I found Sermon Index last week. I'm enjoying all the articles and downloads and posts. It's good to see so much in one place. My husband and I have been married for 22 years. We have 9 children ages 5 to 21, we homeschool, have a family business, yet in many ways we're still spiritual babes.
We met in Alcoholics Anonymous. He had a Bible and a powerful testimony, I had nothing except a broken life and a desire to stop drinking. God put us together and gave us a blessed new life on a silver platter, that is how I feel.
From almost the first day of our marriage, God broke us over His Church. We were new Christians, on-fire, finally in the family of GOD! So we felt. We dove head-first into the typical American church scene and fell flat on our faces.
God has led us up one side of the religious street, and down the other. We studied early church history, worshipped with Christians of every variety, searched out every avenue God has revealed. Most of it left us deeply hurt. We're finally seeing that what passes for Christianity in America, would have been considered heresy to our brothers and sisters of ages past.
Through our failures, Jesus is producing fragrant oil. Like the olive press, the Lord is applying pressure to our lives. He is making useful products from hard green stony hearts. And tossing out the pits & skins.
God spoke to me last summer, in a way He never did before. I was doing my 3-mile evening walk on the dirt roads around the property. I prayed, like normal, crying out for my family and friends and churches we know of and the whole of Christendom, my usual stuff. Suddenly the Lord came to my heart and broke me to the ground with this verse: "They were all together in one place." I knelt in the dirt sobbing "Yes, Lord, that is my heart, too, You know it's been my cry since the beginning." God flashed before me all the different churches we've been part of, the heart-aches, my entire Christian life. He wanted me to see that HE had guided it this way. That He wanted me, and my husband, to have all of this knowledge... for a reason. I sobbed "Yes, Lord, I've known You had a reason, I've known that for years and I don't question any of it. You know my heart. Why are you reminding me now, like this?" He didn't say anything. Just this deathly pregnant silence from a star-littered Heaven. I got up and continued my walk.
Fifty feet later, boom, it happens again. I'm down in the dirt, broken over the church, asking "What do you want me to do? Why are You giving ME a burden? If You want me to do anything about it, You'll have to talk to my husband!" I figured that's what God was driving at. So I got back up and prayed that my husband would get a deeper burden for the church. Well, a hundred feet later, boom, it happens for the third time. I'm on the ground, shaking and sobbing for the state of the church, only now I'm getting scared -- this is too weird! I begin to tell God to please quit doing this to me, to please burden my husband instead... and I stopped short. I gasped. I realized what was happening! God had been wanting to talk with ME. He's GOD. He can talk to anybody He wants. Didn't I WANT Him to talk to me? I felt His presence like I've never felt it before!! I just lay there face-down in the dirt for the longest time, realizing how many years I've run from a real relationship with the GOD of Heaven, in sheer ignorance.
I was so aghast at what was transpiring, I can't describe it. The Awesome Presence of the Most Holy God came down on that dirt road. That's all I can say. I gave up the fight, gave up my rights, gave up everything. I lay there quivering and shaking. I felt the Holy Spirit re-adjust my thinking and remove all the blinders that stood between Him and me. A great quiet and peace fell over me but I couldn't stop shaking and sputtering. All I could do was worship the Living God of Heaven. I wanted to stay there forever.
Finally, after worshipping for a long time, I began to smile broadly. I sat up on my knees and looked at the moon floating in the hazy sky. I wiped my face on my clothes and asked the Lord what He wanted me to do about this burden for His Church. He said "I want you to be a little piece of kindling in My Holy Fire. You won't be the fire itself, but go and put yourself next to the fire and I will use you as kindling." I was so thankful, so delighted! A little piece of kindling in His Holy Fire!
And that's all I really know anymore. So I keep one eye out for any hints of revival fire, so I can pack my bag and get there quick! :-)