So often I look around my city and my heart breaks. There seems to be a church on every corner, and yet most of the people I interact with don’t have a relationship with Jesus. I see the homeless walking around aimless, the high school kids outside smoking, the drug addicts stumbling on the sidewalk, and the list goes on. It’s not that we lack programs or sincerity; rather we are lacking the manifest presence of God.
I was in a conversation with a young man who is caught up in a sexually broken lifestyle, battling a crippling depression, and tormented by night terrors. While talking with him, I realized that there was such a stronghold of lies in his life that any truth I speak gets lost in a cloud of confusion that covers him. There are testimonies of breakthrough for sure, and I rejoice because all of heaven rejoices when one person comes into the kingdom; but they are far too few for my contentment.
There are spiritual strongholds in cities and regions that are charged with demons that can only be cast out through a church that embraces a lifestyle of prayer and fasting (Mark 9:29).
We have testimony in the scriptures and throughout history of regional moves of God. Such strong manifestations of His presence that thousands are saved in a day and the culture of the society is discernibly impacted with righteousness. How can we be content with anything less than this? I mean history still has yet to see the “spirit poured out on ALL flesh” and the “greater works than these.”
Preceding every great move of God in history we see a people gathered with one purpose; to encounter the living God. A people filled with a desperation for God; a cry for mercy over their own souls and the souls in their cities. There is no plan “B” for them; no other option. Either God shows up or we perish. These people are so consumed that they gather continually in repentance, worship, and intercession.
We are not seeing a regional move of God because in reality we are content. We think that we are rich, that we are blessed, and are in need of nothing. We are more concerned with getting more blessing on our own lives than we are pouring out our lives, like Jesus, for our neighbor. We don’t recognize that we are really poor and in need of God.
I say this, not as a critical bystander, but as one who feels this conviction in my own heart. I can see areas of pride and compromise in my life. This conviction is the mercy of God. It reveals that we are not walking in our identity; that there is more in His heart for us. The Lord has given us a simple way to respond. Anyone can do it. He says to turn to Him in repentance with prayer and fasting. We have no ability to make anything happen. He wants our weakness so that His strength may be displayed through His people. There is grace available to the humble.
I want to invite you to take time to ask the Lord to search your heart. Take real time and focus your gaze on Him. Let Him speak to your heart and respond to the conviction of the Holy Spirit in turning to His cross. Let Him show you His heart for you, your family, and your city. I believe that if we begin there, as we wait on the Lord, He will lead us into His plans and purposes. Through our yielded hearts He will lead us in being agents of change among our communities.
I am appealing to heaven for a move of God; not just because it sounds fun, but because real lives are hanging in the balance.