I recall my pre-wedding photoshoot, where my then-fiancé and I were made to walk down a path in the midst of a rustic forest area. We were instructed by our photographer to show that we were “thoroughly enjoying ourselves”, and he kept directing us to laugh/smile so that he could capture the “perfect” shot.
Similarly, many of us would take countless shots of the same selfie or wefie in order to pick that one photo that portrays us in the best light (and angles). And only that one will be uploaded onto our social media feeds.
That photoshoot made me realise how easy it is to engineer something outwardly – happiness and laughter – which may not be the actual representation of what we’re really feeling inside.
This got me thinking. Having been an intercessory missionary in the House of Prayer for two years, I wonder if my ministry truly represents who I am inside? How much of what I do in the prayer room really reflects the person I am when no one is watching?
It becomes so easy to say and do the “right things”, to simply “wing it” or “perform” when I serve, especially if my ministry – in my case it’s worship leading – comes naturally to me. And this thought scares me.
It’s so easy to go on auto-pilot mode when we do the same thing day-in and day-out, but that is not what the Lord calls us to. There is a palpable difference what I say and do in ministry comes from the same secret place I have with God.
His desire is for us to be real before Him and to live for the audience of One at all times. He wants all that we do to be an overflow from who we are inside. He wants a consistency in our lives whether we serve in the presence of people or when we are all alone.
Recently I was hit with uncertainty as I thought about how quickly we were racing towards the return of Jesus and the fulfilment of His end-time plan. This feeling came as I realised how little I knew of who Jesus was, even though I’d been a believer since the age of four.
The Holy Spirit was stirring up a dissatisfaction and urgency within my soul to grow in the knowledge of Jesus Christ and what He is coming back to do. More than just knowing the facts, He was stirring up a longing within me to have personal encounters and history with the Lord that would go beyond cognition or intellect, so that I will be able to stand in these unprecedented times.
As a young adult in this nation, I feel really blessed to have grown up in stability and comfort. Yet, the Word of God says that He will shake all things can be shaken. The only thing that cannot be shaken will be the Kingdom of God and whatever is built upon the truth of God (Hebrews 12:26-29).
If we do not begin cultivating a personal and deep relationship with our God now in peaceful times, then when will we?
What a sober beckoning from the Lord to let our roots grow deep and strong in who He is and in the truth of His Word. If we do not begin cultivating a personal and deep relationship with our God now in peaceful times, then when will we?
When things begin to get more intense as the troubles of this world increase, the depth of our relationship with God will be tested.
As we cultivate a deep history with the Lord, our roots will grow, our minds are renewed and our hearts will be guarded against any offence, fear or confusion as we race towards changing times and seasons leading up to the return of Jesus.
As millennials, many of us are filled with zeal and passion to change the world for Christ, to advance His kingdom in our schools, marketplaces, mission fields, ministries and wherever He places us.
I believe that the Holy Spirit is raising up a new breed of people who will move in the things of the Spirit like never before. Yet, true impact and authority only comes from having a real and deep relationship with the Lord. That is where true authenticity lies.
Those who do will arise and move in His power and authority and not our own. There is coming a time of increasing darkness and pressure where simply using our own human effort and strength will not be sufficient to be His salt and light in this world (Matthew 5:13-16).
We will have to draw our strength from the supernatural power and life of the Holy Spirit who lives within us. This empowerment will stem from a real and deep relationship with God.
“If you have run with the footmen, and they have wearied you,
Then how can you contend with horses?
And if in the land of peace,
In which you trusted, they wearied you,
Then how will you do in the floodplain of the Jordan?”
If we don’t cultivate such a relationship with Jesus, where would we get the fuel for our lights to keep shining? How will our lives be grounded so that we can stand in Christ until the very end?
We need real substance and history with God to sustain us. We must guard the fire on the altar of our hearts; we must grow deep in God’s Word and cultivate history with Him.
I am grateful for the spiritual fathers and mothers whom God has put in my life. They remind – the younger generation – to have God’s eternal perspective in mind. They point us towards pursuits that are aligned with God’s heart.
It is my prayer that many of us in this generation will hear what the Spirit is saying, so that we can be that new breed of people He is raising up. That we will not only have a form of godliness, but a real, deep and authentic relationship with God – a people on fire, prepared to stand and partner with Him as His return draws near.
Faith is part of the committee hosting THE GREAT NEED OF THE HOUR, an annual seminar seeking to prepare believers for the return of Jesus Christ. It will be held on September 22, 2018, at IHOP-One Thing Ministries. The seminar is free but registration is required to secure a seat. Sign up before September 19, 2018.