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Bird in a Cage     From My Utmost for His Highest
. . . perfecting holiness in the fear of God —2 Corinthians 7

What’s the one thing that Christ calls us to do, but didn’t model Himself? [Tweet-it]

EXCERPTED FROM A Rooster Once Crowed: A Commentary on the Greatest Story Ever Told
  Chapter 7-Step This Way (pgs. 98-101):

Bruce Waltke, a famous Bible scholar, read the entire Bible looking at the idea of what it means to be righteous (to live justly in the world). He determined that the just or righteous are those who “are willing to disadvantage themselves to advantage the community; the [unjust] are willing to disadvantage the community to advantage themselves.”

So where does this meet you today? Whether the world has you by the throat or you own half the city, what does it look like to live righteously and what will you do to get there?

I’ve had a very real experience with this in September of 2012 . . .

. . . with Jerry Leachman, a lover of Jesus and missionary on the ground in Washington, DC. Leachman ministers to men and came to Atlanta to speak to our church. I had the honor of taking him around and hearing every talk he gave in the city. