g2k - now the generation

The date was March the twelfth, 1995. It was a Sunday morning, like so many Sunday mornings before, but unlike        any from that day forward. This was the day that God "showed up" in the midst of our church service. Oh, we had    thought, we had been certain that God had been with us every time we worshipped. After all, "where two or three" of        us "gathered in His Name, there He was in the midst of us." Only today would prove to be a different kind of "in the     midst of us."

A young preacher, still wet behind the ears had come to minister that morning. As he was preaching, God "showed      up." I wound up falling to the floor. I knew what this was, our church history called it being "slain in the Spirit." When it happened to me that day I would have called it "embarrassing." Laying out for all my congregation to see, I tried to      raise myself to the pew only to discover I couldn't get up! It was like a scene from the old TV commercial where the     aged lady cries out "I've fallen, and I can't get up!" After the initial embarrassment had passed, I jokingly prayed,         "Well, if I'm going to be stuck on the floor, You might as well do something in me." For the next two or three hours            (I can't recollect the time span), God seemed to reach into my spirit and begin to pull "things" out. It seemed that He  would examine them briefly, shake His head sadly and toss the "things" over His shoulder. After this had gone on for        a time, I said, "Lord, if You don't stop throwing things away, there'll be nothing left!" It seemed at that moment that       time stopped. I felt as though He laughed in pity and said, "That's the whole point! You've asked me over and over to         fill you, but you were so full of yourself, there was no room for Me to fill you with anything; I'm just making room for Me.      " In the days to come, we would learn to call our experience "renewal."

Today marks ten years since that day. I wish I could tell you that the journey has been enjoyable, that it has been great fun, filled with peace and joy and good memories. I wish I could tell you that when God reaches into a man's life, only   good things follow. The reality for me is that these ten years have been filled with pain, sorrow, the ugly kind of pain at looking into a mirror and seeing oneself as he really is. The past ten years have been years of death. Ten years of    thinking the process had ended only to discover that there was another level of pride, of self, of rebellion to uncover        and to kill. I'd like to tell you that after ten years I've arrived; that the dying is finished. I'd like to tell you that life is now       a bowl of cherries.

What I will tell you is that life is better; much better than it's been in all my life. I have more peace, more joy, more   intimate friendship with Jesus than I've ever experienced at any point in my life. I have a family that loves me and who         I love. I have a life that I never knew was possible to experience. I hear the Voice of my Master, my Friend, my King     often in the night hours. He speaks to me in the early morning hours. He talks with me through the day. He shows me secret things - He reveals truth to me. I find myself singing to Him often, without thought, without rehearsal and without embarrassment. Ten years ago I thought I had accomplished something for the Kingdom of God. Tonight, as I write    these words, I'm just starting to live.

I hope you live, too, when the dying is done.

In His Grace,


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