Remember Waldo? When my children were small, they enjoyed finding him hidden in crowds of hundreds of people who were doing odd things.
Over the last few days, I’ve been thinking that Jesus has a lot in common with Waldo: in the church crowd He is often very hidden and hard to find (not to mention God’s people sometimes doing odd things). I sometimes wonder, “Where’s Jesus?”
You know, it’s easy to have the right intentions and to start out with noble motives. We want to win the lost for Jesus. (So far, so good.) In some circles, we talk extensively about “building the Kingdom,” and we spend a lot of time and effort on teaching everyone how to do it — great, and I love it! Church growth is a necessary component of Kingdom building, so we get focused on expanding our numbers. We long to have meaningful purpose for our lives, so personal destiny becomes a huge deal. We pursue signs and wonders, because nearly everyone is tired of powerless Christianity — believers and nonbelievers alike.
But I have a question troubling me in the midst of it all: where’s Jesus? While we’ve heard countless sermons on the Kingdom of God, fulfilling our destiny, and how to rule and reign as King’s kids, when was the last time we heard much about Jesus Himself? Where’s Jesus? And what good is the Kingdom if somewhere along the way we have forgotten the King?
We should be teaching on building the Kingdom, equipping the Church to fulfill its mission, bringing growth to the local church, winning the lost, and growing in the gifts of the Spirit. It’s all pretty important, isn’t it. But there is a danger to avoid. After a while, without us even noticing what has happened, we become more excited about what we are doing for Jesus, or the authority we have in Him, than we are about Him. Or we get bogged down in the nitty-gritty of what Jesus Himself asked us to accomplish and lose the big picture of Who it is all for to begin with. A subtle shift in focus takes place, and before we realize it, we have veered off course. Isn’t this exactly what happened to the Ephesian Church? So much so that the Lord soundly rebuked them and warned them to repent (Revelation 2:1-7)?
I believe with all my heart that there is a Great Awakening coming, and perhaps it is already in its beginning stages. Within that Awakening, we will see millions coming to the Lord, the miraculous unleashed, holy living revived, and the Church moving in a supernatural authority such as this world has never yet seen. But I believe it must start with the restoration of Jesus to first place in the heart of His Church. Whenever He is not the driving reason, the focal point, we end up with something off-kilter. In whatever we promote, love, or focus upon, it’s either all about Jesus or it’s not genuinely about Jesus at all.
What can we do, besides cluck our tongues about the present state of things? How will the restoration of Jesus to His rightful place be accomplished? By the sovereign move of the Holy Spirit. But “sovereign” moves of God do not generally come by themselves. God raises up a remnant who understand His desires — a remnant willing to speak and pray into existence what their physical eyes are not currently seeing.
I determine to be one who speaks through the written and oral word what I understand to be spiritual truth — whether it’s the current consensus or not. One of the most strategic ways of speaking those truths is in the place of intercession — speaking the heart of God back to Him in prayer, until Jesus is no longer a side issue, but the issue.
Lord Jesus, be all. And may Holy Spirit breathe upon Your Bride until she awakes out of her coma. Truly, may the Kingdom come and Father’s will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Be exalted and honored to the utmost in it all, King Jesus.