A New Direction For Our Church Movement
During my last trip to Kisumu Kenya the Holy Ghost said to us that our church movement would take a turn and go in a new direction. It seems that originally we started in the Spirit but that as we moved forward we lost that focus and drifted into doing things the same old way that they had always been done before. For instance, if one wishes to be successful, typically you want to evangelize and build as many churches as possible. However, did we ask the Holy Spirit if it was His will and timing that we gather all these churches together or did we just assume that was what needed to be done?
Originally, when I first came to Kisumu and started working in the mission field our focus was upon hearing God’s voice and doing His will according to how His Spirit would lead us. I have now come to realize, it takes time and intense discipleship to teach people to know the leading of the Holy Spirit. What happened is that though the people close to me, i.e. those who were able to spend a significant amount of time with me, knew our heart, vision, and learned how to hear God that same understanding did not translate well to the ministers from our other churches located farther away. Due to the difficulty of travel in Kenya the ministers who were over the other churches were only able to spend a relatively small amount of time with us and thus were not able to accurately reflect what we stood for and what we taught. In effect, they were left on their own to run their churches according to how they had always done…which was in a more traditional manner.
The new direction that our movement is taking is to “focus” upon the Holy Spirit. While the Word of God contains many teachings there are times when the Holy Spirit wishes to highlight certain areas for a while as people fully internalize the teaching. We feel that God wants us to do three things in our church movement and these are:
“Listen, Hear, and Obey On Time”
First of all, when we say “Listen” we mean actively listen…like someone who sits on the edge of their seat while listening to something intensely interesting. So many times people act as if God is something that “happens” to them rather than someone that we must “seek”. We are going to focus upon actively listening to the Holy Spirit because we truly desire to hear God’s voice.
Another aspect of listening is that we will “fully” listen to all the ways in which God speaks. We will take dreams and visions seriously for they are communications from God and we must seek to interpret them accurately and, if required, take action asking what are we suppose to do and when are we supposed to do it? We must be open to hear God’s voice through the scriptures, through others who speak to us…even those we may not like. We must hear God’s still small voice through His spirit speaking to us audibly or in our hearts and minds. The very creation can speak to us as well as events in our lives and circumstances around us if we are sensitive to what God is saying through them. The point is that we desire to listen to God in whatever way He wishes to communicate with us with a mind and heart that is fully open to receive His word.
Secondly we will “hear” what God is saying. In the scriptures Jesus rebuked his disciples in Mark 8:17-18,
“And when Jesus knew it, he saith unto them, why reason ye, because ye have no bread? Perceive ye not yet, neither understand: have ye your heart yet hardened? Having eyes, see ye not? And having ears, hear ye not? …”
True hearing has to do with the receptivity of our hearts to hear and not our ability to hear sound waves. The disciples were still thinking in the natural while Jesus was speaking by the Spirit. When Jesus said “Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees…” the disciples thought Jesus was talking about natural bread when in fact He was talking about the spiritual leaven of the Pharisees which was hypocrisy.
So to we must prepare our hearts to truly hear what the Holy Spirit is saying for listening without truly hearing is of no benefit. When we hear God’s voice it must be taken fully into our hearts so that we might truly understand what He is saying. As we see by the example of the disciples…one can hear what God is saying yet totally miss the meaning of what He said.
Lastly, we will “obey on time”. To me this is the most crucial part of our new mandate from the Holy Ghost. Many people listen and even some hear but where the breakdown in communication usually occurs is in the “obeying on time”. When God communicates with us if is usually to convey information which at times requires action. We must know when action is required and be available to take this action “when” God deems it necessary. Sometimes we can listen, hear, and even obey…but if we do not obey on time we may still frustrate what God was trying to accomplish. For instance, if the Holy Spirit urges you to go to a certain house and speak a certain word to an individual and says for you to do it NOW God means for you to drop what you are doing and give Him priority. Perhaps that person that you were supposed to speak to was about to commit suicide and it requires your immediate obedience. If your schedule is more important than what God is saying and you go tomorrow to do what God wishes for you to do today you might find that your failure to obey caused you to miss the opportunity to save a lost soul.
In conclusion, a big part of obeying is obeying on time and this is what the Holy Spirit is emphasizing in our midst here in Africa. We want to truly be Holy Spirit led servants ready to do His bidding morning, noon, and night…and even in the middle of the night if needs be. This is the new direction that God is taking our church movement here in Kenya. We greatly desire to listen, hear, and obey on time what His Spirit speaks to us so that we might be called the sons of God!