It has been too long since I have followed up on the previous posting. This year has so far been very eventful with salvations, baptisms, weddings, funerals and all the events of life and ministry that show up in a church setting. What has resulted is that I have been lazy about writing for this blog. Bad place to be lazy I know, but I need you to simply forgive me and I will try to be more timely in the postings.
But what of the things I believe God shared, about being propelled by Divine Impulse. First while I know some readers may be skeptical about God speaking to people today. I don’t consider myself special, super spiritual, or of any real importance to those beyond my immediate circle of friends and family. Why would God speak to me? My answer to that is, if I pray and believe it makes a difference, then when the praying is over and the time for action has come, that which I hold in my heart, which gives me His peace is His answer. It will line up with scripture; it will likely be confirmed multiple times in multiple ways. Even my non-charismatic friends pray expecting an answer and the act of what is in their heart to do. I choose to declare that God speaks to my heart and to the hearts of all men. So if I really believe this is from God, and read it out publicly, and publish it on the web, then what is my personal responsibility?
My Bible tells me Jesus said this Luke 8:21 But he answered them, “My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and do it.” This is not the only place Jesus said this, in fact the emphasis on listening carefully and responding obediently is a recurrent theme. Jesus said He only listened to His Father. The Holy Spirit on speaks what the Father says. In fact to hear the voice of God, the impulse, the leading of the Spirit, the impression of what to do and to remain nonresponsive is in fact an act of rebellion. I will not presume tell you what you should do, but I will tell what I have done and share what I have seen in the months since last writing.
First, I have increased my prayer and quiet time. If nothing else, I am more peaceful, more focused on Jesus, better schooled in His Word, in other words, I have drawn closer to God, a good thing for all of us to do.
Secondly, we changed our midweek service into a prayer service. We place music on in the background and spend time thanking God for all He has done, inviting Him to possess more of our lives, asking the Holy Spirit to manifest in ways that we can observe and feel and at the end of a time of prayer, we share and compare our impressions of what was heard. I am amazed at the number of times where people praying silently at different areas write down the same thing. What is more impressive is when one has an impression and others have parts that seem disconnected until they are shared together. The body being built up by that which each member supplies. Our prayer teams are more convinced than ever that God hears and responds to their prayers. As a result, we pray more fervently and believe we see more of His activity in the public arena. We are now praying for others in settings outside the church and sharing faith more boldly.
In my personal ministry, since a vacation trip to our hometown at the end of June, I have not been in a service where there was not some sense of the Spirit of God moving in power. Perhaps someone would have a word of encouragement to share, but the most moving times have been in praying for people. Individuals are praying for each other and seeing God answer. In my personal life, I have shared with people on impulse, prayed with understanding into events I had no knowledge of, and seen at least 10 people report the dissipation of pain or other symptoms while praying personally with them. In short, I am seeking to be propelled by Divine Influence, modeling that for our congregation, providing a platform for them to do the same and we are seeing Him respond to our prayers.
My encouragement to you is this. Press in to the Lord. Believe He not only hears your prayers but speaks in answer to them. Check your believed answers with scripture. Act on your impressions in faith and expect God to move. As I heard once and have repeated numerous times, faith is spelled R-I-S-K. Take a risk and let God propel you towards His purpose for your life.