The Battle is The Lord’s – Matt Sullivan

…and the whole world will know that there is a God is Israel. All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the LORD saves; for the battle is the LORD’s, and he will give all of you into our hands. 1 Samuel 17:46b-47

Truly it was an amazing weekend just last week April 1-3rd in Orlando! We had our 2nd annual Campus Conference for the Eastern USA campus ministries entitled “Fight To Win!” and it was flat out amazing…God is awesome! Represented at the conference were the campus ministries from New York, Syracuse, Washington DC, Houston, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Boston, Gainesville and Orlando! Friday morning we celebrated together at the Campus Minister/Intern Workshop as Richie McDonnell lit the fire to get the conference started with a stirring message called: “March Out Like a Champion”. Then later that night at the devotional 191 campus students and church leaders gathered to worship God and hear a powerful sermon delivered by Mike Patterson entitled: “Win the Prize!”. These men were used by God to set us up for a powerful and faith building weekend!

Matt&Cory

Matt & Helen Sullivan, and Cory & Geraldine Blackwell pose on the ‘“Court of Dreams’’ after the Amway service!

Saturday morning we gathered once again on the beautiful 60,000 student campus of UCF to hear our dear brother Cory Blackwell preach a life changing message, the best sermon all of us have ever heard Cory preach, on the sovereignty of God called “Wrestling with God”! Any doubter in the crowd could have come to faith as he shared humbly from his life and led us to understand how God’s plan is for us to obey, trusting in his plan, and then…only then will we be aligned with God’s will…thus finding the joy he has prepared for us. Cory challenged us to “wrestle with God, not against him” and how the story of Jacob is very complex yet understandable as this young man learned the will of God through struggling…literally wrestling with God! Jacob had to struggle and NOT give up all the while learning that God has supreme power plus power over all and that God governs God…you and I do not! We do not “give God input” and we were reminded that Satan does NOT have power over us because “all authority was given to Jesus”! Personally this sermon moved my heart to step further into the sovereignty of God and away from my “self-governing” heart!

 

Then later that evening Marcel and Tia Turner did a masterful job of preaching on the topic of: “The Victors Crown”. All were deeply moved by Marcel’s growth and his passion while Tia was humble, powerful and they both showed great maturity as they led us to seek the incorruptible crown! This amazing couple has transformed and continues to do so! We are so heartsick to send them to Gainesville yet so happy and confident they will powerfully lead our sister church just two hours north, to even greater heights. Then, with the help of Devon and Melina Hairston, we had a beautiful Campus Formal…wow, do we have some performers! There was singing, dancing and some cranking food!

Friday night campus devotional was a packed house with 191 in attendance!

Friday night campus devotional was a packed house with 191 in attendance!

Then to close out one of the greatest weekends and victories of my life, we then met for church at the Amway Center…at center court. We were given permission to hold service on the floor, becoming the first church to ever meet on the “Court of Dreams” (according to the Amway Center staff). It was very special to have Cory and Jee Blackwell there with us and to have Cory speak right there on the floor was so inspiring. For me…it was an older man getting a dream come true! I prayed for this 3 1/2 years ago as we first drove into Orlando…to hold a worship service at the Amway Center for God’s glory…what a privilege and honor and what a fun time! Included at the end of the article is the link to the video of the final day of the conference so you can see a glimpse of what our God did for us. We were able to meet in the Amway Center, the home of the Orlando Magic, which seats close to 18,000! We had coordinated with the City of Orlando, the Amway Center and the Magic to have the service projected on the Jumbo-Tron by their A/V department and it made things even more excellent! They provided microphones and an entire sound system (Amway Center style) that made us sound over the top awesome! Special thanks to Adrian Jimenez who powerfully led the song leaders and the band. They then closed out the service after my brief yet “exciting for me answered dream” sermon called “Fight to Win”…with a song Adrian wrote entitled Fight to Win in honor of the conference. Some of the words are:

 

I was lost in my sin and I couldn’t be found
‘til The Lord came in and He pulled me out

I learned how to pray and to love The Word
And I share with the earth just what I’ve heard

Now I know where to go and where I’ve been
So I lift up my hands and I fight to win

Then I went out to preach and share my faith
And I didn’t know the devil was on his way

I took up my cross and my sword and shield
So I could guard my soul on the battlefield

Then he clawed and he gnawed and he tried to bite
But I’ll never give up until I win the fight!

The campus conference closed with an incredible win in the Orlando Magic vs. Memphis Grizzlies game!

The campus conference closed with an incredible win in the Orlando Magic vs. Memphis Grizzlies game!

Later that night, after having sold 300 tickets, we all got to go and see the Magic “fight to win” against the Memphis Grizzlies and that was a blast AS THEY WON 119 to 107! Amazingly, as we had the final event, a raffle for five random people to win the right to go on the floor before the game and give Hi-5’s to the Orlando Magic players as they entered the floor…and four sisters plus “yours truly” won the raffle! What great fun and a memory to be able to do that! Thank you to all the church leaders in the Eastern USA, the humble servants who poured themselves out and those who shared in my dream to make all this happen. Thanks especially to Mike and Chenelle Patterson whose dream came true to have a campus conference like this and to Marcel and Tia Turner who about killed themselves serving and working behind the scenes to make it all possible. So many more thanks are due…love all of you so much! Bottom line we did all that to do our part to let the whole world know that there is a God is Orlando!

Watch highlights from the “Pure Magic” service here!

He stoops down to make us great,

Matt Sullivan