Wednesday, January 18, 2012

More of Jesus

Something inexpressible happened last Sunday. I can't quite put my finger on any one thing that set this into motion, but without a doubt Jesus moved during our regular church gathering in a significant way.

All I know is that every song we sang, every scripture that was read, every quote that was shared, every prayer that was offered, burned in my heart like a tangible flame. My soul began to crave more of God. My spirit began to gasp within me for more of His presence. My heart began to ache with a hunger that only Jesus could satisfy.

I wasn't the only person in the room who sensed this move of the Spirit. Others also began to notice and to respond to God's movement among us. From the beginning our time together started off on a different beat. Instead of starting with songs of worship we started with scripture as a few of us felt lead to read and share what God was speaking to them about His mercy and goodness. Throughout our singing the songs all reminded us of God's presence and His love.

But what happened to us on Sunday was about more than a series of actions. Rather than something we could duplicate ourselves in our next gathering, the experience we shared was nothing other than the sovereign outpouring of God's Spirit on His people.

Speaking for myself, I've been sensing God's calling to seek Him more these last few months. I've started fasting from things that distract me most from hearing His voice, and I've tried to pray more often. But to be perfectly honest I've not been seeking God for hours at a time. Here and there throughout my day I've taken time to stop and listen, but it's not as if I've been spending hours in prayer or reading large chunks of scripture.

To be fair, I've been seeking the Lord a little bit more than normal, but it's nothing that I would even be tempted to brag about. In other words, I've been seeking him an inch and God has been responding to me with miles and miles of grace.

Many of us on Sunday could only stand around afterwards in silence and try to reflect on what God had done in our midst. It was beautiful. It was unexpected. It was powerful. And it was something we hope God will do in us again as we gather to set Him on the throne of our hearts, and our lives, and our church family.

Near the end of our time together I felt God wanted us to stand up and hold hands around the communion table. We prayed and asked Jesus to be our head. We remembered that he was broken for us and that although we are individual parts of His Body, we come together in Christ and take hold of Him as our Head. We remembered that although the bread is one, we each break off a piece of His Body and take it with us as we go out - and bring Him back with us as we come together again.

We wept. We rejoiced. We sang.

My wife Wendy suggested we listen to a worship song which says, "We will stand back and let you move. Stand back and let you move. Stand back and see what you will do." And that's just what we did that day. We laid everything down at His feet - our expectations, our distractions, our fears, our desires, our control - and we waited for Jesus to move. And He did. Wow. He really did.

I suppose what we learn from this is that God is so much more interested in drawing near to us than we are in drawing near to Him. He is much more interested in meeting with us than we are in listening for Him to speak. He wants so much more to touch us than we can ever know.

If we will just move an inch in His direction, He will move a mile.
If we will only begin to search for Him, He will reveal Himself to us.
If we will only ask Him to increase our hunger for Jesus, He will do it.

It's a wonderful thing to be touched by the living God. It's beautiful to let Him have His way.

My prayer is that we can all continue to seek Him this way and to know His loving leadership each time to come together in His name.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hello Keith, this sounds so wonderful, we have been searching for a genuine Church such as this for so long now! Just thought I would say hello, from Dylan in Rancho Santa Margarita, CA!!