Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Waiting 2018 Recap #2 - "The Road Less Traveled"

Pastor Reimar Schultze, Pastor Mike Douglas, Montana,
and myself
This is the second in a series on Waiting 2018, held at Parker City, Indiana, March 10 and 11th, 2018.  To read the first post in the series, click here.  

As I began to write this morning this recap of the Saturday afternoon service of Waiting 2018, I realized there was a block of some kind. As I was praying and reviewing my notes a few minutes ago, I began to understand that there were some things from the morning meeting that I had left out that are very important things.
  • God led in that meeting for special prayer for a young man from Fair Haven (part of our wonderful youth group!) named Montana Koch. God really helped Pastor Mike to pray for Montana.
  • Pastor Jerry Keller shared a remarkable story of how the Lord woke him up in the night a few months ago, speaking to his heart, “Come with me to Jerusalem.” In obedience, He and his daughter Molly got on a plane a few days later and went to the Holy City. He encountered groups of Christians praying for world-wide awakening in different parts of the city, and found Holy Ghost fellowship with a Jesus-loving couple from Australia.
  • Pastor Aaron shared a few moments about his love and respect for Pastor Kim Gilbert and his
    wife Janice, who faithfully served Parker City Christ Fellowship in a pastoral role for several years. He stated  that because of his years of prayer and dedication to the Lord in looking for revival and awakening, this was “Pastor Kim’s Waiting" (in a spiritual sense).  Pastor Aaron went on to explain that of course it is first and foremost “Jesus’ Waiting”, but that God often honors his servants in special ways such as this.
Pastor Aaron started the Saturday afternoon service with a few Godly words of exhortation including:
  • Leonard Ravenhill’s statement that there is a time for God’s servants to “Go Hide Thyself” (as God would speak this words to Elijah in 1 Kings 17:3) and that there is a time for God’s people to “Go Show Thyself” (as God would later speak to Elijah in 1 Kings 18:1).
  • God is calling His people to “Cease Striving and Know That I Am God.” (Psalm 46:10)
  • Rodney Dunn, a member of Parker City Christ Fellowship who went on to be with the Lord several years ago, made the simple but profound statement “All pressure is from hell!” (That quote was worth the entire Waiting!)
A really amazing thing happened after Pastor Aaron’s afternoon exhortation which would be really easy to pass over. Nothing happened. At least, nothing that we could see. You see, this meeting called  "Waiting 2018" really lived up to it’s name. For a few minutes, we just waited. Pastor Aaron was our God-appointed leader for the weekend, but he wasn’t able to discern what was next, so we waited...just trusting in God.

I feel led at this point to drop the narrative of the afternoon meetings and share some things which I read this morning in “A Voice In The Wilderness” just this morning. This wonderful book (which I shared about in an earlier post this month. You can follow this link to read it) was written by Rev. Loren Helm, who God appointed to lead an earlier series of “Waiting on God” meetings from the 1960’s to early 2000’s, in which many were helped, encouraged, and convicted in their walk with Jesus.

Probably my favorite quote from this book was one I shared in the earlier post this month that included the statement “Don’t place your attention on any difficulties at any time...” A couple of paragraphs later Rev. Helm shares this observation:

I had discovered few Christians who had this victorious overcoming experience . I didn’t know the missing links in Christianity then; but God has let me discover one or two of them over the years. I learned that the missing link which connects us to a continuous life as an overcoming Christian is self-denial. We must learn to deny Self in a heart of trust; for then we move, through the leadership of the Holy Spirit, to obedience and the cross.
We in the church can sing, preach, pray, read scripture, go along with the religious program, and nevery once deny Self. Often, instead of depending on God to guide us, we plan a little of what we want to do, sing the songs we like to hear, and preach when we want the preaching totake place. We pretty much arrange activities which suit our taste and conform to our schedule. But, you see, God wants all of the church’s activities at His direction. He wants to be all of the content of our program. Christ must have everything.

We must wait on Him until He sends, until He guides, until He reveals. We must wait on Him so that He can lead the church, lead the body, and become the true Head of His believing followers.

If the church today could really get hold of these words, the entire spiritual world would be revolutionized! Pastor Aaron, as I have seen his mentor and my mentor Pastor Mike Douglas do so many times, didn’t just rush off to the next thing, but simply waited in simple trust. This is not something you will learn in any seminary. In fact, quite the opposite. In modern Christianity, everything has to keep moving to retain the people’s attention. This is antithetical to the walk of faith which Jesus taught, which Luke recorded in the book of Acts, and which Paul and the other apostles practiced throughout their lives. Pastor Aaron was practicing self-denial as He waiting upon God’s leading. We were practicing self-denial as we simply trusted in quietness and contentment.

Pastor Mike Douglas and Aaron Simms
After a few minutes of waiting and trusting, Pastor Aaron asked Pastor Mike if the Lord had anything on his heart to share. Indeed, Pastor Mike did. He had been practicing self-denial as he waited upon God to reveal what was next. Pastor Mike would have been free to speak up at any time to say, “God has put something in my heart to share” (and sometimes that is appropriate), but instead, he followed the “road less traveled” and simply waited for God to reveal this to Pastor Aaron. You see, the Holy Spirit really was leading the meeting! Hallelujah!

