Vision has been renewed. Momentum is building. The church is focused more than ever on winning the lost and reaching the community. A renewed focus on stewardship and ministry has caused an eruption of grace and power in our midst. Unity is propelling the congregation to move forward towards the dream and vision of a new sanctuary to carry the church even further as we've been busting at the seems for some time now. And while this isn't the first or the last time our church and others have and will experience a move of God like this, something happened Sunday night that caught my attention.
I think we're guilty many times of becoming complacent in the blessings of God, especially when those blessings which we see and enjoy are far and beyond anything we imagined or thought we would experience. Satisfaction however leads to dormancy, stagnation, and ultimately death. Right now our church is far from satisfied. We're moving forward and pushing further and deeper into the presence and vision that God has for us. But I know from experience, that sometimes we take the move of God for granted. We can't appreciate what is right in front of us. We forget how amazing the love and freedom of the Spirit truly is. We lose that sensation and excitement.
Sunday night, some ladies from Perry's newest Christian rehab facility, Abba House, were in service with us. Sunday night was a different service for us. It was half service and half meeting. We had worship and I preached a little, but the goal was to draw the congregation's attention to the reality that we are closer now than we've ever been to fulfilling a long promised vision and dream in the church. I do believe God is stirring this in our hearts. And as I sought to marry a service with a business meeting, these ladies who are believing God for freedom from addictions and their pasts, worshiped, listened, responded, and were touched by God. We prayed with them in the altar at the end of the service and believed God with them for that freedom and touch in their lives that only God can give them.
Before dismissal, two ladies stepped up on the stage with me. As they cried and squeezed me, a pastor they don't even know, they both said through tears that they hadn't felt the way they were feeling ever before in their lives and for the first time they felt true love and freedom. Both said emphatically, "I found a home."
I was talking with our worship pastor after the service and we both had the same thought . . . "We take the presence of God for granted so often." What these ladies felt was and is available for all of God's people and He meets with us every Sunday, Wednesday, and truly every time we call His name no matter where we are or what we're facing. I've thought so much about this last night and today and my prayer is that I never accept taking the presence of God for granted in my life or in the church. A high price was paid that I may know God and experience Him. It was the blood of the Lamb that was shed for me to gain me access to the Holy One. That blood isn't cheap. Instead, it's priceless and perfect. The Spirit of God isn't just a feeling or an emotion. He's real. He's beyond logic and reason. He's alive and moving. And when we get trapped in worry, fear, anger, or depression, we may know who God is, but we're living as if we don't. May we never take for granted the powerful, loving, chain breaking, presence of God in our lives and churches and if we're not experienced the signs and wonders and the "greater things" Jesus spoke of, may we not cease in praying and fasting and seeking until God rains down from Heaven as only He can.