"Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord"- Acts 3:19
Or if you will, that old song which goes
Times of refreshing
Here in your presence
No greater blessing
Than being with you...
I was watching this old video on Church Of Singapore which they made in the late 1990s. I did it because I was preparing for my CM lesson this weekend. It's going to be on the book of Acts and the spread of the early church. So I thought that it'd be fitting if I linked it to the early years of our church. This way, the kids would understand that their spiritual heritage can be traced back two thousand years and also, more immediately, to 1963, for relevance.
The front part of the video was about the formative years of our church. And as I watched it, I felt such a deep longing for times of annointing once again. I saw the old photos of men and women praying. I imagined how the fire of the Holy Spirit must have moved in those days. Then I also began to call up some of my personal memories of children camps in the 1990s, where I was so touched by God.
Makes me ask God for times of annointing upon our own CM now.
I think that we have two great challenges.
Firstly, many of us are using our own strength. We're not reading enough of God's word, to start with. We seek annointing but we grieve the Holy Spirit by how we live. Let me refer to the prayerful attitude of the believers in Acts 1 and 2. (Acts 1:14 says that they joined together constantly in prayer). In Acts 2, they were together praying in one place when the Holy Spirit came. When was the last time we came together as a ministry, or even within our own class to wait upon God? I'm not referring to those obligatory, point-by-point prayers we (myself included) so often pray. We don't pray enough together. We don't pray enough ourselves.
Isn't it true that the reason corporate prayer often feels so dry and obligatory and downright boring/ draining is that our own prayer lives aren't strong?
Simply, I offer this for your consideration. We need to pray more and read more of God's word. It sounds so familiar. But it is a total irony that the most obvious and often stated advice is something we lack in.
Pray more. Read more. Live in true repentance. Rest in God and minister out of the annointing. Minister out of a soul that is refreshed by the Spirit.
Secondly, our next great challenge is to love.
1 Peter 3:8-9 says "Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing."
And 1 Peter 4:8 says "Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins."
In this ministry, we don't love each other enough. We don't put each others' interests above our own enough.
Suffice it to say that I personally need to work on whatever I'm saying here. Everything I'm saying that our ministry lacks. Well, face it, I lack it myself. But let us run together.