How many scripture-quotes have you heard from the “Book of Hezekiah?” You know — that’s the book of the Bible to which we assign all those stories and phrases that sound good, but aren’t actually found in the Bible. Let’s see… “God helps those who help themselves,” and (a mother’s favorite) “Cleanliness is next to godliness,” among others.
Within our body of knowledge are unique and little-known scientific facts, as well as myths and rumors. I’ve heard about planting potatoes based on the phase of the moon, and the best times that healthy calves are born (also during a certain phase of the moon), etc., etc. And how many times will Madalyn Murray O’Hair be resurrected by the FCC?
Following District Council, I searched out the truth behind the “Can a cat walking across a bridge cause it to collapse?” story. Snopes.com and Wikipedia both disappointed me, asserting that neither a cat nor a marching army would have that effect. I did learn some things about the Tacoma-Narrows bridge collapse in 1940, and about the scientific phenomena of “aeroelastic flutter,” and how bridge design changed after 1940… (and I would think bridge design would change even more after Minneapolis), but nothing told me that “reverberations” could collapse a bridge. Hmmmm…..
Some things I know for sure…sound waves can blast a kidney stone, God made four lepers from Samaria to “sound like” a mighty marching army, so much so that the enemy fled and left their full provisions for God’s people…and a “sound from heaven” in an Upper Room eventually “turned Jerusalem upside down.” So, there are “reverberations.”
What kind of “reverberations” can come out of the 87th District Council?
The prophet Micah pleads that we “hear what the Lord says” (6:1) and then asks and answers the question (6:8) “…and what does the LORD require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?”
What would happen if we found the true heart of “walking humbly with our God?” Would pride and boasting be gone? Would territorial-ism fade? Would expressions of “competition” in the ministry dissipate, and be replaced by true koinonia and brotherly love? How much effort would it then take to solicit help for a neighboring church? Would we have a more accurate ACMR report for the Assemblies of God?
What would result from discovering true biblical “repentance”? Would the canopy of God’s blessing and favor make a difference in some of our efforts? I like the way Bill Gothard defines “confession” in his teaching sessions…“agreeing with God what He already knows about me!” (I dare anyone to try to surprise God with something hidden deep inside your heart!) In similar fashion, I think that biblical repentance carries with it a spirit that agrees with God’s evaluation and assessment of current conditions (as opposed to denying, excusing or deflecting) …and resolves to honor His calling and His ways in our work.
My incomplete and unscientific poll of sister District leaders (conversations while seeking out-of-state references, etc.) has indicated to me that Illinois is not alone in hearing a clarion call of God. Our entire Fellowship seems to be hearing a “clear sounding trumpet” (1 Corinthians 14) that is moving us to our knees, away from superfluous issues, and toward His heart. Several of our sister Districts experienced special “God-moments” in the course of their regularly-planned business.
I pray that the reverberations from the 87th Council will be powerful…the “mighty through God” (2 Corinthians 4) kind of powerful. They should be evident in the way we prioritize our personal schedules and the items that populate our church schedules.
I pray that church planters and church-planting partners will multiply. I pray vitality to churches that have been “frozen in place” in their recent journey.
I pray that this will be a great camping season for Illinois! As church leaders prioritize our summer camps and conventions, young people will be baptized in the Holy Spirit, and God’s purposeful call will become clear in their lives! Our “Called Camp” will be overflowing.
I pray that our newly-formatted Family Fest will be a great spiritual refreshing that will deposit back into our churches – families renewed and refreshed.
I pray that members of our IDC family will find meaningful connections and partnerships with i-Connect groups, and that there will be encouragement, resources, and support in these gatherings.
I pray that there will be non-publicized confessions, where leaders (pastors, elders, deacons in every strata of our Council) repent and change their ways. I pray that we will improve the definition of “Voluntary Cooperative Fellowship.”
Reverberate! There will be impact to follow.