Something a-stirrin’

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There has been something stirring in my heart, in my spirit, of late. It is difficult to articulate. Thoughts swirl.

It’s something about the Spirit. Not my spirit… the Spirit. You know… the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity.

Yes, person.

I’ll try to articulate my thoughts but it seems hard…  Yes, I’ll try. Because I believe it is important. It stirs so deep and so strong within that I can sometimes barely contain my emotions.

There is a huge feeling of frustration that wells up inside as I look out at our dear congregation. A community, yes. More so for some than others, I am sure. But some faces I see week after week, sitting there, blankly, covering up their wounds and hurts and fears with stony doors with no lock and key. I know that there is brokenness behind those stony doors, covered by stony faces. Because everyone is scarred from time on earth. You cannot escape pain or wounding while you live on earth; it is a part of life. Then there are those dear ones that cover their wounds and fears with that “happy, smiley Christian face”.  The one we “Christians” are “supposed” to wear, as believers in the One who stormed the very gates of death, took back His dear Son, and breathed life into him again.

HEY!  WAKE UP!!!!! WHY DO YOU COME WEEK AFTER WEEK?   WHY?

Do you come to sit here and listen to a good sermon, to stand and sit when told, to sing a few nice songs, to say hi to a couple of familiar faces?

Is that it?

Do you not desire more? Is your spirit not stirring inside too? Do you not want a touch from Jesus? Do you not desire what Jesus offered?

What?   You think it’s just about bein’ nice and doin’ your daily devos, sitting in church week after week until you die and you get the free ticket to the glory land {hallelujah} and get your angel wings at the pearly gate?

What about now?         {Now?}     Yes… now. The here and now.

What do I mean?

Well, I mean, what about the promise of fullness of life that Jesus promised?  The abundant life…?   “I have come so that they may have life and have it to the full.” (John 10:10)   Jesus doesn’t say he came so that when we die, in 5 or 10 or 25 years we get to live with Him forever in heaven. (Yes, eternal life is part of His promise of being one of His followers.) But here, he talks about abundant life, full life. That isn’t after we die. That’s now.

I was introduced to God the Father early on in life. I knew of His love and His presence. A few years went by before I was introduced to Jesus, His Son. A while after that I was hungry and thirsty for more. Is this all there is to Christianity?, I wondered. And then I was introduced to Holy Spirit. And the Spirit has made all the difference. The Spirit breathes life into dry bones. The Spirit heals deep wounds that disable us emotionally, or spiritually. The Spirit is the one that enables us to live for Jesus, to live like Jesus, to love like Jesus. Without the Spirit, there isn’t transformation, real change.

I have such a desire to see people walk in freedom. When I see people week after week who come in pain, and leave the same crippled people, I think that we, as the Church are failing them somehow. Yes, community is good. But there is more. There is so much more. I have been learning more about the Holy Spirit. How this person works and how He speaks. How he speaks gently and tenderly to broken, wounded hearts. {Perhaps that is your heart… bruised? wounded? broken?}  The Holy Spirit wants to speak into that pain, into that brokenness and create a beautiful newness from it. Instead of the gaping, aching wound, you will find healed tissue covered with a scar, tenderly stitched by the hand of the One who created You, the One who spoke you into life.

And as you experience healing at His gentle hand, you will walk in freedom. Because “where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom”.   (2 Cor.3:17)

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12 responses »

  1. Wow, this is really deep Kristen, and thank you so much for sharing this. Some of us are in pain when we go in, and leave that much more confused, maybe confused isn’t a good word to use. Some of us are overwhelmed to begin with, and depending on where we are in our journey with God, we can become more bitter through the service. I know it’s happened to me time and time again, and why I didn’t go for a while. I needed time to process what was going on within me.

    And sometimes the pain that we face is so intense we can’t see much else around, we transfer our hatred of the pain we feel toward God because it’s easier to do than to be angry with ourselves or even the people who live with us and around us.

    The thing that I love is that no matter where we go the holy spirit will reign us in.

    I love the analogy of us humans as wild horses, and God/Jesus/Holy Spirit is the rider and the horse whisperer. He understands us, allows us the pain and confusion but is there to help us figure it out. He understands what we are afraid of, and if we spook when we are a sound horse, he allows us to gallop away because in that moment using the reigns is useless except that it causes us more pain. So he lets us run off, but he will redirect us when we are ready.

