We scattered around the empty room as a song of worship washed over us. Our mission was to pray for the seats and the space of our building so that when people come into church they would feel the power and presence of God.
We opened our ears and hearts to discover anything that God may have wanted the congregation to hear that day.
I sat in a chair in the sixth row next to a friend of mine. I closed my eyes and rested my palms face-up on my legs.
As I began to pray I saw a vivid and beautiful scene:
Jesus stood on one side of a creek; I stood on the other.
I watched as a light came down from heaven and anointed Jesus with the Holy Spirit. In that moment, Jesus looked up at me, opened his hand to usher me in his direction, and said to me, “I choose you.”
I then shifted my gaze just beyond Jesus and saw a vast, green and plentiful promised land. He was inviting me into his promises of richness and fullness.
So I took his hand and leapt over the creek, and in that moment I let every notion of myself that I had ever heard, made up, or thought of myself, completely fall to the ground and leave me. Jesus gave me a new identity and it was one of complete, glowing beauty and joy.
I then stepped back and saw hundreds of people standing on the other side of the creek. Jesus was beckoning them and reaching out his hand for them too. And people were coming over by the dozens and dropping their past identities and baggage at his feet.
We all made our way over to the lush grass of the promised land and sat down, ready to hear what Jesus had to say. He taught us about our new selves and the new life we now had. And he taught us about our most important and most inherent characteristic of new life: love.
This vision was so clear and so beautiful, and I think there are four main truths to pull out of it.
#1: Seeing Jesus and the illumination of his Spirit isn’t a passer-by activity; it is an invitation that beckons a response of life transformation and a leap of faith.
#2: When you take a leap of faith into the unknown, the first thing Jesus does is make you known. God requires an unveiling of your past self, all of your shame, your pride and your brokenness, and gives you a new identity in its place.
#3: That new identity is a piece of a larger puzzle. You now have gifts, strengths and passions different in essence yet the same in purpose as the people sitting around you. A church is formed well when we all take our pieces and find how they fit together perfectly to form a unified body of Christ
#4: That body of Christ, the Church, is to be grounded in Jesus’ most important teaching of love. It is our duty to take what we have learned and lovingly beckon others to come learn it too. This is our greatest calling.