Tuesday morning general session was highly exalting. Dan Bohi spoke, and he is anointed of the Spirit in an unusual way. He reminds me of John the Baptist, for he is a "rough" kind of guy...not polished, not a spiffy dresser, not even pleasant to the eyes. But he is gifted of God, has an intimate relationship with Him, hears Him speak, and simply obeys. In his services people are healed, unusual things happen, but it's because he is obedient to what the Father wants to say and do, and isn't geared toward pleasing the crowds. I had heard him before, and had the same discernment of his purpose for such a time as this. He's calling us back to seeking God, not programs, and seeking the anointing and infilling of the Holy Spirit through prayer and obedience. I sort of get the feeling he is as disgusted with the organized church as I have been. Men of God trying to do God's work in their own "intelligence" or "giftedness", instead of seeking what God wants to do. Polished sermons, good public presentation in appearance and demeanor, playing the political game of not offending...more concerned with pleasing men than God.
Dan Bohi could state the simple truth so clearly, things I have thought, but couldn't explain...things that I have become uncomfortable with in the organized church. Things that make me label some churches a "country club church". Oh, give me the real, the genuine, the truth. Give me Jesus, give me the Holy Spirit, give me the Father. It is their approval I seek...not the big names of the church. It's been a long time since I felt the freedom that Dan Bohi brings to the service when he just allows God to speak through him. I could have sat in that atmosphere a long time.
I did attend one of Dan's workshops in the afternoon, but I was so exhausted from not sleeping well at night, and being emotionally drained from the services, and I wasn't able to absorb his teaching as I wished I would have. Basically he was teaching that we need both of the wings of the dove (symbol of the Holy Spirit) to fly smoothly, in the pattern to which we've been called. We need the gifts of the Spirit as one wing, and the fruits of the Spirit as the other wing.
We often discount the gifts as being not that important in the church today, and focus more on the fruits. I agree with Dan that if it's in the Bible, it's of God, and we need it to be complete in Him...to be whole. This is not a typical "Nazarene" sermon, but I think the people are hungry for something more than we have been experiencing, and that Dan has found the secret to knowing God in a very intimate relationship...a relationship that is available to anyone who is willing to be filled with the Spirit and set free in the Spirit. That is my constant longing...has been for a long time. I just needed a refresher course to remind me, since I don't hear it often in the church.
Tuesday evening our speaker was General Superintendent (Church of the Nazarene) Dr. Stan Toler. He spoke on how people will know we are Christians by the love of Christ that we share. Wednesday morning Dr. Bob Broadbooks spoke on the strategies of reaching the lost and the importance of showing we truly care, and hanging in there with people, no matter what the cost or the length of time. People are hurting, they are starving for the love of Christ, for a different life than they are living. We have what they are longing for, but how willing are we to share it, to walk along side of someone, to invest in the lives of others. Or are we just wanting to stay in our little comfort zone at church with people just like us.
All the sessions spoke to my heart. It was certainly an ordained time to draw apart and hear from God once again...and what He wants from His people and His church. I had been told perhaps the crowd was about 3,000 in size, but it appeared to be closer to 5,000 when we all came together. 5,000...the amount of men that Jesus fed on the hillside one day by giving thanks to His Father for two fishes and three pieces of bread. We sat in the Louisville Convention Center and feasted on the riches of His Presence, fed by His disciples, and empowered to go forth in a new way.
Lord, here am I...use me.