Is God about to do a New Thing? Or is it just my being more sensitive to something God has always been doing? That has been a thematic question I have had since the new year started, which began this major spiritual life change.
I have studied Church History, and have always been fascinated with times of Great Awakenings, and things like the Jesus Revolution of the late 60's and early 70's. I got saved in the mid 70's and have been through times of spiritual growth and long times of wilderness periods. Now that I am into another era of spiritual growth, and renewal, then I also wonder if this is also a time of preparation for another Great Awakening move of God? Do you not think if there was ever a time we needed it in this Country, and world wide, it would be now?
In a message called Viruses and Victories, Dr. Lynn Hiles detailed his research of the many times through the past centuries when the world has gone through plagues and viruses, and how at the same time there was a great move of God and spiritual reformations! Is it more than possible that while the world is trying to recover from this Global pandemic, that God is about to introduce a Global Spiritual Reformation?!!
That has been the message I have been hearing from many ministries, and also has been the theme of my heart since the beginning of the year. "A man's mind plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps and establishes them." Prov. 16:9 Amp. And while I am convinced that if President Trump was re elected, then I would not have made such a major shift in what was consuming my time politically, that many things developed into a life changing event. From feeling a growing sense of hunger for a closer relationship with the Lord to the point of tears! To the major upset in the election. To ending any concern over political results that were more than I could bear. To finding ways to fill that time with spiritual interests. At the same time as hearing from other sources, and sensing in my own spirit that God might just be at the beginning of a Global Spiritual Renewal.
And so at this point, I am not even sure if I will continue posting updates after this, but I will continue this post to include this following story of a recent event in my life. To begin with, I have been close friends for about 17 years or more with a Pastor Galen Winebrenner, who is the pastor of a church in Uniontown PA. called United Christian Temple. We have kept in touch many times throughout the years, and I have even had the pleasure of taking him flying on a few occasions. As I have been keeping him informed of these changes in my life, he had asked me to come speak at his church, which I was reluctant to do so, and said as much.
In previous posts, I am sure I mentioned about sensing a calling to the ministry many years ago, and having nothing come of it, and after so many many years, of having come to terms with it not something that would happen, and so making peace between me and God.
Preaching again was not something that I wanted to have stirred up again within me! And so after several discussions with Pastor Galen, and after a I made a mid-week flight to visit and take him flying again, I filled him in on the details of my heart over the years. I finally agreed that if God made it known to me what to preach, then on the next available flyable day, I would make the 1 1/2 hour flight instead of the 3 1/2 hour drive to preach. Oh boy!
Imagine having not spoken much more than a greetings in visiting church services for more than 20 years, and having made peace with not even wanting to anymore, and yet being filled with countless hours of teachings and readings and ministry and talking and listening to God, and now being asked to speak a message!!
I would have been content to never having been asked, but since I was, I did spend weeks thinking about and preparing for a message should the conditions arise. Sure enough I hearkened back to when I was in my mid 20's (some 40 years ago) and first felt a calling to preach and was sort of mentored by a lay minister from the church I was going to at the time, who did services for jail ministries and nursing homes. He gave me an outline for a sermon from Mark 4:35 where there is a storm on the sea of Galilee and Jesus is asleep in the boat so that I had an outline for my first message to preach at the nursing home. I thought that it would be a starting point to begin again and have something to develop from which I would have a message to share this time.
And so, as it has happened that on D-DAY, June 6th 2021 the weather was flyable and we flew to KVVS Connellsville airport near Uniontown PA. and I delivered my heart in a message I called "A Sermon 40 Years In The Making" to the people of United Christian Temple. Cindi did record the message, which I may at some point include a link for posterity.
While I would be very critical of my own preaching, I also recognized that it was something I had not had any experience doing for decades, and so, while I would preach it much different if I had to do it over again, I am also satisfied with at this point of it being one and done having felt like I delivered what God put on my heart to say. However, unless God makes it clear that a door has been opened for me to be pushed through to preach more often, then it has fulfilled all that it was meant to do, which satisfied my wondering what it would be like for me to preach again, and also Galen's interest in hearing me preach.
And while my plans are to continue with still reading and listening and praying and waiting on God, and doing what Paul Young describes as "Living in the Grace of each day" and trying not to be "Future tripping" where he says, there is no Grace for our imaginations of future events that haven't and likely won't happen. At the same time, I will intend to be sensitive to listening to God, and continuing to seek if perhaps if I can be included and a part of it if indeed the answer is yes to the question.... Is God about to do a New Thing? And all of that while living in the Grace of one day, while we are Still On The Journey