Tuesday, September 2, 2014
Exercising on my treadmill and needing a change of pace Monday morning (that phrase utilized not to suggest any altering of my gait), I switched from another Ravi Zacharias sermon to Jimmy Swaggart preaching on the present day status of the Church. No doubt there are those who would find him nobody to be addressing that particular subject, but separating the man from the message is something the journey taught me long ago. If humanity, as it exists in all of us, suspends grace, then the Gospel has lost its power. Redemption is just a word we, ourselves, have created, defined by our terms, not His. We’re good at that, it seems to me; and, over forty-two years down the road, while I find myself still seated within the ranks of Pentecost, enough has changed along the way, in both my thinking and theirs, that it’s no longer the same experience, service-wise. I watch from afar, content to wait on Him, wanting the “connection”, not just emotional exuberance. In other words, faith is not a matter of how much “grunt” one puts into their “name it and claim it”, praise should come up out of an inner well if it’s genuine, and worship is a surrender acknowledging His omnipotence. Anything less is just “us”. No foul assigned if freedom is permitted; no restriction necessary if common sense is observed; and, to be honest, pursuit rather than atrophy seems to me a good thing. Knowing Him in a “fusion”, however, whether to be used in a gift of the Spirit or to simply be immersed in the reality of all He is, doesn’t require any physical act. There is “stirring of the water”, a warmth that touches you from two flames becomes one, a bit of a breeze, perhaps, that takes you unaware; and suddenly there is no denying His presence meeting you right where you are. Healing. Assurance. Hope for whatever. Holiness is just another name for the Holy Ghost; and I’ve seen Him so thick over a congregation that people had to run for either the altar or the back door, one. It’s been a long time since such a manifestation has so enveloped us, so long that few are left who remember such occasions. My heart cries to know it again……..
Posted by Jim at 1:15 PM