Bless Me!

From my previous post, Healing Revival:

I wonder if the people of Myanmar and China will receive a special outpouring.

This video, Least of These, asks the same question. Click link to view.
Don’t miss watching this 2-minute video. (ht Bill Kinnon, Eric Blauer)

The American view of blessing is often self-indulgent and does not take into account the degree of suffering experienced by so many of the people whom God deeply loves.

The movie’s creator said this:

After having no words to express my emotions regarding the recent revival manifestations in America, I created this video as a prayer for the deceived and the suffering…and those of us who need to help them both. – LeeElla

Isaiah 58: 2, 6-7

2 For day after day they seek me out;
they seem eager to know my ways,
as if they were a nation that does what is right
and has not forsaken the commands of its God.
They ask me for just decisions
and seem eager for God to come near them.

6 “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice
and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free
and break every yoke?

7 Is it not to share your food with the hungry
and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—
when you see the naked, to clothe him,
and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?

What do you think? Where is their outpouring? When will we flock to stadiums begging God to bless them, to touch them, to heal them?

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18 thoughts on “Bless Me!

  1. The foundational covenant between God and His people was that He would bless us so that we would be a blessing to the nations. Where much is given, much is required. Why does it seem so hard for us to make that connection?

    Thanks for sharing this, Grace!

    Peace,
    Jamie

  2. Thanks guys! “How Great is Our God” is playing in the background on my computer at the moment. May His Name be praised among the nations, not simply in stadiums.

    “Blessed to be a blessing.” That sums it up Jamie.

  3. Hey there Grace, you know I am in complete agreement! And you know my heart for social justice, and I’ve blogged about narcissism and the god of Self in the North American church!

    That being said, if I had a terminal illness and was facing the prospect of my daughter growing up without me, I would go to Lakeland. I think you would agree that not all desire for healing is selfish. Not all desire for God is selfish. Although we do see a lot of selfishness, I do think some have gone to Lakeland with others in mind as well.

  4. Sarah,
    Wise words (as always). I know that many who make the mecca are desperate, and I would not call their pursuit selfish.

  5. Grace…I’ll follow the links when I have time, but your post grabbed my attention because I prayed that very prayer last night at our Wednesday Prayer Meeting … that the Holy Spirit would pour out a great blessing on those suffering in Myanmar and China — and that it would come through the hundreds of thousands of “hidden” saints in those two “underground church” countries….

    I had it absolutely drummed into my head by one of my favorite Bible professors: privilege is always given for purpose. It is never about getting for one’s self, but about being a conduit for the blessing of God to the nations.

    …I’ll stop there before a full-on rant emerges ;)

    Thanks for having such a highly-tuned “radar”, Grace.

  6. Wow, this post is rather strange. Ministries like Todd Bentley’s have seen more miracles and more of an outpouring of God’s spirit in other countries in places like Asia and Africa and South America than they have here in the USA. Special outpouring? We’re LATE to the game, folks. It’s already been happening. Have you heard of Rolland and Heidi Baker’s ministry in Madagascar? God’s been blessing the people there in mighty and miraculous ways, in some cases multiplying food when it ran out just like in the Gospels!

    Of all the people I could imagine criticizing for being American-centric and narcissistic at the expense of impoverished regions, Todd Bentley would have to be at the bottom of the list. His team has been establishing orphanages and safe houses for abuse victims in places in Africa where it’s not even safe for Americans to go. Todd’s personal safety has been threatened numerous times on missionary trips. It’s been quite astonishing listening to some of his stories of where his ministry has been.

    I understand your sentiment, Grace, but I think you are completely off the mark on this one. I humbly suggest you take some time to think about what you’re saying on this particular topic before people get the wrong impression of what’s currently going on.

    With love, Jared

  7. “Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.” James 1:27 (NLT)

    Grace, maybe I’m lazy to ask you this or just a bit overwhelmed, but I would like to be a small part of bringing relief to the people of Myanmar and China in the wake of the natural disasters that have struck those lands; however, how can I help? There are a myriad of relief organizations, but I would like to support one is not bogged down in unneccessary “administrative” fees, if you get my meaning. Do you have any suggestions or a place to at least start looking? Any help in pointing me in the right direction would be much appreciated!

  8. Thanks Peggy!

    Jared,
    I am not familiar with Todd’s ministry. Mainly I am addressing the charismatic hype that often accompanies “outpourings.” There are some things about this “revival” in particular that concern me, but I haven’t checked into it well enough to address those issues. I have heard wonderful things about the Bakers.

    Perhaps I have expressed it clumsily, but my point was that we seek the kind of results from revival and renewal that reflect the values of the kingdom and the fruit of the spirit.

    davida,
    Concerning Myanmar/Burma in particular where it is difficult to get relief in from the outside, I have been told that World Vision is one of the best places to send financial gifts because they already have Burmese workers in place.

    Food for the Hungry is another global organization that I am personally comfortable with. I am not sure of their connections in Burma, however I trust that they use money effectively to meet the greatest need.

    To everyone,
    I’ll be away from the blog for several days. I have posts scheduled to go up Sunday and Monday, but I probably won’t be back here until the middle of next week.

    Feel free to continue the discussion and share your thoughts.

  9. I would not consider myself EC but I am very excited about the incarnational bent to it –

    I have yet to see a sign and wonder side to the EC along side the proclaimming of the Word as Green notes in his book , (Evangelism and the early church)that it was an important aspect in the proclaimation of the message in it’s infancy.

  10. I have to agree with Jared, Todd’s an out-in-the-street kind of guy – not your typical Charismatic evangelist – so the idea of let’s see this in the streets really has been a lot of Todd’s ministry. He would delight in going to Myanmar.

    I have to agree with Grace, a lot of people in the Charismatic movement think this is the thing that’s going to make their dead movement come back to life, the great awakening they’ve all been praying for for years. Now that really would be a miracle.

    Now who said you can’t put new wine in old wineskins? You don’t have to be a prophet to predict the outcome.

  11. Actually – this is quite a test for Todd. Wimber came to this junction once – and the Charismatics made him their poster boy. A great move of God – all of the fame and acclaim, next thing you know – the whole thing was conforming to the image of the Charismatics.

    John Wimber was an awesome man of God – but the true test is what do you do when the masses come to crown you the king (of the movement). (see John 6:14-15) Do you conform to the Charismatics – or do you continue to do the things that brought you here in the first place?

    I’ve told my buddies for a while – I thought Todd would be like Philip – able to just walk away from revival when God said – I have an Ethiopian for you to talk to. His true test is about to come. Philip passed with flying colors.

  12. Grace, thanks for the reply. I do appreciate your heart for the missional church. @Jerry, very interesting thoughts. I do hope Todd can handle this latest dose of “fame” well and continue to follow the leading of the Spirit and chase after lasting spiritual transformation instead of conforming to some kind of hyper-religious subculture and getting stuck in a “revival atmosphere”. That’s always the danger with these types of movements, so I pray that we can avoid the excesses and mistakes of past generations and seek wisdom in this astounding season.

  13. I was lilly pad jumping through some study for Sunday’s message and ended up running into this post…and surprise, there’s our little video and my wife being quoted. Cool, glad our small conversation sparked some good thought and discussion. I would offer up a bit of context, we are charismatics and deeply connected to refugee resettlement and mission work on the Thai/Burma border. We are not opposed to the genuine work of the Holy Spirit, we are products of many marvelous moments of visitation. But, we also have witnessed terrible extremes and carnal consumption of bless me centered ministry that ends up misapplying the poured out love of God to self instead of the world we are meant to serve out of the overflow of God’s arrivals.

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