This particular post is extremely important to me. My prayer is that as you read this blog, it completely changes the pace and intensity of your pursuit of God and everything he has to offer. I believe, with all my heart, that this is my “Word of The Lord” for the people I encounter in this season. Please enjoy, “REACH."
Those of you who know me have already been privy to my background, my family, and parts of my journey as a believer. For the sake of the newcomer, here’s a little bit about me. I was born and raised in a Christian/Christ-centered home. As a child I was thankfully exposed to the gifts of the spirit, but mainly the prophetic. You see, my dad doesn’t identify himself as a prophet, but… HE IS ONE. My father moves very strongly in the gifts of the prophetic and words of knowledge. This means that if I wanted to… act a fool, I would have to consider the fact that my dad was probably going to find out about it.
I remember one time, one of my siblings made a poor choice and snuck out of the house. None of us knew a thing about it, but the next morning in family prayer, my pops said, “So and so, I had a dream about you last night….” And I’ll stop there. You see, I couldn’t get away with ANYTHING because dad AND mom knew how to hear from God. And sometimes, that sucked. But in other moments, it was comforting. However, as we all know, at some point in life, you NEED to learn to hear HIM for yourself. You need to learn to encounter him for yourself, and you need to learn RELATIONSHIP for yourself.
A few years back, a group of about 12 Ivy League college students showed up at my family’s house for ministry and fellowship. It all seemed so randomly divine. They all squeezed onto a couch in our living room as my family ministered to them. I remember my dad looking at us and asking, “Hey, do you guys have something for them?” This didn’t catch me too off guard as this was my dad’s MO.
I quickly checked my heart and listened for God’s voice.
“No.” I said nonchalantly. “I’m not getting anything.”
My dad shook his head, “I don’t want you to wait for God to just drop something in your lap, I want you to REACH for something.”
This statement shook me to my core. I didn’t know it then, but I would preach this message more than I’d preach any message after that in different parts of the U.S and the world.
You see, in the western church, we’ve got the set up. We show up to service at 9:30 or 11am. Service begins, we “enjoy” the worship, and then we enjoy an incredible word from the preacher.
Let me paint this picture in a new light. I like to think of pastors like chefs. Throughout the week they prepare, invest, and wait. They read, they pray, and then, they read some more. They know... that come Sunday morning, the people will come to a table where they will be serving a beautifully constructed meal.
Some preachers serve a meal that appeals to the taste of a crowd fancying a little spice and complexity of flavor. Some serve a simple, yet elegant meal; catering to the minimalist. And others… serve a buffet, for the contemporary christian, saying “Come. Take what you like, and leave what offends you." (side eye and eye roll) Regardless, we can all agree that preachers serve meals. And all we have to do, EVERY week, is SHOW UP.
The meal is prepared. We sit in a pew and dinner is served. I mean, can we help the fact that we have a plethora of amazing speakers in the United States? Should we feel guilty? No. However, there is a danger that lingers in our company. Please read this next statement conscientiously. If we are not careful, we will forget what it means to REACH. And If we’re honest, we have already forgotten. We live life waiting on a word, saying, “If he wants something from me, he knows how to get ahold of me.” But do YOU know how to get to HIM!?
I firmly believe that God will allow us to be comfortable, non-effective christians if we chose to. But, I can’t live without The MORE and The MORE is for The REACHERS. Let’s go look at a story in the bible that will add imagery to words. There was a Rabbi in the bible named Nicodemus. He was, in his day, a highly respected and revered individual. Nicodemus seemed to know enough, and up until he encountered the power of a man named Jesus, he was satisfied. Yet, when Nicodemus saw the Son of God do miraculous signs and wonders, I think he realized that he was missing something.
The bible tells us in John that Nicodemus went out during the night to find Jesus. And there, they had a pretty interesting conversation. I’m not going to go into their convo, because their words are non-essential the point I’m making. But, let’s look at this story chronologically:
NICODEMUS IS COMFORTABLE AND WELL-RESPECTED
NICODEMUS SEES SOMETHING GREATER
NICODEMUS LEAVES HIS PLACE OF COMFORT TO FIND JESUS - THE "SOMETHING GREATER"
NICODEMUS REACHES BEYOND THE CHURCH PEW AND TOUCHES JESUS
I’m not sure if you caught that, but Nicodemus REACHES!!! Nicodemus realizes that what he needs is outside of his comfortable christian circle, his comfortable religious high place, and he reaches. Can I ask you a few questions?
What is your reaction to seeing someone or something greater that requires your reach to obtain it?
Do you rationalize? We’ve all done so.
Do you become defensive or cynical? We’ve all done so.
What would happen if your main reaction to seeing what God has for you was to REACH FOR IT.
My God! I feel like the Lord is calling us to a greater devotion to him beyond the church pew. He’s given us glimpses of the great things he wants to do through us. We’ve even seen it in other people’s lives, and up to this point, some of us have reacted in such a way that protects our complacent life-styles. But I feel lead by the spirit, in this season, to take on the challenge of REACHING. And beyond that, I feel lead to challenge others to REACH.
I once heard Priscilla Shirer say something like, “God doesn’t place greatness in our laps. He places them within our REACH.” I want to end this blog with a challenge. I challenge everyone who reads this blog to add the word, “Reach,” to their New Year’s resolution. You know it. I know it. God has more for us. Reaching may entail fasting for you. It It may entail a consistent prayer life for you, or maybe both of those things. Whatever it may be, you can’t afford to miss out on it. So, together, let’s REACH for it!