Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Constant Change Is Here To Stay...

You’ve heard it said and we’re living it! So many things have changed around here in the last couple months. Change is good though. I remember a couple of years ago when we were praying and believing to see a miracle or a healing here and there. I remember when we were shocked, SHOCKED to see someone give their lives to Jesus. Now it’s totally different. We see miracles when we want to. That’s right, we make a decision, “Am I going to preach the Gospel and see God’s power move, or am I going to stay home and sit on the sofa watching a Law & Order rerun?” It’s really simple; if we preach the Gospel of the Kingdom, God comes rushing to our aid with demonstrations of the Spirit’s power and we see salvations, healings and miracles. If we choose not to preach and instead stay home, we are guaranteed that we won’t see God move like that!

I’ve got a sacred cow that I want to fry too… If we simply GO TO MEETINGS, but don’t get out there and mix with the lost, yeah, we’ll have good meetings and we may even see a few people healed, but we will not see the glorious release of God’s power that we see among the lost! Honestly though, did Jesus die on the cross so that we (believers) could have good meetings only? We’ll be blessed and refreshed, but what about our neighbors, our cities and our communities? We can be selfish and keep the power to ourselves with a little bless me club and obsess over our miniscule problems, but what about the lost? They need the power too! The Gospel is for the poor in spirit! Your problems really aren’t that bad, trust me!

So, one of the major things that has changed around here is our minds, the way we think (repentance). We used to think that a move of God is totally sovereign, that the only way you would see God move is by praying, fasting and waiting on Him. But that’s not the case! God is moving! We just have to agree with Him and do what He is doing! We can, by faith, step into a move of God and actually create our own “Wave” of the Spirit. Time after time these last 6 weeks, our teams have created a revival out of thin air! People were just there having a nice football game and hanging out, but our teams decided that they wanted to see God move in power. So what did they do? Did they call a fast, confess a prayer several times a day and wear a wristband? Did they send out a 21 day prayer focus? Nope. They cleared their schedule (harder than you think) and showed up at church at 6:30pm on a Friday night. They sacrificed time with their loved ones and recreation/fellowship time to have a revival! And guess what, they HAD a revival! Dozens have given their lives to the Lord, hundreds of miracles have taken place and the Gospel has been preached with POWER!

Here’s the strange thing, if they don’t show up, God doesn’t move. This was illustrated to me over the last couple of weeks. I had an appointment a couple of weeks ago on a Friday night that prohibited me from going to the game. Guess what, I DID NOT have a revival, but THOSE WHO WENT, did! Last week, I was under the weather and dealing with some stuff at home, which prohibited me from going to the football game and guess what? I DID NOT have a revival, but THOSE WHO WENT, did! Once again, illustrating to me that all of our prayer and fasting won’t produce a harvest. You can declare a harvest to your field all day long, but until you roll up your sleeves and get to work in that field, that harvest WILL NOT come in. Jesus said the fields were ripe unto harvest 2,000 years ago, so what does that make them today? One person in the field, working together with God produces and actually brings in a harvest more than 1,000 people in a prayer room or 5,000 people in a conference meeting. Sorry, but I’m right about this.

Now that my axe has been ground to a fine edge…

We’re losing daylight as the nights come quicker and quicker. That means that our ability to get out there when people are home during the week is fading fast. We’ve found out that we have a heavy “harvest” season that runs from the beginning of daylight savings time to the end of daylight savings time (April – September). After that, we have to follow up with and cultivate what we have produced during the summer. Now that daylight is gone, our only real opportunity to preach the Gospel to unbelievers is during the day or on the weekends. We have a team of mommies that go out each week to local nursing homes and visit the widows (James 1:27), but that’s about all that we have found that works during the day.

More than that, we are now having to face the cold, hard reality that many of the people we have been preaching to over the last 2 ½ years are not running with the Gospel we are bringing them. Now many of these peopl are ones that we follow up with and have house church meetings with. But most of them are apathetic in their faith and cold in their love towards God. This is very disturbing. Why? Because so many of these folks came to the Lord as a result of a dramatic display of God’s power. Many of them were healed and saw miracles and many of them came to the Lord as a result of a word of knowledge or prophetic word. You would think that this would give them a “leg up” on making them dedicated followers of Jesus, but that’s not the way it’s turning out.

When people don’t repent of their lifestyles and make quality decisions to follow the Holy Spirit and forsake the things of this world, then lukewarmness and apathy result. One of the reasons for the mediocre long term fruit that the Lord has shown us is this: Many of the folks we are preaching to simply put our gospel into their religious/traditional/southern paradigm of what church is/should be. They file their miracles and encounters with God that we bring them into their nice little religious file under “I believe in God now” almost totally ignoring the fact that our Gospel says follow Jesus with ALL your heart, ALL your mind and ALL your strength.

I’ll write about this more in depth, but the long and short of it is this: We will not let our outreaches be reduced to “visiting” lukewarm Christians that refuse to change and grow in the things of God. We will invest in the hungry and the desperate, not in people who are self-satisfied and lukewarm. So we’re going into the Spanish community. My gut tells me that they will RUN with this Gospel…

We’ll see, won’t we?

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