We’ve camped at the mountain too long

What is the greatest enemy facing the Church in America today?

“The treacherous enemy facing the church of Jesus Christ today is the dictatorship of the routine, when the routine becomes ‘lord’ in the life of the church. Programs are organized and the prevailing conditions are accepted as normal. Anyone can predict next Sunday’s service and what will happen… When we come to the place where everything can be predicted and nobody expects anything unusual from God, we are in a rut.” — A.W. Tozer

Image result for a w tozer

 

Resurgence

There is a book title that needs to be used to flesh out in an actual book. It would be this: Resurgence: The American Church Renewal in the Post-Christian Era. 

There is a new awakening the American Church can undergo IF they will learn the lessons of the current time period. It’s a BIG if!

There is a new awakening for the American Church where we become truly prophetic. We won’t be a “voting block” for Republicans… or Democrats. We will be people who bless communities and speak life-giving words to all around us. We will understand truth, but not insist it takes the “right” president or Supreme Court justice to live out that truth. We will see people radically changed from darkness to light. Small churches will be salt and light in their neighborhoods. A deep commitment to following Christ will be the most important thing in the life of the believer.

There is a resurgence that is possible. It won’t be the biggest thing on YouTube or Facebook. But it will be lifechanging for the culture. A new generation of Josephs, Daniels, and Esthers will demonstrate a deep commitment to Christ while still being vital to their culture.

The Spirit is giving us opportunities for faith, not fear.

Maybe that book can be written. And maybe it would be true.

re·sur·gence   rəˈsərjəns/
noun
  1. an increase or revival after a period of little activity, popularity, or occurrence.
    “a resurgence of interest in religion”

Maybe it IS me

Jeremiah 8:20 — “The harvest is past, the summer has ended, and we are not saved.”

I can decry the spiritual stagnation of our country, the American Church, etc., with the best of them. At least I feel that way lately. As I was in my latest state of mourning over the spiritual slumber of American Christians, the Spirit brought this thought to me… which I did not really appreciate…

“Maybe it is YOU in need of awakening.”

Now, that’s just RUDE.

Lord, stir MY heart. Stir MY life.

Revive us… Revive ME… again.

6 minute prayer challenge

This morning I woke up far too early. When that happens, I know my challenge is to prayer. It’s more of an invitation, really. It’s a challenge to meet the invitation!

I have taken up the invitation and think of part of this time as my 6 minute prayer challenge. On some mornings where I don’t have time to drink a big amount of brewed coffee, I will use my stove top espresso maker to make a couple of couples of espresso or an Americano. It takes about 6 minutes.

In that 6 minutes I will take up a bold prayer, or my whole bold prayer list, and concentrate on the audacious requests.

This morning it was revival for North Central University, where I teach part time. It has been a challenge from the Lord for several months and he woke me up early this morning to remind me of that challenge.

In the short bursts of opportunity, I can’t look at them as inconvenient times any more. I need to see them as invitations in the Spirit to rise to a challenge.

What can we do with 6 minutes of concentrated prayer?

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The hardest prayer

Sometimes the only thing to pray is, “Lord, break me.”

It is incredibly hard. It grates against our pride and ego and sense of “victorious living”, etc. But this may be the best prayer. And as a result, our lack of willingness to pray it is probably what holds back genuine outpouring of the Spirit.

Too often the temptation is to pray, “Lord, break them.

But, O, Lord, let us begin here. Break me. 

The essence of revival: raise the dead

Dr. Gordon Anderson is now president of North Central University in Minneapolis, where I teach part time. When I was in school there (and it was North Central Bible College) he was my professor. As a professor he would often do pulpit fill-ins on the weekends.

A couple of years after I graduated from North Central, I heard a teaching he did with Assemblies of God evangelists and told the story of one of those weekends he went to preach at a church. It was a small church and the worship was slow and the people were sleepy and he was sitting on the platform thinking, “Dear God, these people are dead.”

To which the Spirit spoke to him and said, “Why do you think I brought you hear?”

It shook him. He thought he came to preach a nice sermon, collect a small check, have a nice lunch, and then go home. He didn’t know the assignment that day was “raise the dead.”

That story came home to me today as I reflected on a prayer assignment I have from God. It is to pray for revival at North Central University. I caught myself thinking almost the same exact thought this morning and then the Lord reminded me, “What have I asked you to pray? What have I asked you do?”

Will I pray? Will I give up? Will I throw my hands up in frustration?

I have an assignment.