The Next Move
The other day I had a conversation on the phone with a prominent leader in CHRIST”S Church. The subject came up about how we can get ready for the NEXT MOVE OF GOD!. Now I ask, ”Who of us wouldn’t want to be ready for the next move of God?”
So I asked my longtime friend, “What are you going to do?” His answer was profound and simple, “I’m going to spend more time loving Jesus, that’s all I know to do.” Quite frankly, I was expecting something more complex and elaborate. Not!
Prayer has always been such an integral part of what God requires from His people.
“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”
2 Chronicles 7:14 NIV
This has been especially true for the FOP in Stratford. This I believe strongly! Times of prayerful meditation and just simply waiting in God’s Presence is part of my daily routine; I need them desperately. Did I just say, “daily routine?” Yes! The danger with daily routines is that they can become boring unless I keep focused on the greater goal.
So what is the greater goal for our devotional times? I’m sure there are many answers to the question and all would be good, but unless our Love for CHRIST grows deeper because of our devotional time, we are missing the mark. Here’s the thing; Love always needs to be expressed or demonstrated. That’s why at some point, my prayerful meditation must move to praise. Praise can and should be the overflow of our prayers. It is in our praise we express and demonstrate our reliance and confidence in Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly more than we can imagine.
“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,”
Ephesians 3:20 NIV
Here’s a thought. Canadian Blood Services has a tagline, “It’s in you to give,” suggesting very strongly that if you and I don’t donate, we are not helping anyone. Canadian Blood Services would suggest our Blood is a “God-given gift,” my words not theirs, and we need to share it. I believe our Praise is in us to give and express. I believe our praise contributes to the tangible Presence of God in our services. I believe it is our Prayerful Praise that leads us to Worship and ultimately our expression of our love for God.
This year’s FOP weekend will once again give us a platform to express prayer, praise and worship. God is up to something and he is about to make His Presence known like no other day, both in our City and Nation. I want to go on record and state, Our God is not into the Law of Diminishing Returns.
Isaiah said, “Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end.” God’s intention is for His Presence to increase and fill our earth. Festival of Praise Stratford has a role to play!
I believe as we, CHRIST Followers, express our corporate love for God with prayer, praise, and worship, we will facilitate whatever God has in store for us.
“I’m going to spend more time loving Jesus, that’s all I know to do.”
by Charlie Swartwood
Charlie has been in ministry in Stratford for three decades. He was formerly the Senior Pastor at Bethel Pentecostal Church and now serves as a Chaplain for the Stratford Police department and a Community Pastor.