Honk Honk! Positioning for Revival – Honk Honk!!
Recently, the Lord brought a small course correction to me in that He said I should not seek revival, but rather seek the Kingdom – He went on to say that I can pray for revival, but if I seek the Kingdom – I am in essence seeking for God because God and the Kingdom are the same – and when the Kingdom is fully manifested, we experience revival –
Last night I went to bed praying at midnight and awoke at exactly 5:00 a.m. this morning and God spoke to me and said – Pray for revival – so for the last 90 minutes that is what I have been doing – and then I began to think about how to position ourselves for revival – and I knew there was a message stirring, and God gave me permission to get up, but I asked if I could just linger a little longer in His presence – and as I think on that, I believe that is one of the keys for positioning ourselves for revival, is to get into His presence and just hang out with him. I was so content to just be with Him – not asking for anything – not seeking any answer to prayer – but just being with Him.
This week I have been reading in Obadiah, Hosea, Lamentations, Nahum and other places in the Old Testament that talks about getting the sin out and dealing with repentance, and I came across an interesting verse in Jonah 2:8 – “Those who regard worthless idols, forsake their own mercy.” I first centered in the word idol and immediately thought of a TV show here in America that I have never seen called American Idol. Think about it – God tells us in so many places to get rid of the idols, and pull down the idols and destroy the idols in our lives, and we have a show called American Idol – what does that say about us as a culture? What does that say about us as a society? Wouldn’t it be nice if we had a show called Jesus Christ – The God of America. But no, we center in on worthless idols – trying to achieve fame, prosperity and name for ourselves as if it was the answer to all of our problems. We chase everything and everyone except Jesus. I am so guilty of this -forgive me Lord.
I know someone is going to say – Jay – calm down – that is only the name of a show – its not a big deal – well – I think it is a big deal – we are consumed with show after show that portrays our idols and what is important to us – whether it be Deal or No Deal, Who wants to be a Millionaire, Wheel of Fortune, The Bachelor or The Apprentice. We want it all if it includes being rich and powerful but we reject it if it includes humbling ourselves as we are told to do in 2 Chronicles 7:14 – we reject messages of the Bible that say to esteem others more highly than ourselves, and to look out for the needs of others – because we are so increasingly self absorbed, self promoting and self motivated. After all, it is all about ME! Honk! Honk!
Even some of the Christian Ads for conferences seem to point more to the person giving and hosting the conference than it does to Jesus. When was the last time you saw an ad for a conference with a picture of Jesus on it? Sometimes the picture of the presenter is bigger than life with seemingly implied lightening bolts coming out his ears and glorious star like anointing dripping off of his body – as if they are the biggest show on earth. I am so tired of all the hype – so tired of all the hyped blitzes to convince me that this is the one conference that will change it all for me. I have heard pastors say – you don’t want to miss this one – we have the best possible – we have the spared no expense – Hey – I thought Jesus already paid it all – what up with all this hype. Can’t we just have a conference that says – come and meet Jesus – and then in small letters at the bottom of the page are those who are teaching and representing the Lord.
Years ago – there was a large conference at Phoenix First Assembly that my wife and I attended – and on the platform were numerous major league speakers that were popular at that time – and I have no problem with that – but my friend Tommy Barnett who is the pastor of that great church of nearly 28,000 people and with whom you would say – if anyone should be on the platform, it should be Pastor Tommy – but at each service he was not up in front, but in the back helping the ushers to set up chairs, and helping people find a seat – that spoke volumes to me. I will never forget it. Humility is the key.
I have been so guilty of spending hours and hours of worthless time on worthless stuff that does not produce godliness, or any other aspect of Kingdom life. I have invested time and money into things that do not advance the Kingdom, and the end result is as Solomon says, they are all vanity. What is a vanity – it is a place with a mirror so we can go and look at ourselves. The first definition in the dictionary is too much pride in one’s looks. Isn’t that just like us – to spend so much time, money, energy and resources so that we can look at ourselves and declare “Wow we look good.” The second definition is lack of real value and worthlessness – hmm- takes me back to those worthless idols. So it becomes obvious that we should be looking at Jesus. But it seems we look at almost everything else except Jesus and then throw him in maybe and very briefly before a meal or perhaps when there is a great physical or trying economic need in our lives. I feel like the foolish Galatians in Galatians 3:1 –
“O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed among you as crucified.”
I like what Steve Hill use to say at Pensacola – Religious people hang around the cross, but Christians get on the cross. I sure have hung around the cross, but I rarely hang around with Jesus. My passion has previously been for me and my stuff, and how it all makes me look. But I want it to change to line up with John who said, I must decrease so He can increase. Hosea 10:2 says that our heart is divided – and I know that is true – and it is not divided just in two – but probably into many sections – and occasionally there is that one small section that is reserved just for God – as long as it fits into my schedule – but rarely His – Hosea 10:13 says, “You have plowed wickedness, You have reaped iniquity. You have eaten the fruit of lies, because you trust in your own way, in the multitude of your mighty men.” There I go again, getting out of position for revival – looking only at what appeals to me. Hey God – Honk Honk – your in MY way again. (capitalization and case sensitive emphasis)
Have you been to church lately? Really – have you? Watch, and learn. People complain about the coffee, the room temperature, the amount of cars in the parkinglot, especially when too many but rarely when too few. People complain if the hymns and songs are not to their liking as if the worship was for them. They complain if the message was too long, or if a family comes in late and has to crawl over them, giving them the look! Do you know the look.? It is the same look we give when someone cuts us off in traffic or drives too slow. Because we are Christians, so we don’t use hand gestures, we just give the look. You know the look don’t you. You probably learned it from me. And we honk too, as if our schedule is the most important in the world.
And if we had a horn in church, we would honk there too. Honk Honk – we glance repeatedly at our watch which is the church salute you know – and then we think or say under our breath – Preacher, you are preaching too long – I have my schedule you know – which usually includes a long and casual stop at Starbucks on the way home because I want time to relax and enjoy myself. Honk Honk hey song leader- why are you just playing music, lets get on with it – oh no – singing in the spirit – here we go again – another five minutes wasted. Honk Honk – why do we have to pray for all these people – why can’t they make an appointment to see the pastor during the week. Honk Honk – oh no, all of my favorite donuts were just eaten by that group of visiting families. Honk Honk – hey – that’s my seat – I always sit here – after all – it is all about me. Honk Honk – and then at the door, upon leaving – pastor shake my hand – you know I really like this church – Honk Honk. Look at me – take my picture with the pastor and put it on the website – Honk Honk.
Jesus help us. Jesus – please help me – please give me a heart to see and look for what you are seeing. Give me compassion for those who do not know you. Give me passion to take the Kingdom message and promote where ever you want me too. Please forgive me for Honking. Help me to position myself for revival. Jesus – please help me to develop strategy that includes spending quality time with you on a consistent basis. Forgive me of my many idols. I do not want to forsake my own mercy. I do not want to miss you. I do not want to grow complacent. I do not want to continue in my sin. I repent and say I am sorry – please forgive me for my many idols. Forgive me for mistreating your kingdom as if it was some sort of magic wand to make me look good. Forgive me for not seeking your kingdom first. Forgive me for not being interested in what you are interested in, and please forgive me for honking at you. I am so sorry. Jesus – I want you to be the agenda – my agenda is not important – I want you to increase and I am willing to decrease to help you be seen. I love You!
Jay W. West
Anointed 2 GO MdM
“A fire shall always be burning
on the altar; it shall never go out”