God has really been working in my heart lately in some areas that need repentance. It's hard to teach and preach God's Word to people without living it out on a consistent basis. The major area where I need to walk in repentance is my love relationship with Jesus. I like to refer to it as my devotional life. I feel like if I'm not wholly devoted to Jesus and knowing him more intimately, then everything else will start to crumble around me. To be honest, I've allowed the work of ministry, all good stuff, to stand in the way of my intimacy with the Almighty. I've been fighting... but not fighting hard. God called me to repentance this week and I am committed to falling in love with Jesus all over again.
God also called me to repentance in another area. I pray passionately for my city to be transformed by the gospel of Jesus. I sincerely want to see a movement of God sweep over our city in such a powerful way that other cities, other people, other nations look to Tacoma, WA and want to know what on earth is happening that could transform culture in such a supernatural way. I was at the "Send North America" conference this past week in Atlanta, GA and a questions was asked that really led me to repentance. Someone asked everyone in the room, "If God decided to move in your city but he decided to do it through a different church, would you still pray as passionately for your city?" Ouch. That one stung. Although I do love Jesus and do love my city, my motives were brought to light in that moment. I realized that my main motivation recently in praying for my city has not been life change, it has been that God would use The Pathway as the spark to ignite this flame. God knows our hearts. God knows my heart. I want Tacoma to be flipped upside down by the power of the Holy Spirit but I don't want to care if it's my church or any other church that God uses in the process. I simply long to be faithful.
I have also felt a strong need to repent when it comes to the way I love my wife. In all honesty, I think I probably am a good husband on most counts. I am truly in love with my wife. But over the last several months I have given my "best" to the people of our church and saved the leftovers for Jesus and my wife. Not cool. Not cool at all. I'm called to love my bride the way Jesus loves his bride. And I have not done that. Walking in repentance is humbling, challenging and exhausting. But it is effective and most importantly it is glorifying to God.
Yesterday I tried to follow the Spirit's lead and call our church to repentance. We did several things differently in our worship time but one thing we did was have people right the things they need to repent of on an index card and nail (actually tape) it to the cross where it belongs. We challenged people to mark this moment in their hearts as a milestone on the road to repentance. Now I expected people to put blank cards up there or one word answer. But God blew my mind. People were broken and wrote lists and paragraphs of things that they know they need to repent of. It was amazing. Please, pray for our church as we walk the road of repentance and pray that God will use us in whatever way he chooses to bring him glory in our city.