Church of the Global North, be encouraged! The Spirit of God, of Jesus Christ, is present and willing to outfit us for life and ministry.
"It is finished!" Jesus, Son of God, Messiah, shouted from the cross. What's "finished"?
Wholeness is ours as we believe; salvation is ours in Christ; healing is His plan for believers (Isaiah 53, following). "By His stripes we are made whole."
- Too long we have followed a "Yeah, but" Bible. God makes rich and many promises and instead of saying "Yes Lord" we respond with "Well, yeah, but". So we don't really believe, or give, or move forward and into "all the fullness of God". We shortchange ourselves, the church of Canada, by unbelief. Try the way of believing instead of the way of unbelief.
Whoever said that was "right on".
I think of Jesus' words in the summit of the New Testament, John 14: "the things I do you will do and greater than these will you do when I go to the Father". We, who are called "more than conquerors", are short-changing ourselves and renewal or revival escapes our experience.
You know God, in Jesus Christ, wants to be experienced. He longs for an intimate closeness with each of us who are called "living stones … precious living stones" … the church. We are the people of God called the church … not a social club or even a place to gather. We who believe in Jesus are the Bride of Christ. We are the Church! And our renewal will be found in believing the Word of God, through being in dance with His Holy Spirit, and acting on what we hear.
Through the Gateway studies of Dunamis we discover that the Holy Spirit is ready and excited to come into us the moment we trust Christ, and willing to come upon us with power for ministry for each episode of serving. As we study the person and work of the Holy Spirit, we all get seriously excited to press forward with Him. He has a plan unfolding even in the Global North church. "I will build my church and even the gates of hell will not be able to stand up against us." So, with us or without us, Jesus will build His Church.
How serious is this plan? I love Spurgeon's picture of the church being built, living stone upon precious living stone … with the history of the world as the scaffold which He uses to build His people. At the end of time, the scaffold will collapse, and all that will remain for all eternity is the Church of Jesus Christ, precious living stone upon precious living stone.
Renewal is getting on board with His plan, listening for His voice and direction. Then worship will be vivacious, the Word of God will be front and centre, and abundant life will result.
I loved the days of March For Jesus. I loved the life, the songs, the colour, and the taking to the streets to announce the church on the move. Sitting on a pew once a week in some building is not the picture of an alive church, not to me.
Studying the person and work of the Holy Spirit, implementing the gifts or tools of the Spirit, and learning to dynamically pray like Jesus … great studies and greater life to experience!
(Pat and her husband, the Rev. Dr. John Allison, are retired after 50 years of ministry in The Presbyterian Church in Canada. Pat's present ministry is to support John who is in a wheelchair as a result of multiple sclerosis, and to serve as a Dunamis facilitator. They are founding members of The Renewal Fellowship and presently live in Smithville, ON.)
For more information about Dunamis please go to dunamisfellowshipcanada.org