Our journey in planting a church in Lincoln, NE continues –
and what an exciting journey it is turning out to be! Things are beginning to
fall into place, God is stirring powerfully within us, preparing us for what is
ahead, answering huge prayers, new possibilities are opening up, new people are
joining us, new challenges are presenting themselves and God has been teaching
us so much along the way.
In all of this, God has been teaching us one great truth
that towers above the rest: There is simply
no substitute for prayer.
I am learning that it is not only on one’s knees that great
dreams are birthed, but it is in that place of submission and intercession that
great dreams are also carried out to fulfillment. It is on our knees that great
dreams become more than just dreams.
I know if we’re honest, most of us really don’t like that
answer. Some have undoubtedly exited this post already to go find something
more exciting and pragmatic. Leaders are doers. It’s just a part of who we are.
But here’s the deal, if you insist on
always doing at the expense of praying, you can count on your church
being a truer reflection of what you can do rather than of what God can do.
Think about it. When we work hard, cast compelling vision,
make strategic plans based on our goals, create programs and initiatives to move
us to where we need to go, steward our leadership well in seeing plans
executed, goals accomplished and vision carried out (all good things by the
way), but we fail to fall on our faces before God, who do you think typically
gets the praise when things go well? You got it: leadership. When we refuse to
pray, we unknowingly put ourselves in a position where we can now potentially take the glory for ourselves. Perhaps this is in part why God loves to display his strength in our weakness. We all need the reminding from time to time.
As we move forward in planting Mosaic-Lincoln, it has been
incredible to see God begin to answer prayers in huge and unexpected ways. Some
of the things that have happened in the last several months can only be
explained by divine orchestration. Some of the things He is calling us to in
the future can only be accomplished through divine intervention. Honestly,
these things are terrifying…but they keep us on our knees. And I am finding
that that is exactly where God desires for us to be – crying out to him on
behalf of the city of Lincoln.
You see, I am learning that when we lay our lives down at the feet of Jesus –
when we surrender our hopes, our dreams, our plans, our successes and failures
and all of the junk we’ve accumulated along the way – when we give it all up
and begin to ask God for the things he desires, God loves to deliver.
When we begin to cry out to God for lives to be changed by
the gospel, for captives to be freed from the addictions that enslave them, for
the poor to be raised up from the ashes, for the broken to be put back
together, for justice to reign, for new life to be breathed into our
neighborhoods, for a movement of God’s grace to sweep through our cities, there
is nothing that God delights in more than to say, “Yes.” But it all starts right here. On our knees. In prayer.