    • Beautiful analogy, Darby, of the wild horses with God as the rider and the horse whisperer. I understand that sometimes pain is so deep and so intense that one can barely feel anything more at all. But my question (or perhaps challenge?) to you is: can you seek out the healing that you need? As you recognize that pain, can you find people who will pray for you, who will enable the Spirit to direct the course of prayer so that some healing may come? What stops us from doing that? Is it that we are not aware of resources at our church for that? Or is it fear (as you mention, being spooked like a horse)? What stops you from reaching out for the healing that may come from Jesus/HS? Hugs. K

  2. Truly God has touched your heart! The Holy Spirit is awakening many to the abundant life that is our rightful inheritance in Christ. Thank God you have heard the Spirit and are listening/sharing what God is showing you! You’re right, there is so much more than just going to listen to a sermon each week. Jesus desires a pure, interactive and personal relationship with true healing, joy and peace to us as the outcome. Keep seeking Him and blogging on the way. God bless you. 🙂

  3. Perhaps the persistent stony attendance is all that some have left to offer? Perhaps there is still a hope that the waters will be stirred in such a place by the Spirit you speak of and that somehow someone will help them into the healing waters or perhaps someone will speak a healing word? Perhaps such presence is a gift — albeit a reasonably disturbing one — a gift that is meant to be entered into freely, openly, vulnerably by those who have good news to share? Perhaps no one has taken the time to listen to a story that needs to be told, and heard… by someone… perhaps anyone who might care? The Paraclete is the One who comes alongside, perhaps the very ones you speak of have been sent by the One who knows that those who have been touched by his Spirit will also come alongside? Life is full of so many opportunities… weekly… I wonder who it is that will respond?

    • Yes, Gord. In reading your comments I now fear that my frustration is perhaps directed towards the wrong people. You are right… for some, that is all that is left to offer. They do long for that stirring of the waters, or a healing word from someone. And yes, that could be me. Or you. I think I feel overwhelmed in thinking about how many faces I see that are guarded and hard. But what is church for anyway? It is to reach those that are suffering, that are hard of heart, so that they too, can experience the miracle of freedom that Jesus offers. So. The paradigm of church – is it working? What about making room for more Spirit-work? How to reach those that come week after week suffering?

      • Thoughts… One offset to “overwhelm” is focus (there are probably others). Focus often makes activity or action of some sort possible. No one can do everything, everyone can do something… but in the institutional model of church today far too many people think they can’t do anything and thus they don’t do anything and the institutional model seems to support and be complicit in such non-activity. I would say the institutional model seems to be broken at some fairly basic levels. Perhaps “where two or three are gathered in His name” doesn’t translate all that well to two or three hundred, or worse still, two or three thousand. At the level of “two or three” there is probably a greater understanding of the necessity to act and perhaps even a willingness to do so. In larger groups the bystander effect is always alive and well, as the vast majority are quite sure that it is “someone else’s” responsibility to act. The institutional paradigm is passive, which is probably why Jesus didn’t do church the way we do it today.

      • Thanks for those thoughts, Gord. I am beginning to wonder about the institutional model that exists presently and thinking about how change can come about.

      • I think reply is out of sequence K, but it was the closest “reply” button I could see. I’d be very interested in reading your reflective thoughts on how “change can come about” within the context of an institutional model. The one thing I have figured out is that institutions, whatever their type (academic, governmental, religious, secular etc) are by design and intention usually profoundly resistant to change. It’s probably a rich and interesting area to explore, especially if you believe in the value and importance of individual change. If individuals change, and institutions don’t, the latter can lose relevance quickly, probably in less than a generation or two.

  4. thanks K for these thoughts. So true, and what to do. I always appreciate your reflections.

    Would you have a time slot for a cuppa something around your island sometime, while the kids do some homeschooling art (or other self directed activity 😉

    Sure would enjoy catching up – still interested to hear about your trip out East and life since then etc.

    Wed aft – friday are best for me. Enjoy your day! jh

  5. Pingback: Liquid Love | New Heaven on Earth!

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