Saturday, April 19, 2008

Inimitable Activity

The people you generally see in the Scriptures were ordinary. Their relationships with God and the activity of God made them extraordinary. ~ Henry Blackaby

When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus." ~ Acts 4:13

On Thursday I was in Macon, Georgia meeting with several pastors and associates who belong to the Free Methodist denomination (less than a year ago I did not know that "Free Methodists" existed). As we sat around the table talking it occurred to me that we were not an impressive collection of "professional holy men."

Our conversation led to an exchange of testimonies. A common theme prevailed -- to a man -- we were desperate to hear and experience God. There was no indication that our thirst for God was fueled to draw attention to ourself, or for the purpose of a spiritual adrenaline rush. Instead, each man believed that the inimitable activity of God was to be expected.

Tom, who is a youth pastor in Fayetteville, Georgia started the ball rolling as he related his desire to know God intimately. Hearing from God was the only way his deepest spiritual thirst could be quenched. Tom told us about an impromptu meeting that intersected his life with another youth pastor who, though successful by many standards, knew he had been experiencing famine -- not of bread or water, but of hearing the voice of God. As Tom told us about his friend he had a hard time keeping his emotions in check. Slowly and deliberately he shared the story of Rick Morgan . . .

God has brought Rick to a crisis of belief -- Rick believes God wants to show-up and speak through and into his life. Rick is a godly man, a committed man, a faithful man, and a desperate man. Rick is a man who has not heard from God in a long time -- with one exception -- he believes God has called him to fast until he hears from Him.

Rick has not eaten since the first day of March.

I was riveted to Tom's testimony, because Sandy and I have recently gone back to the bible study -- Experiencing God. Why? A little more than a year ago, God clearly spoke to us, and let us know that He was going to bring about some significant changes -- changes that would affect every area of our life.

We have relied on hearing God's voice.

As you are probably aware, there is always a thrill that accompanies hearing God speak, but there is also trepidation, and the acknowledgment that some pain and hard decisions will follow. To quote Blackaby again -- We are brought to a crisis of belief that requires faith and action. Since then we have experienced the entire bundle.

Something we never anticipated has also transpired -- with that step of faith came the silence of God.

It has been a long, long time since we have experienced the silence of God. We don't like it. We don't want to get used to it. We believe God's silence to be the exception not the rule in the believer's relationship with Him. We, too, are desperate to hear from our Father.

There are heart issues that must be given prayerful consideration when you find yourself in this position, because it is not about us -- it is about God. One thing is for sure -- The people you generally see in the Scriptures were ordinary. Their relationships with God and the activity of God made them extraordinary.

We believe that an unwillingness to settle for a relationship of a lesser kind is not ego-centered, and we believe to settle for anything less is a false sense of humility. We are desperate. We are listening.

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