’m an aircraft mechanic working on condescend aircraft, and its super awesome.

   They say, “Dude, that’s cool, I don’t know anybody that does that.”

   I did well at it and I climbed the ladder, getting all the certifications. I was over people and doing all that as a mechanic. I liked it, but it wasn’t my passion. It’s not where my heart was and it was a struggle. I felt like that everyday for ten years. I sat in a parking lot and asked myself, “Do I really have to go in here again?” I’m serious, I’d sit in my car and say, I could just turn around and not come back to this place. I didn’t feel like I was doing what I was supposed to do.

   I’d been cutting hair for a long time and did everything from drawing Michael Jordan on the back of kid’s heads. I loved barbering. Old school barber, the fifties style and hanging out with the guys sitting in the shop while drinking coffee. I’m following the gift of the Spirit, and see things in the Spirit, and I dream. My clients that I had when I was in barber school, would keep coming to me because they wanted to be ministered to.

   I would have to cut it short, ministering while still in barber school. It was just a great time and at the end; I had a full cosmetology license. Before I left, the entire school were coming to the front desk, to hear me talk how to pray, and how to find out who you are in Christ.  As well as the simple things that we might take for granted. It was incredible.

   Then God said, “You’re done, no more, you did what I need you to do.” I asked, “Well God, what am I going to do? Because I am passionate to do something other than being an aircraft mechanic.”

   I tried to find my way out. As soon as I quit, they opened up a barber shop at my job. The next day, I walked into work and they gave me a new barber job. I said, “This is the weirdest thing Lord. I don’t know what You’re doing?”

   He said, “You better start being content with where you are.” From that moment on, I aligned myself to be content with where He put me.

   I always looked at myself and know God called me to the Lord. I just had such a heart to do more. But you have to give a heart for where you are, if you ever want to do more. Because if you don’t have a heart for when you get more, you won’t have a heart for that either. Maybe even see a marriage fall apart, because of somebody not being good enough for the other person. They wanted more and moved on.  

   I went to Washington, DC for a full gospel ministry trip. I think it was a directors meeting. On my way back, I was on the plane and sat next to this older lady named Nancy Shaw. I had never heard of her, until she showed me what her book was about. She’s a children's author and super famous. You Google her and see she’s very well known. She has statues in almost every major city in America, and now she has them overseas in several major cities. So, she is really doing some great things. She was probably in her eighties, when we were talking about her husband passing away five years earlier. Her husband had so many patents and ideas, because he was so brilliant, that the government owns all of them, and they are still using them today. She’s telling me all of this and the Lord really spoke to me. I knew it was Him, when she started saying, “One day there’s going to be a golden rain pass by you.” She said, when I saw the golden rain, reached up and I grabbed it; because I knew that rain may never pass me again.”

   I replied, “That was really weird for you to say something like that to me. You know like, it’s kind of out of the blue.” Lord I hear you, and I know what You’re saying, I’m keeping my radar out there for whatever this rain is.”

   I’m at my job and my manager’s having a meeting. He’s over six or seven departments, and we’re one of them.

   He says, “I’m looking for some people who can have some background in IT, building web tools and websites.

   My cousin Burnes, let me do some programming when I was fifteen. I’m talking about Windows DOS, with the black screen with the green letters. He was telling me he was a computer programmer and telling me some things to enter in for him, so he could do some other work.

   I told my manager after that meeting, “Look, I’m interested in helping, but I was fifteen and that’s all I know.” That was eighteen years ago. He says, “That’s fine, as long as you’re willing to be taught, I’ll teach you. I’ll give you time to learn it, and we’ll just see how it goes. If it’s not for you, and doesn’t work out, there’s nothing lost. You can just go back to your office and do what you were doing. Does that sound like a deal?”

   I said, “That sounds awesome, give me graces to learn, you’re going to let me figure this out with you. That is an incredible environment to be productive.”

   My manager gave me that opportunity, and the Lord told me, that’s my golden rain. I can grab it or not. God said, and just like Nancy told me on that plane, that one may never pass again. That’s when I jumped on it and said, “I want to try this, let’s do it.”

   Now, I’m a full stack developer and handle everything from database management, to building web tools. We had to learn how to do all that and didn’t have any support. We built a tool that’s actually so effective and impacting so many people, that our corporate headquarters is coming down. They already sent several people and love it so much, they want to try to use it worldwide.

   So, I’m building something and had no idea how to code. I prayed in tongues, and asked the Lord, God how does this work? Once he showed me how things work and how it goes together, I was coding in a month,

   I would say, “Holy Spirit, where do I go on here, because this is a maze of stuff? What do I do?”

   He would show me every day, go here, do this, do that, do this, and we built website tools so fast, It has just grown out of control. We actually need a lot more IT people to help us, because we’re moving at such a fast pace. So many people want us to do some work for them now. Here’s the great thing that I learned when I first came into this position; is the person who left the office didn’t do what I do, and they moved.

    She told me something that the Holy Spirit said, “If you will create a reason for someone to depend on you, then you’ll be there for a long time.”

\   Another great friend who mentored me, John Schmook, he told me in another way, “Find a need and fill it, and you’ll be successful.”

   If you will find a way to release the kingdom of God that causes people to need you, and they wonder, where did you get that idea? The Holy Spirit gave it to me. Just make sure you give God the glory, when he deserves it. I just had this great idea, I’m a man of God and I get great ideas. I actually gave a twenty year business plan to some of the top leaders of my company and they loved it. 

   They sent me back on the floors with mechanics and hired somebody else to do what I did. They took all the credit. Guess where those managers sit now? Right beside me, everyone of those managers who took all of the ideas that God gave me. When it happened and they took all these business plans that I gave them, and told me not to document anything that I did; because a verbal is good enough. That means they can take my name off of  everything and use it. I don’t know how many years of business I just gave them, but I knew God could give me that in five minutes. Take it, I don’t care. Do whatever you want with it, because that’s between you and God, and you’re going to have to deal with Him.

   He can give me thirty thousand more ideas, even greater than these if he wants to.

   He can! He’s been giving me more and more ideas, other than working at this job. I really want to do something for God and impact people, I want to change lives on a larger scale, I want to impact the world, I want to change my family and be a good example. I have all this passion, but don’t know what to do with it.    God says, “Here’s an idea. If you’ll link up all that passion you have, in the creativity that I give you, the creative nature, the Father can funnel into that, your future is going to start being laid out before your eyes.”

   Because in your passion as you begin to fulfill your purpose in life, you really discover your true value to the body of Christ. We know we’re valuable to God.  

   We have to position ourselves for potential. If you don’t position yourself to receive what God wants to say to you, how he wants to correct you, and help you. I could have been a barber and called it quits; but I had to keep following Him. I had to position myself to receive my potential, because we want to serve God. You want to use your passion for God, in the process of standing with him day after day. I call it the sustaining grace of God. Our purpose is really defined in how we walk together. We have to walk with Him every day.