I had the unique opportunity to spend the last week in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, with NXT MOVE. They invited 85 marketplace and church leaders -- all under the age of 40 -- representing over 42 countries around the globe. I’m still wondering how on Earth I made it into that room! The caliber in the room was truly remarkable; from millionaires to bank owners, to presidents of some of the top Fortune 500’s, all the way to the most influential pastors in the world … and then there was me! :)
The main purpose of our time in Dubai was to strategize and plan for a miraculous move of God globally amongst the next generation in 2020 and the years to come. Our days were filled with hours upon hours of talks on strategies, ideas, and visions, but somehow it seemed as if we weren’t truly making progress. I found myself questioning the feasibility of such a daunting task.
How do you even strategize to plan a revival? Especially globally? What is this even supposed to look like? How can we actually make this happen? What are the tangible action steps that need to be set in place?
There were just so many unanswered questions and the task seemed relatively unrealistic. I quickly learned that this was a mutual feeling amongst a majority of the delegates. I remember on the second to last night of NXT MOVE, I and some of the delegates representing Team America got together, expressing our frustration until almost 3 a.m. We spent so much time complaining, brainstorming, and writing out stipulations and ideas for NXT MOVE to implement. What we drafted out was brilliant. We were sure it was going to be the catalyst to stir about change.
The following evening, all of the NTX MOVE delegates got together one final time for closing remarks and this was a moment that truly made a stamp on my faith. As each country's team lead got up to share with us all, I noticed that there was a common thread on how they all chose to deal with their frustration and questions. They all mentioned how their team stayed up late the previous night to pray and ask God for divine insight and for His presence to flood their country.
-- Team India spent the previous night praying.
-- Team China spent the previous night praying.
-- Team England spent the previous night praying.
-- … and meanwhile Team America spent the previous night complaining.
I was embarrassed because this truly shed light on the deep difference between American Christianity vs. Global Christianity. The simple fact that in a time of frustration, EVERYONE in the room turned to prayer as their source, while we turned to complain.
It was truly a gut-wrenching reality check, because not once in the hours that we were complaining did anybody in our group suggest prayer. It didn’t even cross our minds. We complained and complained and complained and tried to strategize that which only the Spirit could fulfill. What was everyone else's first priority wasn’t even the last resort for us, and that is embarrassing but, unfortunately, the reality for many of us. We have become much more dependent on our strategies and strength than His Spirit and we wonder why we don’t see the power of God as tangible in our lives and in our country.
GOD'S ATTRIBUTES ARE MOST EVIDENT IN THE MOMENTS THAT OUR DEPENDENCY ON SELF DIES.
This opened my eyes to realize that us American Christians have lost the meaning of dependency on Christ; full dependency. This is the type of dependency that knows and believes that nothing is possible without the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit. Seeing that true faith isn’t dependent on what we have or what we can do, but true faith is built upon the foundation of WHO we know. True faith knows and believes that mountains cannot be moved with programs and strategies, but only by His presence and His Spirit. I pray that we grow an authentic and deep dependency on Christ. That in all things, we turn to prayer. If we want to see the character and power of Jesus revealed then we must be willing to surrender our desire for control over to Him.
We must depend on Christ as if there is no other option. We must depend on Christ as if He is our daily bread. We must depend on Christ as if He is the living water that will never run dry. We must depend on Christ as if He is the only One that could ever satisfy.
Depend on Him in such a way that requires risks. Depend on Him as if we truly believe that in our weakness, He is made strong. Depend on Him as if we know within the core of our being, even with all of our talents, gifts, skills and knowledge combined, we are insufficient and it is only through Him that we are made sufficient (2 Corinthians 3:5).
God, take us back to the heart of prayer. Take us back to the days where prayer was the melody in which Your Church lived their lives by. Take us back to the days where prayer was intertwined into the chromosomes of our DNA. Take us back to the days where Your people called on Your name from the break of dawn to the going down of the sun. Take us back to dependency on You like Moses on the top of Mt. Sinai:
-- like David before Goliath
-- like Esther before the King
-- like Hannah with yet another barren womb
-- like Jairus in the presence of his dying daughter
-- like Elisha before his enemies
-- like YOU on the cross on Calvary.
If we want to see God move in both the seemingly mundane and the miraculous, the answer is simple: PRAY! AND DEPEND ON HIM.
The next time a chaotic situation finds its way into your narrative, I pray that you first turn to Christ before you turn to complain. The next time a blessing finds its way into your narrative, I pray that you first turn to the Father before you turn to Facebook to tell the world of what He has done. I want to see prayer become our life source -- the very lifeline in which we live our lives. I want us to pray as if our lives depend on it, in BOTH the highs and lows in life.
God forgive us for the times we have treated prayer as a golden ticket to ensure an escape out of chaos.
Forgive us for not praying in both the HIGHS and LOWS of life.
Forgive us for the times we have placed dependency upon ourselves.
Help us to fully and wholeheartedly depend on You and You alone -- in the good, bad, messy, ugly, beautiful, mundane, and miraculous. Because no matter what YOU deserve all glory! Amen!