I trust that it has been a very happy holiday season for you all, so far! I know that as for me and my household, it has been blessed, with unexpected blessings coming in! We had a feast on Christmas morning with plenty of gifts under the tree. Our house was decorated both inside and outside. We had a fantastic Christmas party with our First Love family. There has been lots of laughter, festivities, and games with family and friends -- all during a time of supposed pandemic, economic and political uncertainty. You’d think I would have reason to rejoice! We are living above the craziness of the world. However, I can’t help but feel an uneasiness. It’s as though we are waiting for something to happen. I actually wondered if God gave us a peaceful Christmas because it may be the calm before the storm.
If you know me at all, you know that I am an intercessor. I often sit up at night and pray about things that may have nothing to do with my own life, but everything to do with the Church, at large. My calling is to “win the church to Christ.” Therefore, as we all celebrate the birth of Jesus, I can’t help but look at the state of the body of Christ. I worry about the lostness and blindness. I grieve regarding the deception and the moral cowardice. I sigh at the apathy and the lukewarmness of so many who fill the pews (or the Zoom meeting) every Sunday. We’re not ready. I fear that we are not prepared to face the onslaught that is coming. There was a very holy moment at Night Watch two-weeks ago, where I was praying, and God revealed to me to pray a "Macedonian call" prayer, that God would send His servants from the hidden places across the globe to the aid of the American church.
Every moment of this international crisis makes it clearer why God spoke to me so many years ago. We must win the church to Christ – and it is much harder than you think. In fact, you may not see the absolute "lostness" of most of the church until you look in from the outside. Then, it is profound. Yet, we are one body, and we must repair and bring healing to the broken pieces through God's ability in us.
This 2021, we MUST ask God to help us activate our spiritual giftings. Our discipleship has to be more than talk. Our idea of following Christ must be something that makes us uncomfortable. Amos 6:1 tells us, “Woe unto them that are at ease in Zion.” This coming year, let’s not wait until trials come upon us before we fight. Let’s fight the good fight of faith, and strike, first. Let’s strike in intercession and prayer. Let’s strike in safeguarding our children and young adults. Let’s strike in fulfilling the ministry we are all called to. You may not be called to preach, but you are called to help the gospel go forward in the earth. In 2021, it’s time to pray, mobilize, and give with radical faith.
Finally…we did not establish First Love Fellowship to make our Christian walk easier. We do not exist to sit and relax while the world is burning. There is a part that we as a church must play in the salvation and discipleship of souls. There is a voice and an impact that we are undoubtedly called to have in this time. The record of heaven is being written. What will it say of you and me? Will it say that we radically denied ourselves for the furtherance of God’s kingdom? Or, will it say that we were silent and comfortable?
A dear friend of mine gave me this word, and I want to extend it to you all. He told me concerning First Love Fellowship that “God is moving in a new way in 2021. Expand the stakes of your tent” He went on to say (concerning me in particular) that he was praying for me based on 1 Corinthians 4, that I would first, reveal the mysteries revealed by God. Secondly that I would carry the Father’s heart. And finally, that my ministry would be differentiated by power, not talk. He said that while these things are already evident, God is preparing a sevenfold manifestation in 2021. I took it seriously because of the weight of the person who said it.
Let’s expand the stakes of our tent in 2021 through prayer, and by activating the gifts of God in us. We will begin the year with a teaching on the gifts and ministries of the Holy Spirit. We’re doing so with the intention of discovering and USING the gifts we have been given. There may only be a few of us, now, but I believe God is interested in winning many, many, MANY more in both the world and the lost masses who fill the pews of many churches. And, I believe He will do so through you. I am praying for laborers in the harvest, new house-churches, extended prayer times, and a direct focus on the spiritual security of our children and young adults.
Here’s what I am asking of each one of us. I need you to pray for me, often. Pray for my household. Pray for my spiritual walk. Pray that the mysteries of God would be made known to me. I also ask that you pray for the manifestation of the Spirit be evident in us all. There are giftings and abilities that exist in our Fellowship which could impact the city – and even the nation. Let’s put them to use in 2021, for the glory of Christ our Lord.