I’ve enjoyed being a lot of things in my life, but “free” is certainly at the top of the list for me. Even though I smile the smile that the Lord has given me, I also carry an unexplainable burden that baffles me at times.
I’m not saying that I don’t enjoy the call of being an ambassador for Christ my King, but I will tell you that it’s not something that I always wanted to be. To answer the question of, “Then why do it?” I would simply refer back to something I once heard Chuck Swindoll say, “If you can be happy doing anything else then go do that, but if you can’t, then son - you’ve been called.”
For quite some time I struggled with what “called” really meant. Does it mean for us to quit our jobs and enroll in seminary? Well, for some it may. What about going abroad as a missionary in a foreign land? Well, that may be true for some as well. Let’s just say that over the years I have come to know and understand that the calling is different for everyone, and I can’t help but smile when I see someone walking in theirs.
Like I told you earlier, there is this burden that baffles me at times, but truly I wouldn’t have it any other way. You see, when I entered into this beautiful relationship with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, I wanted to learn all about Him. As I discovered His word, I found myself drawn in more and more. One of the earliest passages that stood out to me was in the last chapter of the book of Acts. In verses 23 and 24, it states that the Apostle Paul spoke from morning to evening telling people about Jesus. Afterwards, some believed and some didn’t. My question: “Why would they not believe him?”
Well, needless to say, I no longer have that question. Some are just not going to believe, but for those that will, I go. I simply understand that I am to continue sowing these seeds of the gospel until I am called home. Without question, I still ponder why any of us would want to live a life without Christ, until I am reminded of my own past.
I was born in Houston, Texas, but grew up in Beaumont and Kirbyville, Texas. My time in Beaumont lasted until the end of the third grade. From the fourth grade until high school graduation, I spent my time in Kirbyville. Though I considered it nothing special at the time, I surely miss those times today.
Some of the fondest of memories for me were made with my family. Hanging out at Lake Sam Rayburn after church, or driving to Galveston Island for the week, were among my favorites. You will never hear me tell others that I had a rough childhood. I came up in a loving home.
The problem is, like many others, I wanted a taste of the world and what it had to offer. Alcohol was the poison that I picked to provide me with a desired escape from life and its realities. What started off as fun and harmless led me to a life filled with self-inflicted pain and hardship. I love to share with the youth that we don’t all escape the corrupt life so easily. I was in my early thirties before I fully surrendered.
The Seasons of Life
I would love to bypass this part, but I know the importance of the truth in testimony. My love for alcohol truly delivered what I had no idea I was looking for - a life filled with the consequences of being a drunk.
My first DUI offense was recorded when I was 19 years old, serving in the US Navy. Two to three years later I managed to pick up two more. I would love to tell you that I learned my lesson, but not so, until after the fifth one.
Marriage was no different for me in my youth. I failed greatly in that as well, racking up divorce twice. When I actually did meet the one for me, I almost messed that up as well due to the fear of failing. She was and still is special, for her beauty was radiating from within. Even though she was awesome, I nearly found a way to lose her.
As you read this today, you may or may not be aware of the fact that we can only run for so long on our own strength. Sooner or later, we all grow weary. I sometimes laugh, though it’s not really funny, at the mere fact that some really have the, “yeah, but not me” belief in their hearts. I surely pray that the Lord guide your fall today.
For me, it was the hot summer month of July in 2002. In what was supposed to be a party and celebration of independence, turned out to be a freedom parade for one. What I didn’t know then was that the angels of heaven rejoiced over me that day.
A life of struggle had come to an end. Tired, ashamed, guilty, and heavy-laden with hopelessness, I cried out to God for help. I really didn’t have any understanding of what it all meant; all I knew was that I was tired of living this way. Even though I came up in church with my dear mother, I had absolutely no relationship with Christ.
