Two prayers


“I don’t want to ride on someone else’s passion

I don’t want to find that I’m just dry bones

I wanna burn with unquenchable fire

Deep down inside, see or coming alive

Help me find my own flame

Help me find my own fire

I want the real thing

I want your burning desire.”

These words from the United Pursuit song “help me find my own flame” have been going through my head for the past week or so.

Over a year ago, I stepped down from serving on the ministry team at the European School of Supernatural Life (ESSL). There were a number of reasons for this, but one of the key ones was that I had begun to wonder if the supernatural things I’d been experiencing were real for me, or just happening because I was around people who it was real for, and I was just “freeloading” off their blessings. If it really were true for me, I should be able to “do the stuff” when there was just me and God.

I wanted to me sure that it was me that was burning. I was pretty sure I was – but I needed to be 100% convinced.

There is no doubt in my mind that spending time with others on the same mission as you are on is vital. I think it was Bill Johnson who said “ if you want to slay giants, spend time with giant slayers.”

On the other hand, spending time with those who have no vision, those that we satisfied with the way things are has the opposite effect and can result in stagnation.

I believe that there is more to experience than I currently do. I believe in order to experience the ‘more’ it needs to be me that is burning with desire to see it.

I’ve also learned that I’m supposed to be me. God has a plan for me. And He has a plan for you. And the chances of them being the same are highly unlikely. We can be on the same mission, and have different roles on that mission. Your job may be highly visible – preaching, teaching, leading. It might be much more covert – listening, loving or cooking. Each role is vital – but if I try to do the same job as you, and don’t do mine to the very best of my ability – it doesn’t work like it’s supposed to.

It’s ok to celebrate others successes – and I think it is really important – but don’t let’s begin to covet them.

In my year away I discovered that I am indeed burning. Perhaps not as ferociously as I might be, or want to be, but there is definitely a flame. I’m not riding passion of others.

I went back to ESSL this last week, to visit and and was struck by the gentleness of God. There were so many questions I had about how He felt about me. He didn’t tell me off for leaving. He wasn’t cross. He hadn’t left me to fend for myself.

What He did say was that the rest was His idea. That it was good for me. That He hadn’t left me.

But He also said it was time to pick up the baton and start running again. I’m not sure the exact nature of the baton I’ve to pick up this time, or which direction I’ve to run. But I know it’s time. The wounds have had time to heal, it’s time to run again.

This is my new prayer.

Lord I want more of you

Living water rain down on me

Lord I need more of you

Living breath come fill me up. (Jesus Culture)

There’s nothing in a vacuum. 

“Take away from the church the miraculous, the supernatural, the incomprehensible, the unreasonable, the impossible, the unknowable, the absurd, and nothing but a vacuum remains.” Robert G Ingersoll.

Who on earth is Robert G Ingersoll I hear you ask? I had to know too – given that I found the quote on an “atheist” Facebook page.

Let me back up a bit – a family member had commented on a post with an attached picture. I followed the link from that, and ended up looking at a bunch of posts from people who don’t believe in God, and are happy to mock anyone who does.

Then I came across this post. Turns out Ingersoll was an American lawyer in the 19th Century, noted for his broad range of culture and defence of agnosticism.

So here is a man, who believes that “nothing is known or can be known about the existence of God” giving what I believe is one of the most accurate descriptions of what the Church should be like, that I have read in a long time. (Cavieat- when I say “the Church” I’m mean the church generally, not my church specifically, your church specifically. If however, the cap fits………..)

Don’t misunderstand me. I’m not saying that programme is worthless. I’m not saying that kids work, or men’s ministry, or ladies meetings aren’t worthwhile and important for building relationships, introducing non- church to church in a non threatening way and generally doing life together.

But if we do all that at the expense of the supernatural, the unreasonable, the unknowable, the incomprehensible and the frankly absurd then we have missed the point.

You see, Jesus said that we would do the works that He had done, in fact we would do greater things than He had done. Jesus healed everyone who came to Him and asked for healing. Jesus raised the dead. Jesus released people from demonic power. Jesus understood where people were at, and met them there.

How often do we sit back and thank God that we have a great programme, but forget that we haven’t even begun to do the things Jesus did, let alone greater things.

Are you satisfied with that?

I know I’m not.

I love it when Jesus steps in to a situation which is frankly impossible and changes it to possible. I love it when really really clever people pronounce a prognosis and Jesus steps in to the situation and does something which makes no sense whatsoever.

I guess my question is – if an agnostic can see that the church is powerless without Holy Spirit – why can’t the Church see it?

We are so concerned with dotting all he “i’s” and crossing all the “t’s” that we have forgotten the wonder of the unknown. We are so caught up in our need to ensure that no one is offended, that the absurd has no place in our meetings anymore.

We spend endless meetings and sub meetings discussing things that don’t really matter, and Father would have us step out in faith, trusting the impossible to Him.

When I look at the example of Jesus, when I read Acts, and see what the 1st Century church was like and I compare it to the Church today they are poles apart.

When did we removing the important things, and replacing it with a vacuum of nothing??

Crucially , how do we remove the vacuum and get the important things back?

 

“if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”

2 Chronicles 7:14