I don’t know whether you have noticed it too? Probably as the result of the influence of postmodernism on Christianity (certainly one of the major factors), there is hardly speak these days among evangelical and charismatic Christians about God’s holiness on the one hand and therefore a sensibility of sin on the other. You see it also in the blurring of lines when it comes to personal and corporate moral issues.
Surely an exegesis of Isaiah chap. 6 on the one hand and 1 John chap. 1 on the other reveals the key-nature of ‘walking in the light’ (walking = one step at a time, a slow but steady process) because ‘God is light; in Him there is no darkness at all.’ 1 John 1 and 2 refer again and again to taking ‘sin’ seriously and dealing with it via confession, repentance, cleansing, obedience to God’s commands, etc.
I attended an inter-church ‘prayer meeting’ last night aimed at ‘personal revival.’ It had been said prior to that, ‘revival begins in the individual’s heart.’ I could really go along with that, hence my appearance at the prayer meeting. Eighty minutes later, after much worship in song conducted by a pastor who hardly stopped speaking while leading in song, and with not twenty seconds of silence (quite literally), the ‘prayer meeting’ was over.
Yes, opportunity was given for people to share visions and prophetic words (with the guitar never quiet), but I felt myself screaming inside, ‘Why don’t we all just shut up so that God may get a word in somewhere!’ Just maybe He wanted to speak not only through the earth quake, wind and fire but through the ‘gentle whisper…’ I went home thinking that perhaps I was just being super-critical, yet I had gone to the meeting with, I believe, a sincere desire for the Lord and His working in my life and in that of others’.
I think there was one reference (in the meeting) to dealing with ‘the rubbish’ in our lives in the pursuit of God’s presence. David surely got it right in Ps. 51, also in Ps. 139, after being thoroughly confronted with God’s ominiscience, omnipotence, omnipresence and omnirighteousness: Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting (I have heard some believers calling this ‘old covenant’ stuff, no longer relevant to the Christian who now shares in God’s ‘new covenant’ in Christ – good old antinomianism?).
So where do we go from here? Any thoughts?? (practical ones!)