They were ready for us. La Vina Naciones that is. Dinner was served. Quarters escorted. That night would be an easy one, as everything was geared toward the next day and beyond
Memory’s a fog for all the details surrounding our first morning. The topic at hand was prophecy. I do remember that. And I’m almost positive Scott kicked things off. I recall following up with some of the ‘what’s and why’s’ pertaining to the subject. Gave several biblical examples from characters who got it right vs those who did not. “Do you see the difference?”
Spent much time pondering what my next teaching would be. My heart was to bring something, not merely impacting – that we would all be super excited for a few. Rather, I longed for… LASTING. Wow. What a boring word. Try driving that one home as the name for your next youth group gathering
But isn’t that what we want, or at least claim we do? In this age that offers us happiness, via our name in lights, the American dream – all this is coming to one sudden end. It has to. He must become greater
Guess I’ve grown to despise words or phrases such as “Extreme” or “On fire”. They’ve been overused – often played out of context. Better said, I’m ashamed of the negative connotations associated with them. Pitfalls provided. What are we really searching for? “On fire for God?” What does that even look like? Really?
Fireworks come but once a year. Violent colors burst into flame, often ending in some exciting finale. It’s flashy! Our hearts thump inside our chest, most as loud as the explosions themselves. But then what? A routine 365 til we do it all again?
For days we’ll rediscover the remains of those bursts – now burnt out carcasses from rockets that glared red only a night before. Next Sunday. Next conference. Next trip to the hottest Church in America
Recently, I sat down with a leader who wanted to catch up. For the next 45 minutes they spent their time, barely taking a breath, ranting over the flaws of 5 other ministers/ministries, some of which I knew the better of. Sadly, this individual is known for their extreme Christianity – boldly going where no man has gone before. Paying a fine price for it. I was perturbed
But before I bury them too deep in the dirt, I have to confess my own comparisons – my own search for significance, both spiritual and non. And it’s not as if all this person’s ministerial successes were performed in vain. I just think we sometimes get side tracked. Doing right things for wrong reasons. Putting others down to build ourselves up
I too have a name for being more alive than I actually am. Don’t get me wrong. I love God. A lot. Unfortunately, my reputation often outweighs my immediate character. I’m pretty popular in specific Christian circles – especially in the place I grew up. I’m known for being one of the premiere individuals who pioneered out to Kansas City to conjoin with a notorious prayer ministry. I’m known for being… extreme. But is that really the end of the line? Is it even the beginning? Are you feeling my concern here?
The world is enthralled with super star Christianity. As much as King David is praised today, he would have been dethroned from any kind of spiritual leadership had he made the mistakes he did in our current age. Our so-called “coverings” wouldn’t allow it. The masses would’ve abandoned him in less than half a heart’s beat. This is why it is so difficult for high level ministers to truly work out their salvation. The cost is so high. At large, our dependence is not as much on God as it is on man
So when it came time for me to speak again, I shared what I felt the Lord was wanting to say to all of us. I spoke on prophesying from the heart of God, rather than a desire to earn self-significance. Felt He wanted them to know that Mexico mattered to Him – not in any generic sense, but of the deepest one. He wanted them to know that American style Christianity was one that could be learned upon, but ought not be copycatted. He wanted them to stop trying to write Christian songs and simply sing straight from their heart – that place where Jesus was dwelling inside. That’s all. Nothing more…
From there, we went out on a treasure hunt to a nearby town. The fruit from that outing was slim, as many of those they encountered did not affirm the students with an outright turning toward Jesus as did the year before. I remember being a bit disappointed that the trip had gone as so. Still, I was sincerely grateful for their boldness. Their willingness to try. Their eagerness toward doing it again. Hindsight, I guess the message God was sending us that day had sunken in. For they didn’t allow the people’s denial to deprive them of the deep love God had for them. Mission accomplished
Relax. Love God with All Your Heart. Don’t Stop Believing!