Do You Need a Little Encouragement?
Over the last few weeks there has been a movement in our fellowship towards re-engagement in the things of God through the Fusion family. While that may seem selfish, it is on the contrary, vital to what God is now doing and about to do in our midst.
As I spoke of last week in the column, we have had a reorientation period, coming awake as a people. But the question is, "What are we reorienting towards?"
I'd like to address that. Here and now.
Fusion's Mission (Call)
Our call as a people is the same as it ever was. We are to herald the coming of Heaven's culture to earth.
Mark 1:14-15 (ESV) Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”
Our message is the same as Jesus', the kingdom is at hand! Change your mind (repent) about all that you had known about God and believe in the good news! If you say, "Well, that's Jesus, what has that got to do with us?", then check out what He told His disciples:
Matthew 10:7-8 (ESV) "And proclaim as you go, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons. You received without paying; give without pay."
"But, but, that's the disciples! They had it different because they knew Jesus and were touched by Him!", you might say. Then pay close and careful attention to what He told the disciples in the last forty days of His incarnational life on earth. This was it. He was going so He could send Holy Spirit to us. This was His swan song. What do you think was on His mind as the last thing with the disciples, before He left them?
Matthew 28:18-20 (ESV) And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe (do) all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
What had He commanded them to do?
Look back at the second passage.
Proclaim as you go, saying, "The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand!"
Heal the sick.
Raise the dead.
Cast out demons.
IT'S. NOT. OPTIONAL.
If you are a believer, disciple, and follower of Jesus, then you do not have an option on what commands to obey, you simply do them.
Did You See Yourself?
Now, let me ask you a question, a sincere one. Does that look like your lifestyle? If not, why not? Where did this optional, smorgasbord style of Christianity come from? This is a powerless, pointless existence if we don't follow through on our assignment from heaven.
Christianity is not about getting money, a home, a spouse, some kids and keeping everyone's nose clean until He comes. It is more about sold out, "mountain style", no holds barred, giving ourselves to Him. I know it sounds radical, but isn't that a bit of what we are to be?
I mean, are we not dissatisfied with our current state in Jesus because we want everything everyone else living the "good life" has? Is this not why we are sick and dying, listless and vapid, complaining and whining when God doesn't answer our prayer for "more" stuff? I am not talking about living in wild eyed fanaticism, well at least a little.
Question: when was the last time someone asked why you were so peaceful, happy, joyful or carried the presence of another greater reality? If not, why not?
Church, lovingly, it is time to wake up! Come awake in your prayers. Come awake in your devotions. Come awake in the scriptures. Come awake to His presence. Come awake to worship. Come awake to more than a "hi/bye" experience of fellowship. Come awake to a life set apart. Come awake to the Holy Spirit. Come awake to your true identity. Come awake to a supernatural lifestyle. Come awake to Jesus. "Arise, O sleeper and Christ will give you light!"
I am not trying to work you up with a frothing at the mouth, all wind and noise and nothing to show for it. I just cannot convey to you the deep aching in my heart for you and myself for more of Him. I long for Him at times. I feel physically weak and ache deeply, like as pining for Him. I would be immoral if I didn't long for the same thing for you.
If you don't get radical. Repent of a halfway mindset, a lukewarm lifestyle, a self satisfied life. Repent for neglecting Him for the comforts of this world. Repent for only wanting enough of God to get to heaven and not to get heaven into you. Repent for neglecting the command and priorities of the Lord. Seek Him. Be a figurative animal if you have to. Cry. Cry out. Tear up some more. Pound the floor. Vomit if needs be and keep praying until He visits you face to face.
One great preacher and contender for revival once said, "Draw a circle around where you are praying for revival and don't quit until revival comes into that circle."
You might say, "Hey I thought the title of this was about encouragement?" Exactly, I am encouraging you to press into God, and no, you don't have to be like every ugly cliche you would throw up to me as a reason not to do this. Be you, but be you passionate after God and His mission.
An idea list.
Take a risk every week for the kingdom.
Make "Hi, how are you?" a question instead of a greeting.
Listen to people. Really listen.
When someone needs prayer, do it right then and there.
Carry extra cold waters in your car to hand out.
Stop for the "one".
Don't forsake the assembling together. You need us and we need you.
Be a bridge into our community and don't just hang out with one another. Find the stranger in our midst and help them orientate to us and we to them.
Cross the chicken line and ask someone if they need prayer.
Listen to the Holy Spirit about your role to plant, water, or harvest.
Pop the question every now and then and ask, "Do you know Jesus?" "Would you like to?"
You want the stories, you have to commit to risk taking. There is only one life here. We can only live for the kingdom once. The is only one opportunity to risk for Jesus. Once we are there, it is game over for faith/risk.
It is time, loves. The iron is hot. Strike!
Fusion is hosting a special prayer meeting this Friday night, July 9th at 6pm in the Family Room at the Fusion Building. You are encouraged and invited to attend this precious and powerful time. Pastor Doug will lead a time of worship and then special prayer will be made for the Fusion family. If you don't know how to pray, come and you will learn. "God does nothing without the prayer of the saints moving Him." John Wesley