"How can we disconnect those leaders gathering in Anaheim?"
The answer to this question is being strategized in enemy camps even as we travel to join each other this week. As we come together physically, the enemy of our souls is working overtime to make sure you and I do not come together spiritually. As he knows, even in the midst of "peaceful" times, our hearts can justify getting upset at each other for just about any reason. What things might he use to separate us? How can he "disconnect" us? He certainly might use some of the following strategies:
- Differences of preference or style: the type of music or worship, how things look, where we are seated or whether the speaker is younger or older. Sometimes we can become overly sensitive to style and almost insensitive to the message.
- Differences of culture: leaders from almost 50 nations will join with our U.S. Foursquare family, giving us a small taste of what heaven might be like. There will be vast differences in how we speak and dress. We will look differently upon things like personal spaces and even the way we perceive time. We can easily be blinded and not see the beauty of the tapestry that is composed of our differences.
- Discomfort: whenever we are out of our comfort zone, traveling and joining with large groups of people, something is likely to happen that can upset us. We may become disappointed with the seat in the plane—or the seat in the auditorium can raise our blood pressure! When that happens, it is easy for our ears to quickly become deaf to what the Spirit is saying to His church.
For many these are difficult days. Finances are tentative, and in many cases people do not feel peaceful. Many of our Foursquare leaders from around the world are encountering persecution and even destitution at this time. Our society and our economy are facing unprecedented challenges. In the spiritual realm, lines have been drawn, weapons have been aimed, and traps of sabotage and deception have been laid.
My hope for us is that this week we can come together in unity, disregarding our differences and laying hold of the oneness that is available to us through the Holy Spirit.
As we look forward to Monday evening, let's contend for our time to connect, and be together "in purity, understanding, patience and kindness; in the Holy Spirit and in sincere love; in truthful speech and in the power of God; with weapons of righteousness in the right hand and in the left..." (2 Corinthians 6:6-7), worshiping the One who "is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us." To Him be glory in the Foursquare church throughout all generations!
I hope to see you very soon! I really am looking forward to it; and I commit to not letting our differences distance us!
By: Jonathan Hall, director of Foursquare Missions International