Each Saturday night has a different thing happening, for sure.
On 1/31, I poured out my honest thoughts and my emotions about our local church situation. About half of the folks who meet with us are part of the local church. I was spent when we were done. And, everyone was extremely kind, patient and listened and also spoke honestly to me.
I cannot express how important it was. Not for me to say what I shared, but the whole process of being checked against, too -- and that happened. An older sister who has come now for 3 weeks had a very wise counsel for me. As a result, my frustration level went way down and patience increased.
My prayers the following week were ... sweeter. I was more able to honestly pray for people instead of about situations.
So, this past weekend when we met again, I was determined not to take us down that path again. I could not get a grasp in my own mind what God might have to share or build up someone through me. So, I got very quiet except for customary welcomes and conversation.
As we gathered around for communion after our meal, though, the Lord did give me some words. We spoke for an hour and a half to one another of edification, and worship, and truth. No one ventured off into "church" issues and I was really hoping to avoid it and not bring drama in.
Well, my sister in law was there and she point blank asked me -- "What are you going to do about church?" :) I paused. And, I said, "Well, I'll tell you. I'm praying for revival like I have been. As frustrated as we've been and as aggravated as we've been, even, there's just no reason for God not to wake up that church."
I related the conversation I'd had with our pastor at lunch (I'd shared that here before) to the extent that he had asked me what I thought the problems were at church. I told them about me telling him the story of the Hebrides revival and his muted reaction to it.
The older sister I mentioned had not heard of it, so I rehearsed the whole thing again -- as best I could and I'm sure I butchered some details -- from Duncan Campbell's telling of it. When I got to the end of that, I said, "And, so, if God will do that in a church off the coast of Scotland, and I'm not saying He'll do that scale of something in Decatur or even in our church, but if WE pray like those folks did, then God will honor His word." So, then scriptures started flowing. Hosea 10, Habbakuk 3, Isaiah 44, John 4, others. I wound up holding floor for a bit but everyone was attentive. And, when I quieted down, the older sister said, "Well, why can't we do that here now?"
So, we did. We prayed. We cried out to God. Some were on our faces, others knelt, others sat. Time flew.
When we finished praying, it was nearly 11:30. (We start at 6.) Then, the Lord spoke to me again, and I just opened my mouth and said, "When the governor goes to announce a big factory opening, they take a big pair of scissors and a huge ribbon and cut that ribbon and the people in suits all shake each other's hands and pose for pictures like they've done something. But, the people in suits leave and the workers show up to move some earth and do the real work. We may have had a ribbon cutting tonight, but we need to break our fallow ground. The real work is just starting. And, in Nehemiah, it was Sanballat the Samaritan who intimidated, threatened, and tried every ploy known to man to discourage the work of rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem. This is war, y'all. And, there are going to be plenty of Sanballats around to say, 'This is nothing', 'I have nothing to repent of', 'Y'all think you're better,' and things like that. So, be ready. If we want revival, we're going to have to plow our own fallow ground first."
Then, we dismissed and everyone filtered out.
So, I wanted to share that and ask you to pray for our local church, as you think of it. For us to repent. For us to be broken before Him in godly sorrow and to repent and be made new again. For real.