Is this it? Is this what Jesus meant?

The following article is a tweaked version of a message I gave recently. It’s something God has really been pressing on me in recent months in my personal time of prayer and Bible study. I cannot shake it. I can’t shake the feeling that He may be waiting for many of us to admit to our dissatisfaction and lift our chins toward heaven and have guts enough to ask, “Is this it, Lord? Is what we are seeing of the work of Your Holy Spirit all we can expect? Is this what You meant?”

If it is, then may God give peace and acceptance and understanding to those of us who are unsettled. But, what if our dissatisfaction isn’t inappropriate? What if it’s God-stirred? What if it has nothing to do with cynicism? What if God is sitting on His Throne, shaking His head with our willingness to accept so little evidence of His promises and He’s waiting for a number of us to say, “Is this all we can expect of the outpouring of Your Spirit in our day and in our part of the world?”

We’ve seen drops. Even seen a few showers but I’ve taken longer showers than those on a Monday morning running late for work.

I just keep staring at accounts of those early Jesus followers then into the mirror, bewildered over the dissimilarities.

Hebrews 10:32-39, for example.

32 But recall the former days when, after you were enlightened, you endured a hard struggle with sufferings, 33 sometimes being publicly exposed to reproach and affliction, and sometimes being partners with those so treated. 34 For you had compassion on those in prison, and you joyfully accepted the plundering of your property, since you knew that you yourselves had a better possession and an abiding one. 35 Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. 36 For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised. 37 For, “Yet a little while, and the coming one will come and will not delay; 38  but my righteous one shall live by faith, and if he shrinks back, my soul has no pleasure in him.” 39 But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls. 

And Acts 5:27-29 and 40-42.

27 And when they had brought them, they set them before the council. And the high priest questioned them, 28 saying, “We strictly charged you not to teach in this name, yet here you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching, and you intend to bring this man’s blood upon us.” 29 But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men. 

40 and when they had called in the apostles, they beat them and charged them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. 41 Then they left the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer dishonor for the name. 42 And every day, in the temple and from house to house, they did not cease teaching and preaching that the Christ is Jesus. 

This is our heritage. The early followers of Jesus were unstoppable and not just unstoppable in works but unstoppable in faith and unceasing in joy. Do we look joyful to us? But what was given to them that drove their unstoppable work, unstoppable faith and unstoppable joy is the exact same thing we have been given.

Same exact Savior. Same Holy Spirit. “The promised Holy Spirit” (Eph.1:13) whose indwelling power turned fumbling followers of Jesus into unstoppable forces of the Kingdom of the living Christ. My daily Bible reading has recently had me in the pages of Jeremiah. The twelfth chapter records the prophet Jeremiah registering a complaint with God. He’d done so earlier and received reassurance from God. This time, God met Jeremiah’s complaint with a different response:

“If you have raced with men on foot, and they have wearied you, how will you compete with horses? And if in a safe land you are so trusting, what will you do in the thicket of the Jordan? (Jer. 12:5)

Something about it rang true to me concerning our present Christian atmosphere here in the west. We’re so preoccupied competing with one another for the spotlight that the real darkness rages on undeterred. We have lost our tolerance for discomfort and renamed it pain. And we have upgraded pain to torture. The least insult and we cry persecution. Because we react to every day frustration at a 10, when we encounter real opposition and oppression, we’ve got nothing left. We’re too exhausted from carrying our purses to move mountains. I don’t think we meant to be reduced to this. We were just picnicking by the brook of culture, wading knee deep when the flood came and engulfed us. We’ve had an outpouring alright but it’s the spirit of the world.

The thing is, we like it. It offers instant pain relief for our paper cuts and microphones for our ceaseless opinions. And, anyway, why get ourselves all scratched up in the thicket when we can perform in costumes on stage?

We’ve atrophied in our affluence. In some respects our quality of life has diminished our quantity of Spirit. We need less so we pray less, plead for less, believe for less, live for less. I’m not proposing we go sell everything we have but I am proposing we not sell our souls to everything we have.

The earth is quaking with peril. Injustice abounds and we throw it pennies and post selfies doing it. We’re preoccupied with our race against one another while the eyes of heaven search the earth for servants of Elijah’s ilk willing to pay the price, pray earnestly for rain with such fiery faith that, at the sight of the first fist-sized cloud, they’d run like the wind, leaving the chariots of the world’s proud and mighty in clouds of dust.

“The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed fervently…” (James 5:16b-17a)

We’ve lost our tolerance for pain and given way to whining and it does not look good on us. But here’s the question that keeps needling at me: Could it be possible that our habitual whining is the result of failing to wail when we should have? There’s stuff to wail about. The condition of the world, the sufferings of the masses, the hemorrhaging of the truth and the colossal loss of Christlikeness in the church are wail-worthy. What would happen if there was less long term whining and more rightly timed wailing?

