Macedonia – Part 2
As I’ve spent several days now in this country, there are some revelations that have been burning in my spirit. I’m not sure if they all are directly connected or not, but I feel a great responsibility to share what happens here – mostly because so many of the readers of this blog are partners and co-laborers with us, but also because I am quickly developing a “soap box” inside of me about testimony. I simply believe that we as Christians too often forfeit great moves of His spirit because we don’t adequately honor Him by sharing testimonies of His great faithfulness, love, and provision toward us. What if we all were diligent every day to not only SEARCH for all the ways He reveals Himself around and in us, but also SHARE what we discover? Spoken testimony prepares the environment for the miraculous! Jesus said in Luke 21:12-13, “But before all these things, they will lay their hands upon you and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons. You will be brought before kings and rulers for My name’s sake. But it will turn out for you as an occasion for testimony.” Did you catch that? Whether we find ourselves in a prison for our faith or not, we WILL have occasions for testimony! I just feel so compelled to do my part, so here goes:
- There is absolutely no doubt that most of the time I am in a foreign country, I find myself not only out of my comfort zone, but not even in view of it! I mean I am WAY out of my comfort zone. It is a great challenge for me, but it drives me to dependence upon Him in ways I wouldn’t experience otherwise. The thing about comfort zones is that they can easily become pockets of resistance for the Holy Spirit. Jesus made a point before His death to clearly establish the coming of His Holy Spirit, saying, “And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you forever… I will not leave you comfortless… But when the Comforter has come, whom I will send unto you from the Father…” (John 14:16,18; 15:26) Jesus knew His departure was going to force the disciples out of the comfort zone they had experienced of His physical presence near them. They needed a Comforter to ease the lack of comfort. If there is “comfort” already present in our lives in the form of earthly things, it’s as if we are telling God that we don’t need His Comforter. Thank You, Father God, that You rejoice in our lack of comfort because it is only in those times that we can experience all that the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, can bring!
- It is so easy to look at things in a nation like this and realize how similar America is beginning to look and think, at times, that true revival is impossible. In the U.S., at least we have hundreds of thousands upon thousands of churches that MIGHT be tools of revival. Here in a nation like Macedonia, there isn’t even a thousand churches in the whole country! In his book entitled Heaven on Earth, Alan Vincent quotes his wife as saying, “You cannot prove God to be the God of the impossible until you find yourself in an impossible situation.” Lord Jesus, I believe in Your Word and the power of Your risen life. I ask You to take the impossible situations we see with our earthly eyes and transform them into a living miracle of Your presence, alive and living for You, the true and great King!”
- Because so many of the pastors and leaders that we work with here are first-generation Believers with no family history of Christianity, they all seem to live each day with a sense of urgency and focus that are far beyond the normal attitude I carry each day. The conversations among the Christian brothers and sisters here are so clearly Spirit-led and focused on the true Kingdom work at hand. Furthermore, the commitment to their prayer lives is remarkable. They exemplify the poor in spirit Jesus referred to in His very first public message, the Sermon on the Mount. “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs in the Kingdom of Heaven.” (Matt. 5) This, of course, was not primarily focused on poor from a monetary standpoint. This was meant to describe the attitude of the person who has come to the end of himself and found that he has nothing of himself. This leads to utter dependence and utter reliance upon the Lord. The poor in spirit realize they cannot buy or bargain with human currency or standards. They reveal that one of God’s primary activities is to bring us to the end of ourselves and our own strength. At THAT point, the rules of our faith change! The promise of this kind of “poor” is the living Kingdom of Heaven on earth – not just His Kingdom someday when we pass from this earth. It’s available NOW! Oh God, give me the courage to keep praying that You would wipe out my human strength so that I am “poor in spirit,” completely dependent upon Your strength. This is the place of the great miracles that we long to see and experience! I long to live in the active flow of your Kingdom!
I pray that you are encouraged to search for the testimony of God in you and around you, and that you would be filled with Kingdom courage to share what you find! May He be glorified and you be strengthened with His true strength!