Here’s a big "shout-out" to all my friends who I spent the day with yesterday at the Prayer retreat sponsored by the Office of Prayer for Evangelism and Spiritual Awakening. (what up Donnie and Tim!?!) I would highly suggest attending one of these retreats with your staff and/or leadership. They actually have 3 regional events listed here.
I am convinced that the reason that we don’t see unbelievable things happen in our midst is we don’t actually believe that they will happen - I think that we all believe that they CAN happen, we just don’t believe that they actually will.
This morning as I continued my journey through John, I was at John 11 – the death of Lazarus. I have no idea how many times I’ve actually read this but this morning I was struck by this.
15Then Jesus became explicit: "Lazarus died. And I am glad for your sakes that I wasn’t there. You’re about to be given new grounds for believing. (italics mine) Now let’s go to him."
He used a miracle to give them an even greater faith – He gave them "new grounds for believing". I wonder how many of us actually believe God for His promises.The reason that our churches are dying (besides our desire to keep selfish religious people happy) is because the remnant in those churches and their leadership don’t actually believe that God will do what He promised He will do…
"And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it." (Matthew 16:18) Do we actually believe that?
"The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me,Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed;19 To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD.” Luke 4:18,19 How are we carrying this out in our communities?
"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new." 2Cor 5:17. Why do we continue to judge the lost for living like lost people? Why do we scorn them on their past? Will we truly accept them when this takes place? I WANT LOST PEOPLE AT HYDE PARK! (not just the "religious" ones that have some sort of church past – I WANT THE LOST PERSON THAT HAS NO CLUE ABOUT CHURCH!) Do you actually believe that without Christ that they will spend eternity in hell?!? How will they actually hear the truth from a reliable source/teacher if it’s not through one of our churches. They need to feel welcome – do they?
"And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself.” John 12:32. IF WE WILL TRULY MAKE JESUS AND HIS SALVATION THE FOCUS (lift HIM up) OF OUR LIVES AND OUR CHURCHES, HE WILL DRAW THEM (sinners) TO HIMSELF. When this happens en-mass everyone (except for lost religious and selfish believers) will be excited and pumped to bring their friends!
I am so sick of His church being powerless and not expecting Him to do great things in our midst. I no longer accept that lives will not be changed; I pray that my heart has been CHANGED, my vision INCREASED and my faith CRAZY EMBOLDENED! Today, in the Name of JESUS, may He give you new grounds for believing. Do you believe?