Over the course of the last five years, one of the things I believe God has consistently made clear to me is that He’d require more in my later years than less.  Coasting was out of the question. If I wanted to teach and minister under an increasing anointing, for instance, or bear fruit more profusely or see bona fide breakthroughs in the Body of Christ and true wonders of God in the midst of ministry, I’d have to press in further, go deeper with Him in His Word, get bolder in love, service, prayer and get mightier in battle. Humbler in spirit. Some of the need for pressing in further as time goes on can probably be explained by Revelation 12:12. Satan is furious because he knows his time is short. Each generation will either get stronger in battle or sink further and further into defeat. But I also think God’s increased requirement was for my good. What once came a little easier, I’d now have to fight for. I’d have to want it desperately. Cry out for it.

This has been the gift of my older age, not the curse. I bring it up only because I wonder if I’m not the only one to whom Jesus is, in effect, saying, “It’s going to take more than this.”

John the Baptizer said Jesus would baptize us with the Holy Spirit and with fire.

But where IS our fire? Where IS the Holy Spirit?

It LOOKS like the Holy Spirit.

It SOUNDS like the Holy Spirit.

It often ACTS like the Holy Spirit.

But here’s the pertinent question: Does it WORK like the Holy Spirit? The Holy Spirit is effectual. His work bears abundant, lasting fruit.

I keep reading and reading the New Testament. I keep studying those early followers, noting how the Holy Spirit looked on them and operated through them. I don’t think this is it. I think we’re settling for woefully less than Jesus promised us He’d do. He is unfailingly faithful so He’s not the problem. Where are the “greater works than these” among us? Don’t tell me they were meant for those first followers alone. I won’t believe you and I won’t because I don’t think the New Testament from Matthew to Revelation supports it.  We’ve lowered the bar and exchanged the spring of living water for the spiked Kool Aid of cool cultural Christianity.

Yes, it is incumbent upon us to be relevant because we are not the church of a century ago. We are the church here and now. But what will make us relevant is the fact that our faith actually works. That we really are who we claim to be. Evidences that Jesus does what He says He does. To have an appearance of godliness but lack its power was a sign of fraudulence in 2 Timothy 3:5. We’re called to a fearlessness in the Spirit that results in authentic power, love and self control.

Good Lord, where is an ounce of self control among us???

If we were experiencing more than a few splatters of the Holy Spirit, we’d see evidences like…

Repentance of sins, then FRUIT of that repentance. Salvation of souls. Freedom from bondage that outlasts the weekend. Release from oppression. Transformation. True humility. Forgiveness. Reconciliation. The impossible made possible. Deliverance from addiction that takes less than 20 rounds of rehab. Remarkable reductions in pornography. (I’m talking about among US. The church. Forget preaching it the world when we’re neck deep in it ourselves. Pornography is leaving us impotent spiritually as much as physically.) Real, live healing from brokenness and brokenheartedness. JOY abounding even in suffering.

Some hint of real unity.

I just keep looking around, reading, watching podcasts, listening, trying my best to pay attention and I keep thinking, “is this it?”

Looks like the Holy Spirit.

Sounds like the Holy Spirit.

Acts like the Holy Spirit.

That’s not enough.

We cannot let up until we see the EFFECTS of the Holy Spirit. And if we’re not seeing them, let’s have courage enough to ask why. Galatians 3:3 says we can start something genuinely in the Holy Spirit but finish it in the flesh. Sometimes we lose heart but most of the time we just lose interest. Oh, to fall back on our faces that the Holy Spirit would fall back on us.

Leadership keeps talking about our corporate need for repentance but have we led the way? Are we even really praying anymore? Do we read our Bibles anymore? As hard as this is to accept, reading a blogpost does not qualify as reading the Bible.  For crying out loud, we’re getting push notifications on our phones for our daily Scripture readings and calling it spiritual discipline.  The way to the altar of repentance is so overgrown with the weeds of neglect, it’s not even visible. It’s up to us to hack the way through it and make the way clear again. It’s up to us to weep and wail for the church who has lost her way.

We are suffering from anemia. We need iron back in our blood. Calcium back in our bones.

In 1 Thessalonians 2:13, Paul refers to “the word of God which is at WORK within you.” If we were in the Word of God, it would be at work in us.

In Colossians 1:29 he says,, “For this I toil struggling with all His energy that He powerfully works within me.”

Many of us working hard in the Body of Christ. We are exhausted and unfulfilled and perhaps for any number of reasons but maybe chief among them is that we are empowering the powerful instead of the powerless.

Is this what the outpouring of the Holy Spirit was supposed to look like? The powerful keep getting more powerful? We’ve become wolves among sheep rather than sheep among wolves.

There are many upsides to the access the internet gives us to see innumerable events and concerts and church services where the Holy Spirit is powerfully at work but one downside is that we can inadvertently create the same atmosphere but without the authentic anointing of the Spirit.

