Monday, April 20, 2009
Intimacy and involvement
Intimacy and involvement is a much used phrase within 24-7 prayer, it's the phrase to me that gives real life to our crazy movement. I believe this is a really exciting time. God is looking for a people who are both intimate with him and involved with the world. Which excites me as the summer approaches, not that I don't live this way all the time but it is heightened during the busy summer months.
There is a call upon each one of our lives to be an intimate prayerful people, who touch the Father’s heart and experience the transforming power of his presence. There is also a call upon each of our lives to be an involved people, who prayerfully take the Fathers heart to the world and introduce others to Jesus and allow them to experience the transforming power of His presence in their lives. Thats what I love.
We must be careful that we don’t try to spread the gospel without the back up of prayer, the power of the Holy Spirit and the transforming power of having been in His presence. Likewise we must be very careful that we don’t pray, experience the Holy Spirit and become transformed by His presence without ever being compelled to fulfil the biblical mandate of spreading the gospel.
We need to be a people who do both, it would be completely wrong to say “I pray, others reach out” or “I reach out, others pray” a Christians life needs both intimacy and involvement.
My faith is two pronged and I don’t think we can choose to go for just one prong! Read Matthew 22: 37 -40 we are called to do both, "love the Lord your God with all your heart and Love your neighbours as yourself." The Christian organisation YWAM sums it up beautifully in their mission statement “To know God and make God known”.
We can’t just be presence seekers; we also need to be presence bringers. We need to be striving to do both together at all times.
I heard a guy called Bill Wilson speak once he talked from Exodus 16: 42 – 50. in which a deadly plague is spreading throughout the children of Israel, they are literally dropping like flies in front of Moses and Aaron, Aaron runs to the Altar, the place that represents the presence of God, he gets some incense and fire from the Altar and runs into the middle of the people and stands with the incense and the plague stops. It says that he took the fire and “stood between the living and the dead”.
We must be a people who get fire from the presence of God and then stand in the middle of a dying world and bring life. We are called to stand between the living and the dead but we can only do this if we have got the fire from His presence.Aaron carried something that he had got from the presence of God into the middle of a very dark and desperate situation and the plague stopped. One man ran into the presence and then ran into the dying world around him and made a difference. The fact that he ran suggests urgency, lives depended on his speed, on his commitment and his awareness of how dreadful the situation was.
My prayer is that I become like Aaron, that I am filled with a desire to run to the presence of God and that I am also filled with enough compassion for the lost and dying to run with His presence into the world.
Intimacy and involvement. Prayer and action. Faith and deeds. They kind of all go together.
Psalm 141: 2 May my prayer be set before you like incense; may the lifting up of my hands be like the evening sacrifice.
There is responsibility that is invested in us from heaven itself to be a people who pray and keep praying in order that we can be a people who witness and keep witnessing.