In the early ‘70s God was moving in an extraordinary way among young people. Surfers, hippies and agnostic yuppies were finding Christ and becoming passionate about following him. Those of us a bit older who had known the Lord for some time were “moved upon” as well and thought nothing of giving up all to serve him in reaching and mentoring those coming into a relationship with him. We were excited about God and what he was doing and were full of anticipation regarding the future.
Then we made the mistake of gradually adding our own structure and organization to something that was pure and powerful without it. We slowly digressed from being Spirit led to being guided by human wisdom. Eventually what had been a genuine move of God was institutionalized and began slowly to die. But the institution “lived” on. I became a “pastor” and collected the usual assortment of disappointment, boredom, the nagging feeling that something was wrong, and finally the blessing of disillusionment.
We stopped everything and cried out to God. He answered. Bottom line, he said to fold up and get out. It seemed natural to give it all up and follow him. Once more the sense of adventure and anticipation for the future beat again in our aging hearts. Father began un- wrapping us from religion layer by layer just as Lazarus was unwound from his long strips of linen grave clothes. New found freedom and fresh revelation of Father’s heart and nature soon overcame loss of identity, pain of rejection and the loss of long time relationships.
Now, over a decade later I find, as I touched on in the last blog, that Father is dealing with areas of my life that still need changing. He’s dealing with expectations I’ve had of him to move in my life and the lives of other people and situations for which I’ve prayed for years. Places I’ve felt abandoned; areas where he just isn’t cooperating. He’s asking me to trust him as a little child and to decide if love is enough. And in the midst of all this there’s the sense that he’s doing something quiet and powerful within those who are done with all but him.
In the past he’s allowed some to function in areas of unusual spiritual power, and they’ve often misrepresented him. Today he continues to reveal himself to those who are fully yielded to him and will allow him to make them whole. He wants people who reflect his image, who represent his nature, who live by his grace and walk in his love. He’s placing his hand on people who would rather be conformed to the image of his Son than to possess power or influence; people who would be happy to pray in the dark while others perform miracles and harvest thousands in the light; people who would be willing to fall into the ground and die for the next generation.
Father’s doing a transforming internal work in whoever will let him. He is moving now to reveal his glory to and through those who have no desire to share it. So if you’re walking in the dark, be encouraged. Humble yourself under his hand. Take time to wait on him. The silence won’t last forever, but when you hear that still, small voice, take heed. It may be the turning point of your life.