Our biggest hindrance can sometimes be the fact that we’re just good at what we do. And we know how to do it. We’re huge on hype and hype is posing as the Holy Spirit.  A few weeks later when the adrenaline fizzles out and we’re back to our old selves and the environment is back to its old climate, why aren’t we asking,

WAS THAT IT? Is that all there is to it? All we can expect? All we should expect?

It’s risky to wait on the Lord and rely on His Spirit. It’s so much easier to default into what has worked before. The crowd pleaser. The crowd rouser. But what if we got the nerve to quit defaulting? What if we risked feeling the lack of His Presence if that’s what it took to send us to our knees to cry out for Him? What if we no longer relied on what we know would rally and we started admitting to Him in corporate and personal prayer that we’ve grown inept and ineffective and we’ve faked half of what appears to be working and we want Him back in the worst way?

I want holy fire. Bona fide holy fire. I don’t think what we’re seeing is what Jesus was saying. I want to see the real thing. Feel its heat. See its effects. There are glimpses here and there – a few campfires smoking – but I don’t think anybody’s got gall enough to say that the Body of Christ is glaring with the evidence of the Holy Spirit. In the words of Moses, what else but His Presence will distinguish us from the rest of the world?

“O God, we have heard with our ears, our fathers have told us,

what deeds you performed in their days, in the days of old.” Psalm 44:1

 

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131 Responses to “Is this it? Is this what Jesus meant?”

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  1. 1
    Ashley Renee says:

    This is Ashley from Toledo, Ohio, where God is wanting to show His power. God is asking us to believe Jesus, every word of His, with our entire beings, and to expect with all our hearts what we ask. By His power, by His Spirit, God will show His power. He will come in power. But we must believe. We must be desperate, as I am; this is what our Christian faith requires…belief. Here in Toledo, we’re hanging on to things and God is asking us to let go. He is wanting to change some of the status quo stuff of our lives which are keeping us in suffering and keeping us from God’s profound love. I am desperate to see God move and God surely is wanting more for His children.

    • 1.1
      Amy Morrissey says:

      Ashley. I stand with you – also in Toledo. Ready for a mighty moving of the Holy Spirit. Praying for a richer and deeper anointing on my own life and yours.

      • Ashley Renee says:

        Amy, THANK YOU. I find great encouragement from your words. We’re standing together, wherever you are. Hugs..

  2. 2
    Sandra Myers says:

    You put into words what has been in my heart for years. My big issue is lack of corporate prayer and the fact that not many senior pastors are are promoting it.

  3. 3
    Heather Bock says:

    Oh my goodness, yes! I don’t want a splattering of the Holy Spirit–I want a downpour. I know I’m in the way. I’m begging God to change me, to help my faith grow, to help me not be a whiner. I need Him to help me, and I know I can expect more from God Almighty than what I’ve seen so far in my own life. He’s recently taken me to this place you describe–this place of repentance and longing for more of Him–this place of recognizing the difference between the disciples and what I see in the mirror.

  4. 4
    Tammy says:

    Tammy Causey
    Humboldt, TN

    Those are tough questions Beth! Questions that are deserving of self and society reflection and much prayer!

    Is it possible to get back to the basics in getting fired up for Jesus? Just worship through song with no special lighting effects? Just worship through giving without a plea relating to the next important cause? Just worship through preaching without smart boards, big screens and earwigs? It is possible to just get fired up in a room, under a tree, or in a large building just with the Word of Truth being both sung and heard? I sure would love to experience that—again!

  5. 5
    Teresa AnnElizabeth Shrader says:

    Lord help me, but I’m one of the “afraid” of being “hurt by mean words and the cruelty of those who do not know Him and treat me like I’m “tin-foil hat” insane! I have not one ounce of excuse either! I KNOW what the indwelling of the mighty power of The Holy Spirit feels like! Yet, you are right. I only want enough of Him to feel His love for me – not enough to face the ugliness of the world and keep going.
    God have mercy upon me. As you once said, and I’m paraphrasing- “we have an entire Garden of fruit God has given us to choose from but we just keeping eating bananas over and over everyday” We are just playing it safe while the world around us sinks further into depravity.
    Praying for you, Beth! You are truly His Girl!

  6. 6
    Janice Hilt says:

    THANK YOU SO MUCH! You have put into words how I have felt for the past several years. I want to see repentance! revival! restoration! Only by the power of the Holy Spirit! Not by our might but by HIS! I must admit I almost want to give up and say the same thing…”I guess that’s all there is to it.” But then I am drawn back to the Scriptures and know it is NOT!

  7. 7
    Laura Proctor says:

    Wow!-and Amen! Laura Proctor, Madison, Ms

  8. 8
    Alecia says:

    Amen!! Thank you so much for speaking the truth! It is so easy to get caught up in our culture where “relevance” justifies our own agenda..whatever that may be. I’m praying that God lights a fire under us, starting with me. I definitely feel humbled by this message!

