See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.Isaiah 43:19 NIV
One of the hardest things I had to do about ten years ago was leave HCMA church. After a brief membership at another church, I have found, with my husband, a church that feels like home. Yet my memories of being a new Christian at HCMA church awash in a kind of golden glow. I and my twenty something friends were on fire, (when we weren’t distracted by the ever strong and also burning desire to marry) The whole church seemed ALIVE with the spirit and awash in strong prayer. I was drunk in the spirit, experienced holy laughter, and felt like I was in the throne room of God.
God through Jesus Christ gives all believers the spirit. The church in Corinth was alive and kicking. They had all the gifts in the spirit and need instruction on how to use all of them. However, they also very spiritually immature. Their were divisions, competition and lawsuits. (1 Cor. 6:7, 1 Cor 11:1) Spiritual gifting is not a sign of maturity because it is not earned-that is why it is called a gift. A church can be alive in the spirit, yet immature. Habits like gossiping and divisiveness will eat at a church like a cancer, causing it to slowly die out. Unfortunately, that is something many Christians, like myself, have both experienced and, to my shame, participated in. I can see now how destructive it was and is.
Despite knowing this, I still long at times for those powerful experiences in the spirit, which have waned. While I am happy in my new church home and still using my gifts of intercession, I sometimes miss the good old days. Only were they really that good? I don’t know. The felt that way at times. Yet I can look back and see that my maturing in the Lord didn’t coincide with spiritual experiences.
God is the God of every season of our lives, every church experience, every spiritual gift. I was praying at a church meeting recently, and I got the following verse; See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. Isaiah 43:19 I recognized it as a word for our church, and I believe it was. Today God reminded me it was a word for me as well. God worked powerfully in one way at one church at one time. The same is true for me. He is working in my life- I have seen it-the fruit has been amazing. Yet if I keep chasing past experiences, and not God, I will miss out on what Christ is doing in my life now. And that my friends, is ingratitude.