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The rising tide

August 27, 2014

It’s funny how sometimes the more you drink, the thirstier you are.

I have to wonder if we somehow learn to tune out our thirst and call it something else, pouring all sorts of things into ourselves that aren’t pure, aren’t water.  We become dull and sluggish and we can’t figure out why.

Until, that is, we draw a tall cool glass and throw back our heads and drink…and drink…and drink.

It’s as if that water both satisfies something desperate in us and ignites a deeper thirst.  The more water we drink, the more our bodies crave it.

That thirst doesn’t stop with our bodies.  At least it doesn’t with mine.

I find myself thirsty these days.  Sometimes I wonder how it is that someone who has abandoned herself to a wild river could claim thirst.  And yet here I am, parched and drowning at the same time.

Am I the only one?

I’ve heard a lot of people call for revival lately.  I wonder what they mean by that.

Sometimes it feels like when people who walked with Jesus didn’t understand why He came and they kept waiting for a political solution to a much bigger problem.  People’s hearts were lost, their minds were darkened, they were separated from God with no way to be reunited with Him because sin was always in the way.  No sacrifice had yet been made for it.  And yet folks were expecting Jesus to become a great king and make all the countries who were being mean to Israel bow down instead.  It’s as if they couldn’t grasp that they were calling for a ruler with whom they could have no real peace.  You know…because of that sin thing.  They wanted to be vindicated in the eyes of their enemies.

Jesus had a totally different agenda.  He came to establish a kingdom, but not the kind they expected.

When I hear calls for revival today, they often seem tied to making people follow the rules and behave.  The mindset seems to be that if we had revival, people would get right with God and behave righteously and stop being so difficult to be around.  Then we wouldn’t have to be so uncomfortable with their humanity…or fearful of our own.

I believe Jesus still has a totally different agenda.  And He’s still looking to establish a kingdom, and it’s still not the kind people expect.

I need the kingdom.  His kingdom.  I need to be an active giver in the kingdom, and I need to receive from the kingdom.  I thirst for that power that blows the dust out of my corners and washes the muddy tracks off my carpets, the power that then flows through me to yank open the heavy doors in other people’s dungeons.

I ache for it.

There is a kingdom where I am not disqualified because of my screw-ups, but am instead qualified by His righteousness.  Where nothing is impossible, where miracles are signs that brings me to my knees in wonder.  Where grace is never given begrudgingly, but is poured out generously on the ragamuffins like me who know they’re sunk without it.  Where love rules…love reigns…love wins.

I need it.  I’m so thirsty my bones ache for it.

May the floodgates be opened.


2 Comments leave one →
  1. August 27, 2014 11:20 am

    You make me think, Lisa. As I read, I thought about the political standstill in this country over the plethora of social problems we have. Then, I thought about the Holy Spirit’s arrival in Acts and the great influx of souls into the kingdom and how it changed the social dynamic of the people. They began to share and be of like mind, body, soul, and spirit.

    I’ve often said (and read it in Dallas Willard) that true Christian faith (spirituality), the thing Jesus offers, and as implied in Ephesians, is a powerful culture changer. When I read your words, I think: the model hasn’t changed. That meaning, the “messiah” that we need remains a spiritual change of heart rather than political movements, which only prove themselves to be, at best, lackluster.

    The question is how we might get people to change spiritually. Most importantly coming to Christ, but also to change their spiritual attitude toward life and so amend the -isms that plague society. We don’t have to settle for rampant anything. Society can be better, as some are more than others; but we have to want it.

    • August 27, 2014 11:51 am

      I believe that the Church (big C church) in general has done a grave disservice to the gospel. We’re supposed to be a glorious bride, but instead we come off as dour spinsters, rigid and dour, with no taste for truly good news.

      In 1 Corinthian 2 Paul says:
      And so it was with me, brothers and sisters. When I came to you, I did not come with eloquence or human wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God.[a] 2 For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. 3 I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling. 4 My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, 5 so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power.

      To answer your question, I don’t think we can get people to change spiritually. But when stop trying to persuade with logic and argument and guilt, and we start demonstrating the POWER of God, people take notice. And His power is not just so what we will be able to grit our teeth and manage our sinful appetites. His power changes. It transforms. It heals, it delivers, it does the impossible with no regard to human opinion about whether or not something is possible. His power loves with a depth of all-encompassing totality that anyone who truly encounters it will never be the same again.

      Remember what I wrote about the more you drink, the thirstier you get? Well, the more you experience Him, the hungrier you are to experience more of Him.

      So…we can’t do anything to get people to change. But we sure could be better at making introductions to our incredible loving and gracious God.

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