Pastor Lucas Connell
a reflection by Tyler Pieper
Lucas has a way of making sure you understand that the gospel, the entirety of this Jesus thing, really is for every soul. The truth remains: belonging is for everybody, and he wants you to believe that.
He’s seen it all, and because he’s seen so much, there lies an authority over his life to pursue freedom [ relatively ] unafraid. But not just freedom for his own life, something that he continually finds more and more of, but finding and claiming freedom in the lives of others.
I’ll let Pastor Lucas tell you his own testimony at the link below (a wild and intense journey filled with radical love and a beautiful Australian accent), but within lies an undeniable ability to paint a very complicated picture in a very simple light: freedom is ours, and we have the authority to claim it.
Our 5:00 PM service was reserved for just that, freedom and deliverance. Nearly one hundred people were drawn forward during an altar call by one simple question: Do you live with excess noise in your head?
I love the humanizing nature of this question. It covers it all, bonding a church family embracing liberation together. Addiction. Self-hatred. Lust. Idolatry - all things that aren’t supposed to have free-reign in our minds. This is excess noise.
I readily but reluctantly came forward, unsure of what would unfold but not without a desired outcome in mind. My personal noise: I struggle with binge-eating and food addiction, something that’s seen me fluctuate the scale one-hundred pounds heavier and back again. It’s been incessant since I was a teenager, and the funny thing is, I thought I’d done the heart work to find the trigger… but relief never came.
As Lucas lead us through prayer for any unrepented sin and asked us to allow God to pinpoint the noise, a picture of my mom’s face appeared in my mind. She was angelic, glowing, and no joke - hair blowing in the wind. I was brought to tears only because I realized lately that I miss her, having passed away just ten months ago. I was initially confused. She had nothing to do with why I came forward (or so I thought). I don’t find it inappropriate to say my mom put us through hell with her alcoholism, her ultimate demise, but the Holy Spirit needed to point out something very important to me. As this image of my mom continued to play through my head, I heard in my heart:
I cut to some consciousness, confused by remembering how I’d already dealt with the animosity I often held toward her. This work was not new to me, I left her house at fifteen and began my healing journey even then. So we pressed in a little deeper with Pastor Lucas, and as he encouraged us to hear more of what God was saying, I was undone by what came next:
My mind was blown, brought back to distinctive memories of raiding my dad’s cupboards the moment I moved in, and here’s what I’ve learned: everything we go through has a way of one day coming around to make a lot of sense, and often a lot more sense then we thought it ever would. Freedom in this for me looks a lot like being able to identify where this need to binge comes from. If I don’t make an effort to live consciously about what I know to be true, then I will find myself at the same altar trying to lay down the very thing I’ve already been given freedom for. Freedom is in the revelation of truth.
Freedom, though ours in full, is best embraced hand-in-hand in our daily lives. I may continue to desire food the way I have because I’ve trained my body to abuse it, but now knowing that I completely disagree with the reason why will be the balm to my soul.
Let the healing begin!
In this life-changing message our Special Guest, Pastor Lucas Connell, shares his powerful testimony of miraculous healing, and challenges each of us to be faithful with the people in our lives by making room for them at the table in God's kingdom!