Who Will Go For Me?

(This is Part 5 and the final post of a weekly blog series I’m calling “Who Will Go?” about my journey of sharing the love of Jesus with the adult entertainment industry. You can read Part 4 here.)

The Father is yearning for people to know how loved they are. He is longing for them to know they were made for a purpose. That He dreamed them up and made them just how he wanted them to be. So many people came into the world innocently only to be born into families that were neglectful and abusive. The devil was working against them from even before they were born, trying to steal away their destiny. He lives to make sure they never know their true identity as beloved sons and daughters. It all seems so hopeless until you realize there’s just one missing link between them and knowing the truth:

Me.

You.

In Isaiah 6, we hear God asking, “Whom shall I send? Who will go for me?”

Who, indeed? 

Who of us is willing to be the Father’s heart and walk into the grime and the darkness with only the light of Christ inside us?

It is far more comfortable to write a check to someone else who is going after “the one”. But you and I have been saved and showered with the love of God for such a time as this. There are a whole lot of people in this world who are desperate to know true, real love. Not the world’s version which, at best, pales in comparison; or at worst, is counterfeit. They need the love of Jesus. The only way they will know the love of Jesus is through you and I setting aside our fears and stepping out of our comfort zones.

Many of us use our “comfort zone” as an excuse to live a life of limitations that God never intended.

Imagine a beautiful meadow filled with wildflowers and sunshine, and surrounded by breathtaking mountains in the distance. The air is sweet, and you can hear birds chirping and bees buzzing all around.  It’s springtime, so there are some trees in bloom and there’s a beautiful bubbling brook off in the distance.  The scenery, both near and far, is spectacular.  Now imagine that you are trapped inside a large cardboard box in the middle of that meadow. It is entirely closed and dark inside, except for a small slit cut into the side so that you can look out.  You can see only a tiny fraction of the beauty surrounding you.  Your perception of reality is skewed, because you cannot see the big picture.  Your experience of the beauty is tragically limited by being in the box. 

Now imagine the box is made of fear, and it’s called your Comfort Zone.  Fear tells you it will protect you if you stay in the box.  But it is a lie.  The box actually prevents you from fully experiencing all the beauty God has put in the world for you.

As a Christian mom in the suburbs, it would be easy to spend the rest of my life in my Comfort Zone and forget that there are people out there who are much like the wounded man lying on the side of the road in Jesus’ story. They need someone to look for them. They need someone to stop for them. They need someone to love them for who they are, not what they’ve done or haven’t done. They need someone who, like Jesus, is willing to leave the ninety-nine and go after the one. It could literally save their life.

After three years ministering in strip clubs, I am so grateful that I did not stay in my Comfort Zone. (I guarantee you there are no strip clubs in my Comfort Zone!) What God promised in Isaiah 45:2-3 is true: I did indeed find treasures in the darkness that I would not have discovered anywhere else. It was a surprise to feel the depth of the Father’s heart for every single person I’ve encountered. I grew in confidence as I experienced His grace and power in those places. I experienced protection, favor, and incredible joy in this ministry. I can now walk into demonic atmospheres but experience the reality of the atmosphere of heaven. I have felt God’s peace and presence just as strongly in the strip club as I have in church. He’s proven to me that He will go with me anywhere. That His peace is stronger than everything Hell has to offer. If I can learn to hear His voice in a place like that, I can hear it anywhere. He’s proven himself to me over and over again.

There’s no doubt this ministry has impacted me deeply.  But there are also countless stories of dancers, security, DJ’s, bartenders, and club owners who have been impacted, too.  I’ve heard stories of dancers who were planning to go home and hurt themselves, but a conversation with a team member changed their mind, because they realized they did have worth. Countless girls were living in abusive relationships, but we’ve been able to help them move to safety and start new lives. Many of the dancers have children, so when we help a dancer, we are helping an entire family.  Some of our dancers have put their faith in Jesus and He’s transformed their lives.  I could go on and on.

Strip club ministry is not for everyone. But we all have a “comfort zone”. There’s a huge world out there, beyond our Comfort Zone, that is full of people the Father is passionate about. People that Jesus died for, so they’d know His love. The world needs what these people carry. They reflect a unique aspect of the Father’s character that we won’t see the same way in anyone else. When these people have received love and find out their value and worth in the Father’s eyes, they will release something into the world that was previously impossible for them to release.

God told me a few months ago to step back from all the ministry I was involved in. That included strip club ministry. It was hard for me to let go, but I know His voice. I trust that He cares for these dear ones far more than I do and he continues to raise up more workers for the harvest. Will you go? Will you pray? Will you give?

Let’s not allow fear to keep us in the box any longer.  Let’s bust that thing open and see the world as it really is.  If we only ever receive the love of God, but don’t give it, we will become stagnant, like the Dead Sea: fresh water coming in, but none flowing out.  Our perception of reality becomes skewed and we do not experience the fullness of all God has to offer us.  And the world misses out on an opportunity to be loved by Jesus, through us.

Let’s bust out of our boxes that are made of fear and go be Jesus, with skin on.

For more information about the amazing ministry I was involved in, check out Xpose Hope. If you’d like breakthrough in your life in the area of fear or loving others, feel free to pray the prayer below. 

Dear Father,

Thank you for loving me before I even knew you. Thank you for loving me when I was at my worst. Thank you for pursuing me with your love. Oh Father, give me your love for the lost ones. I confess and repent of all those times I have allowed fear to keep me from extending your love to others. Thank you for your forgiveness, Lord. Thank you that you have not given me a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind. Please flood me with your perfect love, Father. Fill me up to overflowing. Show me how you want me to love others. I declare that fear will no longer dictate my decisions or keep me from loving well. Thank you, Father, that I am now motivated by your perfect love, which casts out my fear.

Father, if I have approached lost ones with any judgement or condemnation in my heart, please forgive me. I declare that it is your job to judge, not mine. Instead of a spirit of judgement, please fill me with a spirit of grace. Help me to see people as You see them, Father. Give me words of life to speak over people. I pray that when they encounter me, they will feel like they’ve encountered the love of God. I pray that my kindness will lead to their repentance.

Holy Spirit, please show me how I can love more like Jesus. Give me courage and boldness to obey your direction. Help me to follow you wherever you lead. Thank you that you will be with me wherever I go.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Published by Courtney

Courtney Goodwin is a woman on a mission: to live a life full of peace, joy, freedom, and hope, and then to release those things to others. She’s encountered the overwhelming love and supernatural power of Jesus, and she’s partnered with the Holy Spirit to to see freedom and healing in many areas of her life. She is currently writing a book about her testimony that is full of practical keys to help others experience supernatural transformation in their lives. Courtney loves to serve the body of Christ in a variety of roles and has been a worship leader for over twenty years. Courtney loves to co-create with Holy Spirit to write and release songs of worship and meditation. She has served as director of women’s ministries and pioneered new evangelistic ministries in her hometown of Oregon City, Oregon. She has a heart for seeing women and men freed from human trafficking, and has served in strip club ministry for the last three years. Courtney is a graduate of both the Oregon School of Supernatural Ministry and of Dr. Jennifer Miskov’s School of Revival, where she served on the leadership team.

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