“Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of God that will stand”. Proverbs 19:21
This morning as I was spending time in prayer at the house of prayer, I suddenly had a vision of myself, as well as the whole body of Christ in our western culture. I suddenly saw how we all are individual vials, and when we come together, we still remain in our hard little vials. We don’t truly mingle together, we don’t become vulnerable with one another, we don’t truly even love each other. The Presence of God isn’t fully released because there is no mixing together, no crying out together. Our churches are individual vials and we don’t mix with other churches. We, in our individuality all come together, yet we don’t mix with the others.
I see how the Lord gives each of us vision in our journeys with Him and calls us to His assignments. Our eyes are opened to the importance of the vast call on our lives – something so incredible and much bigger than us! (this isn’t just about me, I believe everyone has an incredible call on their lives – some haven’t yet discovered it). But then His assignments become “our” assignments, “our” ministries, “our” callings. Pride sets in. We don’t see the reason for the assignments the Lord gives us is for the Greater Cause. All we can see is what we are called to do. We can’t see how what we do fits together with all the other things that are going on around us. There is no laying down our lives for each other. There is no preferring of one another. We come together, but we all take our places to do “our” ministries, yet there is little mingling.
There is so much pride in all of us! We can’t see beyond ourselves. We are the centers of our universe and as far as we’re concerned, nothing much else happens apart from us. As I saw this in myself as well as in others, my heart broke. I cried as I saw this was so evident in me, and it is in everyone who I know and love; every ministry, every individual! Much of it, if not all comes from our American culture. It is so painful to see how little our American Christianity is truly Biblical! It is also so painful to see how little effect we have on the world because of our American individuality. There is so very little mingling of our vials.
I am painfully aware this is one of the main reasons we don’t see revival come to our land. Many of us have been crying out for revival for years, even decades, but we see little results. Why? Could it be because we are so caught up in what we’re doing we neglect to do the greatest thing: die to self? Even lay down our lives for one another? We all know the Scriptures and we quote them to each other as well as preach them from our pulpits:
“If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it”. Luke 9:23-24
“Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends”. John 15:13
It is a rare thing when I meet someone who is full of humility. I’ve met very few people who actually practice these Scriptures! We all say we do, including myself. But do we actually? When leaders get together, what is the topic of our conversation? Is it, “how can I help you?”, or “how can I serve you?” or “how can I see your ministry grow?” Or are other subjects discussed? Do we really know how to serve one another in love? Or is what we do still is all about us with very little left over for anything else outside our sphere of influence? I saw this my heart, and had to spend considerable time in repentance this morning. I saw my pride, my worship of my individuality, even my worship of “my” vision in building this house of prayer. I saw how my attitude is so wrong! Do I truly serve others? Do any of us ever truly serve others? Or do we just care for those who are part of “our” ministry, “our” thing?
Do any of us truly want revival? Or do we just want to see our individual assignments and callings prosper? That is the question I’m asking right now. What is the Greater Cause? Let’s get beyond that. The assignments we’re called to is not ours. It was never ours and it will never be ours. The Lord created us to be together, to work together. Yes, we all are unique individuals with different callings. But the reason why the Lord created us to be unique is so our unique flavors can be released as we blend together to make that awesomely incredible fragrance in our worship to God! Just as we desperately need the Lord, we also desperately need each other. We need to pray together, we need to worship together, we need to work together, we need to play together. It doesn’t matter which denominational tribe we belong to. Our theologies don’t matter. When we reach the Throne Room of God’s Glory, we will suddenly realize how little our theologies matter. What matters is the fact that if we are brothers and sisters in Christ, we need to learn how to love one another. We need to learn how lay down our lives for one another through our love for one another.
I admit that I’m not even close to where I see I need to be in this, but I want to be! I plan to make this my goal for 2016. I invite you to join me in this. Let’s all do a heart check? What is most important to you: see transformation and revival come to our land, or see ourselves and our assignments prosper? Are we truly willing to lay down our individuality, even our assignments for the Greater Cause?
Break us open Lord? Break our vials, Lord!
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