It ALL starts with an encounter. 🙂 I’m not talking bumping into that hunk who lives across your street or that chick you always see at the corner coffee shop. Although that doesn’t sound bad at all… Anyway, before I get off track…
Going back to that encounter and how it all started for me. Uh yes, it happened in the setting called Life and in the scene entitled Pursuit. A young lady was oblivious to everything else except her flaws and blemishes. She was in her usual spot, wearing her usual clothes, thinking the usual stuff on that usual time of the day. Her seat was by itself, her get up struggled for identity, her thoughts were dreamy but pessimistic. She was in between, in what you would call the purgatory between absolute hopelessness and the pursuit of zoe or a full life.A young man enters the scene as she was about to leave. She nervously avoids facing his face and thus ends up bumping into the door frame. (Super fail.) She drops her already messy pile of dreams (that were gathered rather hurriedly). Just nice. The gentleman, without a thought, immediately stoops down to pick up her dreams and hands them back to her to get a glimpse of her shadow covered eyes. She steps back, caught by surprise.
I wish I could say that after that moment, her destiny started to chase after her until she finds herself caught up in an unstoppable tide of success and fame. Not so. Being pursued is not without complications. The young lady was just about to find out.
Several years ago, I had an encounter with a man whose name we know but whose shadow very few of us can recognize. Less than a decade ago, a device was implanted in my heart and from then on I could no longer live a day without him.
As days went by, things kept getting better. But after a while, I seem to slowly forget his face no matter how often I tried to remember. The tide of forgetfulness is impossible for mortals to fight. I held on with a flask of oil on one hand and a book on the other. Other times, I completely lose my way and a miracle had kept me. So I’m still here.
The encounter keeps me. And when it doesn’t, a new one saves me.
Just this afternoon, I was talking with an intercessor friend about how difficult it has become to gather people for intercession. It seems that, we are no longer hungry for encounters with God. And even if we are, we no longer have the faith to believe that such a deep encounter that satisfies our longings would be found.
There are three things that I am hoping to see in the near future, if we truly want revival and reformation. We cannot have revival and reformation without a movement of prayer and intercession. What I simply do not understand today is how we can be so passionate in declaring that we our hungry for revival and yet in the time of reckoning we are not willing to pay the price. And the price is that we have to pursue God MORE. It is not really a bad occupation. In fact, it is the best thing to waste one’s life for. But it is costly. It is very costly.
I have prayed and still am praying for three things.
Sustained Hunger. A man with such a hunger will keep coming back for more of God. And even when he gets disappointed at times, he will do whatever it takes to reclaim God’s presence in his life and in his nation.
Faith. A man without faith will easily lose heart because before he has uttered his requests to God, his doubtful mind would have already lost him the battle. Without faith it is impossible to please God. And without faith, we will be dragging our legs to kneel down in prayer.
Sacrifice. The Kingdom of God suffers violence and the violent shall take it by force. Your soul has an enemy and he is out to put every kind of obstacle imaginable and unimaginable, to keep you from making that impact you were made to through your prayers. Believe me, if we could only cut short time spent on distractions, then devote that saved time to God, we might be seeing revival already.
This evening, God impressed to us that the only way we will see men and women rise up to a faithful and sustained pursuit of His presence is when His Spirit is poured out upon his people. It is by the Spirit of God that we cry “Abba,” by his spirit that we say “Come,” by his Spirit that we intercede. Only when His Spirit is poured out, we will see these. If anyone has ears, please hear this plea. Pray for an outpouring of God’s Spirit (Joel 3).
I am sure some people wonder how one could survive so many prayer meetings in a week. And some people wonder how one could survive years of pressing on with the same prayer request and yet not have faith that dwindles, but instead gets stronger and stronger. The answer is encounter.
Years ago, I had an encounter with a man whose name you know but his shadow, will you recognize it when you see it? How well do you know our Savior? I have tasted something and I am left craving for more. The more I see him, the more I want him. On days when I my love grow cold, I fall face down and plead with him to not let me go. I wrestle against the inconsistency of my weak love. I treat my lukewarmness as my greatest enemy. I remind myself that he stopped at nothing, not even death. I cannot afford to waste a single moment of my life on something that draws me one step farther from the one I love.
Sustained hunger, Faith and Sacrifice. These are not possible without first having an encounter. If we have had an encounter already, I pray we will not be quick to forget. Let us pray, that God would pour out His Spirit. Meet us once again.