It's good to be back from yet another quick trip. This time to spend some time with my friend Owen from NH. It has been a very interesting week.....learning tons of things.....but always coming back to the one thing the Lord is trying to show me....show us....show His people..... that single most important thing we need to give ourselves to, in order to come to that place of intimacy in Him that I keep talking about. Would you like to know what that is? You know I'll talk about it anyway so you might just as well say "Yes!" :)
I am the most distracted person I know. Ellen will more than attest to that....she even spends much of her time trying to bring me back to the task at hand. The toughest one to stay focused on, is that single most important thing necessary to come to intimacy with Him. Our brains just cannot compute that I need to spend time in worship and prayer every single day......it gets relegated to Sunday morning or weekly prayer meeting....because we have all these other important things to do the rest of the week!
One of the things Jesus accomplished at the cross was to fulfill Father's goal to establish Him as both the King in His Kingdom and the Priest after the order of Melchizidek ever making intercession for us and enabling us to come into the presence of the Father..... because we are in Jesus..... we also be can be Kings and Priests! We can now come into the presence of our Father to worship Him and intercede for others.
It is the single most important thing we are here to do and.....the first thing to be let go when we get busy.....and sadly the easiest also.... of all the stuff on our plates....it is the easiest to either pre-empt or be distracted from....
As you know from previous postings, this is an area I've been working hard at for over two years now. So I made a decision when I traveled down to see Owen to spend the entire driving time both down on Monday and back on Wednesday.... doing nothing but worshiping and praying.....no small task since it's almost a 3 hour drive to get there. I was amazed.....except for a few distractions, :) it actually worked.....it was awesome! Didn't listen to teaching tapes or teaching CD's or local radio programs, nor did I just space out.......nothing!
I went to a well-attended meeting Friday here in Vermont (got back from my "Owen trip" on Wednesday).....it was a meeting for burned out, depressed and discouraged professional, full time, paid to minister, ministers. Very interesting..... You know what they never have time to do...... worship and pray!!!!!!
Do you know what Owen does? He is a true present day Apostle.....not one of those guys running around to sign up Churches to function under him as he builds his little kingdom....Owen is the real deal.... he gives himself to struggling Churches where he always discovers that the struggle is because Jesus was never laid as the foundation....there are a zillion other foundations.....personalities are big, our doctrine, denomination, teachings, outreach, methods. giftings in that particular leader....you name it and we are incredibly good at making that the most important thing in peoples lives....usually not leaving the folks very much time to work at developing their own relationship with Jesus.
The first thing Owen works on in these dysfunctional churches is laying the foundation of Jesus, not in the people's lives but in the leaders lives. He asks them to begin to pray and worship individually every day (with a journal to make notes of what the Lord is saying to them), encourages their spouses to do the same..... then to come together as a couple, talk about their time with the Lord, and then worship and pray together .... again journaling about their experiences....... then coming back together every week as leaders with their spouses sharing their experiences together as a group. He then monitors that meeting.
It takes months and months and months doing this to re-lay a foundation. Think about that for your own life. Unfortunately we are in too big a hurry, too many important things to get done.....although I'm not sure what it is that makes those things so important or where it is we are going that we are in such a rush to get to.
Think about the kind of revolution it would cause in the Churches if this foundation was built into the leadership and then into every single person in that church. Jesus might just come back for a church that looked like that.
I no longer want to be too busy to do that. It is the single most important thing we can do to lay that foundation in our lives. It will take us to that place of intimacy we long to have with our Creator.