Start Again

Last weekend I heard Bobby Conner speak.  He said Jesus showed up to him and his face was sad and when Bobby asked why, Jesus replied, because my people don’t want to spend time with me.

After we left the meeting that night I had a long stream of thoughts in my head that I thought I would share here.  Can I say I already knew this?  Can I say that because it applies to me?  Holy Spirit’s kinda scary.  Let me explain more below.

A decade ago I was in the heart of everything extreme regarding Holy Spirit experiences.  Prayer rooms, conferences, communities, ministry, missions trips, prayer meetings, extravagant poverty and generosity, new adventures, preaching, ministering to the poor, etc.  Its safe to say many many of us remember those times of waking up to everything supernatural, unseen, giftings, refinement, and faith challenging.  Literally on the the floor, taken over by God.

Then I noticed another season.  I noticed it but hadn’t articulated it, until someone else did that for me.  An old fatherly preacher said first you are a part of a move of God and so is everyone else.  Then you fall flat on your face, and that’s a move of God too, and so did everyone else.

Between the years of 2013-2016 or around there I noticed so many people encounter very challenging or hard circumstances.  I’m referring to the sold out crowd.  The whole-hearted ones.  We had followed God–Holy Spirit–to the best of our growing ability and it led us right into heartbreak, setback, disappointment, confusion, or disillusionment.

So people are still figuring out which way is up, many people are forever changed through these experiences.  And we should be.  That’s why we have them.  But pain is a hard thing to choose willingly.  I know for myself I wondered how I had heard wrong, or gotten off track, or the lingering question of why?

God works healing, restoration, recovery, strength, and endurance in the midst of our inability to fix things, mend things, turn back time, or undo what’s been done.  Sometimes this happens overnight but more often than not it happens as the seasons pass by one after the other and the sting is gone and we can hear truth in the peace.  Or at least feel love in it again.

This may be the time to start again my friends.  Us, the family of God that has been learning so many things with our paradigms, communities, and living situations having changed so dramatically since back then.

So do we dare to open up ourselves again to a God that seemingly led us into a crash course with something we didn’t sign up for?  Will we be wholehearted again when it feels like we don’t even have our whole heart anymore or don’t know where we lost pieces of it along the way?

Our minds know he’s good.  Our minds know he’s faithful.  Our minds know he has a plan.  It’s the time of our hearts thawing towards him again.  We may look more secular, we may speak more secular, we may live lifestyles where religion can’t be detected much anymore but we are right where he’s invited us all.

He really is a wise orchestrater and he knew all the outcomes before all this happened.  You’re not off track.  You’re not lost, because he knows right where you are.  Myself included, I feel like this is the time for affections to be repaired and emotions to be restored.  In him, towards him, for him, and with him.

You have overcome.  You are equipped.  You are gifted.  You are included.  You are loved.  Maybe your dreamer got broken.  Maybe your believer ran out of power.  But there is life within you.  There is purpose in your breath.  There is glory in your experiences, maybe the failures more than successes.

God never invited Jesus into comfort, acceptance, celebration, the loyalties of those around him, freedom from pain, or glory among men during his life.  God has a much different value scale than you or I.  You may not know that every purpose that God had in the midst of your experiences has been accomplished.

He doesn’t want you as a worker anymore.  He does miss me.  He does miss us.  Maybe we are ready.  Maybe we are ready again to say yes.  All of us just know we will never say yes again to the mistakes or pains of our past.  There is glory in that.

We’ve heard all along in our involvement with Charismatic circles that God is moving towards doing wonders and miracles beyond our wildest imaginations.  We carry the memory of the hope we had of being in the center of that.  I think we still are.  I think you still are.  God knows what he’s doing on a global scale in exact timing.

Don’t respond to him in duty.  Don’t turn him away from a place of pain.  He is a lover.  He wants to share his love with us.  He wants to experience our presence.  Share our excitement and our pain.  He wants to comfort us and cause us to believe in ourselves again.

The winter perhaps is over and gone and new leaves are sprouting again.  The warmth is returning, the river is thawed, and life will grow. And we will see it and feel it in our own lives.  A lot is accomplished during the winter and you prime for fruit bearing in your renewed surrender.

The pain, the disappointment, distrust, or broken normal may not ever repair itself to life as it once was but we will have a different understanding of who God is and who we are in its occurrence.  Hope, Faith, and Love have become even more untouchable within us by the circumstances without us.  We have grown.

I can’t promise it won’t hurt again.  Continuing to follow him without understanding or being able to see what he sees about yourself.  I can’t promise you won’t experience or disappointment again.  But I can assure you your fullest life–not coasting by denying your numbness as time passes–the reason you were created as you were, lies in your renewed yes, your renewed faith through confusion, your willingness in your weakness, your availability in expressing and receiving love once again.

Beautiful army bearing the scars of maturity, dare to feel safe in his arms, rather than our avoidance or control once again.

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