18 “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.
19 See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
For a decade, I personally have had a deep longing and desire from the Lord to see revival break forth in his Global Church -- A Great Awakening. I read stories about Cane Ridge, Toronto, and the Jesus People Movement and can't help but have a deep cry in my spirit man, “Do it again, Lord!” I know a lot of us feel the same and some of you have had the desire for awakening much, much longer. They are even some in this church that remember the wave of revival fire that touched this body in the early 90’s. So, I don’t pretend to think that this is exclusive to me, the “Pastor”, or in any way my idea. This cry is the same cry that millions around the earth are contending for. That said, I am confident God is doing a new thing, and we already have experienced pieces of it, but there is SO MUCH MORE TO COME and that makes me excited. One of the birth pains of watching this move of God unfold is walking through all the disappointments of people trying to recreate an “old thing” the Lord has done in the past. Or somehow do the right series of ministry activities to manufacture something only God can produce. Both are mistakes that produce the same outcome, religion. Jesus’ Kingdom is not and will never be dependent on man, but He does invite us to participate in what He is doing because He enjoys doing it with us. Any time we try to define a move of God with our own expectations we run the risk of losing sight of the new thing God is doing. That said, there is at least one common denominator in every move of God that ushers in a greater measure of Jesus’ people -- Unity.
My favorite example is in Acts 2:
2 When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
It’s almost comical when you think about it. Here was a terrified group of Jewish men gathered together in the upper room. They had hardly any training in how to pray, they had no grid for Holy Spirit gifting, they had evangelized no one since Jesus’ ascension, and they certainly had not had any note-worthy worship services. Despite their spiritual lack, God had ordained them and their location for a mighty spiritual outpouring that is still pouring out to this day. What was the catalyst? What was the turning point that gave God the green light to release the promise of the Holy Spirit? I believe it was the accord that gathered. What was once a divisive group of Hebrew men came together in harmony. What was the point of Unity? Their love for and desire to fellowship once again with Jesus! I believe the Lord was moved by that, despite their history of arguing and usurping one another. They were all able to let go of their differences and agree that Jesus was worth uniting for.
Of course, in order for these men to unite for Jesus they had to let go of themselves. I believe this strategy is the same for today. When we choose to let go of ourselves, including our preferences and prejudices, in order to seek God, it stirs His heart. When we take this desperation for His presence into our church meetings and unite, despite our differences, it moves heaven, and we all benefit from what only He can pour out.
We have always been a Church that has pursued an authentic non-religious community, but I believe the Lord is calling us deeper. What does that look like totally? Truthfully, I have no idea. Though I feel a deep conviction that it begins with committing to being united, at all cost, around the presence of Jesus. Will you join me in this pursuit?