Image courtesy of Darrell Creswell http://darrellcreswell.wordpress.com/
This morning at church, it seemed like worship had a hard time getting off the ground. I don’t know if any of you can relate to what I’m saying. It just seemed like people weren’t engaging the Lord or His Spirit wasn’t manifesting much or something. I started praying, asking the Lord to move or help people “enter in,” whatever was needed. Then the Lord said this to me: “Stop trying to make something happen here and now. Something happened already in Christ. Stop trying to get me to do something. I did something in Christ.” In other words, the Lord was directing me to live and move in Jesus, not in my time/space experience. In Him, the reality of the Spirit is unchanging. So I changed focus. Ministry happened to me for sure, and worship probably improved as well.
What the Lord said today isn’t new to me. I’m sure I’ve even preached along similar lines. But I was surprised, nonetheless. Things of the Spirit are always surprising to the fleshly mindset. This is why, as Paul said, we need our minds renewed (Rom. 12:2; Eph. 4:23). From birth, our understanding and perception is formed outside of Christ. Even when we come to know Jesus, our walk with Him is conditioned by our godless experience until the Spirit transforms our thinking. This is not a one time event nor does it happen at salvation. Even after experiencing the renewing of the mind, even after preaching about it or ministering it to others, we are still in great need of it ourselves.
This all has me thinking: When we cry out to God for a greater manifestation of Him, how often does that betray our unbelief and not our faith? How often are calls for revival evidence that our minds are still blinded to the glory of Christ? These questions are not easily addressed, and I ask them rhetorically more than anything. Still, if you have a thought or answer, please comment.
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We are all so much like Israel in exodus –our lives in Christ as so well documented there demonstrating that God knows what is in our hearts. That first generation needed to die, just as we need to “lose our lives” and “bear our cross.” That first generation to leave Egypt was covered by the blood of the lamb, thus making them a picture of us. When it came to enter all that God had promised, they rejected Joshua’s view of it. The name Joshua is the same as Jesus in Hebrew. So the tendency of all who become Christians is to unwittingly reject Jesus’ view of their state while they long for what was left behind. In other words they don’t see Jesus’ view of things clearly….yet. That is where the second generation comes in. As the first generation dies off, the second generation rises and the only thing they see is Joshua (Jesus). The second generation only shares Joshua’ view and consequently they are equipped to enter the land and overcome. Sharing Joshua’s view of conquering is equivalent to Jesus’ life manifest in our mortal bodies. Revival is just a weird word we use for what John the Baptist said about this, “He must increase, I must decrease” John 3:30. We got to stop thinking that we are the life.