Where is this Coming from?

I grew up in a sort of standard evangelical church with traditional values and a belief system that included the idea that miracles and prophecies had stopped when the Bible was completed sometime in the first or second century after Jesus. I had questioned whether that understanding was accurate since it isn’t really stated in the Bible, but I never expected to hear directly from God or see the kind of miracles Jesus frequently did. Until I did.

Roughly ten years ago our church was going through some rough times. Our youth pastor had received a call to another ministry while my son was still in high school and there was no sign that we’d be getting another one soon. Our pastor was not well-liked and while I give him a lot of credit for trying, the church didn’t seem to be going anywhere. I was thinking about moving on to a church that had a program and a youth pastor for my son. I prayed. A lot. I asked for wisdom. I didn’t expect a direct answer.

I heard: “Stay where you are. It will be a while, but if you stay put you can be part of a new beginning, not just a renewal of this church, but a renewal of the bride of Christ, a renewal of the true Church. There will be people coming to me like you haven’t seen in your lifetime. Lives will be changed. People will be freed from oppression. Miracles and healings and joy beyond anything you can imagine. And you can be part of it…if you wait patiently.”

Since then we had a new pastor come in and even, too late for my son, a new youth director, and things started happening at the church–more people, more services, more excitement, so I thought “yes, this is going to happen” and I asked “God, is this it?” and each time I asked I got the answer, “not yet, they aren’t ready” or “not yet, but you’ll know when it’s happening because it’s going to be big” and “wait.” I don’t like waiting.

When that pastor said that he was leaving, I didn’t even have to ask, I heard clearly “someone is coming who will be part of this thing.” “Listen and learn and follow along.” and “Keep waiting just a little longer. People aren’t ready and we have to let them get ready.”

A new young pastor was called and again, without asking, I heard “this is it. we’re moving soon.” and there he was, young and enthusiastic and overwhelmed with the responsibility and broken and humble and fully prepared for preaching the gospel and just the person nobody would expect…except God.  And I’d been unintentionally preparing, gathering my own materials and ideas and studying Jesus and teaching women to pray in public and creating a following for myself, a following that would follow Jesus with me if I had the guts to lead. And he came with a lot of the same preparation and the same gospel and the same Holy Spirit. And the church, my church, rejected him. I know he was overwhelmed and I know he made mistakes they wouldn’t forgive, but the board had spoken and God was still speaking.

“This thing I’m inviting you to participate in, this thing we’ve been preparing for and learning about, this engagement party for the bride of Christ, it doesn’t happen in the church building.” and I’m like “What? How can that work? Why me? This is getting scary. Can we do this without the blessing of a congregation?” And God said “you can do it with MY blessing and that’s the only blessing that matters.”

So here we are and here we go. God bless us every one.

If you’ve read this far and are still with me, pray for us. Then find four people and offer to touch base at least once a week and pray for them. Ask each of them to do the same and pass it on. Something is starting that’s bigger than all of us and we need those prayers. And follow this blog for our next step–maybe you can be a part of this too.

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