Isaiah 35:8, "And a great road will go through that once desert land it will be named the highway of holiness. It will only be for those who walk in God's ways fools will never walk there."
The road has the church slowed down.
We are the church.
Have you ever been traveling down the road and see someone pulled over and blow right by?
Have you ever asked yourself is this what God intended his church to be?
Or maybe a better question am I the person that God has created me to be?
Does the church mean as much to us today as the church meant to the disciples back then? They were willing to die for it? Are we willing to die for the church of today? Even further, would the disciples be willing to die for the church today?
Has the church slow down? Has a church pulled over?
I believe part of continuing our spiritual growth is to be able to relate to both Christians and non-Christians. On this road of the life of trying to be more like Jesus it's all about people! Jesus is all about sick people- People that have pulled over-.people that have broken down.
God never meant for us to just become disciples of Jesus Christ ourselves. Never before has the church tried so hard to fit in with society. And when you fit in it seems like automatic success! But I believe God wants to do more! I believe God is just waiting on us!
So what is slowing us down? What has slowed God’s church down?
We all have seen the white crosses on the side of the road. Every cross has a story.
What If churches had white crosses in front of them? What would they say on them? What would be the story? Maybe one would say:
1. That's not how I would do it. – DIVISION
2. Stuck in the the Past - SATISFIED
3. Scared of the future – NO FAITH
4. Keeping up with the Jones' – NO LONGER ALLOWING THE SPIRIT TO LEAD
5. Religiousness - RITUALS AND ROUTINES
6. Stopped dreaming - QUIT ALLOWING FOR VISION
No church has a future unless it's dreams are bigger than its memories!
I believe it's time to pull out the white crosses and begin to dream and be the church God intended us to be. It's time to be the church -the “Rock” - the church that even the gates of Hades can’t overcome.
I think God is looking for a church that he can give the keys of heaven to.
Acts 2:17 says-“In the last days God says I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy you're young men will see visions your old men will dream dreams.”
Revival comes when ready hearts are seeking after God and collide with the power of God.
When did we start believing that God wants to send us to safe places to do easy thing? When did we start believing faithfulness is just holding down the fort? When did we start believing that playing it safe is safe? When did we start believing that there's anything greater than sacrifice for our King? Why did we ever stop being radical and started being normal?
Jesus didn't die to keep us safe. He died to make us dangerous!! Jesus didn't die on the cross for us just for us to get together once a week. Jesus died on the cross to give us power to storm the gates of hell every day!!
The will of God is not an insurance plan -It is a daring plan.
It's time to stop trying to be normal. It's time for each of us to go all in and all out for our king. I can't find one verse that God tells us to play it safe
I believe God is wanting to pour out his spirit like never before. In our homes, schools, workplaces, college campuses, streets, neighborhoods, hospitals, etc.
The last days began with the first coming of Jesus and will end at the second coming of Jesus. 2 Timothy 3:3 says, "Understand this, that in the last days there will come times of stress. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, inhuman," etc.
2 Peter 3:3 says, "Scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own passions and saying, 'Where is the promise of his coming?'"
In Matthew 24:9–14 notice something remarkable: Because wickedness, or lawlessness, is multiplied, the love of many will grow cold. But not in everyone. In fact there is a powerful claim here that alongside this coldness of love, there is another group of people whose passion for Jesus is red hot and unshakeable. There is a powerful claim in verse 14, "This gospel of the kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations!”
How can we be a part of this outpouring of Gods spirit? We must dream again! We can't stop dreaming! God has created us to be dreamers! The scariest thing about losing our intimacy with Jesus is that we begin to do things out of routine instead of creativity. The Bible is filled with men and women who challenged the status quo.
Have you ever noticed God moves sometimes in ridiculous ways? God asks us to do things that are sometimes foolish or silly or even offensive. God has a weird way of getting things done or getting his message across! God dreams stretch us to depend on a miracle which in turn shows us Gods faithfulness!
There was a young lady in her 30s that God had called into missions. Her response to God was, “God I have nothing to offer.” But she was obedient. She wanted to explore this calling so she bought a plane ticket to India. All she was told by God was to bring a CD player and an audio version of the Bible.
When she arrived, she went to a crowded marketplace. The first few days she noticed a couple of women. Every day, the two women were brought to this marketplace and dropped off. One had a painful eye disease which had caused her to go blind and the other lay beside her on a mat unable to walk
Every day she saw them and she was overwhelmed with emotion. God told the young missionary to share his word with them. In other words- play the CD player randomly in a crowded Indian marketplace. Normal, right? Just wait. She carries over the CD player and begins to play the Bible for these two ladies.
The beginning of the particular CD she had pulled out happened so start with the story of Blind Bartimaeus. They began to listen. Shortly after the missionary heard them scream- “Son of David have mercy on me! Son of David have mercy on me!” over and over again.
The woman who had been suffering from blindness was healed suddenly! She quickly knelt down to her friend and began praying. Both women were healed that day!
The two women became church planters shortly after and traveled to 500 villages in India. Six months later 17,000 people were meeting regularly listening to God's Word! But here is the best part, they were listening to it on a CD player.
Believe God can do miracles today! Every Sunday and everywhere we go. We don't See miracles today because we don't put ourselves in a place that we need one miracle!
Are playing it safe? Are we reaching out to the people who are desperate for a miracle? Matt:9-12 Jesus said, “it is not the healthy who need a doctor but the sick. I have NOT come to call the righteous but the sinners.
We say God can do all things… Nothing is too big for our God…He's our healer… but we don't have enough money to do that! What!? We have to pray it in, fast it in. We have to put ourselves in a place where we have to have a miracle. Matt 19:26 says, “Jesus looked at them and said with man this is impossible but with God all things are possible.”
Religion keeps us where Jesus has already been, but I want to be where Jesus is at now! Today in this moment- in this hour, ask God what are you up to and let me be a part of it!
This outpouring is why you are alive! Psalm 119:89–90 says, “Your word, Lord, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens. Your faithfulness continues through all generations.”
If God spoke something a thousand years ago, it still stands. When we study God’s Word, a pattern emerges. We learn that God never changes and never lies (Numbers 23:19; 1 Samuel 15:29). We learn through Scripture that God has never failed in the past (Isaiah 51:6). When He said He would do something, He did it (Numbers 11:23; Matthew 24:35). He will never stop acting like God. He will never stop being sovereign, being holy, or being good (1 Timothy 6:15; 1 Peter 1:16).
One command God often gave the Israelites was “Remember” (Deuteronomy 8:2; Isaiah 46:9). We need to remember all the ways God has provided for us and delivered us in the past. When we come to Him in prayer, we know that He always hears us (1 John 5:14; Psalm 34:15). He provides what we need (Philippians 4:19), and He will always make everything work together for our good when we trust Him with it (Romans 8:28).
God is faithful. When we begin to walk out our God-given dream His faithfulness begins to meet us!!
It's His church! He said ”I will build my church and it will not be shaken.” Acts 17:26-27 states, “From one man he made every nation of man, That they should inhabit the whole earth. And he determined the time set for them and the exact places where they should live.”
God did this so that man would seek after him and perhaps reach out for him and find him even though he is not far from each one of us. That means you were born for this moment -this hour- this city - these friends -for God to pour his spirit out through you.
Pastor Adam Kling,
Lead Pastor –Urban Hope Church