Those of us who are most familiar with the Spirit's promises are in the greatest danger. ... familiarity may not breed contempt, but it takes the edge off awe ... promises that drop the jaws or widen the eyes of newcomers but provoke no more than a raised eyebrow in the old-timers who have ceased to dream. -- Jim McGuiggan
This quote really hit me between the eyes. I am an “old-timer”. Have I ceased to dream? I admit that, after years of being in different assemblies where the Ruach is not taught or really encouraged, it becomes very easy to let go of the awe I used to have when I first saw Him moving. And I HAVE seen Him move!
Any more, it just seems to be the ho-hum song singing and preaching and we all go home. Don’t get me wrong. I have been touched by the Ruach during corporate worship. I have been both blessed and convicted by outstanding sermons. But I have also missed seeing and being a part of a moving of the Ruach through a group of people.
I miss seeing YHWH speak to people through prophecy and words of knowledge. I miss the laying on of hands, the anointing with oil. I miss the discernment and seeing people set free. I miss the joy and the freedom. I miss the hope and I miss the Ruach led spontaneous singing and teaching. We also had the corporate worship team and teaching, but it was so much MORE than that. I miss being in a group where EVERYONE can contribute (and was WELCOMED and ENCOURAGED to do so…without prejudice. I miss being in a group environment where expressing joy and love for YHWH was unhindered.
I miss the relationships and the before and after-meeting meetings. I miss the in between gatherings of those who love one another, not because of being blood relations, but because of being a true spiritual family. I miss the hugs and the genuine questions of “how are you doing” from people who really WANTED to know…rather than the standard greeting of “Hi, how’re you doing?” as the person then moves on to the next one.
Last Sunday, I was sitting in the building…fighting tears after crying. I actually had one man (whom I recently found out is a former pastor!) walk by me, put his hand on my shoulder from behind me, ask me if I was OK and then keep walking! Excuse me? Ask someone who was obviously in distress if they are OK and then WALK AWAY without waiting for an answer?? To his credit, perhaps, he took a bobbing of my head to mean that I was OK, but he sure did not slow down to clarify. He did not seem to even really LOOK at me.
Then a woman…a precious sister in Yeshua…stopped and asked me if I was OK. She sat down behind me and allowed me to share what was on my heart with her. There were some things she did not know. Other things that she had heard about and they caused her as much concern as they did us. She was a HUGE blessing to us in our time of spiritual and emotional need. While she was with us, another woman walked up. She, too, asked if I was OK and said that, although she did not know what the trouble was, she was going to pray. This was fine since I did not open up to her and she DID wait for my response! Another precious sister. These two women were willing to allow me/us to be REAL!
This is why one of the visions we have for Beit-Shalom is for it to be a house where the Ruach lives and moves…a place where people can come and be themselves. We want those who come here to sense the presence of the Ruach. We want them to know they are loved and cared for…not only by Abba, but by us, too.
The word “shalom” is about more than simply a lack of conflict. It is also about wholeness and healing. We want them to find peace, wholeness, healing. We want to start a home fellowship where Yeshua is the head and His Ruach leads it all…where everyone experiences the freedom to share…where everyone knows they are valued just as they are.
We have no illusions about what we are hoping for. We know it will take work. It will take laying down our own preferences as we diligently continue to search the scriptures and listen to the Ruach to show us what YHWH wants here. Things will NOT go the way we envision them. We ALL have much to learn. Thankfully, YHWH is bigger than mistakes.
I have seen YHWH take my many mistakes and use me anyway. He is good and faithful. He knows our hearts and does not judge by outward appearances. He often uses us in spite of ourselves.
I had a very interesting conversation with an older man a couple of Sundays ago. He used to be part of an independent group that saw the Ruach move in mighty ways. We compared notes and found ourselves to be on a very similar page. He and his wife are willing to share what they learned with us. And there are others who have walked this path before us who are willing to pray and advise us.