Pastor Mike shared a wonderful message from his heart (which I would encourage you to watch below) on “The Greatness of Grace.” He read a scripture from Numbers 15 in which a man was stoned to death for defying the Sabbath law by picking up wood on that holy day. This harsh-sounding penalty shows to us the seriousness of sin in God’s eyes, and reveals to us “the greatness of Grace.”   When, in this age after the sacrifice of Christ on the cross, the Lord forgives our sins...even the ones that seem tiny in our own site but in fact are a great affront to His holiness in His sight, we need to realize "the greatness of that grace" which is freely bestowed on us. What a great thing it was that God led for this powerful word from His servant! After the message, He shared the wonderful but sobering song “Feel the Nails."

God then led for a second message! (Isn’t it amazing to walk with God! We went from nothing to two

Pastor Robert Morey
God-ordained messages which went hand-in-hand we each other!) Pastor Robert Morey spoke about our “Faithful Creator” (1 Peter 4:19) and shared several quotes from Dallas Willard, including these: “Why don’t you just obey God?” and “It is a good thing just to be” (or “It is a good thing that you exist”). He also shared that one thing that touched him in the old hymn we sang that morning “The Love of God” was the line “When men refuse to pray.” (This had struck me with some force as well.) It seems that we live in an age in “which men refuse to pray,” but...Praise God!...I believe that age is passing away!

Marcia Shultze shared her account of this service:

In the afternoon session (Pastor Aaron) called on Mike Douglas to preach. He preached on the “Greatness of Grace.” It was a very serious message. It was on the man that gathered wood on the Sabbath. The people reported it to Moses, and he didn’t know what to do, so he asked God, and he said “stone him.” So they stoned him. He said it wasn't the gathering of sticks that caused him to loose his life - it was the attitude of rebellion behind it.

Then he called on Robert Morey to preach. He preached on I Peter 4:19. One statement he made was: “Some people don’t pray in church.” He exhorted us to “don’t refuse to pray in church". He shared that in light of God being our faithful Creator, we must embrace that it is a good thing that we exist. We must understand our worth and purpose. Only then can we freely give ourselves away to God in obedience, self denial and cross bearing.Then Jerry Keller led in “Love lifted me.”

After the message, Pastor Taylor and Molly led us in worshipful adoration. At the end of the meeting, Pastor Aaron shared with us that there would be no evening meeting, but that we were to have the evening hours available to fellowship together. So often these informal times can be the most important times at these gatherings.  When the Holy Spirit is leading, He doesn’t leave after the last “Amen.” This was certainly true Saturday evening.

Some of us went to a cafeteria in Muncie that evening. The meeting just continued there, as Pastor Reimar Schultze and others testified. I have included a portion of Rev. Schultze’s testimony below which I recorded. (I was sitting in the back, so I apologize for the noise in the background...Hopefully it is good enough for you to hear). We had to leave before all the sharing, but thankfully, Sis. Marcia Schultze recorded her thoughts of that “cafeteria fellowship.”
Pastor Reimar Schultze sharing at MCL Cafeteria

Esther (Morey...the Schultze’s daughter from WV) wanted her people...to hear some stories of God working in people's lives - including Reimar. So we ended up going to MCL in Muncie for supper, and got a private room, and continued in the meeting there. There were people from Fayetteville, Cornerstone (Inn), Fairhaven, and Parker. We had quite a meeting, Reimar sharing, Robert asking Reimar to share different things, and Pam Gould, the owner of the Cornerstone B&B, telling about 25 years ago, when it was the coldest day on record, and she couldn’t get her car started to bring us our breakfast, and at 6 AM  Brother Helm called for Reimar. She wasn’t able to transfer the call to the B&B, so he just talked to her for 40 minutes, praying over her needs in the business and her body, and prophesying. By the time she was done, she felt like she was walking six feet off the ground. Since that time she has given away many many “Voice in the Wilderness” books that he had written. Then a dad of one of the kids told what an effect Coda (the ministry to public-school kids that Esther Morey leads in West Virginia) had on him...He was an angry person, and through having to ride an hour with Robert in the car to a robotic meeting, he asked questions all the way, and Robert answered every one of them. He got saved about three weeks later. Pastor Nicky (Farmer from Kokomo) shared some too. At the end of meeting we gathered around the table to pray.

Speaking of Esther Morey, she shared with me these thoughts about the “Coda Kids” who came with her and Pastor Robert to the meetings (Five carloads full!):

A beautiful thing (that happened is that twice (in December 2017 and in these meetings) we have brought some of our precious Coda Inspire after-school kids to the Waiting meetings. Rather than being lost in the wood-work they have been welcomed and brought into the family. These experiences have been life changing for them – similar maybe to when I was a 10 year old at a Waiting Upon God.

We went to bed that evening thanking the Lord for the wonderful things we had been given, and in anticipation for the day to come.

Little did I know...

Recap #3 "The Remnant"

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