Another Special Day?


      And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly.  Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground."  Luke 22:4....."We long for Pentecost in our lives and in our churches, but there is no Pentecost without Gethsemane and a cross."  Henry Blackaby
      All across the church this past Sunday it is likely that in some way, observance, commemoration, celebration was made concerning Pentecost, the great outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon the church detailed in Acts 2.  Sermons were preached, songs were sung, feelings were stirred. Then what?  Pentecost Sunday comes every year.  Didn't we preach sermons and sing songs last year?  Weren't our feelings stirred last year, and many other years as well?  What was the result?  Did the fire of heaven really fall upon the altars of our hearts, filling us with His holy energy and presence?  Or, was a "good time had by all," and then we just went back to our day to day routines, behaviors, ways?  When next we came together had anything in our lives, our walk with Him changed?  Or was it "business as usual?"  Was Pentecost Sunday another "special day" to be brought out, pointed to, made much of, and then quietly placed back in the closet we keep it in the rest of the year?  
     I've been both preaching and hearing about revival, about spiritual awakening now for over 30 years.  As Blackaby says, we want it, even long for it.  In our hearts, we know the church and the culture we minister to is desperate for it.  Yet the question that continues to prick my heart and spirit is the one Blackaby's statement gives rise to.  Will I walk the path that Christ walked in order that Pentecost could truly come about?  The way that led through the Garden of Gethsemane and onto the cross?  Will I enter into an intercessory prayer life such as He did?  One that is literally marked by it's "blood, sweat, and tears?"  A prayer life that yields deep intimacy with Him, as well as "prevails with Him?"  Do I so want to see such an awakening come about that I am willing "to die" that others might truly live?  Do I long for a Pentecost that lasts more than a day?  And if I do, do I want one that will so affect my life that nothing remains as it has been?  When the Holy Spirit truly comes, that will be the result.  Do I, do we, really want such a result?  Can we abdicate the place of control, in our lives, homes, ministries and churches to the Holy Spirit? Do we really want to go where He wants to take us?  Or, will Pentecost just be an event we dust off and trot out every year, and then put back in the attic until the next Pentecost Sunday rolls around?  
     We cannot make the Father do what we want in the Spirit, but He can only pour His Spirit out upon an empty person and an empty church.  At Pentecost, the Spirit was poured out, but has it been poured out upon us, upon you?  Upon His church, and upon my church and your church?  
We have become so good at running the church, our homes, our lives, that, unspoken or not, we've come to believe we can do it without Him.  Indeed, even better than He can.    Such an attitude can only be "killed" at Gethsemane and at the cross.  I am weary of seeing what I, we, the flesh can do, which is nothing.  I long for the awakening we so desperately need.  Pentecost has come, but has it come for us?  Gethsemane and the cross call.  Will I go?  Will you?

Pastor O 
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   July 2019   
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