11 February 2007

Being Missional: Love before Power, the SynchroBlog

If you come from charismatic circles over the past several years like I have, there seems to be a common thread of understanding, "If we pray hard enough, the power of God will come down and people will fall before God and repent."

Now that may happen someday, and there is a form of precedence when you look particularly at the revivals around the turn of the century. So the argument could be made that we can just wait for the "fire from heaven" to fall. However, whether that happens or not, the point is, is that it's not happening now, and at least for what God is calling us, at Revolution to do, I know why. I don't think I'm the only one.

I was praying one night with a group of other Jesus followers, who we're pretty much saying the above, typical, charismatic missional prayer where we pray them into the church and they feel the power of God and then their lives are changed dramatically forever. Please understand, I'm all for that. But I had the distinct impression that God's not doing it this way, this time, at least in Northern Colorado. As I was struggling with this and wondering why I wasn't spiritual enough, I perceived a very clear answer: "I will not pour out my power, until you let me pour out my love through you."

It wasn't about power, it was about love. Which makes since when you read 1 Corinthians 13 (the love chapter) and Paul is speaking of love clearly in the context of the use of spiritual gifts and not writing a Valentines Day card.

Read Ephesians 3:14-21 and find out how interconnected both love and power both are. It's a agape love and the dunamis power. One can't live without the other.

I don't think the Western Evangelical and Charismatic Church really knows how to love. And yes, I'm going to get in trouble for making a blanket statement. But I'm going to do it anyway, because all of us, including myself, needs to ask ourselves, "Do I love like Jesus does?"

Jesus lived 33 years on this planet and only did amazing miracles for three of them. But he came to be with us in the first place because of love. If we can't love the unlovable, how can we expect them to come to know God's love through us?

I like what Gary Haugen says of International Justice Mission , that we are God's plan to show the world that He is good.

What that looks like in your little part of the world will probably look different that what it looks like here, but as God is love, and as we walk and live in His love, I believe he will speak clearly to us to show us what that means.

We don't need the fire of heaven to fall and cause sinners to repent (necessarily), what we do need, is for us to be the hands and feet and ears and mouth and mostly the heart of Jesus to go and love the sinner and tax collectors of our day.

My goal is to be accused of being a drunkard and a glutton like Jesus was accused of. Not because he was one, but because he loved those who were.

Check out the other swell love posts!

Christian Sexuality as Ritual Worship at Phil Wyman's Square No More
Christians: choosing who to love at Mike's Musings
Loving God, Loving others, loving self- responding to the Goddess- a feminist perspective at Eternal Echoes
Trinity by Mike Crockett
Prophet's Passion at Adam Gonnerman's Igneous Quill
A Love Supreme from Fernando's Desk
What is this thing called love? at Steve's Notes from the Underground
Love as it should pertain to us missionally? at Webb's Stumbling into the Kingdom
Divine Eros by Handmaid Leah
Loving the Other by John Smulo
The Conjunction Between Sensuality and Spirituality by Matt Stone
The Blogger Whom Jesus Loved at Jamie's More Than Stone
Love Them Patriots at Calacirian
I'm a better lover than I used to be... by Billy Calderwood
Young people in on love by Tim Abbot


Missional Jerry said...

great post

Pastor Phil said...

Gee, I want to be a drunkard and glutton like Jesus too! (said as I hoist a Guiness to my lips.)

paul said...

I think you hit the nail on the head - praying for people can be very loving but sometimes it involves us getting involved too - that can be very loving as well ;)

Steve Hayes said...

Maybe I saw things from too narrow a viewpoint, but I notice that in the charismatic renewal movement in the 1960s and 1970s there was a lot of love. People experienced the power of the Holy Spirit, and testified to being overwhelmed by the love of God.

But, at least from the place I was at, in the 1980s this changed. In charismatic circles, as much as anywhere else, the fruit of the Spirit -- love, joy, peace shrivelled, and was replaced by factions envy, striving.

In the 1970s people were saying things lioke "Jesus has not come to take sides, but to take over."

By the 1990s it was more like, "Jesus is on our side, and if you don't see it our way, you are the enemy of God."

But God loves his enemies, even when we don't.xfkgj

David said...

Great insight. I wasn't a Jesus follower till 1991, but from what I hear the Jesus people we're all about love and the power was there too.
So how did we get off track?

Sally said...

Like this a lot- I'd rather be called a drunkard and a glutton because of those I hang out with than a Pharisee

Tim Abbott said...

If it's any consolation, praying them in isn't working here in Colchester, UK, either. UK mission history shows that revival in the church doesn't lead to mass conversion of the unchurched, but to renewed love in action by the church. It's this engagement with and love for society and friends that communicates the gospel and draws people to Christ.
May it be so again, in Colchester, as also in Colorado (and everywhere else...!)