Commentaries / Commentary
Greetings! I've struggled a lot with what to write this month; Labor Day has passed us by, the one-year anniversary of my dad's death has come and gone, and most recently, the 10-year remembrance of September 11, 2001 has been in the forefront of the nation's consciousness. Any of these would have been good topics on which to reflect, yet I have found myself reluctant to just sit down at the computer and get to it! But since I have a new product to announce (below), I cannot procrastinate any longer and two quite unpleasant encounters today have left me with some material that I think is relevant in light of God's work in my life this summer and with what is on my heart to share.
Without going into too much detail, suffice it to say that in both encounters I felt patronized and somewhat belittled and attacked. In both occasions, I was also in the right (true!). With one person I responded graciously; with the other, not so much. For the hours that followed, I wasted time having lengthy conversations in my head where I cleverly put both people in their place and let them know in no uncertain terms where and how they had been mistaken. For those of you who indulge in such behavior, you know that such a procedure is never productive because the conversation never seems to be over! There's always more to say, or it seems it needs to be said again, just to reinforce the point!
That brings me to this current moment where I'm making sense of it all, because in the rare seconds where I paused in my head to take a breath, the Holy Spirit asked me, "Are you seeing these people with my eyes?" To which I had to respond, "I absolutely AM NOT." So now to put this in the context of what I'm learning....
I have a passion for global revival - essentially to see God's kingdom manifest in power in everyday life. Given that as believers in Christ we have been given authority and the "keys to the kingdom" (see Matthew 10: 1, 7-8), it is my job to carry the Kingdom with me and to usher it into the lives of those around me. How can I do this? By having the heart, eyes and hands of Jesus. I am instructed to become like Him and the grace of the Holy Spirit enables me to accomplish what He commands. I have had some opportunities this summer to walk in this power and see the supernatural power of God work through me. Amazing! But this is His plan for ALL his disciples - not just those who seem to have a "gift for healing" or those who are bolder in their faith. If each of us does not bring the Kingdom, who will?
What the aftermath of my encounters revealed to me is that it's still too much about ME. If I was truly loving as God loves (which is possible given that He lives within me) I wouldn't care how people responded; I would just love them. I wouldn't feel the need to justify myself or place myself above any individual; none of that would matter, for I am already justified and loved as a daughter of the Most High King. I wouldn't waste time in imaginary conversations that draw me away from being about my Father's business. I would remember that our fight is not against flesh and blood; it's against the kingdom of non-love and the only way to fight it is with perfect love which has no fear of man.
Revival requires authentic Christianity - a display to a hurting world of the power of God. This powerful God wants to transform, resurrect and heal in personal ways. This requires that we feel with His heart, see with His eyes, and touch to help, heal and bless with His hands. My heart, eyes and hands need to get out of the way. This afternoon I let myself get in on the act and, as a result, one unlucky individual met me, not Jesus. Thank God that His mercies are new every morning and He continues to move us from glory to glory! My prayer, then, is that while many of us pray for revival in America and around the world (and imagine how that might look), we would also remember that the Kingdom is at hand within and around us, and eternal significance is to be had in the most seemingly mundane of encounters. Let us pray for a quickened sensitivity to Jesus within, so that our hearts, eyes and entire lives are under His control.
Rev. Peter Marshall vs. Rev. Steve Wilkins
Available on the website for $18
There have been so many inquiries about the status of the book. We continue to wait on God's timing and the raising up of an individual to complete it if indeed that is His will. In the meantime, check out the DVD we now have for sale; a lot of the research in the book is presented in this excellent debate.
Please bear with us as we undergo re-design and re-organization. We're excited about our new look but in the meantime, please be patient with our current site...
The late Rev. Peter Marshall (1940-2010) was a Presbyterian minister who for over forty years gained national recognition as a preacher on Christian growth and discipleship.
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