I’d been contemplating on what to focus on for this letter when I had an unusual experience – at least for me. I woke up during the night with a variety of questions dancing in my mind. As this was so unusual I took particular note and wrote some of them down. I’ll share them with you but would suggest you might want to pause after each one and consider what the Lord might be saying through each one to you. Here are the questions that came to mind:
Is your faith worth anything? (This was the initial one; wow…) Also…Do you have faith in God or do you have faith in what you believe about God?…Are you a friend of God or are you a friend of your theology?…Are you pursuing Jesus or are you pursuing doctrine?…(Just because you have a map doesn’t mean you have arrived at your destination…outdated analogy, I know)
A scripture also came to mind. 1 Peter 1:7 says, “…that the genuineness of your faith being much more precious than gold which perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”
My thoughts on this: Our theology must lead us to Jesus. Our theology doesn’t save us. Jesus saves us. Sometimes I wonder if we’d take a stand for Jesus as aggressively as we’d defend our theology. If our faith is genuine – and therefore worth anything – it must be faith in Jesus as opposed to a doctrinal position.
Am I splitting hairs? Maybe…maybe not. We know that the enemy’s primary weapon is deception. In fact, that’s really the only “tool” he has. He can’t rely on truth – at least full truth. Rather he’ll take partial truth and lace it with error and the undiscerning believer is often willing to accept it as full truth. So, we go to war over our positions because we believe we have the fullness. We end up with doctrinal divide that really does divide/isolate us even though we know God’s heart is unity among His children. (Ps.133)
How do we know if our faith rests in Jesus or if it may rest in doctrine? How do we know if we’re pursuing Jesus or pursuing doctrine? A scripture that comes to mind is Hebrews 11:6 which says, “Without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” So, how does He reward those who pursue Him? He rewards us with Himself. Right doctrine will offer “rewards” such as pride, aloofness, judgment towards others, the belief that we’ve settled the issues in our own minds and that we’re right – everyone else is wrong – too bad for them but it’s good to be me. Sounds like Pharisee thoughts to me.
On the other hand, if we are truly pursuing Jesus Himself the reward looks more like…life on the inside, love on the inside, peace on the inside, compassion rather than judgment towards others. It’s the burning heart that comes through relationship with Him – He gives us Himself. He is our great reward! We will have desire for others to know and experience Jesus as we have come to know Him. This becomes our primary motivation for evangelism. It’s not to indoctrinate others to “think like us”. It’s to direct them to relationship with Jesus. As people connect with Jesus they are positioned to know Truth through the One who is Truth. We must encounter Jesus. If, in our pursuit of truth we never arrive at the place of heart encounter with Him we’ve only acquired argumentative positions that we then feel obligated to defend. We won’t impress God with what we know. We must know Him.
I can give a brief summary from recent happenings at the Wilderness Prayer Center. We have been meeting every Tuesday night at 7:00 for prayer and worship. Anyone is always welcome to come! We’ve also been praying every other Tuesday as part of our prayer cycles where we fill time slots on a continual basis for as long as we have people to pray. Typically we are finding one hour slots work well. We are praying for local, regional, national, world issues. We’ll begin sometime in the afternoon and pray into the evening with someone filling the prayer room. If you are at all curious and would be willing to try it for a week just give either myself or Bob Scrabeck a call and we’ll find a time slot that works for you. Come alone or bring a friend(s). Bob has been handling the scheduling for this prayer effort. (Phone numbers included at end of letter)
Also, we’ve been meeting the last Friday of each month. The most recent Friday night meeting was January 27. We had a wonderful night of worship, teaching by David Gravgaard (Willmar, MN) and then a powerful time of ministering prophetically over people by David and his team of 3 others who came along with him. It seems like each Friday night meeting is special and unique in some way. This was no exception. This night was pretty amazing. Quite a number of people came out even though the weather was iffy. The Lord was present and it was very good.
We’ll be meeting again on February 24 at 7:00 p.m. Please listen to KJLY or call me if weather is questionable before coming.
Thank you to all who have supported the Wilderness Prayer Center through your prayers, financial gifts, serving in any way.
Director Wilderness Prayer Center
Tim’s Cell 507-525-0349
Bob Scrabeck Cell 507-383-0756