My church is amazing! It really is. This is the third church in my more than twenty years walk with the Lord that I have called “home.” I don’t know if this will be the last one, but I do know that I absolutely love it!
I’ve also reflected on my time at the previous churches I was a part of. Looking back, I see God’s hand and grace during those seasons. He brought me to each of those places and grew me. They were what I needed at the time.
Part of the job of community is to unlock gifts and skills and anointing within each one of us. Sometimes God uses one community to unlock one set of things. Then, He will intentionally move us to a new community where He unlocks a new set of things.
It’s important to remember that the unlocking is never just about us. It’s to bring God glory, edify the Body, and accomplish His purposes in the earth. The added blessing is that it brings us joy.
This month marks five years of being a part of my new community. I have grown exponentially more than I have in previous years combined. My church is far from perfect. My pastors would be the first to admit that they are flawed people; there would also be a line of the staff and congregants all shouting the very same sentiment — we are imperfect people.
That’s the beauty that I have witnessed. In their weaknesses, the Lord’s strength is seen. There is an utter dependence on God to show up and to move. My pastor has been going through a series in Sunday School about how the Church is actually called to function. It’s been convicting, encouraging, and empowering.
There are countless ideas and beliefs that I’ve had to cast aside or reevaluate. But, there are other beliefs that have become even more firmly rooted. As the revival at Asbury University began and grew, the Lord reminded me that all throughout the Bible, He has been a God that responds to the hunger of His people. The Beatitudes even tell us that those who hunger and thirst for righteousness will be filled. They are blessed and satisfied. The funny thing about spiritual hunger is that we are both satisfied, but also our hunger increases.
We can have as much of God as we want. Sadly, our desires are often weak or broken. We haven’t created space in our personal lives or churches for God to move in all of the ways He longs to.
Two of the key points my pastor has shared repeatedly have been the importance of the gifts of the Spirit and what he calls “working the Altar.” That simply means letting God use those gifts of the Spirit in you and through you, within — and ultimately outside — of the church walls.
Those are essential to the move of God in our lives and in our churches. My pastor is adamant about creating space for the Holy Spirit to move in freedom and teaching the congregation on what the Bible says the gifts of the Spirit are and how they are to be used. Then, he emboldens us to hear from God and use those gifts during our services.
I have had the great pleasure of leading worship at my church. The best part of being on stage is NOT the microphone, the lights, or the attention. It is hands down getting a front-row view of God moving in the room. When He shows up, it is undeniable. Our agendas, expectations, and desires fall by the wayside.
It’s the sweetest thing to watch the Holy Spirit bring salvation, freedom, healing, deliverance, peace, and joy to a hungry person. Their desperation for God to do what only He can do has stirred a hunger deep within me.
We create space for God to move. We come with hunger.
Then, we come with faith followed by obedience. Luke 1:37 tells us that nothing is impossible with God. His move begins with Him. And part of Hebrews 11:6 tells us that without faith, it is impossible to please God. This is us.
There are countless truths about God and His character and His desires that fill the whole of the Bible. He is good. He is kind. He is gracious, loving, and faithful. He is a provider. He is a protector. He does seek and save that which is lost. He is a deliverer, a healer, and a mender of all things broken.
He is a good Shepherd. He is the Prince of peace. He is the King of kings and Lord of lords. He is the Creator and Sustainer of all. He sees us and hears us. He is the ‘with us’ God.
This is the list we bring before God. We believe that God is who He says He is and He can do what He says He can do. We trust that His Word does not return void. We offer Him whatever faith we have — weak or strong, small or big. We offer it as a sacrifice.
Then, we let the Holy Spirit lead us as we use the gifts of the Spirit. My pastor reminds us to ask for the gifts that we want and then go forth and use them.
In the past five years, I watched corporate and personal prophetic words spoken, words of knowledge given, deliverance, and healings have occurred, all through a group of people who wouldn’t consider themselves anyone special.
The God of the Bible is much bigger than many of us have believed Him to be. He wants to move in our lives and churches with power and might. His role is the majority of His move, but He invites us to play a small part in what He’s already doing.
Don’t you want to partner with the God of revival as He moves on the earth?
If you have seen moves of God in your life or church, I’d love to hear your testimony! If you are longing to see Him move, I’d love to pray for you!