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This Sunday we have a Sacred Assembly in our church. We are preparing for Lent, but as never before. We are preparing for a period of fasting and prayer as we want to hear God regarding our church property. We are in a major time of transition and really need to hear him regarding a current offer, and then see what is ahead for us. Our ministry will shift radically in the process.
We are moving to a model of being IN the community constantly through a coffee shop business, which we think is vital in our city. It will be a great place to connect with people and serve the community. It will also stretch us as believers to meet people in ways that aren’t “church.”
This Sunday is a time to worship and reflect.
I cannot lie. I am at a point of extreme faith where I just simply have not been. While that has a level of excitement like I’ve never known… it has a level of fear like I’ve never known.
As we focus this Sunday on hearing God, there are two passages from Isaiah the Spirit has us centered on and then there is the Gospel reading, which is focused on the Transfiguration. What a glorious series of Scripture to be reading and dwelling on!
We are to look ahead, not behind. We are to have our ears open because God WILL speak to us.
And when it is all said and done… we can have Jesus full in our view. Just him. HE is what this is all about.
Here are the Scriptures:
So… full of faith… and fear… I walk on.
Our church is moving into a critical time. The transitions are huge. We desperately need to hear the voice of the Lord. We are preparing our hearts to listen even more intently.
A couple of verses this morning drew my attention as I read again through Isaiah:
From now on I will tell you of new things,
of hidden things unknown to you. (Isa. 48:6b)
This is what the Lord says—
your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel:
“I am the Lord your God,
who teaches you what is best for you,
who directs you in the way you should go.” (Isa. 48:17)
I pray for listening ears in the life of our church. I ask for boldness in our spirits as we step into uncharted waters! HE knows the way!
I am leaving for Ethiopia in a week. A prayer I’ve had for two years is coming to its next step in seven days. It’s only a next step.
The two week trip will be a teaching assignment at Addis Bible College in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. But this is also a prayer trip. Two years ago it was the Spirit stirring me to pray for a nation our church could become involved with over the next 20 years. When I get to Ethiopia, my prayer journey continues because I long to see what is next. Is it Ethiopia? Is it another nation in that region?
All this week the Spirit has been speaking to me about prayer and vision. It is a week where I have repented of small prayers and small dreams.
Two challenges came to my heart out of this week:
1. I am ready. Our church is ready. We are taking a huge leap and the Spirit has brought us to this point. We ARE ready!
2. No more safe prayers. Pray what the Spirit puts on your heart. Pray for healing when the Spirit asks… and pray boldly. Pray for vision. Pray for direction. Pray for intervention. Pray for change. PRAY.
We have been on our annual leadership retreat. This was a weekend when the Lord challenged us to truly SPEAK OUT our dreams. The biggest challenge was to learn to hear the voice of God and pray what HE asks us to pray.
As I spoke the dreams God was giving me, I then invited others to voice their dreams that were from God.
In the past few weeks I have challenged myself to have a prayer journal, so I have put my dreams into that journal. This weekend I asked for their dreams on paper so I could put those dreams in my prayer journal. I am asking them to carry my dreams in prayer and I am carrying their dreams in prayer.
I want to walk in persistence of prayer in a way that will keep on asking. It’s been such a blessing to read those dreams this weekend! God is planting some HUGE things in us!
So don’t throw away your confidence—it brings a great reward. 36 You need to endure so that you can receive the promises after you do God’s will.
37 In a little while longer,
the one who is coming will come and won’t delay;
38 but my righteous one will live by faith,
and my whole being won’t be pleased with anyone who shrinks back.
39 But we aren’t the sort of people who timidly draw back and end up being destroyed. We’re the sort of people who have faith so that our whole beings are preserved. (Heb. 10:35-39, CEB)
We are in a day when the Body of Christ needs a new boldness. I know I need more boldness. I need to march forward in the promises of God, boldly declaring the promises he has given me.
Lord, do not let us shrink back! Let us declare your strong word!
This has been our theme in our leadership retreat this year. We need to move forward with BOLDNESS! Hear us, O God!