Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Human vs. Heavenly (Revival is Coming)

I had one of those moments this past week, when I "heard" with my heart that my thinking just wasn't right.  It was during a conversation and I felt in my gut, when faced with the truth of how God operates, the words of Jesus from Mark 8:33,

For your thinking is from a human perspective, not from God's perspective!

I read those words this morning and immediately the situation, thought and feeling came back to me.  It was like Jesus' rebuke of Peter was actually Him rebuking me.  We were on vacation in Gulf Shores, AL, on a jet ski-tubing-dolphin safari trip.  The guy driving the boat I was on (also owner of the company) was wearing a shirt that said, "My church is the Flor-abama, Worship on the Water."

When I asked him about it, he told me an incredible story about how the Body of Christ in that area are being exactly that: in a Jesus-friend-of-sinners kind of way.  This church started as a child-care ministry for women who work in strip clubs.  Really?  How many of us think out of the box like that?

But this group of hands and feet starting taking care of the children of these ladies, ladies who had no other recourse except to take the kids with them to the club - which you can imagine did not please the club owner (and was probably illegal).  But they had no other choice until this group stepped in.  As a result, the nightclub ladies saw Christ's love and a lot of them got saved.  This simple act of service cut into them, freeing them from the grip of Satan by the power of Divine Love.  Lives changed (dramatically), and the ministry developed.

Radical Grace multiplies quickly, let me tell you.

Now, they hold church under the beer tents at a bar called the Flor-Abama on Sunday mornings and all manner of folks come to worship God on the beach.  Do I think He cares if you come hungover or maybe still drunk?  Nope, not as long as the Spirit is praised and the Truth is preached.  I also think when you are in that kind of atmosphere, you are going to see, very fast, there is a better way - the way of Christ.  This church is doing amazing things - revival level kind of transformation in this area, for hundreds and hundreds of folks.  You can learn more about it on the website: here.

But that wasn't my heart-check.  That came later, after he finished telling me the story of the church.  I told him how our waitress from the previous night mentioned there was a proposal to raise the drinking age in Alabama to 25 or 26.  (This was after accidentally bringing one of my older kids an alcoholic drink.  Whoops!)

My new friend and brother in Christ - Adrian - immediately praised God and said how wonderful that would be.

His praise was my gut check.

You see, I'd been thinking that could and would never happen. Dave and I even talked about it, how the beer and alcohol lobby would probably stop at nothing to prevent a law like that from passing.  There is just too much money in it, it was impossible.  I had been thinking the way the world thinks - so as Adrian poured out his hope for a new future, other words of Jesus came to me,

If I can?  Everything is possible for one who believes. (Mark 9:23)


I thanked God because, right then and there, on a boat in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico, the Holy Spirit reminded me He is the One who makes things happen.  Not man, not a powerful alcohol lobby, not government, not wishes or dreams.  It is He who holds the influence and power to achieve the means and ends that fit His designs and bring Him glory.  As Proverbs 21:1 says, The king's heart is like a stream of water directed by the LORD; he guides it wherever he pleases.

If the Lord desires for the drinking age to be raised, to make that area a more family-driven place, to remove some evil influence and break bondage over the youth who go there only to party - well, it's going to happen!  It doesn't mean it will be all clean, but with more accountability and authority given to law makers and law enforcers, it could change the physical, emotional and spiritual landscape of that area.

There are so many times in my day that I need that head/heart/gut check.  There are too many situations when I automatically think a situation is impossible.  I'm hoping you fall into that mental cul-de-sac so I'm not alone.  The world thinks that purity and holiness, responsible living, and the abundant life without reservation or fear is impossible in this day, age and culture.  

But it isn't.  We just need to stop thinking we can understand, come up with the solution and put it into practice.  We just need Jesus to make it happen in us. 

Everything is possible for him who believes.  So often, we let the world tell us what will happen, so much so that God, in His grace, let's it.  He lets us have free will, to do and say and think things, even if they are wrong.  That is the beauty of being the pinnacle of His creation.  Yet it remains, The Lord's plans and purposes cannot be thwarted by our thinking (or doing for that matter).  

What God says is going to happen, in a word, will.

I think it is best that we in the church, myself especially, give up relying on our own....whatever.  We should get on board with that and start seeking His mind in each situation we face, no matter how big or small.  That's when we will witness, like the Flor-abama church, maximum blessing.  We will be living as surrendered, God-fearing (and loving) people, full of grace, hope, truth and love.  What a sight that will be when it happens en mass!

Thank you Lord for the heart-check.  Thank you for the faith of Adrian and his hope for a renewed future for his community.  And keep reminding me Who You Are, so I can live in that truth and grace.

Lord, come quickly and bring about Your purposes on earth as they are done in Heaven!

No comments: