When we give our lives to the Lord, we so desperately want to serve the Lord with all of our hearts and imagine what it looks like to live a life completely devoted to the Lord. What does a life consumed with the love of Jesus Christ look like? Sitting down and having a conversation with Jack Hollis, a man who has been walking with the Lord for more than 50 years, reveals that encouraging life story. Greg Lancaster recently had the immense privilege of spending time with Jack and talking about some of the miraculous testimonies that the Lord did through Jack’s life. One of these moments was when Jack and wife Shelly would take time to spend weekends at a one-bedroom cabin to minister to people. One particular weekend, the cabin was filled with 30 people who were hungry just to learn about and grow in the things of the Lord. They would spend hours singing together and worshiping the Lord, and then Jack would share a message from Scripture.
Talking with Jack, Greg recalls that season of the 1970’s as a sovereign move of God as the Lord was drawing so many people to Himself through family. As he shares, ‘it seems like some sort of pattern in the 70’s were, were in this thing as a family, we are connected, the Holy Spirit just connected everybody as a family. There was no time limits. I love being with you. I love being with God. Were eating together. That was just the season.’ What a beautiful moment to recall and remember as the Lord was doing so many wonderful and awesome things amongst His people. It was during this time that Keith Green was building on raw land to have housing and disciple as many people as he could in the things of the Lord.
Isn’t that what is missing today? When people say they love the Lord, do they love the Church? Do they love those that are next to them? One minute the person who says they love God, is now the person that is crucifying you. How does that make sense? As Greg expresses, “if I love you, then I love Jesus. Then if you love me then you love Jesus and our love for God is measured by our love for each other.” If this is what God expects of us, and if this is what is written in Scripture, how did we get where we are today? Why is there so much religion absent of the presence and love of Jesus? We can’t walk in the love of Jesus without our hearts being broken for the things that breaks the Lord’s heart and seeing others and Jesus sees them. Greg recalls that moment when Ken Sumrall, his spiritual father in the Lord, was suddenly overcome with the Father’s heart for the pastors in his community. “I think he was preparing for the message the night before or something, and all of a sudden God just came down and broke his heart and He said you know, basically, ‘My Church is fatherless. All these pastors are fatherless.’ And it just shifted everything.” Think about this important truth. Of all the words to be used in language, God is described as our Father. We HAVE to tap into and connect with this reality. This is river of truth that every area and portion of our lives most flow from.
Jack underscores this important reality by stating this vital truth; “everything is about the Father”. Jack continues to talk about how the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit always glorify one another. When he talks to people about praying, he reminds people to always pray to the Father. If we’re not praying to the Father, we’re wrong. “It’s wrong. Jesus Himself said you’re never going to ask me for anything again. Ask the Father in My authority and He’ll give it to you. He said, don’t ask me for anything. I’ve already given you everything.” This is why Jesus started off the Lord’s prayer with this important words in Matthew 6:9 “Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.”” This is what Jesus has done for us. Jesus has provided us access to the Father. As John 14:6 reveals, “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” As Jack describes in his own words, “Jesus has given us the entrance into the presence of the Father”. We’ve made it about everything BUT the Father. As a man who has walked this Earth more than 80 years, it’s incredibly wise to listen to the wisdom that one would share. Jack expresses the vital revelation that came to him only a few short years ago, “This thing is all about glorifying God. It’s not about any of that other stuff.”
If we leave Jesus out of the reality of this moment we call life, we will have seriously missed what everything is all about. Greg describes an encounter that he had with the Lord, given to him in a dream, that has forever marked him and impacted his life. “I was standing at the doorway, outside the Throne Room, and the door was opened, but not fully opened, and the presence and awesomeness of God, was just fearful.” Greg continues to talk about the indescribable reality of what it’s like to experience such a profound reality. “It’s not like you can’t bring something up in His presence. It’s like, there’s no room for something else other than Him. As I was standing there, the one thing I think about, you know cause it’s about accessing Him, like you said. I was like, ‘JESUS! I NEED TO FIND JESUS!’ Because Jesus gives us access to this awesome, holy, perfect, God.” Encounters like this don’t simply leave you unchanged. Greg also briefly points out how, in a previous encounter with the Lord, he was shown the Lord on the Cross, and in another encounter, he was able to embrace and fully hug the Lord. Now after experiencing the Throne Room of God, he says, “I’M TERRIFIED! That’s the whole thing. Jesus gave us access.” What is immensely powerful to realize and truly connect with, is the fact that this awesome and holy God loves us and wants a relationship with us.