While the world is striving to attain perfection, I realize the only perfect One took my place, as a perfect sacrifice, on a cross. Through Him my weaknesses are made strong. I'm not afraid to be different, because I AM different. I'm a child of The Most High. I can be imperfect because I am loved by a Perfect God.

Praying for Direction. Lift by Prayer. Working for Peace. Labor by Power. Driven by Love. Love by Patience. Living by Faith. Live by Presence. Held by Hope. Learn by Faith.

Friday, June 18, 2010

It's All About A God Experience

Sunday Aaron and I went to Starbucks for a little date. Apparently I wear a sign above my head that says "TALK TO ME!!!" It seems everywhere I go, random people are talking to me. I guess I'm part of the problem because I talk back :) lol Anyway There were these two older men and one was staring at me, I told Aaron because I was slightly creeped out. They ended up moving closer to where we were sitting, when he got up one of the men started talking to me, so I was being polite, Aaron came back and the conversation ended. Then he got up again to get a very yummy spinach wrap (seriously, go try them!!) And the man asked me what church I went to, so I told him where it was and how we had just moved...blah blah blah typical "easy" conversation. The man with him kept nodding his head to agree and how our church was close to where he lives etc. Somehow, somewhere along the lines, the conversation shifted. The man (who I later learned was named Greg) said there is not much time left. I agreed and told him I don't understand how people can even second guess that with everything going on in the world today.

As it turns out, Greg was at his end, he was seriously contemplating suicide, his life had been terrible, his brother had taken drugs, wrapped himself up in toilet paper and set himself on fire. Greg knew his fate was going to be that of the same, he had a child who was growing up in a broken home, living out of his car, and just done with life. The day Greg planned to end his life was the day he happened to meet someone who told him the answer he was looking for was not the world he was searching in, it was found in a book.

As Greg and I talked about it beginning with God's love, Then His mercy, His Grace, His unending forgiveness, then coming back around to complete the full circle of His love. I was able to share....not just stories...not just things I've heard of...not things people read about...but my experiences. An experience, not just found in Africa, or in a third world country, or on the mission field, or just at bible school, an experience that happened within the year...in our hometown. I told Greg about our "Forty Days of Fire" and Fasting and Praying. Then I was able to share how we, as christians were able to get past being "robotic christians" knowing when to clap our hands and when to say amen. We were able to get ourselves out of the way...enough that God could step in and say "let me give you a taste of what I can do, what I have in store for you" In that service, the Power of God was so strong, so thick people were simply lost in His presence.

I told Greg about John being healed of colon cancer, and how we baptize the bible way:submersion and a lady's knees being healed when she came up out of the water. He was in awe. He agreed when I told him people are sick of "christianity" and "religion". People today don't go to church and don't believe in God, because there are so many 'christians' who claim to know Jesus with their lips, then walk out the door and completely deny Him by their lifestyle. It wasn't until later, I was thinking about the conversation and thinking about that God experience that I remembered a God experience I had read about in a book called The God Chasers. It was on a sunday morning::of all times, and the people were so hungry to have a God experience. The praise singers could not sing, the musicians could not play, the preacher could not preach. People were coming in off the street, needing to repent, barely making it through the doors.

As a church, I don't think it's time we 'settle' for what we have experienced. There is so much more in store for us. I watched a video called A Call to Anguish by David Wilkerson, (I'll post the link at the bottom of this note) it's really got me thinking. You can have concern for something which means you think about it for a little bit, or you can have anguish for something, which means you are consumed. As a sunday school teacher you intercede on behalf of the kids who are not being able to come to sunday school to hear about God's love.

"We don't understand revival; in fact, we don't even have the slightest concept of what true revival is. For generations we have thought of revival in terms of a banner across the road or over a church entryway. We think revival means a silver-tongued preacher, some good music, and a few folks who decide they're going to join the church. No! Real revival is when people are eating at a restaurant or walking through the mall when they suddenly begin to weep and turn to their friends and say, "I don't know what's wrong with me, but I know I've got to get right with God."

Real revival is when the most "difficult" and unreachable person you know comes to Jesus against all odds and possibilities. Frankly, the main reason such people aren't reached any other time is because they are seeing too little of God and too much of man. We've tried to cram doctrine down people's throats, and we've printed enough tracts to paper the walls of entire buildings. I thank God for every person reached by a gospel tract, but people don't want doctrine, they don't want tracts, and they don't want our feeble arguments; they just want HIM! (When will we learn that if people can be argued into the faith, then they can just as easily be argued out of it as well?)

People may be attracted by our great music for a while, but it will only keep them interested as long as the music is good. We must not compete with the world in areas where they are as competent (or better than) us. They can't compete with God's presence. I can tell you a secret right now if you promise to tell someone else. Do you want to know when people will start coming inside the confines of your local church building? They will come as soon as they hear that the presence of God is in the place. It's time to rediscover the power of the manifest presence of God.

God is looking for enough hungry people to receive HIS presence. When HE comes, you won't need any advertisements in the newspaper, or on radio or television. All you need is God, and people will come from far and near on any given night! I'm not talking about theory or fiction-it is already happening. It all begins with the prayer of the hungry.

I don’t have the terminology to describe what God is about to do. How do you describe a “tsunami”? How do you describe a tidal wave? The biblical model I dream of seeing is God’s dealings with the city of Ninevah. I want to see a wave of God sweep through a city, pushing before it all of man’s arrogance while leaving behind it nothing but a trail of broken repentance. I’m hungry for revival like we see in Jonah’s description of citywide repentance and fasting in Ninevah.”

Come on people – let’s be hungry! Let’s step out of our comfort zones and
“press on towards the goal, to win the prize for which God has called me heavenwards in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:14

“Do you not know that those who run in a race all run! But only one receives the prize! Run in such a way you may obtain it.” 1 Corinthians 9:24

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