A Letter From The World
The following correspondence began with a letter I received from a group of inquisitive Australian teenagers. On the envelope were the words, "Please read this. It's not garbage". It was addressed to me, David Ingles. As I read the letter, the compassion of Jesus rose up in me for all the people who have questions about the move of God.
For the benefit of the reader, my thoughts & comments are Italicized and Highlighted in yellow.
She began the letter with... Please read this. It's not garbage!
I hope that you don't think I'm rude by writing to you like this, but our young people drew straws, and I ended up the one to write.
We have a young people's group of thirty. Lately, a few of us have become completely bored with our group and want to leave because there is nothing in it for us. But our parents won't let us leave. We go to services on Sunday and midweek. Church is so boring, but we've been told that if we don't go and leave the church, then we won't go to heaven. I suppose we believe in God. I know there is more to God than what we've been told.
We were in a Christian bookstore buying a gift for a friend and we heard your song, "The Seed Of Abraham". We liked it, so we all dug in our pockets, paying 40 cents each to buy it. We've listened to it heaps of times and sing along with the songs on it at our youth group. But for goodness sake, can you tell us what they mean?
What an opportunity...
"Can you tell us what they mean?"
We asked our minister and he listened to it and liked it also. He couldn't answer our questions. He said they weren't relevant. He said you just made nice music. But when we kept bugging him, he said to write to you.
These are our questions. Please, please, please answer them for us. Why do most of us cry when we listen to the song, "I'm A New Creation"? What does "new creation", "born again" and "a brand new man" mean anyway? Do you mean in your song "It Was Me" that we sent Jesus to the cross? And if you do, then why?
Now, we think that everybody knows that, but they don't. We must keep telling them...
What does "Jesus Is Lord" mean? I know that God rules over everything and that Jesus is God's son. Do you mean in your music that God can meet all our financial needs, heal our bodies, and make our lives at home good? What is "the anointing that breaks the yoke"? What is "The Seed Of Abraham"? How is Jesus the Seed Of Abraham and why do you say that seed is in you?
What do you live and move and have your being in? Are you talking about Jesus when you talk about Christ? If so, why don't we put more thoughts about Him in our church?
We worship God, but we don't "live and move and have our very being" in anything. What do you mean by that? Do we really hold a miracle in our hands? If we do, then how? Who prayed for you to make you healed? We looked up 1st Peter 2:24 and our minister said that isn't true, but we believe the Bible.
I hope that you don't think we are being funny. We really want to know the answers to these questions. Our minister wants to know what a "prophetic utterance" is. It says on the back of your album that men of God spoke those words that are written there (prophecies over my music). I believe in God and all that other stuff.
We also want to know if your church is as boring as our church. If it's not, please tell us what church to go to. We want to find whatever makes you happy. We're sick and tired of playing church on Sunday like everyone else. We want to go where God is alive, or we don't want to go at all. My mom told me that if I want to go to a different church, I can, but we have to go to church.
Please help us. Otherwise we are just going to get more rebellious than we already are. We really love our parents, but we really hate church.
A Teenage Girl From Sydney Australia
When I first read this letter, I started pacing back and forth thinking, "What can we do?" When you are challenged, you want to do something. I thought about those teenagers chipping in 40 cents each to buy one of my albums, so I sent a box of "The Seed Of Abraham", so they could each have their own copy along with a box of my recording "There's A Whole Lot Of People Going Home" which contains the songs "A Brand New Tongue", This Is The Refreshing", and "I Am The Righteousness Of God In Christ".
I wondered how many questions this other album would raise! Along with the two boxes of albums, I dictated a letter to my secretary and told the teenagers how to receive Jesus as Lord using John 3:16 and Romans 8:8-10. I explained to them that they had the ability to confess their own salvation right now. I assured them that God would hear their announcement. I said that if they believed in their heart...(1) that Jesus is the Son of God and that God raised Him up from the dead to justify them, and (2) that they audibly confess the Lordship of Jesus, then they would be a part of the family of God. I couldn't wait to hear back...
A few weeks later while I was in California musically ministering, my wife called to tell me that there was another letter from this same teenage girl.
Praise Jesus, He's real! We got your albums and how nice it was. We made sure that our pastor had one of each of them. He was really touched.
I took your letter over to the youth hall and 40 of us gathered (there were 30 according to the first letter, now there are 40). I read your letter to the group and after we read it, we sat and argued for two hours that it just couldn't be that simple. Then one of the girls said, "Why don't we just try it and see if it works?" WOW! What a difference!
We went running next door with the letter so our pastor could read it and he asked Jesus into his heart.
Then on Thursday night, my mom, dad and I went shopping. There was a group on the streets with their instruments and they were playing and singing songs. The last song was your song "I'm A New Creation". That did it as far as dad was concerned. He said, "Go up and find out who they are." They were from a full-gospel church, so I found out about their services. The following Sunday, we all decided to attend their evening service, including our pastor.
In a Sunday night service that usually has about thirty people, in walked forty teenagers, fifteen parents and a pastor (fifty-six newborn christians in all!) We found out later that when the minister saw us come in, he changed his message to "Salvation and the baptism of the Holy Spirit". We knew we had salvation, but we didn't know about this other thing (the Holy Spirit).
When he finished his message he said, "All those who want to receive this baptism, come down to the front and I'll pray for you." We were shocked at all the hand clapping and dancing that went on during the service, so when he said to come down to the front we weren't about to move, but God had other plans.
When I read this line I started to weep. He does have other plans. He's got better plans for us that what we're enjoying even now.
About that time my mother and dad stood and walked to the front followed closely by our pastor. The preacher had laid his hands on their foreheads and the three of them fell backwards. We nearly freaked out! Pretty soon my mother got up and came back to us and said, "I've seen Jesus". Our pastor got up and came back to us and said, "It's allright, it's good!"
I jumped out of my chair and went running to the front. I grabbed that preacher's hands and stuck them on my head. A language came up out of me that I hadn't known before and I started yelling it out to Jesus. Everyone else got up and followed me. All fifty-six of us were baptized in the Holy Spirit and spoke in other tongues.
We attend our own church on Sunday mornings, and we all go to the full-gospel church on Sunday nights. Another thing that has happened is I've been reading my Bible every day. All I want to do is live for Jesus now. Just like your song says, "In Him I live and move and have my being!
(A Teenage Girl... and 55 others)