  9. 9
    Deb Dioguardi says:

    Amen. I recently read this quote from Billy Graham: “In an age that is given over to cynicism, coldness and doubt and in which the fire and warmth of God is conspicuous for its absence in the world, my heart cry is, Let the fire fall…O, God, let the fire of your love fall on us.”
    Thank you for being willing to take on the works set before you with passion, perseverance and unwavering focus. Love your heart, your teaching has blessed me and allowed me to share that blessing with others.

  10. 10
    Donna Garvin says:

    Thank you for being so honest. I have thought something along these lines for a long time now but never could put it in words as eloquently as you have. God richly bless you and your ministry.

  11. 11
    Dana Hoebeke says:

    So much yes, so deep from my gut! I have been through the pit and come out not smelling of smoke- rescued by my Redeemer who is faithful and true! I have seen first hand the miraculous wonders of the Holy Spirit moving in my heart, mind and my family so much so that we do not resemble the “old” us.
    I know what the REAL thing looks like and what those fruits show forth as, and I agree with sadness and righteousness indignation- Where are we??!! Why are there not more taking Jesus for all He’s offered us? It’s such an incredible life, beyond what this fraudulent broken world has to offer.
    I will continue praying for The Body to open her eyes, embrace some brokenness and repentance, so that she may become the radiance that Christ gave His life for.

  12. 12
    Goldie Frances says:

    This goes right along with what I just read this morning — the wicked freely strut about when what is vile is honored by the human race (and sadly by those in the pews, too.)

    Psalm 12[a]
    For the director of music. According to sheminith.[b] A psalm of David.
    1 Help, Lord, for no one is faithful anymore;
        those who are loyal have vanished from the human race.
    2 Everyone lies to their neighbor;
        they flatter with their lips
        but harbor deception in their hearts.
    3 May the Lord silence all flattering lips
        and every boastful tongue—
    4 those who say,
        “By our tongues we will prevail;
        our own lips will defend us—who is lord over us?”
    5 “Because the poor are plundered and the needy groan,
        I will now arise,” says the Lord.
        “I will protect them from those who malign them.”
    6 And the words of the Lord are flawless,
        like silver purified in a crucible,
        like gold[c] refined seven times.
    7 You, Lord, will keep the needy safe
        and will protect us forever from the wicked,
    8 who freely strut about
        when what is vile is honored by the human race.

  13. 13
    Shanna says:

    “We cannot let up until we see the EFFECTS of the Holy Spirit.” All I keep thinking about is the iron sharpens iron verse. But we have to have that iron in us to be a tool to sharpen someone else that has solid iron in them. Then sparks may fly but with humility you can press forward together seeking the face of Jesus for true growth. That’s why one of the reasons He gave us the command to be in community and love one another. But we are more like shakey jello sometimes and not iron. And the pride and arrogance that is among some in the Christian culture (leadership) to build a platform is gross. And it’s trickling down. I see it and want to fight that off like the plague. I don’t mean to sound negative but you’re right, something’s got to change. Because Jesus is worth it all – He is our treasure and our firm place to stand. Consider all other pursuits rubbish. To know Him and sit at His feet is where I feel at home. all other places He calls me to be, I pray I will remain spiritually at His feet and delight in His Presence . And because He delights to move through us as vessels of mere clay- Through that posture I believe we can possibly see the effects of His Holy Spirit at work and not our fabricated, caffeinated ( I say this tenderly but I wonder if there is some truth to this. I love coffee, drink it daily but sometimes can it give a false high that looks like Spirit , maybe??) anxious, zealous flesh.
    I hunger for His Spirit to move in this generation. I love His Presence and want like Moses to be where He is. We have to understand who our God is. He gave the commandments to show us that we could never measure up to His requirements. Then in a display of His grace He shows Moses His character and says I am the compassionate God slow to anger and abounding in love… forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Jesus came later to show the full extent of that grace and compassion and to show us the way to live is to repent and in essence die to self. In this way through repentance He would give the Holy Spirit. Which would give us a way to escape the corrupted culture and live godly lives. Repentance is such a gift of His grace. And that He would give us the Holy Spirit and continue to sanctify us through and through!?! His work from beginning to end. We just receive with open hands on blended knee.

  14. 14
    Sandy Fry says:

    Amen, dear sister. I have been feeling this too beginning with me. Seeking Him to know what He wants from me. Feeling woefully inept but trusting He will lead and equip. No longer satisfied. No longer willing to wait for revival. May His Holy Spirit pour out and help us.

  15. 15
    Pam Hawley says:

    God’s people have been lulled to sleep in these last days ~ thanks for the call to wake up Beth
    Hebrews says ” Jesus Christ the same yesterday today & forever”

  16. 16
    Crystal says:

    Come on now! That is a good and timely word!!

