The Spotlight Keeps Coming Back to Me

How much more can we take?  I am ashamed to admit this is a question I have asked several times over the past few weeks.  The prolonged crises happening in our nation seem to have no end.  They are striking so close to home and leaving an imprint that will remain forever.  I am tired and long for the days I remember not that long ago.  I just want things to be normal again.

When our world turned upside down earlier this year I felt – and even said – this, too, shall pass.  I genuinely believed our issues would be dealt with, and after awhile, we would carry on – hopefully better and stronger.  My optimistic self believed we were strong enough to address wrongs and big enough to defeat enemies.  We have been challenged before – we will overcome as we always have.  But I am sitting here today wondering when it will ever end.

I am praying.  I am praying for the President, Congress and Courts.  I am praying for groups that have risen in our county who hate our way of life and seek to destroy us from within.  I am praying for medical personnel and researchers who are dealing with the pandemic.  I am praying for media who stoke my fears.  I am praying for those who are truly hurting and are victims of all that is taking place.  But I need to be honest…the more I pray the more I feel the spotlight shining back on me and my church.  I just do not feel He is finished speaking to and working on us. 

I love the church.  I still believe it is the Body of Christ on this earth.  It is the Bride of Christ that will soon be caught up together to meet Him in the air.  It is built on the rock and all the powers of hell will never prevail against it.  The true church of Jesus Christ is, indeed, alive and well.  But…I am wondering if there is more I need to do to align with His church.  I am wondering if during my stewardship I have strayed from His original intent.  I am wondering if this season is an opportunity for me to adjust my sails and get it right.  I am wondering…

Over the past many years I have witnessed what I call the Americanization of the church.  In many cases the Apostolic voice is missing and we operate by what we think and feel.  We demand a vote on everything so our voices can be heard.  We talk more about our rights than we do His will and Word. Self-promotion and posturing have replaced prayer and a seat at the table has become more important than time in His presence.  We have become program driven instead of Spirit led.   We view the church no differently than any other organization in the world.  We have moved so far from the New Testament church we were birthed to be.  Could this be part of our problem?

I do not speak for anyone else, but I believe we have drifted.  We are busy with good works but we remain anxious and anemic.  We do love Jesus but we are easily distracted by the angry waves around us.  We continue to preach the Word but our belief is sadly mixed with unbelief.  The passion we began the race with has slowly lost much of its fervor.  The movement is becoming an institution. 

In Luke 24 there is a story of two men who one time had great hope that change was coming to their world but because of the death of Jesus this hope was lost.  They are walking home from Jerusalem when unbeknownst to them, Jesus appears and walks with them.  As they discuss the events of recent days, Jesus engages with them in conversation but they still do not recognize Him.

These men finally arrive at their home and because of the late hour invite Jesus to spend the night with them.  As they begin to eat supper together, Jesus blessed the food.  The scripture tells us it was at this time their eyes were opened and they recognized Him.  Jesus immediately vanished from their sight.

Many of us can relate to the overwhelming disappointment the two disciples felt in the beginning of the Luke 24 story.  We began 2020 with declarations of revival and awakening but before much of the year is gone we are unable to meet in our church facilities because of a pandemic and cities throughout the nation are burning.  Unemployment and business closures have skyrocketed.  We have witnessed despicable acts of hatred and injustice in our streets.  We are watching politicians in Washington sacrifice our country because of their feelings toward their opposing political party and leaders.  On and on it goes.

But, just as we relate to the disappointment of the disciples let us not forget Jesus is still walking with us!  Somehow, I must push through my circumstances and connect with my resurrected Lord.  I want what happened in this story to happen to me.

* His Word Burned Within Them.  After Jesus departed from them, the two men recall their time with him on the road.  They said in Luke 24:32, “…Did not our hearts burn within us while He talked to us on the way and while He opened the Scriptures to us?” 

