New Pastures

Today in the jail, after two hours of powerful ministry between the men one to another, they stopped and said they decided earlier this week to do something for me. They then stood around me, laid hands on me, and prayed the most wonderful, tender prayers of blessing I’ve ever heard.

I cried as I realized what they were doing, because they’ve learned – maybe with some of them for the first time in their lives – to give rather than always take or receive. After months of mentoring them in “being” the church (see my blog, The Church in D Pod), they heeded God’s gentle call to new pastures. As a result, they now “get” it and wonderful life is flowing between them and from them – even to me!

Those men in the jail took a chance on God’s prompting. They were willing to leave the old and the comfortable behind. In the process, they’ve learned to be participants, rather than spectators; to use their gifts, rather than being entertained by the gifted; to minister to each other, rather than always expecting to be ministered to; and most of all, to give rather than always receiving. They now meet together to develop and use their gifts by ministering one to another.

As I walked out of that jail, I thought about how the last several months of “being” the church with my incarcerated brothers – who are willing to take a chance on God’s lead – has restored my soul and invoked God’s presence more than the last several decades of “going” to church.

I plead with you to start hearing and sensing what God wants to do among us as He leads this new spiritual generation to new pastures. Life, and the sweet presence of God, await us as He simply bids us “come”.

Yes, the “new pastures” are different, and yes it means some of us old fogies leaving our comfort zones behind (including the old ways and the old circumstances where God use to met us, which too often have become little more than nostalgic, hollow shells of God’s former anointing).

Yes, it means being vulnerable, and yes it means embracing change as we trust God and follow Him to those new pastures.

But I’m here to tell you that His new pastures have rich, green grass and still, cool waters. God awaits us there, and so does the sweetness of His presence.

The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul . . .

About Jim Wright

Jim Wright is a church sower, public but unassuming, thinker, mentor, teacher, local church elder, motivated by redemption, foe of tyrants, friend of the dispossessed, retired attorney, entrepreneur, private pilot, and so-so bass fisherman. With his wife Marianne, he is part of a community of simple, participatory fellowships - some of which they helped start. Our blogs and devotionals spring from firm roots in those local fellowships.

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