I want to start by saying that there have been happily, a plethora of articles and video interviews recently of The Chosen TV series based on the Gospels. It was live streamed on You Tube by Creator and Director Dallas Jenkins, to first get the message out about the series, launching it just prior to the Passover and Easter season. It was perfect that we were all “shut in”, due to the start of the pandemic. God had this all planned out swimmingly to make it happen, and providentially gave Dallas the “idea” to stream it live for everyone.
I also wanted to take a bit of a different approach on the series, from the perspective of the journey the Lord has had me on, and what I recently found out from the testimonies of Dallas Jenkins and Jonathan Roumie, the actor that portrays Jesus in the hit series. Two words kept coming up and matching what I have been going through, and I suspect, many others out there, that God is presently working on in their individual lives—obedience and surrender. I feel like it was those two words that made this series possible, and I know it is making all the changes in my life for the better. Here is a bit of my testimony so far, and also what I have learned about Dallas and Jonathan as well.
It was a little over a year into my Faith walk Journey with the Lord when I felt the burden to pray for something that would stir the hearts of the people. I was getting introduced to many sermons, songs, and books on obedience, walking by faith and not by sight, etc. They were definitely doing a work in me, and I was sensing more and more that surrendering all to the Lord back in December, 2016 was the right thing to do. I was “getting used to different”, meaning it was no longer my will, but God’s will and His way. It was scary at first, but after hearing the Holy Spirit lovingly tell me back then that I was “half-heartedly” serving Him for all those years up to that point, I cried until my chest hurt with a pain I have never felt before.
I thought I was serving Him, but as He explained what His plan and purpose was for my life—the gifts He instilled in me that were there, like singing, being a musician, and writing, but not being used; the relationship issues that continually went on because I didn’t trust Him enough to choose “that man” for me; not tithing as I should have been when I actually had a paycheck TO tithe. He wanted me to surrender it ALL that night in December , and I finally gave in. I said, “Yes, take it all, do what You want with me; You know best, and I’m sorry for not trusting You beforehand. I trusted You with my very soul for salvation—how could I not have trusted you for a spouse, my future, my finances, etc.?” I finally let go, and let Him lead me. He then said, “Good; I can finally take you off the shelf, and begin to use you again. We’re picking up where we left off.” There was a difference of 30+ years there, nevertheless, He was ready to re-start my life as I waited on Him, and still am, for all those things near and dear to my heart.
My life has not been the same; I’ve been living step-by-step, day-by-day as HE has willed for me to live a life of total surrendered faith. He has been faithful 100 percent of the time in all that I’ve needed. I’ve had all my necessary bills paid, food on the table and clothes on my back, and then some! You can read more about me if you’d like in my other blog posts, but this particular post is not about just where my faith walk is taking me ever since I surrendered myself over to the Lord; He still has my destiny “under construction”. I’m still in the “before” stage. Let’s concentrate now on what the “after” stage looks like when a person does surrender everything over, walks in obedience, and then finally gets to see the manifestation of that, when they allowed God to do what seemed impossible to them, but was possible for Him.
Going back to all the resources I had working for me to bring my relationship closer to the Lord, I wanted to pray for something to capture the hearts of millions, and turn them over to Christ. I remember the faces of the people in the theaters AFTER seeing “The Passion of the Christ”—they were NOT the same people when they left the theatre that day. Remembering that event, that’s what I wanted to see on a much bigger scale— something that was going to make such an impact that lives would not just be emotionally moved for a while, and then life would go back to normal. It had to be a total life transformation, but what could God do that people would relate to, that will MAKE them want to know Jesus, come to a saving knowledge of Him, pick their Bibles and actually read them? How was God going to pull this off in the 21st century, when this world seemingly couldn’t care less about the very Savior who made it??
Enter The Chosen TV series, that Creator and Director Dallas Jenkins had on his heart to do, once he surrendered everything over to the Lord when a movie (“The Resurrection of Gavin Stone”) that he thought was going to make it big in the theaters, flopped, back in 2017. He thought for sure that God was going to open up doors for him with that, but what God ended up doing to Dallas, sounded the same as what I went through and someone else from The Chosen—He brought him to the point of surrender. Dallas had to lay it all down at the Lord’s feet, and allow Him to do whatever He saw fit, no matter what the outcome was going to be. Dallas and his wife Amanda knew that giving it all to God was what needed to be done, and whatever direction He led them in, was the one path they needed to take.
I’ll let you read or watch about Dallas’ testimony on just how The Chosen came to be born and then fruition. But what I want to stress here is that it happened BECAUSE Dallas surrendered all he had, and allowed the Lord to make the decisions, and put him on the path he needed to walk, in order to make The Chosen what it is today. What God wanted Dallas and Amanda to do, is trust in Him, let HIM “feed the 5,000” and just concentrate on bringing the “loaves and the fish”. It was going to take a whole lot of faith, and at this point in Dallas’ career, a huge miracle, but God was faithful and was about to deliver such a thing unto him.
