YWAM’s 50th: Not Just a Birthday!
by Tom Bloomer
During the spring of 2008, the Lord stirred something in my heart about YWAM’s 50th anniversary year in 2010. I felt that He said it should be not just a birthday but a Jubilee year.
What does that mean? One of the most detailed Bible passages about the Jubilee is Leviticus 25, which includes themes such as the proclamation of liberty, freedom from debt, and freedom from slavery.
In the synagogue at Nazareth, Jesus read the first verses of Isaiah 61. "The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor" (Luke 4:18-19). I believe that the Lord wants to grant us freedom and favor.
But there are conditions to receive His blessings. One is prayer. I felt the Lord indicating that we would get the blessings we prayed for, but only if we reached out our hands to Him for them. Take time to do that during this Prayer Day.
A second condition: I felt the Lord saying that we need to cancel debts owed to us. In other words, if I think someone should have done something and they didn’t, or they owe me money, or they used up my time, I need to let go of that and forgive them. I need to get to the place where I really believe that nobody owes me anything.
Forgiveness is where we often get hung up. And yet, how can we expect God to forgive us when we won’t forgive others? Jesus is very clear on this, giving us the parable of the forgiven servant who wouldn’t forgive the debt owed to himself. In Matthew 18:23-35 Jesus underlines that unforgiveness leads to imprisonment...our own. “'You wicked servant,' he [the master] said, 'I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. Shouldn't you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?' In anger his master turned him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.”
How will we be able to live in the freedom, prosperity, and favor of God unless we first release all debts owed to us?
Practically, some people are saying that they believe the Lord wants YWAM to be totally debt-free, that is, all YWAMers free of monetary debt and also our mortgages on YWAM properties paid off. We can be thankful that many of our bases and centers are already debt-free, but others are not. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to see this happen? Let’s pray for God’s blessing on our finances this year. We are also trusting God for the release of thousands of new missionaries to come into YWAM and go out into the world, but we need to be ready to receive them.
Take time in prayer to apply God’s Word and ask the Holy Spirit to show you if you have anything against anyone else. If He shows you something, confess it right away and get on with God!
And let’s pray that YWAM will enter into God’s conditions to have a real Jubilee! And not just a birthday.
International Provost, University of the Nations