New Look, New Passion
You may have noticed I’ve been away for a while. Apart from being bogged down with lockdown, a bout of actual corona virus in the house, homeschooling children and well everything else that 2020 has thrown at us… I’ve also been keeping my head down after incessantly pinging my regular readers with like one million emails after updated this blog with a new theme. SORRY. ABOUT. THAT!
Still, I’ve had a little time to update the blog, you may have noticed a new look. Ta-dah!
This year has certainly been unprecedented (I know, I’m starting to hate hearing that word be overused too!). And it has given me some reflection time. I started SMA blog with a fire in my belly. God has asked us to surrender our agenda’s and move house to plant a church. We were like the blues brothers – on a MISSION FROM GOD – but you know without the swearing and I’m guessing without the murder?? (I’ve never seen blues brothers!). Anyway, we had a purpose and a passion. And then as the years pass (we’re 4 years on) you realise God meant it when he planted you like a seed in the dark. At times it almost feels like God’s forgotten you. It feels abit like a death of sorts. You are planted in the dark. And all you can do is absorb and grow. Each and everyday. Absorb what small, but meaningful, encouragements God gives you daily and grow a little bit at a time. We’ve seen some wonderful high moments and there have been inevitable lows.
Lockdown gave me some (in the moments I had enough emotional energy after homeschooling and caring for a toddler) to reflect on where my heart was at.
I’ve realised so much activity had become the norm. Now its gone some of it seemed unnecessary. But more than that my love of busy, my love of activity and feeling important doing certain things was in fact unnecessary.
I have had time to realise my powerlessness to really change and help anyone I love and care for. In the last two years I havent been able to prevent friends walking away from faith, the clean become readdicted, help others avoid depression or hold back cancer that took a dear friend away at the start of lockdown. I’ve offered fervent prayers and seen some hope and a little turn around but not enough.
I haven’t been able to give the dead back to their loved ones, alive and well. I haven’t been able to lay my hands on the sick and remove their pain so it never returns. I haven’t seen tortured minds permantly stilled with peace. Jesus did all these things and he said his followers were supposed to do greater things than he had done.
COVID has made me wake up and realise a fresh dependance on God. And thank God for that.
I realise how little power I have and how little power the church has had up to now. I hardly notice it because I have grown up in generation where this is what ‘normal’ christianity looks like. I realise when I teach on healing and on receiving the Holy Spirit there are times I am teaching merely theory. I cannot go on doing this.
My favourity author A W Tozer once said
“Current evangelicalism has … laid the altar and divided the sacrifice into parts, but now seems satisfied to count the stones and rearrange the pieces with never a care that there is not a sign of fire upon the top of lofty Carmel. But God be thanked that there are a few who care. They are those who, while they love the altar and delight in the sacrifice, are yet unable to reconcile themselves to the continued absence of fire. They desire God above all. They are athirst to taste for themselves the “piercing sweetness” of the love of Christ about Whom all the holy prophets did write and the psalmists did sing.”
I have been wrestling with God for most of this year. At the start of 2020 I couldn’t shake the sense that Jesus was asking me to go where I had never been before. My heart couldn’t take any more mundane. I could no longer reconcile myself to the absence of fire in my life. I had to have more of Him. More. There must be more than this. Since the beginning of 2020 I’ve been incredibley hungry and thirsty. Like never before in my life.
I felt lead to fast. For longer than I have ever gone before. Why? Because I want God more than I want food. So far this year has been a year of wrestling to stay hungry. Of trying to work out what I’m really hungry for. As I’ve begun I’ve come across no end of counterfeit affections that aren’t bad in themselves.
But they are not God himself.
I have found a passion long buried. A passion for God himself. A passion for seeking his face and asking that he might revive me and revive my family, my church and my city.
In the next few months I am likely to write about revival quite a bit. Why? Because I’m really hungry. And I want to make you hungry too. Hungry for more than you are seeing and experiencing now. And like Tozer wrote about his own writing:
This [writing] is a modest attempt to aid God’s hungry children so to find Him. Nothing here is new except in the sense that it is a discovery which my own heart has made of spiritual realities most delightful and wonderful to me. Others before me have gone much farther into these holy mysteries than I have done, but if my fire is not large it is yet real, and there may be those who can light their candle at its flame.
I hope as I write about revival and seeking God afresh for myself it might stir in you a flicker of a passion long buried. Watch this space.