Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Hotline to holiness

Grand Sweep Daily Reading: I Corinthians 1, 2, 3

I Corinthians 1:10 (NIV)

10 I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought.

I John 2:9-11 (NIV)

9 Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates his brother is still in the darkness. 10 Whoever loves his brother lives in the light, and there is nothing in him to make him stumble. 11 But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness; he does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded him.

Good morning, I think!

I choose to make a spiritual s-t-r-e-t-c-h. It was truly an exercise of faith. It’s one thing for me to worship in the privacy of my home, in pajamas, late at night, when I can simply crawl under the covers and not worry about anyone seeing me except the Lord God Almighty. And believe me, He knows what I look like late at night and it is not a pretty sight. But it is totally something different to choose to attend worship with a group of young Christian adults, most of whom I’ve never met, at a service that doesn’t even begin until 10pm. These people go to bed about the time I’m getting up. This was painfully apparent to me as I walked into the upper room on campus last night for the Interface Unified Worship Service. I used to get away with stuff like this, especially when I was in my thirties, but honestly, now that I’m tipping the 50 year mark, I have to admit I stuck out like a sore thumb on a perfectly shaped hand.

I was happy to take a seat on the front row. I always see better when I sit up front. The worship team had a giant screen, and I could easily read the words. This is one good reason to memorize your Scripture and music lyrics now, while you can still read the printed page. My eyes just don’t focus well anymore, especially at night. The words were rolling across the wall in a super large font, and thankfully, I could read it! What a wonderful gift it is to be able to see! I noticed a few typographical errors in the printed lyrics. There was one typo in particular that immediately spoke to my spirit. The intended word was holiness, but it was spelled “hotline.” At that moment, the Father gave me a vision of His living Vine, crying out to God for unity as we plugged into His hotline to holiness. We were all gathered together there, asking for the very same thing – Christ’s peace, love, forgiveness and grace. I could see Jesus on the faces of everyone gathered there. His holy presence filled the room. The spiritual connection had been made! We were linked to a virtual hotline, plugged into His holiness through our intentional worship, prayers, and praise.

It’s amazing how the Holy Spirit can just simply fall upon a group of people who purposefully link hearts, minds, and souls to worship Him with one voice, in one accord. This is a brand new building on campus and I have no doubt it is structurally sound. Yet, I could physically feel the room vibrating by His awesome power, and it was not because of any reverb from the guitar amps. Christ’s holy current was recharging our spiritual batteries. We were being changed through His amazing, healing love.

There’s a song we teach our children in Jesus Break Sunday school that says, “The prayers go up and the blessings fall down.” I know I did not pray with the same conviction and courage in my early adulthood, like these adults now possess in their personal prayer life. It was our sole desire to worship the Lord in unity and in truth. Every scripture, and every song, adored the Lord Jesus Christ, whom I love. We cried out to the Lord to make us one, to love as one, to live in holiness before Him. We begged for our lives to honor Him in everything we say and do. Less of me and more of the Lord became our worship theme. We are all ambassadors of His holiness, and the message we deliver becomes flawed whenever we allow our opinions and human imperfections to step out in front of His glory. I am convinced that every person in the room last night was truly seeking to let go of self, and cling completely to the cross of Jesus Christ.

After worship, I met a really nice guy from Interfath Ministries, and I stopped to shake his hand. He asked me which group I was with. I really didn’t want to be rude, but how I longed to say, “I’m with the Christians.” I smiled and said, “Well, actually, I’m a junior here at Lindenwood.” He tried hard to hide his surprise, and I giggled in my spirit. I do that a lot at school – it has become a survival tactic. I then said, “And I’m a member of Faith United Methodist Church in St. Charles.” He seemed even a little more surprised at that; yet, without hesitation, he offered me an ice-cold glass of chocolatey milk and I knew we would be forever friends. Leave it to the young at heart to know about heavenly manna. I pray that we will have lots of milk and cookies in heaven. I kept thinking, “This is an awesome idea; especially for Christmas Eve services! We could serve milk and Christmas cookies in the narthex, as we send the saints out into the world to celebrate the birth of our Savior and Lord. We could serve milk and cookies at our watch night services, and after 24 hour prayer vigils. My goodness, we could serve milk and cookies after every worship service!” I kind of felt like I had come home, padding around in my pajamas, with a late night snack in hand and a heart absolutely overflowing with love for my Lord.

There is a vibrant, living, hotline to holiness, and if you want to get plugged in, all you need to do is ask Jesus Christ to give you more of Him and less of you. We can celebrate our unity in worship, as we lay down the things that divide our hearts and choose to love one another as Jesus loves us.

Grace and peace,

Deb Spaulding

Faith UMC - St. Charles, MO

Pray for: a spiritual connection! Choose to plug into His hotline to holiness today. Your spiritual battery will be transformed by the renewing of your faith. We may be at different places as we walk the road that leads to life, but we are all one in and through Jesus Christ our Lord. Praise Him!


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