God is doing something new

“Wow.” That’s how a lot of people are describing this weekend’s SEEK Conference. The Spirit was a mainstay at each session. He just kept coming, kept speaking, as I’m sure He did for so many. That worship band is one of my favorites.

For me, it began several months ago when I was reading about A.B. Simpson’s original missions events and his vision for believers having a deeper relationship with God. I stopped for a moment to think about what I was reading and just happened to look down at a flyer that had been sitting on my coffee table for weeks — a flyer for SEEK hosted by John Stumbo and Terry Smith. It said it right on the flyer, “An Alliance Regional Deeper Life and Missions Event.”

It took on new meaning for me — in the spirit of Simpson’s intent. Not just an event to attend, but one with purpose.

One theme stood out more than any other over the span of the conference. God is doing something new. In the world, in the Church and the Alliance. The cool thing is, God has been telling me the same thing for weeks. Will we move with the Spirit or try to control what is ours?

Will we operate in the presence of God and see the same miracles currently happening in other parts of the world? When the presence of God is evident to the people we are trying to reach, evangelism becomes easy. Even the disciples weren’t catching anything until Jesus came into the picture.

At SEEK, the body of Christ came together in one place. Not because we “went to church” or had a membership there, but to seek His presence for what He is about to do.

-Pastor Andrew

It Is Possible

We see it on the news. In our towns. What can we do about everything happening in our world?

We need real revival.

It starts with pastors, believers and the Church. The problems we face are a reflection of our spiritual environment. What we do (or don’t do) will affect the course of events in our nation, community and families.

Think small (at first) and look in the mirror. It starts with us, the Christians.

Real revival will be birthed by prayer.

FIRST Make it personal.

Luke 5:16 (nlt) says, “Jesus often withdrew to the wilderness for prayer.”

Mark 1:35 (nlt) says, “Before daybreak the next morning, Jesus got up and went out to an isolated place to pray.”

It starts here. Two questions each of us must resolve. Am I getting alone to pray? Do I understand the direct correlation between this type of prayer and the power & presence of God in my life?

Do we want revival? Make it personal. Now is the time.

SECOND Grab two or three friends.

Luke 9:28 (nlt) says, “Jesus took Peter, John, and James up on a mountain to pray.”

And then something pretty important happened. But just like Peter & the others, you might have to wake up your friends to see it.

This is an important step. Two recommendations. Keep it authentic, not routine. Don’t make this about requests or lists, but about revival & vision. In addition to our personal time, this will build a momentum of prayer.

THIRD The Church should rally around a revival of prayer.

Acts 4:31 (nlt) says, “After this prayer, the meeting place shook, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit. Then they preached the word of God with boldness.”

Prayer is the primary work of God’s people. The Church has been entrusted to us by Christ. At this time.

A revival is waiting on us.

A Revival of Prayer

Reimagine Freedom

I once saw a certain picture of a man walking down a lonely street in China. I thought to myself, what does that feel like? To be a servant of the government. Defeated. As a Christian, discriminated against.

No matter where we find ourselves in the days ahead, I invite you to reimagine freedom — a shift from a focus on the state of our environment to the state of our soul in any environment.

That is the essence of freedom. I can also tell you, I have discovered the actual secret of life. It’s found in Philippians 4:11-13, nlt.

“Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.”

There it is. The essence of true freedom is the ability to be content whether I’m abased or I abound. In other words, have hope, no matter where you find yourself.

When Paul was writing 2 Corinthians chapter two, he was a mess. He was stressing about the church in Corinth. He was supposed to meet up with Titus, but Titus never showed. Paul just stopped where he was in his writing to say in v. 14,

“But thank God! He has made us his captives and continues to lead us along in Christ’s triumphal procession. Now he uses us to spread the knowledge of Christ everywhere, like a sweet perfume.”

Paul compares his situation to that of a Roman Triumphal Procession and cheers that Christ is our conqueror, leading us out of the kingdom of darkness, where there is defeat, where there is death, and we are brought into life! We don’t have to figure it all out ourselves. We just have to follow Christ in His procession.

It might be in the moral decline of our country or, like Paul, a personal situation getting you down — the essence of hope is that you can have it in any situation. The essence of hope is truth. Truth in the gospel.

There is freedom in God’s presence.

“But whenever someone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image” (2 Corinthians 3:16-18, nlt).

That kind of freedom comes from an eternal source, no matter what kind of country you live in or trial you’re facing. Let us reimagine freedom together.