  17. 17
    Leah Kirksey says:

    Mrs. Beth, thank you for asking this question. My heart has been broken with this question ever since a couple months ago when an 8 year old girl in our church was killed in a tragic accident. The past few years, God has been really working in my husband and me, and this incident was the first time that I thought, we should raise this child from the dead like Jesus did.(and we’ve been in church ministry for 20 plus years). I am not satisfied where we are. But I have seen evidence of early-church Chrisitianity, even if it is few and far between, and that is where we want to be spiritually. I know exactly what you are talking about. I see it everyday. But it is going to spur on those of us who have experienced true freedom. Lord Jesus, let your Holy Spirit burn inside of us so that we will do what we hear the Father doing! Pray! Devour His Word! Worship Him! Love and raise the children! In Jesus’ Name

  18. 18
    Tricia Hanks says:

    Great insight Beth! I love your passion for Jesus and how you never settle for less from anyone else. May God bless you.

  19. 19
    Betty M says:

    All it takes is afew darned good crises in our lives to know. To be able to say the Lord is good when your 43 yr old son is being admitted to a nursing home and you know you relied on him so much.. His kind gentle spirit was so needed here and it is gone possibly forever along with it all the dreams he and we all had.
    I know what it is like to question God in all this. When you face life and death so much in your family and deal with so many complex things over and over again you are not lulled to sleep- it is faith in action. You find you must live your faith or perish. Our daughter too faces double knee replacement for her dwarfism which is taking it’s toll on her joints presently. I look at posts of healthy families and I think they have no idea what it is like to wonder if you are gona have these beloveds around much longer and you are thankful for just one last moment together.
    When life goes well we just get listless and wonder why we can’t get a double pump of the same excitement we once had we are bored.
    We don’t need more wow we just need a quiet confidence that He is with us we don’t need anything more. Let’s not get bored with our faith. It is not about trying harder expecting more. Again, quiet confidence that He is Lord and yes He is coming back probably soon—- listen for the ram’s horn. In the mean time just keep proclaiming Christ and don’t worry about the wow!
    Love to y’all from a hospital room.
    Betty

  20. 20
    Donna Collier says:

    Exactly what God has been speaking to me.. I ask Him where is the fruit in the church today. He told me to go read Jeremiah…You are my fleece. Much prayer for you, Beth.. God used your ministry and teaching to change my life. I had to withstand storms, I could never have survived had I not been pursuing Him with every thing in me.. Breaking Free Bible study and seeing you in person, many years ago, started me on a quest to know Him and love Him in a way I had never known possible before.. For that I will forever be thankful..

  21. 21
    Teresa Bailey says:

    Beth, THANK you for hearing God’s voice to come to Toledo next month. We are so awaiting to hear the Word of God He has laid upon your heart. The world, our selves and Satan is trying to pull us down, apart from His word, distant from His presence, feeling defeated. When we KNOW we are NOT defeated, Jesus is the VICTOR. Your words resound with all of us. We allow so many things, and good things to keep us from a deeper relationship with Him. Being in ministry is difficult, yet with Christ ALONE we can persevere. Come Lord Jesus, come. See you in September Beth!

  22. 22
    Laura Bender says:

    OH MY SOUL! I was flat out for awhile before I could reply–there was so much resonation in my spirit I couldn’t contain it all! I’ve been feeling the rumblings of this for years and the enemy tries to mess with my faith if I don’t see the power of the God I see in His word. Yes, repent, believe, go low, press in…Yes and Amen! The battle in the principalities is so fierce sometimes I feel like I’m in the middle of flying arrows–the perfect place is flat down crying out to God. I get weary crying out for God to come hallow His great name and come for His obvious glory–I feel so impatient at times, like Habakkuk. God is so good, to strengthen me and light a fire to endure. Thank you Beth for your bold encouragement for us to run to the front line of this battle and fight harder!

  23. 23
    Susan says:

    It’s interesting that you mention “Run with the Horses” because in the last couple of weeks I’ve been re-reading Eugene Peterson’s book “Run with the Horses” regarding Jeremiah. I had found this book in 2013 and it has changed me as well as supported me as a Christian in tough times. I’ve shared it with family members and I end up having to buy additional copies because they don’t want to part with it. Jeremiah is extremely relevant and helpful for the times we are living in.

  24. 24
    Carla Winkler says:

    Hearing your heart is inspiring Beth.. I would like to offer a word from the page of my heart. Return to your first love. There is the fire and power in being in Love with our Savior. Song of Solomon reflects on it beautifully.

  25. 25
    Leigh Clemmons says:

    That’ll preach!

    My anemic, apathetic, pitiful soul needed this kick in the rear end today. I am brought to tears. I have grown so numb, so disconnected. Seems like a losing culture battle all around. Yet, God is good. I know in my head but often don’t feel it in my heart. Funny, how a roof over my head, food on my plate, good health for my sweet family and self, and air conditioning in Alabama’s oppressive summer heat render me a spiritual weeny. Lord, I confess and repent. I’ve shortened our prayer time and ignored Your call to deeper reading of Your Word. I’ve substituted praise music during my commute for true worship without the pesky distractions of driving. I’ll stop here. You, Lord and You alone, know the “invisible” sin of my spirit, the self righteousness and judgements thoughts, the disobedience. Forgive me. Restore the joy of my salvation. Soften this heart of stone.

