Catalyst '08 was awesome. It was so good that I have already secured tickets for some of our team to attend next year's big event. As I look back through my notes, several sessions stick out in my mind as forming my thoughts. But none was as big as what Craig Groeschel had to share.
Craig is the pastor of Lifechurch.tv and was the creative genius behind the One Prayer series we were part of. His session was centered on his new, "IT " and ended with this phrase ringing in 24,000 plus ears (12,000 people times 2 ears each). This was a humbling, God moment for most.
The "IT" he talks about is what churches and people experience when God is in and all over what you are doing. Some churches have it. Some don't. And IT is hard to understand. It has to do with the Holy Spirit being in control, but when you don't have it, this is tough to get. Groeschel said you have to do something drastic.
Joel 2:12-13 (nlt) --- That is why the Lord says, "Turn to me now, while there is time. Give me your hearts. Come with fasting, weeping, and mourning. Don't tear your clothing in your grief, but tear your hearts instead." Return to the Lord your God, for he is merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. He is eager to relent and not punish."
First, pray "God Stretch Me!" He told a story of being able to stay under water without breathing for over 2 minutes. Fact is, Craig said, "there is more in you" than you realize. God wants us to not just follow Him but passionate seek the more.
Second, pray "God Heal Me!" Honestly, I am a people pleaser and I sometimes make bad choices. God, take those things away. Make me want more and more and MORE of you and less of everything else! Don't let me neglect what is the most important for what seems important (ie. don't let me sacrifice and lose my family cause I'm involved in ministry).
Last, pray "God Ruin Me!" This is where we all lost it. Some said that up front, but it took me a while. Ruin me means to let God take all of you. Look at the verses above. That drastic thing that God wants is 'all of me'. Nothing more and nothing less. Question: does my heart break for the things that breaks God's heart. Far too often I'm content with just enough. I need to be content with God's best and nothing less.
He told a story that toughed my heart, and I will try to give you the highlights of it. Years ago God asked Craig to give all the money in his pocket to someone he met at church that morning. Turns out that he had $5 in his pocket (his lunch money). But after giving the money to the person God led Craig to someone offered and bought Craig's lunch which was even more expensive. It was a great faith moment and time with God, Craig said. Sometime later God asked Craig to do the same, but this time Craig had $100 in his pocket. Yet he would not let go of the money.
He asked us a question, from his own lesson of faith, do we have a $5 faith or a $100 faith?
I close with this thought, and I almost cannot type it for the deep conviction and call of God ... God, Ruin Me!