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The journey of the sword

The journey of the sword: part 1

Last September Lisa, Noah and I put everything we owned into a very small storage unit in Colorado Springs and into a few suitcases and moved to Spain. We were beat up, bruised spiritually, and just plain worn out. 

We were still in deep pain after losing our 19 year-old son Michael Ryan in 2013, and, I had just lost a company; Lisa had been struggling with fatigue since before our Michael died, and Noah— at 12—was leaving his brothers, sisters, grandparents and best friends. But somehow, deep inside we all knew where we had to be, and we sold everything, yet again, to get there. 

A few weeks into the journey our mentor and leader of G42, Andrew Shearman, had a gathering here in Mijas, Spain of a ministry he is covering for called RIM. Pastors and their families from Portugal, Holland, Wales, England, the U.S. came together to simply encourage one another.

During one of the worship times, some started to prophesy over each other. A young woman walked up to me very nervously. She said, “I don’t know who you are, or why you are here, but I feel like the Lord wants me to remind you of who you are and what you did”… she continued, “You have preached to multitudes, you have built orphanages and fed many, you have served faithfully and seen much all over the world. The Lord says that was just the beginning, you were just getting warmed up! He says to hold on because you are entering a season of abundance where what you did before will pale in comparison to what he is calling you to now!” 

So far so good, right?!

As you can imagine I was a bit emotional, and then she said, “This is hard to say, but he— the Lord— says you laid your sword down a few years ago and the enemy picked up your own sword and killed your son with it!” Well, I had two choices at this point: ask her who the hell she thinks she is, or… bend over in travail and allow the Holy Spirit to wreck my heart. As I fell over weeping, sobbing, and frozen in pain, she said, “The Lord is asking you to pick your sword back up and take back what has been stolen, he will give you 100-fold and beyond of what the enemy has stolen from you. It’s time to pick your sword back-up!!” 

As I picked that sword back up, my soul began to sing for the first time in many years… I picked my sword up that day, and I will never put it down again!

I shared this story the other day at a men’s retreat of 30+ World Race male coaches. After I had finished, many cried out and said, “I laid my sword down, and I am picking it back up, today!” Many more came to me afterwards and told me story after story of when they laid their own swords down and how they were going to pick them up for war again— war for their marriages, their children, their grandchildren, and war for a generation. 

I would like to take you on a journey over the next few blogs of different swords the Lord has shown me he gave me through the years, of how I laid many of those down, and the sword I took up that day. It may turn into a book… Let’s see. 

The enemy took my sword and killed my son— my image— with my own sword. I will rage against the enemy with that sword for the rest of my life, and I will do it for your family and your children as well.

God has given you a sword-a unique set of gifts and a calling to deploy them. The enemy wants to take it away. The fight is costly but so worth it. I am still fighting to get all of mine back… More on that soon…