CONTENDING FOR MORE
by Pam Clark (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The other night (and it may be a while back when you read this) we were seeking for revival in our church. We have a great church but the hunger is there for more and some of us remember “more” from our past experiences.
Now if we were in another location, perhaps what we have is “hot.” But we are at a place in our growth where we have that extra energy that requires fuel, but we also know that we need the right kind.
We had a guest speaker in town and he was good, and when the altar call was given, I was ready to respond with my intense hunger. I ran towards the front and even dove to the ground, waiting and hoping for the Spirit and Presence of God to wash over me like He has in the past.
What happened? I found myself contending even more in prayer. It was not what I expected but it was what I was willing to do. I was grateful for an altar to do it! And while I do feel that progress was made, because I did sense an increase of His Spirit, it was still not what I knew I was contending for. There is more, there is more, there is more, and I know it!!!
And I have had God to deal with me enough over the years to know that it will come, especially as I am willing to labor for it. Babies cry when they want their bottles and children fuss when they are hungry, but adults know that if they are hungry, that they need to do something to prepare for the meal. It’s called growing up.
I used to be a party girl somewhat in my past before the Lord captured me and I really enjoyed a lot of the fellowship, before and after coming actively into the Christian camp. I remember when it became fun “to help” but there was a season when I didn’t want to do much more than that. But God had other ideas.
One night, years back now, I had a dream and in this dream I was at wedding celebration in one of those old antebellum rooms with the pillars and balconies and people were wearing the long dresses of the early days like in the 20’s and 30’s and it was definitely a grand ballroom atmosphere.
I had been asked to help serve a tray and I willingly said yes, thinking I am soon to get out there and enjoy the festivities with everyone – in other words, party down with these guys and have fun! But suddenly in the dream I realized that the one who was asking me to serve was the Lord and He said, “It is your job now to make sure all these people have enough to eat and drink. Make sure they are well served and as happy as you can make people be.”
I was shocked. I had been a waitress in my past in some nice places for a number of years and I knew what it meant to serve that way, but I realized in this dream, that the Lord was asking me to serve in His Kingdom and not think about my own desires.
Would I do it? Well, my love for Him was so great that I responded in my heart with a “Yes! I will gladly do that for You.” No longer did I have to enjoy every church service, (but sometimes I did!) and no longer was my opinion about how it ministered to ME so important!
Instead of ranking the ministries in my mind (and heart), my job was to serve, not just the ministers, but the Spirit – what God was doing in that place. It was a paradigm shift for me, and my willingness to serve caused my understanding to grow and I started receiving greater revelations about what the will of God is!
The Bible is a Spiritual book which is why you don’t just read it once and know it – there are layers and layers of life in it. You can have one perspective one time and another at another time. Some days, verses stand out, some days paragraphs and whole chapters do! God really does have a lot to say if we are open for it.
But the process is getting away from yourself (while still having proper Godly respect for yourself and others as the norm) and on to “what is the Father doing” like Jesus did. Now I know there are “experts” out there that will be quick to tell you “all about it,” but I have found that the Lord reveals things day by day and even minute by minute.
The deeper you are willing to go with Him, the greater your perspective of things can become and you can meet others on many different levels rather than demanding that they come up to yours. Somedays you will suffer but you see God even value it when it is an offering of your life. We know His Son gave it all.
God is the Father of spirits (Hebrews 12:9), and He does have a Plan! He is not just taking our temperature to see how we are all the time to adjust things for us. Sometimes He will apply a little heat and other times, He will lovingly sedate you in His healing balm or cleansing rain. But parents will do things that the children just don’t expect at times – sometimes fun, sometimes not, but it’s them, or Him!
So the other night I went forward, expecting to swim around a bit in the heavenly Spirit, but that is not what happened. The Lord put an even greater spirit of contending upon me, so contend I did, and it was not about me, but about the people who will get to know Him. He has a heart for all to know His amazing nature that is good! He wants souls in His Kingdom, that He can mature!
He was calling me to serve some more, and some more, and some more, and those efforts will reap what I want to experience. God is loyal to the faithful, and He will bring those awesome times of refreshing that only the righteous can know.
It’s easy to wow a baby, but extended family and relationships, as you know, goes much deeper. Are we willing to serve? Are we willing to bypass our wants for what He wants? He wants His House to be full. He has prepared a great feast for His Son, and He wants those who are willing to love to come in, partake and be happy. It just must be done His way.