Monday, February 19, 2007

I appreciate your prayer cover for the weekend. On Friday night one young man gave his heart to the Lord. Had nothing else happened that would have been worth it. Sunday was a blessing at OSU. I met some wonderful people, and several are seeking to go to the mission field with us. I Praise the Lord for His provision.

Isaiah 6 has long been a chapter from the Word that holds an explosive amount of meaning for me. Some of its imagery has captured my imagination, and caused me to meditate upon it. When the Lord called me into ministry, the pastor I was under at the time used this same passage to convey the kind of change that was taking place in my life.

I admit, I find myself wondering what it will be like to come into the physical presence of the Lord and His Throne. The Holiness that is held in that one thought moves me. I am quickly reduced to a weeping mass when I look at the sinfulness of my life, and consider the absolute purity of His presence.

When I worship, I often envision the Spotless Lamb on His Throne before me. If a prophet of the Lord such as Isaiah crumbles before His Majesty. How much less am I worthy to stand in worship, mouth barely moving, going through the motions of what should be an all encompassing experience and trading it for my own disconnected thoughts about who knows what.

I am in the Presence of the Almighty! How can I stand there week after week as if it was an unimportant part of who I am. The Lord has so much work to do in His children if we are capable of standing before Him without humiliation.

Isaiah collapsed in His presence. He knew that He was experiencing something that was uncommon. He had not even been introduced in this setting, but could gather the verbal and visual cues and realize that in the presence of such Holiness, he was unworthy.

Is it not interesting in our churches today how "worthy" most of us must think we are to being offering praises to the King of Kings, in such predictable posture? Standing erect, hands forced deep into empty pockets, searching for distraction. Yawning, looking around as if the Holy one was present and would certainly be pleased by our mere presence, and nothing more need ever be required of us. After all, we could be home sleeping.

The last couple of Sundays, my pastor has preached anointed messages with incredible passion and power. His conveyance seemed largely missed by God's chosen ones. I confess how appalled I am to be in the midst of such lethargy. How can we offend God's heart with such carelessness.

Body of Christ, if we do not begin to view our Savior as the Holy, Spotless Lamb, the only One who was worthy of this sacrifice, then how can we expect a lost world around us to care or be impacted by our lives?

His very Presence in our lives should cause us to seek Him with abandon. The stronghold of apathy grips many of our churches, and many of His people. Content to simply be standing side by side with other believers, who cannot wait to get out and get to lunch, we are more concerned about how we look than whether or not we will encounter the Holiness of the Lord.

Our own churches in America are largely dead to His movement within our midst. We seem to prefer He remain in lofty places where we do not have to entertain Him, than to have Him come down and call us to our faces before Him. That would be awkward. We might get dirty...And this outfit is new.

I want the God of Zaccheus to come and make me uncomfortable, and tell me He is coming to my house today. Of course it is not in the order it should be, but that is the point.

I need to get uncomfortable to the point that I recognize a Holy movement, and allow it to affect change in my life!

Can you imagine where America would be if we would surrender our lives to Him the way we have sold out to materialism? All of it will be burned up. Consumed in Holy fire. It will fall away as dross. What will be left? Have I let Him move and change me enough that there is something to offer after the fire of 1 Corinthians 3:12-15?

We need to surrender.



At 11:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

AMEN! Hallelujah!

As Paul expressed... I know that I am the worst of sinners and THAT is why I fall on my knees to my face or I bawl when worshipping the Lord (the crying is inevitable) - it's not a show, it's MY TIME with my Savior being in what SHOULD be one of the most protected places in our communities and yet somehow it's usually a place of contempt, which seems to be the American way these days.

Everyday, I pray that we ALL (including myself) will allow God to MOVE in us to clear all the yuckie stuff away. That we would RISK our lives for the Lord and let Him BE our TRUST, as it says in the Psalms!

Okay - I could go on FOREVER, but must get back to work! My brothers and sisters - let's stand in the GAP for our Youth and our Country and fight the GOOD fight together!!! He is WORTHY!

Love you all!

Laurel, San Diego

At 11:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amen Brent. I wonder too as I look out at the 'pews' Sunday mornings, how can you be so bored and subdued in His Presence. A smile, a tear, a bowed head, a raised hand, is it too much to be engaged in worship? Truthly, I have become so discouraged, I am part of the problem I think. How much 'cleaning' would I feel compelled to do if He pointed His finger at me and said He would be having dinner at my house this nite?

At 12:18 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Brent you have touched on a subject that is so very close to my heart today. I'd like to give my opinion and in doing so hope that I don't offend anyone, as that's not my purpose.

Coming from a different country, I have noticed several subtle differences in the churches here.
I think on the whole Americans are more open with their faith, but having said that, there are many who profess to belonging to the Lord, but unfortunately it is only lip service.

The biggest difference that I've noticed is that the services here seem to be run by the clock and not by the Holy Spirit. Everyone wants to hurry through the service to get home to lunch or whatever they have organized for after church.

I was extremely fortunate to have been saved in a church where the services were run by the Holy Spirit, the pastor and worship pastor were very sensitive to the move of the Spirit. Many times the service would be worship only and the pastor was more than happy to step down from his position as pastor and allow the move of the Holy Spirit to flow.

I tend to think that there are churches in every country that have not been taught the difference between praise and worship. If church leadership (namely pastors) would allow the body of Christ to truly worship the Lord before the message was presented there would be a shift, a very positive shift in the congregations.

Just about anyone can praise the Lord but to worship Him takes total focus on Him, and Him alone. Not worrying about those around us, or worrying about what others will think if we were to fall to our knees, or fall on our face, prostrate on the floor, not worrying about what others would think if the tears would flow, because the presence of the Holy Spirit was so strong that there is nothing left to do but just stand in His presence and let Him be Lord.

Worship should not be kept just for Sunday’s, it is intended to be part of our every day life. How can we start our day if we haven’t yet worshiped our King?

It's time to get off our blessed assurance and show the King of Kings that He IS truly the King. Would we step into the presence of earthly royalty without showing the respect that he or she deserves, then why do we do this to our King?

As much as I enjoy a good message at any service my place of pleasure is at the feet of Jesus worshipping Him.

In His Love

At 9:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

AMEN!! This past Sunday, I was mordified to see several people falling asleep - FALL ASLEEP???? Why come to worship if you are not coming to REALLY worship. Stay home and sleep or come to Worship Our KING!!

At 7:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very well said. Thanks


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