Allen Jackson, lead pastor at World Outreach Church—a 15,000-member church located in Nashville, Tennessee—recently recalled how an incredible miracle transformed his family's faith.
In a recent interview with The Pure Flix Podcast, Jackson, author of the new book, Intentional Faith: Aligning Your Life with the Heart of God, recounted his upbringing and how his family found Christ many years ago through his mother's cancer diagnosis.
As the family departed for testing at the Mayo Clinic one day, his mom made the decision to turn to God. Jackson explained, "She prayed a little prayer to 'let me know the truth so I can tell my children.'"
And what happened next was absolutely incredible: The cancer disappeared and her family learned the truth.
"They got [to the doctor] and they couldn't find the tumors," Jackson said.
Listen to more of Jackson's incredible story:
It was that prayer and an act of reliance that changed everything. And then his mom was washing dishes after her healing and she heard a voice that said, "You asked to know the truth before you died." The voice continued: "I am the way, the truth and the light."
Jackson said his mother then went to the Bible and found that verse in John and learned what the gospel truly means. That experience transformed Jackson's life, though he said he was still distant from church afterward because he found it stuffy and formal.
"I didn't like ministers," he recalled. "This was 40 years ago when pastors wore black robes and were always serious and I liked to laugh and I thought, I can't do that."
But it was in his junior year of college when his ticket to medical school was all but sealed that he felt a small nudge from God. He cautiously listened and took steps toward ministry.
Years later, the results blossomed into the 15,000-member congregation at World Outreach Church in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.
"Up until that point I wanted God to do my will. I didn't want to be blatantly immoral, but I wanted God to be busy fulfilling my dream," he said. "So I was cautious and I said, 'God, I'll do your will' and I didn't know what that meant because I was forfeiting control and it felt like I was stepping into the darkness."
Jackson continued, "And what I found out was that I can be as intentional in following God as I had been intentional at finding a medical diagnosis."
His new book, Intentional Faith: Aligning Your Life with the Heart of God, outlines his 100-day plan to live more intentionally for God and will reignite your faith no matter where a person is in his or her journey.
"We all know the right thing but want the simple path," he said. "I don't think sitting in church on Sunday makes you a Christ follower—so what do we do with faith? Read your Bible, not randomly or casually. Systematically and intentionally, 15 minutes a day, you can read through the entire Bible in a year. And that's if you read slowly."
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