The new year is upon us. There were lots of different topics that the handful of bloggers I read, wrote about. It was pretty standard stuff for this time of year. I wasn't especially moved. I am not sure why. But don't be offended if you are one of my favorite bloggers, it's probably me.
The Bible talks about both years, and seasons; I guess both are necessary. The "year of the Lord," "for everything there is a season" - you get the idea. We mark an orbit around the sun and call it a year - it's a good thing we don't live on Mercury. During that time, stuff happens. Kids make bad decisions, another learns something new, there are flat tires, bills, work, money, snow - a whole year of sleeping, eating, drinking, and TV.
We mark the times of our lives in seasons: High School, College, single life, married life, middle-age and yikes, old-age. Seasons can last years, or they can be a few months. Time, it slips a way a few moments at a time.
I have been meditating, praying and pondering how things will go with my upcoming class. Some of these thoughts I have had for 10 years or more. I have taught on-and-off for decades. Transferring knowledge is not the only purpose of teaching - well not to for me.
Certainly I want God to do something in my class - I mean His class! I especially hope for much more than I could do just reading my book out loud to the class. How boring would that be?
God doesn't change, but His methods do. Because I know God, I can occasionally anticipate what might happen when i partner with Him. I have grown accustom to some of the ways in which He works. In addition, I have received an occasional dream detailing specific events before they happened. I have also received prophetic words from others outlining the move of God in my life, or one that identifies a season. Revelation from God is essential to the Christian!
I am happy to report that God still surprises me. That is what I am hoping for. I love it when God is free to do what He pleases, and does. I love the story of Peter and John as they healed a lame beggar. Folks were surprised!
That is the sort of God that I want to be hanging out with, the kind that does amazing stuff.
I don't exactly know what season we are in as a church in my region, but I do know that the more than any other time in the past, the 5-Fold ministry is starting to become a much more popular subject. You got to ask yourself, I wonder why that is.
Over the last century the church has had some seasons. We had a seasons where there were lots of evangelists, Billy Graham is one from that season. There were many healing evangelists in the middle of the century too, Kathryn Kuhlman was one of the most well known. We later had the shepherding (pastoring) movement pioneered by folks like Bob Mumford and Derek Prince. Their main message was accountability, character and deeper relationships.We had a season where we had lots of teaching and out of that grew the Word of Faith movement. In it was Rod Parsley, Kenneth Haigin and James Robison. They were grounded in the need to live and breathe the Word of God. In the 90's we had a prophetic explosion. It took off with the Kansas City Prophets like Bob Jones and Paul Cain. They ministered to individuals, churches and regions, some of it with tremendous accuracy.
Each one of those movements unfortunately became known for their eventual excesses. In their beginning stages I believe that God released the anoninting. In the end, some abandoned God or were shipwrecked on serious doctrinal issues. If we look at the history of revival, they all ended with, what many folks called, fleshly acts. It seems sort of natural. The Israelites get out of Egypt then worship a golden calf - this stuff happens.
The failure of man to do the work of God does not mean that we shouldn't believe the word of God, shy away from prophecy, decry altar calls, stop asking God for healing or despise accountability to another; it simply means we need to know Him better.
It appears that we are on the brink of an Apostolic Renewal as the year begins. Christians have three choices in the matter: A) we can embrace it with humility knowing that all that answers are not as easy to come by as some folks like to think, or B) we dive in with fleshly expectations and old religious paradigms, or C) we can reject it because we don't understand it or believe that is not the way God does things. I doubt the latter two choices will stop God from doing much needed work in the church. He didn't ask the Pharisees's permission to be born, He didn't wait for the Israelites to believe the good reports about the Promised Land, He didn't wait for Peter to "get it" or Paul to stop sinning. He just showed up, and advanced the Kingdom of God in spite of the religious men who knew Him.
I know a lot of Christians don't really know what to believe - but I have written a short book with Scripture references. See what you think. HERE is a link. I'd love to discuss it with you.
Because we haven't had this season before, I don't know exactly what it will bring - but I am sure that God will surprise those with faith. He always does.
How about you, have you seen seasons in your church life?