This is the hour of the rise of the modern day circuit rider. These will be persons that will forsake the comforts of the hour to preach the gospel to the ends of the earth. Young men and women who will lay down any right to earthly pleasure to obtain the pleasures of heaven on earth.
I have always been amazed at the men and women who preached during the Methodist revival. Many of them preached circuits in their lifetime. They would go from town to town on horseback preaching in houses, on haystacks and in General stores. They didn’t care much where they preached unless the gospel was being released and people’s lives were being transformed.
There was a preacher in America who was a contemporary of John Wesley in England name Francis Asbury. At the age of 26 he left England and his sweetheart and never went home to them again. He lived his entire life on horseback preaching the gospel in the frontiers of burgeoning America. It is estimated that in Asbury’s lifetime he preached well over 16,000 sermons, ordained more than 4,000 preachers, traveled on horseback or (when he was too old for that) in carriages 270,000 miles.[i]
When the gospel takes a hold of your life then you don’t much care where you go to preach as long as you can preach. There are people in our own time that are answering the call and they are becoming circuit riders who use aircraft, trains, cars and bicycles to travel the earth to preach to people in stores, in donut shops, garages, houses and sometimes churches. These men and women do not care where they go. Their only desire is to see Jesus uplifted and glorified in people’s lives.
I have always considered myself a circuit rider. My motivation in ministry is to go and preach. I don’t wait for fancy churches to open for my ministry. When I make a connection in a faraway place I don’t ask them how they are going to pay to bring me in. I follow Matthew 10. I don’t worry about money for my money belt. I go and expect God to provide for the journey. In this way I have preached in many nations and perhaps 100 towns in the past 5 years. I expect to go further and to preach abroad to many nations and to people I have not even imagined were alive.
There is a sacrifice of course when you live this way. In the past year I think I have been away from my house more than in it. There are times that my family and I have travelled for 5 and 6 weeks sleeping in other people’s houses and in hotels. We have driven more than 25000 kms in this past year to preach the gospel wherever the door opens. I have preached to the nations as a result.
I use Facebook to minister around the world. I connect with people in other places and get to know them through their profile. We have created relationships with each other for the gospel's sake. Most of the people I minister with around the world we met on Facebook first. This has been fruitful for me. There have been good and bad experiences as a result but I treasure the good and the bad the same.
Many of the countries that have opened for me to preach in I actually saw would open in dreams prior to being asked. Many times I would have a dream and within a few weeks or months someone from that nation was contacting me and asking me to come.
Just because you are asked to come doesn’t mean it will always be easy. The Macedonian call wasn't easy for Paul either. There have been times that I have been persecuted for the gospel's sake. There have times I have been in compromising positions and times when people have short changed me and not been kind. And yet, there have been many more occasions when I have experienced the hospitality of the people and have been shown true grace. I have faced spiritual warfare all alone in far off places often being attacked by spirits in the middle of the night.
This I consider pure joy in order to preach the gospel. I could share many stories about the hardships I have faced but to honor the people who were involved I will not mention them here, but there have been at least three occasions this year where I thought I was crazy doing what I do. One time I was over 10,000 miles from home and in the middle of the night experienced a full blown witchcraft attack in my room. I have been attacked by demons that somehow were allowed to harm my flesh.
There have been times I have been away from home and family for almost a month only seeing my children through the computer. I have longed to hold them in my arms and to play with them. It is very difficult to explain to a child why you are doing what you are doing, but when one of my sons came to me and said he believed in Jesus and God because while on the road he saw miracles, healings and signs and wonders this somehow makes it all worth it.
Today I leave on another ministry trip just two days after getting home from my last trip. I am not even ready mentally to go out that door but in a dream last night saw that God wanted me to go and so I go trusting that he will keep me safe during my travels and that he will continue to protect my wife and five kids while I am gone.
I love the Lord with all my heart and want to see people have an encounter with his glory and so I go.
This is the hour when many more sons and daughters will be born for such a task. The apostle Paul was an amazing circuit rider. Just recently I got to ride one of his circuits and saw amazing miracles where Paul saw miracles. We saw healings, signs and wonders break out in Corinth and in Athens. In Corinth alone we saw 13 adults come to Christ and many more children were touched by the power of God.
If you will say, “Here I am, send me,” then you will see God do great things in the glory, but you have to say you will go. I pray for God to strengthen you this way so that you will go and may you see great and mighty things when you do.
[i] This entire sentence originates from an article on the following website http://enrichmentjournal.ag.org/200603/200603_116_francis_asbury.cfm
This blog is dedicated to the prophetic writings of Darren Canning