top of page

A Spiritual Hook That Won't Let Go

Reluctantly reading Ezra 3 this a.m..

I'll have to admit, after my trek through Kings and Chronicles and then into Ezra, just yesterday I actually flipped over to the New Testament in despair.

Sometimes in my annual journey through scripture, I just grow weary of the text. I get what Paul meant “…the letter kills but the spirit gives life” (2 Corinthians 3:6).

However, I flipped back to Ezra this morning just after seeing the photo above online.

Ironically, I have found this discipline of reading requires me to daily listen to the Spirit in order to survive and in doing so I find relevance!

Early on in my journey I was inspired by "the Presence" that surrounded a 93 year old lady whom I came upon at a meeting in the mountains of NC. She shared this discipline as the only thing different in her life when asked. I assumed the same could happen with me.

I have read through this passage in Ezra so many times, yet this morning after seeing the photo, I felt again the deep pain of the "ancient men that had seen the first house wept with a loud voice" as described in Ezra 3:12 KJV.

Sometimes I just want to escape from what I am aware is happening on my watch. However, I know my Father is faithful.

When I see such images, something rises up in me, maybe the result of old wounds in this church warrior, or maybe I just think too much?

Yes, I grieve for this rural church's loss, yet when God aligns the sequence of my annual read so parallel, it seems the Spirit reinforces my convictions of where we are in America. I really don't mean to be negative, don't want to be negative, it's just comes out that way.

Reading from such a wide range of authors as I do, I believe myself to live outside the pentecostal, evangelical bubble in which I was raised. What I hear and see is a considerable loss of ground in a very few lifetimes relative to the faith that first attracted me in 1973.

The folk in my previous camp are comfortable quoting "end-times" prophecies, some quite believable, but at the same time they are also ramping up the music and media to keep the doors open til Jesus comes.

The good news is, while religion's Rome burns, the Spirit is at work in the next generation, though not in the way the conventional church would hope.

I see no return to the pews, but rather a reawakening in the marketplace as these next generation "priesthood of believers" are frustrated unto faith, for lack of better term. A new building program for another church plant is unlikely to hold them.

The beauty is that they are learning to unpack the Piece of God assigned to them wherever they are planted professionally, unlike we Boomers who focused on where we worshipped morseo than where we "worked."

That will be world changing, perhaps a Third Great Awakening is fomenting?

This may just be an old pot calling a kettle black, as I have spent the majority of my life since coming to Christ in 1973 physically building churches, big and small. Had that been what God was after, Jesus (God in man) would not have prophesied against that very temple..."not one stone will remain" but rather that we would each become that temple. We somehow missed that until now.

Though I prefer to call myself a Christ follower, rather than a Christian, I respect those who are working diligently to salvage the American church and even find solace among those with whom I gather in church weekly.

I sometimes beat myself up over the words I pen, but in my heart I deeply desire spiritual practically given the trajectory of our culture.

Somehow that hook of hope has been well planted in my jaw and I find my heart longing for a new and better paradigm.

25 views1 comment

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page