Here at City Church we believe in equipping the body for your work of service. We are going to be bringing you truths from our team in the days ahead.
We believe in you and we pray you take in the word and start to trust the holy spirit to walk these truths out, we’re calling these topics
City Truths, Enjoy!!!
Chris Abington – City Church
Listening, Learning and Leaning In.
I want to take a moment and remind you of a couple of thoughts in the middle of this moment we are in. I believe some of the most valuable things we can do right now as a people are listen, learn and lean into what God is saying. There is movement going on and it’s affecting every continent on the globe. Make no mistake God is working all things out for his good and we are entering into new space. I want to remind you that we are to be seeing with spiritual eyes and ears more than our natural senses. I like you have missed being able to gather but have been reminded that when Jesus scattered his servants after Pentecost the Kingdom of God expanded. It would seem crazy when God caused that shift to happen that they would all be fighting to get back into the upper room. The embraced their moment and we are here as a result. To come through this unchanged as a people would be the greatest tragedy to me. We can’t just ask the question ‘When do we go back to normal?’ We have to ask him ‘What and where are you calling us out and into next?’ We will be together soon that is for sure however if we can’t live out what he’s teaching us I’m afraid we won’t have passed the test. I know when new wine is being poured out a new wineskin is required to hold it. I believe we have to keep our hearts soft to him and full of grace with one another as we move through the moment. So here are a few questions to spark your thought and prayer life. I encourage you to pray and journal through the days we are in.
Listening: Who and what are you listening to in this moment? There are a lot of voices out there and one of the things we are learning in the moment is how hard it is to dial the noise down. We have all felt the affects of isolation to some degree. This has provided a moment to remind me of who I trust and where life comes from. To cut out distraction and just connect and abide in the vine.
Am I listening to his word? The word is becoming more living and active than ever I encourage you to stay in his promises and let that be the filter you look at life through.
Am I hearing the hearts of the lost? If I listen close past the noise I can hear hurt, fear, anxiety, frustrations and worry. I’m finding that it’s becoming easier to tell if someone’s life is built on the sand or solid rock. I’m hearing the lostness of our city and the hurts that exist. In the middle of all of it though I am experiencing a fresh boldness to say ‘Be reconciled to God,’ quit fighting with him and just get right with Him. 2 Cor 5:14 is worth our time to meditate on and live in this moment.
I’m hearing good things like my neighbors prayer requests, my kids creativity and acts of kindness and compassion from you. I’m hearing a cry for something greater, something more. I’m hearing there’s a better way in this Kingdom to live if we connect to his world over this one. Make space to listen, his words are Spirit and Life!
Learning: What are you learning? To be a disciple means I’ve committed to living a life learning from the master. To be willing to learn is to stay humble and recognize I don’t always have all the answers. To learn means I listen more than I talk. Entire moves of God have been shut down because he didn’t move like he did in the past or like I expected him to. Sometimes what I know can hinder me from what he is saying and doing. I encourage you to stay soft, listen and learn at the feet of Jesus in this moment.
As I listen to him I am reminded that our call was and still is to make disciples. Not bigger names or buildings but continue to build big people. I am learning we let go of the call to make disciples. I am reminded of the series God led us through just months ago about what it means to be devoted to Christ. We talked through Acts 2:42 about what the early church was devoted to and I believe it’s more relevant now than ever. “All the believers devoted themselves apostles teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals and to prayer.”
Leaning in: Leaning in means that I’m actually going to do something with what he has said. Leaning in sometimes means I’ve heard his voice and seen the promise by my spirit and I’m waiting on it to manifest here. What is he saying to you that you are leaning into with your heart first and not just your head? I am specifically leaning into 3 things I am seeing and hearing in Is 61:4 and in Amos 9:11 that I believe will be important for the body of Christ moving forward. s I would challenge you to meditate on what it means to you. Is 61:4 says ‘They will REBUILD ancient ruins and RESTORE the places long devastated; they will RENEW the ruined cities that have been devastated for generations (emphasis mine). Consider what these mean to you personally and then what they mean to us corporately.
1. Rebuild ancient ruins. What was in God’s heart that we’ve distorted or settled with less than his dreams for? If we are called to RE build then we are in a moment not to destroy the past but find what was originally meant to be built on and re-build on those things that matter most to him. How and where we Re-build will be extremely important to handle and hold a greater harvest. What is he wanting to rebuild in you and us personally that we lost sight of?
2. Restore the places long devastated. Where and what are the ‘places’ we have vacated and left as the Church. What have we de-valued or kept our distance from? Where has the enemy been allowed to devastate because we haven’t been present- things like family, parenting, education, human slavery, business….etc. Long devastated means we won’t get back overnight but we can adjust our course in this hour. To Re store means there’s something hidden of value everywhere we see creation and he’s in the business of making things new.
3. Renew the ruined cities that have been devastated for generations. This is the last piece that I believe the Father is after. Whole cities. Entire cities. Where there have been generational sins and curses we are going to begin to bring blessing and cures, solutions and strategies…if we will listen. We will help bring new life, new hope and new ways as the Church if we don’t slip back into those old ruts. This feels more like Kingdom to me, community impact with the love and power of Christ. What spaces could he be calling me to serve in my city, where are we standing, interceding, and encouraging. Where are we being asked to the table for decisions that impact people groups? I encourage you to dream with God about what he’s making New!
I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge-that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imaging, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen Eph 3:14-21
Chris Abington – City Church - 6-5-2020