Growing up through the years, I heard all about what Jesus could do for me in life. But more importantly, I was told that I needed Jesus. I don’t know if it was just pride or a rebellious spirit, but I surely didn’t want to prove anyone else to be right. We often hear how hindsight is 20/20, but today I have a great understanding of that statement, for I wish that I would have surrendered so long ago. Thank you, Lord, for Your unrelenting love and pursuit of Your very own.
Much is Required
After surrendering my life to the Lord, I still had many questions, like, “what next?” I must admit that it’s easy to read all about Jesus and be thankful for what He has done. However, trusting in the Lord is definitely something new for all of us that have done it our way for so many years.
The very first test for me was in my marriage, for when things weren’t going so great I wanted to return to the only thing I knew - divorce. I thank the Lord that He showed me how to trust Him; furthermore, He increased my faith in following Him. Our marriage is a testimony to what God can do in anyone’s life.
We have seven children, and every one of them have their own personalities and their own little issues. We have learned to trust the Lord with some of the most difficult situations when it comes to these little people. I must tell you that it’s never been so easy, but so well worth it.
I want people to know that it’s not going to be easy in following the Lord because we as a people have our own way in mind. Submitting to God is a life-long process, and we are all learning along the way.
An Undeniable Compassion
In time, I have given careful consideration for where the Lord would have me to be. You see, I once thought about making my way to the pulpit. I thought that maybe the Lord was calling me into that type of ministry, but something happened along the way. God kept bringing people to me in my natural course of my work day.
By trade, I’m a real estate investor. I buy houses that are run down and need a lot of work, fix them up, and put them back out on the market. It actually used to bother me when people would say, “oh you’re one of them.” However, in time I learned that it was because they never even came close to doing what I was doing.
To this day, I can’t thank the Lord enough for putting me together with so many people. I have so many people that I spent time with and had the chance to pray with. It wasn’t just the sellers but the contractors who came around asking questions about faith. We are all “called” to a different spot in the vineyard, but the Lord surely revealed it to me to “seek not position, but fulfill the purpose.”
The Lord has filled my cup with an overflowing abundance of His love and my calling is to lift others up, embrace, and encourage them. My aim is to point you in the direction of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
My name is Jake Enriquez, and I am unashamed of the gospel. Press & Reach was founded with the purpose of helping others to walk out their faith, to know that they are not alone, and to build community along the way. With all the media pouring their efforts into negativity and dismay, we want to keep you focused on the Good News by showing you what God is still doing out here.
I have an unrelenting desire to help you share your message about what God has done in your life. We stay focused on the good news, for the scripture says that if He is lifted from all of the earth, He will draw all people unto Himself. Once in His finished work, now in our daily walk!
In His Love,
Born in 1966 while my dad was in the U.S. Army. We moved around a bit til we landed in Kirbyville, TX, a place I call my home town. After graduating high school and serving in the Marines for four years, I moved back to Kirbyville for a few months trying to figure things out. I was moved by the ocean when I was serving in Japan so I chose a career in commercial diving which led to underwater robotics. My career led me to many travels around the world while highly compensated. This led me in a life all about me, till............ God, of whom I knew but did not know, came asking for my mother right before me. Getting into real estate was a result of buying another house to be close to my mother. After the Good Lord took my mother and asked me to follow Him, I did. I kept all the good experiences from my past and left the rest. Real estate came natural to me and so I chose this direction as my new career, but I now know from personal experience, God comes first in my life. I went from a life all about me to a life of serving, I may slip and fall at times but I get back up and Press on through and keep Reaching for what lies ahead. I am happily married to the woman that God brought into my life, Julie.
PressandReach.com was founded by two brothers Jake and Gerald Enriquez. Going into business as real estate investors, they quickly found themselves discovering the world of business as it pertains to faith, morals and values. Unfortunately, many business's look at their potential clients as statistics and doing what they have to do to get the sale, even if it means compromising their beliefs. It has been said that it takes this mentality to succeed in business. Luckily Jake and Gerald have encountered individuals as well as business's that do not give in to this misconception of compromising our beliefs. This website is formed to show and share with others what can be done by embracing rather than compromising. For more information about the founders, please visit the About Page.