I had a very interesting conversation with my wife recently. I shared with her that I was experiencing this strange ‘hollow’ feeling inside of me – it’s like being in this big room all by myself. I don’t feel charged up like I used to after morning devotions. Sometimes it feels like there’s nothing in me to give to others although I’m listening to sermons and praying regularly.
I reflected on my daily routine and asked the Lord to search my heart for any ‘wicked ways’, but nothing significant showed up on my radar. Then my wife said, “Maybe God is changing your ‘spiritual container’ – He’s upgrading you to a bigger one!” Immediately, I had the impression of a 300ml water bottle being filled to the brim with water and the time taken was 5 seconds. I then used this 5-second timing as a benchmark to fill the next bottle, but this time it barely covered the base. As I took a closer look at the bottle, it was written 1,500ml. Obviously it’d take a longer time to fill – probably around 25 seconds instead of the usual 5. And the accompanying voice said, “Stop counting the seconds; start looking at the size of the containers!”
That ‘hollow’ feeling in me was because I’ve kept to the same routine even though my spiritual container was a bigger one now. What used to work won’t be sufficient to sustain me and others anymore. I need to up the ante and match up to the size of the container which God has entrusted to me and to stop counting the seconds. Perhaps you’re in a similar situation – that ‘hollow’ feeling in you is not because you’re backsliding but God’s also changing your spiritual container. You definitely need more of Him than ever before.
Sometimes unknowingly, we substitute ‘adrenalin for anointing’ and this applies to both our secular jobs and spiritual pursuits and ministry. We keep on going and doing the work when we should be locking in with God more. The very discipline of – and desperation in – prayer, the source of anointing, which has brought us good success thus far is often the first thing to be sacrificed or neglected as we get busier with growth and expansion. You can study what God says without the Holy Spirit, but you’ll only know what He’s saying by His Spirit.
Leonard Ravenhill warned us some years back, “No man is greater than his prayer life – the pastor who’s not praying is playing; the people who are not praying are straying. We’ve many organisers, but few agonisers… many fears, few tears; much fashion, little passion; many interferers, few intercessors; many writers, but few fighters. Failing here, we fail everywhere.”
We need to stay within the grip of prayer.
We had an amazing time at the Revival Series class this week where we heard stories of the miracles and supernatural healings during the Bario Revival in the 1970s. They caught fish without using baits; an angel taught a lady who was illiterate how to speak and write in the Bahasa language; and the supernatural healing of a worker who had a deep cut in his leg when the axe head became loose and slashed him. Instead of carrying him to the nearby clinic, the workers carried him to the church to be prayed for, and he was miraculously healed! The only trace of him being badly injured was the blood stain on his jeans. We want to see God’s power return to His Church!
Every revival is birthed through prayer. Every supernatural healing happens through prayer. Every spiritual battle is fought and won through prayer. The shop units in our church building at Odeon Katong were contended for through prayer. Yet prayer remains the ‘Cinderella’ of the Church today; the unwanted sister in the house. When Jesus sent His 12 disciples to preach the Kingdom of God, He gave them “power and authority to cast out all demons and to heal all diseases.” (Luke 9:1-2) This is worth contending for, until we see this power and authority being restored to the Church.
Prayer is like sharpening the axe. The more you pray, the sharper you are. Prayer is not twisting God’s arms to give us what we ask for, but it’s the preparation of our hearts to be the ‘runway’ for God’s revelation, miracles, signs and wonders to land on and take off from us.
As we shift our Wednesday night prayer meetings to Saturday early mornings, I believe we’re going to see a shift in the intensity of our prayers, “for tremendous power is released through the passionate, heartfelt prayer of a godly believer.” (James 5:16)
God is doing great and exciting things in Cornerstone. There’s a heightened sense and expectation for God to move in our services. Let’s stay close to Him. When we keep pressing in with God, be it for revival in our land, or for salvation and healing, that which seems impossible will be inevitable!