Within the next several months, Dallas made a short film around Christmas time intended only for his church called “The Shepherd”. He didn’t know it at the time, but that was the “birth” of what was to become the pilot of The Chosen series today. The money that was raised and invested into the series has become the biggest crowd-funded project ever, breaking every record out there. But remember, if Dallas did NOT surrender everything over to God, this may not have had the impact it is had on millions of people by this point. He learned how the Lord was excellent at doing “impossible math” and has now experienced how He has multiplied that many times over.
Another story of surrender that I want to include here, is about the actor who portrays Jesus, Jonathan Roumie. Jonathan has been an experienced actor, director, producer, voice over artist, and a pretty darn good drummer, if you ask me. Again, I’m not going to go into every detail—you can also watch You Tube videos and read many wonderful articles about him online. What I want to concentrate on is how the Lord was also getting Jonathan to the point of surrender in his life, because as you can see by the obvious pattern here in this blog’s story, the Lord was busy putting certain pieces of The Chosen “puzzle” together, and Jonathan was going to be one of them.
Jonathan worked already with Dallas back in 2014 in the role of Jesus in “The Two Thieves”, and also worked on a couple other minor projects with him. In the meantime, Jonathan was getting work here and there in Hollywood, and his spiritual life, albeit good with the Lord, was going to also go under some major “faith construction”. The Lord was bringing Jonathan to that ultimate point of surrender, just around the time Dallas was starting to have things fall into place with his ideas for the tv series, after his Christmas film went viral.
Now up to this point, Jonathan has had a few of what I’ve learn to call, “God Winks” himself. The picture of the Orthodox Icon of the Divine Mercy that “just so happened” to show up at his door one day back in 2003, after he thought to himself if such a thing even existed, he would like to have one. Right there that made Jonathan realize that God was listening to him. Years later, just as the Lord was bringing Dallas to a giant leap of faith where he needed to be to start this Chosen TV series project, around May of 2018, Jonathan’s faith was being tested like never before, and the Lord brought him to the end of himself, where surrender was the only option if he wanted to stay within the Father’s will for his life. His career, finances, etc. was in the balance. As Jonathan was doing all that he could do in his own strength, he started asking God if this was where He wanted him to be. If it was, then fine; if not, to show and tell Jonathan exactly what He wanted him to do. Silence was the answer for a while, and that didn’t sit well with him.
Right when Jonathan was at his most desperate point—not being able to pay bills, no doors of work opportunities opening up, etc., he finally told the Lord one day that he was handing it all over to Him, and that He couldn’t do any more than he already has, and surrendering it all over to God seemed like the only right thing to do. Sounds familiar, huh? Check out episode four and see what Simon goes through and how the Lord brings him to his point of surrender and obedience.
That very day, Jonathan received a few checks in the mail, which ended up paying for all those bills that he was unable to pay. That was not just a coincidence, Jonathan realized—it was the answer to the prayer of surrender he made to God. That was what the Lord was waiting for all along—for Jonathan to allow HIM to make the decisions in his life. It was a few months later, when Jonathan heard from Dallas about The Chosen series project and how he wanted him to play the part of Jesus. The rest is history, and Jonathan’s faith has increased exponentially in the last couple of years because of surrendering all to the Lord Jesus Christ.
What I want you to glean from this blog article, is how a person, who already has a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, is brought to the end of themselves, even though they have been believers most of their lives. But God has a purpose and a plan for all of us, and He wants us to have the best, and be the best for Him, and His glory. That way, many others are brought into the Kingdom of God through the sacrifice of obedience and surrender to Him. It really is a win-win situation when you think about it. People get saved, come to a relationship with the Lord Jesus, the Family of God gets even larger, and spans across the world, even into the doctrinal differences that the enemy has tried so hard to divide us by. But God sovereignly wins in the end; His will be done, even if some don’t totally surrender to Him. Thankfully, I’ve learned my lesson, albeit the hard way, and Dallas and Jonathan are now not only more fully aware of the individual purposes God has ordained for their lives, but they are also a part of the first-ever and greatest Bible TV series, that’s 100% crowd funded. Only God can pull that off. I myself am but a tiny part of it all—an avid lover and watcher of the series, and now an admin on The Chosen Prayer Warriors page, and that was also all God’s doing and within His perfect timing. I am so grateful to be along for this awesome adventure!
I pray that you have been encouraged by what you have read here today, and it challenges you, the reader, as well. To learn more about Dallas Jenkins, Jonathan Roumie, and the rest of The Chosen Series cast, you can find them either on Facebook, Instagram, or You Tube, and subscribe to see all the videos of The Chosen, or you can download the app which is http://www.thechosen.tv/app. Right now, all eight episodes of the series are able to be seen for free, thanks to the generous support of every single person who is paying it forward, to see the success of this TV series reach millions for Christ. You can also help pay it forward by getting some of the awesome merchandise which includes the DVD and different apparel. You can find that at http://www.thechosenmerch.com.
I pray that you were blessed by reading all the testimonies. I’m sure there are more than just these, and as God continues to do a work with the series, there will be plenty more from Him! May God bless all who are involved in The Chosen series, and may we continue to surrender our lives over to the Lord God, and see how much more He will do when a person gives their lives wholeheartedly over to Him. Be blessed.