Tuesday, January 22, 2013

We Can’t Orchestrate Revival

Several leaders in this area are seeking to rally the whole city behind various causes and agendas. We have received invitations from various groups, some of whom are very outspoken against one another. That leaves us trying to pick and choose which meetings, rallies and revivals we should connect with in order to restore the city.

We learned a valuable lesson back in our years in St. Louis. Our pastor and church were in a very similar position in our early years of growth. In larger cities, there are hundreds of agendas and efforts being made to revive it, so our pastor was getting invitations from all over the city and even several from around the country with all the rallies to revive America.

Our pastor came to a place where he just stopped trying to respond the invitations and he even stopped trying to rally the whole city to come to our gatherings. Instead, he just began to focus on us, the church family. When he invited out of town guest, he didn’t announce it to the city. The guests (some were high profile) were brought to St. Louis to minister to US. Our pastor stopped attending the major national church conferences and poured everything into his own church family.

The result was that we became a powerful prayer ministry in our city.  We became so associated with prayer that when prominent people approached me and my wife regarding a huge Teen Mania, Acquire the Fire event that was coming to our city, they asked us to lead the intercessory prayer team. Whenever some crisis hit our area, the call would always come for our church to lead out in prayer.

That’s how the Lord is leading us today. God didn’t tell us to come to Harrisburg and try to win, rally or revive the whole city. God sent us to Harrisburg and told us to bring FAMILIES together. That doesn’t mean every family in Harrisburg is being called to attend Urban Life. It just means God has given us a mandate to call families together. God sent us to Harrisburg to share our lives and the Word with very specific people. Our dream is not to reach ALL of Harrisburg. Our dream is to minister to the ONES.

In fact, I think it’s very arrogant of church leaders to attempt to organize and administrate the move of God. Too many pastors and churches are still trying to “get together” to put on events. I’m not down with that. If each of us would just do our assigned task, and just trust that God knows what HE is doing all over this city, we could finally stop the madness of trying to orchestrate a revival.

I trust the Lord enough to actually believe that HE will connect us, and unite us, as HE uses us to do His will. We may never know how it was done. We may not be aware of half of what is happening. That’s a good thing. We don’t need a revival in the spotlight of television and the internet. We need revival in the secret place of our hearts and homes.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Postured to Fight, Positioned to Build

Last year ended with heartbreaking tragedy and loss. Families were hit with such severity that it is still difficult to grasp what thousands, if not millions of people are going through as we entered 2013.

We tend to forget about them because our lives may not have been so devastated or we are going through our own problems and losses. Thousands and thousands are still trying to recover from the various natural disasters that struck our country last year. They did not celebrate Thanksgiving, Christmas or the New Year in their own homes. They were in shelters, still living in a hotel, or bunking in with family members. Others, like the people in Newtown, CT, could not celebrate at all. It was just too painful.

We have spent the last seven years laying a foundation upon which we could begin to rebuild, restore and renew our hearts and homes. As we celebrated the start of a new year, our hearts have been stirred with a fresh determination to preach and teach the Word of God like never before.

With so many families struggling to rebuild in the aftermath of literal and spiritual hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, earthquakes, wildfires and droughts, we have sensed a new release from God to take the ministry to the next level.

In 2013 our posture and demeanor will change from teacher/ instructor, to strategist and warriors. That's because, we are now moving out into hostile territory that the enemy of our souls has held for many years.

Last year we laid the groundwork for us to take up our positions in the gaps of the protective walls that are supposed to guard our households. We're going to become a lot more intentional about what we do in 2013.

A lot of people are already talking about dreams coming true and many things breaking through for their families, but many of them are not going to see anything change in their lives. In fact things will get worse. Why? Because they aren't willing to fight for it. In 2013, I strongly believe that we're going to have to fight.

The Word that God gave us for Urban Life is that in 2013, we're going to have to fight for it. Things are not going to just fall in place. Doors are not just going to open. Money is not just going to fall out of the sky. If there's going to be any breakthrough in our households, we're going to have to fight for that breakthrough.

In Nehemiah 4, God's people were being threatened because they were rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem. Nehemiah rallied the people to protect the gaps in the walls while those who continued with the construction, worked with a weapon in one hand and construction tools in the other. They were postured to fight and positioned to build.

I believe that 2012 was just the beginning of sorrows for America and the Church was not exempt from those sorrows. Many people have a very passive approach to the spiritual battle that is now upon us. That's because they don't understand that what we observe in the natural world, is the result of what has happened in the spiritual realm.

 Therefore, 2013 will be about getting geared up for and engaging in the spiritual battle as well as continuing in the work to restore our families.

It's time to FIGHT for our families. There is no way we're going to sit down and just watch demonic strongholds overwhelm us. It's been happening for so many years that many of us are convinced that there's nothing that we can do about it.

If you've ever watched the Lord of the Rings trilogy, you have some idea what I’m talking about today. However, for us, this is not a mythological story. This is our real-life conflict. Will we put on the spiritual amour and prepare to fight? Will we pick up the tools and begin to rebuild?

If we want to see the promised victory, then let's get prepared because THE BATTLE'S ON!