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Not Entirely Clueless

February 3, 2023

noclueThis isn’t me. The guy has hair. I don’t. He’s wearing a suit. I don’t. But the questions surrounding him? Yeah, many times that’s me. My wife and I have been meeting in our home for a little over a year now. We are church planters. The visions, dreams, hopes, plans, thoughts for how this should go are pretty vivid. The implementation, however, is loaded with questions. Many times, I try to just push them to “later” as a master procrastinator would, but I know those questions are just around the corner, waiting to come to the light of day when I’ll have to provide some sort of answer. And yet I have peace because, like everyone else asking those questions, I’m also waiting on the answers. Or more correctly, the Answer, to provide clearer direction.

What am I talking about? All the pertinent questions from a business aspect need to be answered. Where is the money to rent a building going to come from? Where are we going to find a building? Who are those that are going to support this endeavor? How do I reach the masses? When do we ‘go live’? Those questions don’t trouble me. While all of those questions do need to be answered, and they will in time, I don’t have to know them before I can step out and start the process. But it is this next step … which is ??

Yeah, I don’t know. I’m clueless. We’ve been doing this church plant thing awhile now. We started in our home in May of ’21 with about 18 people. The first gathering is always bigger because some want to give you that splendid kickoff giving you early hopes that it’s really going to be that easy. Then like any other church they disappear in a mosaic of excuses or disinterest. That’s actually not a knock against them, but mirrors many of the “real” churches who endure the same. But over the last 18 months we’ve had a faithful core that show up weekly. One of those families has already told us they’re “all-in”. And I think the others that have been showing up are as well, but we’re not there yet.

Meanwhile I’ve been trying to listen and obey. I try not to assume or presume what the Lord wants to do. I’ve labeled myself as “cluelessly obedient”. I try to be anyway. I have a tendency to figure things out quickly and then get about ten steps ahead of the Lord. Too many times in my life I’ve done exactly that only to learn painfully that I should have waited. Patience is, after all, a fruit of the spirit. But I like candy. All that to say, “I’m learning to wait.”

Over the course of the last several months I’ve been following the leading of the Lord and meeting with various pastors from the area. Brothers in arms, iron sharpening iron, laborers working the field together, etc. Or something like that. I believe it’s so rare, we’re all having to learn a step at a time — together. It’s fun. It’s adventurous. But ultimately, I believe it’s what the Father wants — for us to be united in common goal and heart to build His kingdom. Not to be one in the sense of becoming one church, but multiple churches functioning as one while reaching the community for Christ.

It is not the intent to build one house over another, but building His kingdom without placing attachments on new believers attendance; only that they will at one of the local churches. If I’m blessed to lead someone to the Lord, the person may not attend my church, but possibly one of the others in the area. By knowing all the pastors in the vicinity, I can help assure they get plugged into a church where they will be loved and discipled. This is about His kingdom, not mine. And for pastors, that can be a bit tricky. It’s a new way of thinking, a new way of working, and I believe will help usher in the next great revival.

Everyone everywhere seems to feel ‘it’. Something is up. It’s like something B-I-G is about to happen. It’s almost tangible. I believe the feeling everyone is experiencing is more than just the covid-lag wearing off. I believe the Holy Spirit is about to be poured out on all flesh as the book of Joel prophecies:

Joel 2:28-29 (NKJV)
28 “And it shall come to pass afterward that I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions.  29 And also on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days.

We’ve all read those verses dozens of times as Peter quotes it in the book of Acts. If you’re like me, you always attributed those things — that ‘pouring out’ — as if it applies to some other people in some other time in some other place. But if these really are the end times (most sane people can look at all the prophecies compared to this world and see we’re further into the last days than Peter thought) then those verses apply to YOU (and me). Those verses are for us. They are God’s promises of what He’s going to do in and through His people. Which leads to the next obvious question.

Are you His? Have you bowed your knee (and the rest of you) and surrendered to Him? Is He your Lord? If so, those verses apply to US. This generation of souls are running headlong over the cliff of despair and right into hell. Who will stand in the gap? Who will declare the gospel? Who will live what they say they believe? It has to be you and it has to be me. We’re in this together and Jesus is leading the charge!

But the verses above this outpouring of the prophesied revival that will sweep our land gives the prerequisite.

Joel 2:12-13 (NKJV)
12 “Now, therefore,” says the Lord, “Turn to Me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning.” 13 So rend your heart, and not your garments; return to the Lord your God, for He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness; and He relents from doing harm.

If we want revival and the fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit; if we want to see what the prophets of old only dreamed about; if we really want to see God touch and change the lives of our neighbors, coworkers, and family; then it will only come when the church repents! Our cold, prayerless hearts need a refiring! We know how to talk the talk, but there is no power in the walk. Paul said he didn’t come with persuasive words or wisdom, but with demonstration of the Spirit and power. How do we think we’ll see revival with anything less than that?

AWAKE, oh, church!! For too long we’ve cast our responsibilities on those who don’t even know our King. We’ve relinquished the authority we were to walk in and fell asleep in the fields. We cower at the world around us as we tried to blend in and be accepted. But we were made to stand out, set apart, fully submitted to God. Our sin and shame can be washed away in a mere second — in the very moment of repentance when we cry out to the Lord for His forgiveness.

That is when revival will come. May that heart of completely yielded surrender start with me as I strive to walk cluelessly obedient.


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