I think I am starting to get it. And I feel like I should begin shedding tears. I have become too religious. Too religious that I have placed ministry inside a box, and made the act of loving others fit inside a schedule. Since when has the ministry of caring for people become a task that we schedule within a 3-hour window only if our schedule would allow it?
I think of that “prayer evangelism” or “treasure hunt” activity that I had kept on postponing because we still could not make our prayer time more consistent. If we never find ourselves able to be more faithful in prayer, will we never find ourselves sharing the love of God? If our hearts burn with a desire to preach Jesus, must we put it off for the sake of finishing our one hour in the prayer set? And when we finally find ourselves disciplined, shall we go out and preach the Word out of an obligation that must soon take us to the next level, which is starting a church?
I hope I am getting this right, God.
I think that this is what you want: That our prayer times will break out into preaching times where we begin to be the very answers to the cries we have been pounding on the doors of heaven. That from this God-yearning inside us, would explode in a matter of seconds (and not a year), a hunger for the lost and broken. That from a place of planning for a missions agenda whose explosion we expect to come some months from now, our feet would itch and our spiritual tummies grumble for an uprising that could not be contained one second more, and that could not wait another day or week because the heart of God is swelling within our chests.
It is a heart that erupts with an all-embracing love inclusion. (Everyone should be and is loved and no one is not included.) It’s message cannot afford to wait for next Sunday because a grief-stricken soul is at stake and the truth of a compassionate God is longing to be revealed as one who does not squeeze us in for counseling schedule in an almost full itinerary, but it is a heart that blasts silent love songs in our ears, at every moment! “I am embracing you now!” “I am sending one of my loves to embrace you now.”
Oh God, we are sorry for being too busy to embrace that one! Because we’re caught up with an agenda! You’re passion and exploding compassion is not confined to nitty-gritty well-crafted itineraries like ours! Your heart burns beyond our imagination. And so when we pray, you say “At last! I can speak!” But then we shut up the very fire that you cause to run through our veins by saying we are not ready to risk it for the sake of abandoned love.
THAT we would hear the voice of the Spirit saying to us, “Go! Go out because the answer to your prayer is right outside this door waiting for you to embrace him with my true love.” God, that we would pray boldness into our lives, rather than security. That we would pray abandon rather than recognition. That we would pray risk, influence and opportunity, rather than comfort, popularity or reward.
God, that we would GO. It has always been your heart for us to “go.” If not now, I am at a loss really what it is that we are still waiting for.