    Thank you, Beth for taking me and likely many others to the woodshed. Much appreciated even if painful. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

  26. 26
    Melisa Miller says:

    Amen and amen

  27. 27
    Nancy says:

    Thanks for your thoughtful and honest post! I believe corporate prayer is so vital for the church! I grew up in a small Swedish community and even thought it’s been 50+ years ago, I can still hear the prayers of those Swedish farmers with their strong accents pleading with God at the Wednesday night prayer meetings! Oh that the men of God in our churches (and women too) would come together regularly beseeching God to do His work in our lives, churches, and communities. I am convicted. Spurgeon wrote about the folks who prayed in the furnace room in the church building and what a revival occurred! We must seek Him and believe Him for bigger things. Me included!!

  28. 28
    Ann Thiede says:

    Not sure how to respond but feel compelled to. Your words resonate with my heart. I do not believe it’s for myself God has put a deeper hunger in my heart for Him and His word. I do not want to believe my older years now are just to delight my soul. I WANT to be used. I WANT Him honored in this life. I still struggle to know what that looks like, how He wants to use me. Thank you for the honest words, Beth. May I be only one of a mighty force rising up in faith to be clay for the Master. May the Spirit move.

  29. 29
    Kathleen says:

    Beth,

    Thank you for your boldness to speak truth the Church needs to hear. I have felt this for so long and not been able to put my finger on it. Your voice matters, people trust you, as you have stayed the course. At 53 after 35+ years of ministry and all the change, lack of server and joy, I am so tired and often want to throw in the towel and be done. He will not let me, I love Jesus too much. Your words were what I needed, thank you for taking time to encourage the weary and admonish the whiney. Keep pressing on, we need your leadership.

    Much love,

    Kath

  30. 30
    Vickie Ingle says:

    Amen and amen!

  31. 31
    Allce says:

    This is what I have felt for the past 5 years. Lord, I know there is MORE, and I want it.

  32. 32
    Ashley Renee says:

    Ladies, I know what God sees when He looks down and scans His great earth; when He scans humanity. We are too occupied for our Savior. We are too tied up entertaining ourselves. Recently, another believer asked me this question: “Do you watch any shows?” I was speechless, because I thought, “who has time for shows?” And then what came next has left me saddened and discouraged to this day, which was that she and her husband “were just talking about what new shows they could watch next.” I am no judge, and who am I to fault another’s choice or life; however, I will say that as long as the majority on this globe are 1) not worshiping the Lord and 2) are suffering in some capacity, then I have no business largely entertaining myself, either with shows or with social media or some other idol that occupies my attention or resources. I want our Lord to look down and be proud. I want us to be sending up sweet aromas to the Lord with our prayers. I want us to be thriving, and I want us to be worshiping Him when He comes. I know we can do this, and I believe we want this. We certainly need our God to come.

  33. 33
    Lynn says:

    My heart aches for revival, for churches to stop becoming “attractions” but become places where we wait for Gods Spirit to move us. Where we travail in prayer, and wait to hear God’s voice.
    However, while reading this…I don’t know. I felt more this was a lecture than a true desire, a holier than thou attempt to say, look at me, be listen to what I say, but don’t question my life. Lately, I’m finding it hard to identify with perfect hair, perfect makeup, perfect dress and home Christians; who are led to tell everyone else where we are wrong. I read these praying that I’m wrong that there’s true heart when so read the words so I can agree, and say yes Lord. But all I read is a lot of what we are doing wrong and no pleading for the Holy Spirit to fall and call us to repentance, saying this is what He’s speaking to me for me, for you, for the lost, for the world. My heart aches.

    • 33.1
      Ashley Reee says:

      Lynn, I hear you. God has been showing me my own sin. In fact, I am calling this summer “the summer of heart surgery.” It has pain painful and sobering.

      At the same time, He’s been showing me how we believers are asleep, and while we’re sleeping, bad things are happening. It is easy to have a look at our ways and identify what is wrong and what must change, and as believers, I want our focus to be on our amazing God.

      And so, I suppose, all that to say I want us to identify our specific ways (the status quo stuff of our day) that are not good so that we can 1) ourselves disengage and 2) help decrease or diminish them.

      I really believe with all my heart that we’re at the tipping point and God is wanting more for His children, and He’s wanting more of the lost to be found. May you be encouraged that all of us writing here on this blog, replying to Beth and to each other, are locking arms with one another. May our focus be on our Lord while we also identify the areas of interest needing attention. We stand together – Hugs!

