Posts Tagged ‘renewal’

  

“Suddenly…the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified…” (Luke‬ ‭2‬:‭9‬ NLT)

In 1984, Ray Stevens used comic storytelling to frame what occurs when a young adolescent boy catches a squirrel (while visiting his grandmother in Pascagoula, Mississippi), brings it into church, where several self-righteous members – all with sinful secrets to hide – are prominent members … and the squirrel breaks loose from a box the boy has kept it in. As the squirrel wreaks havoc, several members admit to their fellow congregation members their faults, and by song’s end they all make a vow to change! A squirrel-inspired revival! (Watch the video on YouTube! Hilarious!)

I grew up in church. I learned God’s word and worshipped with His people. But then one day, while visiting another church as a teenager, I experienced something different: His presence! I never knew such a thing existed! I saw and heard things that I didn’t understand, making it a little frightening. But just as quickly, I had a realization: If this is God, then it’s okay and is probably something to desire for. And so I did, and it has made all the difference in me. 

God doesn’t need a squirrel to draw you into His presence! What He looks for is a hungry heart. When He finds it, He reaches out with something real and tangible, which should be in every church. Come today and feel His presence for yourself! It will make all the difference! You are loved! 

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Today, if only you would hear His voice, do not harden your hearts…” (Psalm‬ ‭95‬:‭7-8‬ NIV)

Rev. Samuel Agnew was one of several pastors that served the South as a chaplain during the Civil War. He shared in a journal entry from March 27, 1864, of a spiritual drought he felt was taking place among the soldiers:

“There is a lamentable torpor among the [soldiers] in reference to their souls. They hear and attend the sanctuary but seem unaffected by the preacher’s word…More members were absent than ordinarily, and some who were present did not commune. There is a spiritual drought in that community. May God bless my labors…”

Is it possible to love God and come to Church, yet still miss God? Absolutely! A spiritual drought can occur when we simply ignore God. In Psalm 95, the psalmist instructs the people to worship God, but to be careful not to harden your heart afterwards. It doesn’t matter how much “outflow” we are producing for God; if there’s no “inflow” of His presence, we lose!

Take time this week to allow God’s presence to “rain” on your soul. His voice ends all spiritual droughts in your life! Worship cannot happen until inspiration commences! You are loved today!