Such a short word. Yet, He is infinite.
He's so much bigger than we can understand, but He still wants to be near to us.
His Word tells us that He is near to the brokenhearted. Psalms also promises that He is near to all who call upon Him. The book of James says to draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Hebrews, Isaiah, Acts, Jeremiah and so many more books tell of the nearness of God.
It's so important for us to remember and proclaim these promises, especially when we are feeling far from God. Many times I've let my feelings get in the way of the truth of God's word. But, when we fill ourselves with His truth, the enemy's lies have no ground to stand.
We can trust our Father to be near always, even during the hard times.
We've been in Nashville for three months, but we've only been "on the ground" for a few weeks. We've been laying a foundation of prayer around the city for longer that I had planned.... but not longer than God had planned.
I want to give you some interesting facts about Nashville:
-13-15 mosques (depending where you draw the metro lines)
-Holds the largest Hindu Temple in Tennessee, along with 3 or 4 other temples
-9+ Buddhist temples
-A full scale replica of the Parthenon from ancient Athens, Greece with a 40+ ft statue covered in gold of Athena, Goddess of wisdom/war etc.
-14 metaphysical stores, also known as occult/pagan/witchcraft stores (to give you an idea, Houston metro has 7 million people and 9 metaphysical stores, Nashville has 1.7 million people and 14 stores) In fact, we ran into a witch casting spells at the capitol building during one of our prayer walks.
-Greek mythology is celebrated clearly through one of the city's nicknames, "The Athens of the South", to the football team, the Titans, and everywhere in between.
-The "heroes" of this town and state are men who brought slaves to build the first forts. They also wiped out the Native Americans that had lived here for centuries. The Trail of Tears you can actually walk on by the Cumberland river. Over 6000 died on that torturous trail. There's not even one reservation in Tennessee. The American Indians were all forced to go to Oklahoma.
-Slaves, hired by the government, built the capitol building, modeled after a Greek Ionic temple.
Lynchings were early in the state's history as well as Indian massacres.
-Besides Athena, the city literally raises up idols in the form of musicians.
I could seriously go on and on... But, I want to share another two nicknames of Nashville, "The Buckle of the Bible Belt," and "The Protestant Vatican."
Let that sink in for a little bit...
Are there Christians here? Absolutely. Are there Pharisees? Absolutely. Is there dead religion? Yes. Is there every form of evil? Yes. Is Nashville a very dark city? Undeniably, yes!
Is there a God who is bigger than all of it?? Praise the Lord, YES!!
Romans 5:20 says this, "But then Law came in, [only] to expand and increase the trespass [making it more apparent and exciting opposition]. But where sin increased and abounded, grace (God’s unmerited favor) has surpassed it and increased the more and superabounded,"
You see, where darkness seemingly reigns, God's grace has surpassed it!
Matthew 4:16, in referring to Isaiah 9, says, "“The people who were sitting in darkness saw a great Light,
And those who were sitting in the land and shadow of death, Upon them a Light dawned.”
And, in John 1:5, "The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it."
Jesus is the Light. In Romans 13:14, Paul says to "Put on Christ!" We must clothe ourselves with Jesus if we want to break through the darkness. We must abide in Him. We must rely on Him. For the sake of the many lost who don't know Him and don't understand Him.
I talked with one man here in Nashville whose daughters go to a local school in southern Nashville. There are people from 90 different countries in their school, speaking 100+ languages. NINETY! That is close to half of the nations in the world!
Then you have the Kurdish people. We are talking about a city with 600+ churches and a plethora of christian nonprofits, and yet, there are only two women missionally working full-time with Kurds. Two. Are you kidding me?? This is the largest population of Kurdish people in the U.S. They are the largest unreached people group in the world. There are more than 20k+ Kurdish living in the buckle of the bible belt with hundreds of churches surrounding them... and yet, the workers truly are few.
PLEASE... pray with us as the Lord commanded, Matthew 9:38, "therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”
He truly is near to us. If you would like more information about our work in Nashville, please contact us. We are praying for more workers, for protection from the enemy and so much more.
Blessings to you all!
Hi! We're the Hoeckles.
We're a family of six living full-time in a skoolie (aka a school bus converted into an RV). We are inviting you to join us as we live life to its fullest and empower others to do the same. Welcome to the family!