Saturday, October 2, 2010

Ministry Update - October 2, 2010

Dear Friend,

The great revivalist, Charles Finney, once spoke about virtue and how it is determined in our Christian life. He explained that when someone, who is not naturally patient, demonstrates patience, it is virtuous. However, when a naturally patient person demonstrates patience, it is more natural than virtuous. When we read in Revelation about the living creatures, elders, and angels falling before the Lord in worship, we imagine God is greatly pleased. This may be true, but consider that their worship is primarily a natural response of who they are and what they see. Now consider a simple godly person who is buffeted by the storms of life. When he or she lifts up their heart in worship, the virtue of this act is so much more significant to God. Can we dare to imagine the honor and joy it brings to Him? Can we envision the beauty and fragrance that the Lord enjoys? If so, let our worship fill His heart today!

Steve Harrison

KINGDOM EXPANSION

As Martha recovers from her successful cancer surgery, we are increasing our ministry outreach in the Brainerd Lakes area. Every Tuesday night we meet for prayer at my parent's home in Crosby. Several of their friends have been recently joining us. We have been focusing on digging a spiritual well and God has met us in powerful ways. We believe this has been instrumental in opening many other ministry opportunities. Every week, the Crow Wing County jail ministry grows in numbers and spiritual hunger. More inmates are coming to Christ and seeing answers to their prayers. Teen Challenge has a center nearby which we hope will be the next stop for many of those who have been transformed. This past week, an inmate who had previously visited our Urban Jungle coffee shop in Minneapolis, gave her life to Christ. The seed that was planted years ago has now been harvested Our ministry to the pastors in the area is also going well. There is a sincere hunger and desire for unity in the Holy Spirit. God is providing fresh bread and life-giving water to His faithful shepherds.

We also continue to be involved in the South Minneapolis area. New urban missionaries are moving in from Bethany Church and a "prayer furnace" will soon be formed in the Phillips Neighborhood. They will live just a few blocks from where B.U.D. began over ten years ago.

NO CHURCH TOWN

The village of Ironton is our new home. It is a community of 500 people. Unfortunately, it does not have a single church! The Town Tavern appears to be the focal point on Main Street. Martha and I were able to rent a small house across the alley from it. Through a divinely orchestrated turn of events, Molly and Adam have been able to move into the house next door to us. We are excited to see the Kingdom of God expand in this community. Opportunities to minister to needy people are increasing. Sickness, especially cancer is very common because of the local iron ore mines and depression seems everywhere. What a wonderful place for renewed hope and spiritual restoration.

TUNING OUR EARS

In our current culture, "seeing is believing" but in the Kingdom of God, true "faith comes from hearing" (Rom. 10:17 KJV). Many who met Jesus insisted on seeing before they would believe. They were looking when they should have been hearing. I've noticed that physicists are increasingly converting scientific data into sounds. They are doing this because the ear is sensitive to the slightest changes in pitch. Hearing is more sensitive and accurate than sight. Recently, the Lord impressed upon me the importance of following His voice. He said, "If you know my voice, you will not be lost in the dark." I believe there is a darkness coming to this earth and if we walk by sight, we will lose our way. In these days, it is critcal that we learn three keys to knowing His voice:

1) Familiarity. Mary only recognized Jesus at the empty tomb, when He spoke her name. Peter was only willing to jump out of the boat into the stormy seas when Jesus said, "Come." Even in heaven, we will be drawn to the Lord primarily because we recognize His voice rather than His physical appearance. As we spend more time with Him, His voice will become more familiar.

2) Attentiveness. Jesus continually admonished "he who has ears to hear, let him hear." He knew there was a distinction between hearing and listening. It takes greater attentiveness and effort to listen than merely hear words. Are we living with our ears tuned to His voice? Do we quickly respond when He calls? "My sheep listento my voice; I know them, and they follow me" (John 10:27).

3) Proximity. Physicists have also discovered that the closer we are to an energy source; the deeper is its resonance. In Romans 6:26, we find that the Holy Spirit aids us in prayer "with groanings too deep for words." This experience is only possible if we draw close to Him. Many have heard His cry but are we close enough to hear His groan?

DEEP CALLS UNTO DEEP

God continues to lead us to train and build spiritual wells in homes. Recently, I was in prayer with a good friend of mine. Suddenly I received a vision of a powerful spring coming up in his life. I immediately was drawn to Psalms 42:7, which is one of themost intriguing passages in Scripture. "Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your waves and breakers have swept over me." Later, I discovered some interesting root Hebrew words used in this passage. The word "deep" refers to a surging mass of water, especially a subterranean water supply. The word for "waterfalls" can actually be translated "water shaft" (see 2 Sam. 5:8). Finally, the word "breakers" can be translated a "spring of water"

This passage reminds us that if we respond to God's call to dig spiritual wells, we can expect a gusher of limitless, life-giving water to sweep over us. Everyday will give us fresh opportunities to exercise spiritual health and vitality. By God's grace, we will possess the ability to touch and bless a hurting world!