  34. 34
    Cindy Billings says:

    The Wind blows and yet many do not recognize Him. Sweet Holy Spirit how He reigns. He is in every chance meeting that is not by chance at all, but by God’s hand. The fire falls in the way hearts are still changed and in how even in the darkest of days the remnant holds fast. We, who are the body of Christ, must stand and shout from the roof tops how He has changed our lives. Their are those whom Jesus gives a bigger platform but the Spirit gives each of us a prompting and a power. I work as an electrician in a steel mill my tools may seem to be a volt meter and a screwdriver but I am equipped daily by the Holy Sprit to share His love. I work with men but they know Jesus is my Savior and that I believe He is the Way! The Holy Spirit placed me here for this reason. Every boss I have had has said I am the glue that keeps things together. That is the power of the Holy Spirit because I am not capable of keeping my hardhat straight. I keep looking up because I know…He has no equal! Thank You Jesus for the Helper!

  35. 35
    Cynthia Chinn says:

    Word in due season for sure ~ @Beth Moore – I so appreciate your heart for the Lord ~

  36. 36

    Yes! Yes! Yes!
    We stand on such a pivotal place as the church and the Holy Spirit is stirring the waters. Gone are the days of caring how many likes, views, etc or who or what was perceived. It’s Jesus! It’s nose deep in carpet with a repentant heart crying for rain! It’s pleading on behalf of this nation and those around us…. Lord, send us…send me! Lord, take our Whiney Hineys and make us Warriors who face evil and speak life, who look up to impossible mountains and speak only to watch it fall to dust, witness the blind see, the crippled raised… we have the answers… we carry the antidote for all things! Jesus!
    Much Love and Many Prayers coming your way, Mama Beth!

  37. 37
    Lynnette says:

    I think of things like this when I dig into genealogy. Being a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution, I see history of what ancestors have done before us, how they lived out strong Christian values, and often the strong stances they took to support and defend our freedoms to follow Christ. They use strong language and don’t back down in these beliefs. (Not to idealize everything from that time!) Where has this gone? And this been only 220+ years, not 2000+!! Are we so soft now? Or we just live the benefits of not having the pressures or struggles of those ancestors? Are those persecuted Christians in other parts of the world today relating better to what you’re calling for here because there is more at stake — like we need the tension of that push and pull? Do we become dry bones without some struggle in the corporate body? And, will we be able to rebound quickly for a fresh fight if we truly have our freedoms removed in the U.S. and elsewhere? Have we gotten soft because we have such freedoms, like worshipping whenever, wherever and however we want? Also, to what extent is political correctness involved? Have even we who identify as Christians somewhat silenced ourselves? Overall, are we doing some of this to ourselves?

  38. 38
    Laura Pilant says:

    Amen!!! Have felt this for some time, but couldn’t put words to it….if we aren’t in the WORD …how can we operate in any way in the Spirit…..ABBA help us….

  39. 39
    Allison Ashton says:

    I look at this and think, “Is there too much of the “world” in the church. Yes. What a challenge today to not be caught up in the illusion of Christianity. We have all the tools to create so many things for Christ: songs, music, art, studies, books, and more. I wonder how much of these are just our talents, our abilities to make the gospel more appealing, drawing the world. But, does not include the Holy Ghost with POWER? I find myself getting caught up in how much talent one has (in Christ), how gifted this one is (in Christ). And, can’t see the real. It looks like, it’s all about “them” and not HIM. We have too many accessible tools for Christianity that there is no need to seek Him.

  40. 40
    Susan Kolb says:

    I am humbled. I am challenged. I am ashamed of setting for less than what God has for me. Thank you for pushing me to get up and march!

  41. 41
    Shirley Hamilton says:

    This is the cry of my heart

  42. 42
    Donna says:

    A few things I’ve noticed 1) my prayers are not so quickly answered 2) we tend to hate the sinner as much as the sin3) we use truth only to confront never to gently nudge or encourage. I have need of repentance of many things especially loving and knowing His Word.

  43. 43
    Christine Johnson says:

    I read the first paragraph at work on a break and quickly shut it down because I KNEW this what not something I could read fast and easy. This was the very question I have asked myself and God so often lately. Is this it? And because I know it isn’t Him it is me, it is us, I have run far from His answer. Wanting to give up on Faith and Church sometimes because it felt like I had learned so much, grown so much, tried and strived, cried and begged, gave til I had no more and then getting to what seemed like the ‘top’ or maybe actually it was to the end of things and looking around and my exact thoughts were -is this it? Where are all the people? I felt like I was running a race to a place that no one else was at! And I was mad! Feeling like I had given it all up and had been sold a lemon.
    But this pressing never went away, this stirring never went away and I decided that I couldn’t walk away. I would continue to pray and believe that whatever ‘it’ was or is has not happened yet and then I need to stay strong and ready.. Yesterday I prayed again for more understanding and then I opened up this blog and my heart recognized right away that this is everything I had been feeling and thinking too! I am not the only and you are not the only! And by the looks of your comments we are not the only! So I will continue to pray, continue to kove, Continue and Commit to keeping the fire burning! We are here, He is here and I am raising my hand to Him! Here I am Lord! I am not worthy but I am willing!