I want holy heartburn again!  Like the Prophet Jeremiah, when I feel like quitting and I think my work does not matter, I want His Word in me like fire in my bones.  Nothing can take the place of His Word.  I need the strength, instruction and power of the Word in my life.  I must give priority to His Word in all I do.  I must have it!

* They Invited Jesus Into Their Home.  Home is where you are who you really are.  There is no pretense at home.  Into this most intimate place, these men invited Jesus. 

If I am going to be who He has called me to be, I must take Jesus home with me.  He must be welcome in my private places.  He must be part of my discussions and plans.  The effectiveness of my public ministry will be determined by my private moments with the Lord.  The days of making backroom plans without His direction and expecting God to be good with it are over.  Jesus must be welcome at all times in all places.

* They Had to Share the Good News.  When it was revealed to the disciples it was Jesus who had been with them, they quickly returned to Jerusalem to give the news to all their friends.  They could not keep this information to themselves.  They had to share it!

I cannot become paralyzed by fear, intimidation or anything else.  The Gospel must be preached – in the church; on the internet; through every avenue of media.  It must be shared in the neighborhood; in the workplace; on the street corner.  My friends and family must hear it.  People I have never met have got to be told.  In a world looking for good news – I have got some!  I have got to tell it!

In these chaotic times, I know there is an answer for the church.  But I hope someone hears this – we cannot proceed with business as usual.  Systems that have worked for us in the past will not pull us through these challenges.   Marketing and slick presentations will result in frustration.  If we listen closely, I believe we will hear God say, “You’ve tried your way, now it is time to try mine.” 

What is God’s way?  His way is for the priests to weep between the porch and the altar.  His way is for the call to go forth for a solemn assembly.  His way is for judgment to begin at the house of the Lord and His people repent.  His way is for our idols to be destroyed and He be Lord of our lives once again.  His way is for us to seek Him and His Kingdom first – then those other things we need will be given to us.

I believe there is a cure for Covid-19 and an answer for every other issue troubling us today.  I believe the outpouring of the Holy Spirit we have been expecting is still coming.  I am still anticipating a mighty awakening in this nation and a sweeping revival across the globe.  In reality, everything happening causes me to believe these things even more – the devil as a roaring lion is pulling out every stop to prevent it but he cannot do it!  I believe!

But I remind you – we must do things His way.

“When I shut up the heaven and there is no rain, or when I command the locusts to devour the land, or send pestilence on My people, if My people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray, and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.  Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to the prayers of this place.”  (II Chronicles 7:13-15)    

11 thoughts on “The Spotlight Keeps Coming Back to Me

    1. Amen I believe God wants us to get our eyes off of the problems and put our eyes on the problem solver and trust and follow him and keep our eyes on the prize and reap the Greatest Harvest We have seen through out the Nation’s In Jesus name Amen

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  1. Everything you say, I agree with wholeheartedly! I have told my son,(Jaimeson Fowler) several times in the last few days, I am missing something, somehow we are all simply overlooking the obvious and you said it perfectly. God help to set aside our ideas and plans and seek your way! Thank you for this . I truly needed to hear from God and now I have a better light! God Bless you!

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  2. A great word and very timely. We are so overwhelmed by what is happening and we mistrust all we hear, therefore we feel like no one is listening or really cares. It is an opportunity for Christians to exemplify Jesus. At the first of this year the Lord put me on a fast I had never heard about – a “John fast”. John was the disciple who laid his head on Jesus’ chest and therefore knew His heart. It has been life changing as I have relearned how to listen to His voice. God bless. You are doing a great work.

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  3. Thank you, Bishop Higgins, for this timely word. Judgment does begin at the House of God, and we need to judge ourselves by His word, repent of our sins, and prepare new wineskins for the New Wine that God will be pouring out in these unprecedented times, and for the time to come.

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  4. Weeping between the porch and the altar. I’ve heard that before. A powerful message in that, and I needed to hear it again. Thanks Les. Your words and heart dealt with me, and I appreciate it.

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