17 Jul Changes
I am writing this mid-air on my way home from Singapore after an amazing time away speaking, leading worship, writing songs, being with dear friends. It has been wonderful. And, to see what the Holy Spirit is doing around the earth is completely breathtaking. Even in all the expressions that make us different as God’s colourful church, its incredible to me that when the Holy Spirit draws near, His role in our experience of following Jesus makes us so very similar. I relate it being a part of a family.. different characteristics, faces, tastes and giftings.. yet a DNA running through our veins that draw us together.
One of the highlights was finding myself with Mark in Rome. A few months ago a very interesting email turned up in my office inviting me to sing at a beautiful event called the ‘Catholic charismatic renewal’ at St Peters Square, to actually lead songs of worship with others as the Pope called people to prayer and unity.
Most invites I receive, I am unable to say yes to, but when Mark and I feel a peace about it, I go forward very prayerfully and with great expectation for all God will do.
This invite to Rome was about many different denominations coming together to pray for the world we live in. To worship together, to announce the Hope of Jesus to all who will hear. Mark and I felt it was important to say yes this time.
So, I must say I was completely taken by surprise at the harsh and downright mean comments from Christians who criticised my involvement in the event without any understanding, without any knowledge of why or how I got to be there. Or why I even felt it was important to be present.
I was not there to judge, I was not there to become a Catholic, I was not there to sightsee. But I WAS there to lift up the name of Jesus.. without any hesitation or compromise.. for as I have learned over many years, that once Jesus is the centre.. anything can happen.
A message was preached about the power of the Holy Spirit at work in our midst, and about the great grace of God which we are all dependent. Pope Francis asked the crowd to declare loudly,’Jesus is Lord’ three times and each time it grew in confidence and intention. Worship was lifted up which had the many thousands of people who attended all singing in free-flowing moments which to be honest, was reminiscent of a time I sang on a John Wimber crusade in New Zealand many years ago.
There is much I could say in this blog. I will say that it is sad when Christians beat up other Christians with words, and somehow think that it ok to do so. I will say that it is sad when we retreat to immature responses rather than being people of diligent prayer for ALL sectors of the church. The truth is that there are parts of every denomination that struggle with historical injustices, and I cannot even fathom some of the abuses and subsequent heartbreak endured due as a result of these actions.
But I also know that the word of God says that if people truly seek after God, they will find Him.
( Jeremiah 29:13Amplified Bible (AMP)
13 Then you will seek Me, inquire for, and require Me [as a vital necessity] and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.
It all comes down to a seeking heart. And a God, who is seeking us, is NOT defined or intimidated by denomination, liturgy, age or preferences… the TRUTH of our hearts toward Him is what He is after. Not controlled or manufactured, outside in expressions of lives trying to present a Holy life. Jesus, only Jesus is the answer. He takes us as He finds us. He works with us every day, from the inside out, patient and kind in His love for us and His ultimate work in our lives, leading us daily in our life’s purpose.
So yes, I did meet Pope Francis. And yes, I did witness something truly miraculous.
Change is happening all over the planet. There is a hunger for the truth of being a Christ follower, and so Christ followers need to be found EVERYWHERE.. that we will be a witness BY OUR LOVE.
C’mon church. Isaiah 60 says to ARISE SHINE Thy light has come that even as the earth grows darker, Christ’s light in us shines brighter. Let’s not be dulled down by a lack of understanding, or a judgmental attitude. I had to continually remind myself that I was there to announce and declare the Kingdom of God and not to fault find but to be aware and awake to something very precious. And so on we go, hearts and hands ready for all God is calling us into.
Go into ALL the world….
Love you all so much xx Darls