Saturday, October 30, 2010

Let's Have A Revival!

"Let's have a revival! From the pulpit to the pew!" These are some words to an old charismatic Christian song that I heard many years ago. Recently, my husband and I went on a trip to Florida in order to follow the Lord's leading for service. We returned home somewhat spiritually stunned.

Long ago we had committed our life to Jesus for service in whichever way that He saw fit. I think many Christians go through this ritual especially in the first season of becoming a Christian. New Christians are all zealous and excited about the Lord. Then after awhile life sets in and things tend to get busy, right? Everybody is saying that around me right now. "I'm so busy. I'm sorry I didn't call you. I'm so Busy. I'm sorry I can't go to that function. I'm so busy." Right. I was saying those words before we left for Florida. When I said them I had the faintest sense that my busieness was somehow self-inflicted. Was it busieness or confusion? Well anyway, the point is my family and I had become busy. Then God impressed upon both my husband and I that we were to go to Florida, in faith to see what He had for us there. Our zeal is definately not what it used to be. In the early days we would have bought plane tickets and left without a care in the world. Without a's that? It seemed we found our faith lacking when it actually came down to moving out in faith to actually serve the Lord. We were tempted with all kinds of fears. Money, money, money, you know of which the biggest was money. Our financial plan for going fell through and so then I had an excuse to say "God must not be blessing this trip". Oh, I feared what would happen to my children, their school schedule, their eating habits, their personal care. I know, neurotic right? Well, I'm very good at avoidance. I feared leaving our home, our neighborhood, our church, our friends. There were so many excuses and temptations to stay that it became overwhelming. Then the temptation came, "Your children will forget you. Their bond with you will be broken and never to be repaired!" That one struck the heart of my passion. But there was also this whisper way back in my soul that said, "Don't worry. I will take care of you and I will sustain them... I'm in charge...Don't give in to temptation...Do those words comfort you or make you afraid? Fear-That's not Me!...I will provide...My hand is open...I will hold-up the bond between you..." I literally fought through this wild jungle of emotions and fears and made it to the day to leave. There was a confidence that existed along side all of that fear. I clung to that and used it to propel myself forward in obedience to what I knew God wanted us to do. God provided a family to come and stay with our children at our home for a whole week. We said our good-byes and left. My stomach turned in knots as we pulled away.

I had strange ideas of the world I had not seen. We drove straight south through the country and I was surprised the entire way. I thought that other people lived very different to us and in some ways they do but in many ways we are very much the same. As we went through city and town after city and town I realized that where we live is very sheltered and very rich. I saw so much poverty. I saw such a wide distinction between the city life and the country life which in my view compromises most of our country. I always thought I was behind in education, trend and lifestyle. I recognized that I had been judging myself much too harshly. What we see on TV is very much a created reality. I knew this but now I truly know this. So fear followed us the entire way. It seemed it endeavored to be our companion for the trip. So silly as I look back but, we were moving forward into uncharted territory for us. We had no clue what we would experience next and we had to trust that God would meet all our needs no matter what happened.

We made it to Orlando. Then we decided to go further, Cocoa Beach! We had never seen the ocean. We drove out to Cape Canaveral to the beach. My stomach tightened as we approached the stairs to access the beach. I had waited a lifetime to see this. Up we stepped and there it was. We stopped. We inhaled and held it. Heaven and earth came togethor. It was amazing. The roar of the tide. The spray of the sand. The crunch of the broken shells under our feet. Little birds being chased in by the tide and then chasing the tide out. It was truly amazing. I said to myself, "how can anyone deny there is a creator after seeing this?" We spent half the day there picking shells, walking, swimming, laughing and taking pictures. It was life changing.

Back to Orlando we went to make it to our conference. We spent the next few days with a group of people who also had been called by God to open a treatment facility and others who had been called into various ministeries to help hurting people. These people loved us like family, better than family. The prayed for us, over us and with us. The prophesied to us. We ate with them and listened to their stories of how God has sustained the House of Hope. We listened to testimonies from kids who were admitted to the House of Hope. They told us one after another how the love of Jesus is changing their lives. It felt like they were peeling away the hardness of the world each and every hour we were there. There was an annointing ceremony the day we left. Sara Trollinger, the founder, annointed us with oil and prayed for us. She prayed for any need we had. It was an amazing time. We received a prophetic message in reguards to our ministery and personal lives and then we left. We left with full bellies. Full of spiritual food.

We drove straight through to get home but it seemed short after all we'd received. My husband and I have been so burdened now that we are home. We came back to our life and it seemed our eyes were seeing things and our hearts were experiencing things that were not so evident before or that we easily ignored before. The question remains, Where is God in all this? Where is the Holy Spirit in all of our busieness? I feel such a hunger to be alone with the Lord now. I feel drawn away from the chaos of structure and schedules and tasks. All this control...why do we have so much control over the structure of our lives? I know we need structure to be obedient and meet goals but when structure and ritual organize and order God right out we need to cast off the bondage of structure and ritual and re-evaluate its right place. We need time, quiet time to just sit quietly, alone and listen. I have found that I am not as busy as I want to think. Really when I say I'm busy I am saying, I did not want to make time for that. I wanted to do this instead. Now when people say to me they were so busy that relationship, fellowship, worship, was put on the back burner I know that chaos has entered the picture. Avoidance has begun to be the tactic of dealing with God and others and plummeting downward, spiraling inward, losing love and desire is now the state of the heart. Oh, I was there and I am fighting to not go back. This busieness business is a destraction from the enemy to keep us from receiving all that Jesus has for us. The enormous amount of structure, and ritual is a way to keep our lives within the constraints of our understanding by keeping the Holy Spirit out!

"Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is Liberty." 2Corinthians 3:17 I was asleep and now I am awake. Oh yes, we need a revival. The Church needs a revival. Our nation needs a revival! We need to embrace all of who God is not just parts of Him. We need to get off the beach and step out into the tide of faith combined with works so that we can see God move in our churches, our communities, and in our homes but most importantly in our hearts. Fear will have us if we allow him. "...perfect love casts out fear..." 1John 4:18

"Let's have a revival! From the pulpit to the Pew. Let's have a revival. It starts with me and you. Then it reaches out to the lost and hungry world and brings them in. This our joy, it's our survival. Let's pray for a Holy Ghost arrival, let's have a revival!"