Tuesday, October 20, 2020
BODY OF CHRIST Where The River Flows

Where The River Flows

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2/22/2016


 

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            The land on either side of the highway was brown and dry in the summer heat, and had been for many miles. My eyes were tired of all the brown colors I had seen, and I craved the missing greens and reds. After many miles of the brown and boring terrain, my eyes feasted on a line of lush green trees, which wound along a brown field on my right. I couldn’t take my eyes off the bright green foliage, thriving in the midst of the dry browns everywhere else. Like a drink of cold water to my soul, the intensity of the fresh colors was shocking, and refreshing. This is the memory that surfaced today after my experience in church yesterday, and it has within it a point worth considering.

            Clergymen from five churches in our town have been getting together for prayer every week. Towards the end of December they felt God was directing them to engage in a “pulpit swap” for five consecutive weeks, beginning the first week of January 2016. The schedule they worked up coincided with a forty day fast some of their congregations would be having during the same time frame, so it made sense to conclude these five weeks with a collective worship service for all the involved congregations (with lots of food to follow!).

            A good friend of mine was to preach to the collective crowd, and we eagerly looked forward to the event as a mighty tool of evangelism and outreach, and much prayer had been made in preparation during the preceding forty days of fasting.

Since the culminating service was to be held at a local convention center, rather than a church, it was thought that many attending would not be born again Christians, and so we got ready to receive all the new believers we just knew would flood the isles!

My friend is an excellent preacher and an evangelist, and so we prepped for lines of new converts awaiting prayer after the meeting. In the back of my mind was the hidden thought that perhaps none of what we anticipated, hoped for and had prayed weeks for, would happen, but I abolished the thought as too negative to entertain.

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            Yesterday was the long-awaited morning. Excitement was in the air as the giant ballroom of the old Holiday Inn was filled to overflowing, and it was standing room only for many who attended! That fact alone made the excitement mount. We “prayors” were fully prepared and ready to assist in sweeping multitudes into the Kingdom!

The music was good and the worship was evolving in the right direction, as five different congregations became comfortable worshipping together, and we were getting the hang of it about the time the music ended and the preaching began. The preaching was as good as anyone had hoped for, and brought tears to many eyes, for my friend is a powerful man when he preaches. But after a month and a half of hoping, praying and preparing, the response was minimal and disappointing. I saw one lady in tears asking for prayer, and I’m hoping there were others, but there was nothing visible to make me believe we had just seen a mighty move of God.

This morning I was meditating on what I had seen and not seen yesterday, when a thought entered my head that transformed my thinking. And along with the thought was the picture of the line of green trees running through a dry and dormant landscape I described as I began writing.

God clearly told me that the water, which was not visible on the surface of the ground, was flowing through the roots of the trees, and I could know where the water was flowing by following the line of healthy trees along the route it was taking. Suddenly, my disappointment concerning yesterday’s worship service evaporated, as I understood what I was being told.

            Most of the time, what is logical to us is not the direction of the Holy Spirit. The direction of the Holy Spirit corresponds to the subterranean water in my vision, and the evidence is seen in the life that follows. Once we learn to look for the life, we can see what God is doing. Like many others yesterday, I had seen what He was doing, but because it didn’t match what I had been hoping for in my own desires, I looked right at it and missed it.

            Yesterday, we all envisioned a mighty move of God, expressed in a wave of salvation experiences, but that’s not what God had in mind. The water of the Holy Spirit was bringing life to five different congregations as they came together for the first time, and began to learn what it felt like to worship God – in unity. That was where the river of God was flowing, and that was what the Spirit was up to – not our plans, but His.

            God is in charge. No righteous prayer falls on deaf Ears, but the One Who holds the universe together also manages the universal calendar, and in His mind, what needed to happen yesterday happened right on schedule, perhaps even in spite of us.

            And just like Him, it’s all good.

 John


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John Miltenbergerhttps://jmilty.wordpress.com/
John Miltenberger is a Christian blogger, visit John on his site: The Trip So Far נבחר על ידי רצונו של אלוהים להיות בנו המאומץ

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