  44. 44
    Paula Fletcher says:

    Numerous scripture passages and counsel in your post are what we have been hearing from the pulpit from our pastor. Thank you, Beth, for this confirmation. I am especially taken by the words about digging in deeper as we get older. And about self control. Amen and Amen.

  45. 45
    Yvonne Gearing says:

    I just listened to a podcast this weekend and they were discussing why they see less moves of the Spirit here in the West versus in developing countries. One of the biggest things they saw was our lack of prayer. Many of us don’t have a real relationship with God. We don’t take the time to really talk to Him each day. It’s not about our list of things we want/need, it’s about developing our relationship with Him by spending time just talking to Him. We are much more about knowledge here in the West, but relationship is the real key. Thank you for sharing the Beth ❤️

  46. 46
    Lucy Ann says:

    Father God stir the hearts of your people. May we forsake all else for your presence. Forgive us for falling into complancy. Break our hearts for what breaks yours. May your church be a strong witness of your power at work throughout the world. May it be on earth as it is in heaven. In Jesus’s name I pray!

  47. 47

    It seems as if many are dying off in the wilderness. We are giving way to the world and her ways and seeking our own fame. We are too weak to hang in there for the true outpouring and fulfillment of His promises. We don’t believe that he can do more through us than we can do ourselves. We preach Ephesians 3:20, but we don’t want him to be in control of what exceedingly abundantly more looks like because we don’t believe he can actually do it — or he hasn’t done it in our timing.

    May we (beginning with me) humble ourselves, have the courage to wait, and not grow weary until He gives us more of Himself. I believe God is fortifying those who crave more, strengthening his core. He is preparing us for a new season. I’m craving an outpouring of the Spirit and expectant for Him to answer your desires for MORE!! May my generation of millenials be strengthened enough to carry the flame!!

    Thank you for your words, Beth. I’m encouraged by you and pray God blesses you even tonight for speaking his heart for our people and our nation.

  48. 48
    Kandy says:

    Beth, I am no expert, but I love Jesus with all of my Heart. I answered the call to become a Pastor and plant a church about 3 yrs ago–although I didnt know thats what God had in mind. I just knew there was something more then what I was doing in my church. I started teaching a Bible Study at the Homeless Shelter( even some lessons I learned from you). This turned into birthing a church, because people kept getting saved and coming back after they left the shelter. We have spent much time discipling these last few years but asking God to pour out His Spirit. And my God —He is doing it! Out of the Darkness are coming the drug addicts, prostiutes, and even a sex offender. They all start getting saved one by one and keep bringing their friends, and then they bring their friends. Im so far in over my head and its so out of my control….and Im glad. I probably would have chosen for it to look like pretty church, but God knew what He had in mind. Isaiah 9 and its been my life these last few years. I was so shallow, Thank God He opened my Heart to replace it with His. A woman pastor is a difficult task today, but I have asked Him so many times, “What will you do for your own Great Name”? And Im seeing it. We recently purchased a home and the previous buyers left a valuable artifact from Africa on the Wall, they had split up and moved away and didn’t want to deal with it. I was going to remove it but then I research it. Its an antique Threshing Shledge! I said “My God you have given me a Threshing Sledge! ” Isn’t this just like God to give me a symbol of Harvest right as you walk in the door, and we surely are seeing it! The Fire is Here and its spreading!

  49. 49
    Patricia L Egbert says:

    Help us, Lord. In Jesus’ name, AMEN

  50. 50
    Tami Romani says:

    Dear Beth,

    Oh wow. You are speaking my language. I recently made the mistake (won’t ever do it again) to engage in a discussion on Facebook about music styles in church with the poster saying this is an “important matter to grapple over.”

    Say what? I’m still grieving over the pettiness of it all.

    People are DYING without Christ everyday, and the church is distracted by whether we sing the hymns or something by Bethel Music or Jesus Culture. First world problems, for sure.

    I am 58 years old and feeling more and more like God is anointing me and calling me out for ministry. My mother was a preacher, and two of her sisters. I’ve recently learned that my 8th great-grandmother was known as a great preacher and had meetings in her home as one of the first settlers on Nantucket Island – and who knows how many women between her and my mother in my bloodline have taken up this cross?

    I am not a Bible scholar like my mother was. I am terrified, but I am seeking God for the next step, and asking the Holy Spirit to bathe me in his presence in the process. I can relate to you so much, as my husband is not a church-goer and I know you have spoken so often about those early years with Keith.

    I don’t know what is ahead, but I believe God is raising up an army.

    Thank you for all you do and for your leadership in the church.

    Hugs,

    Tami Romani

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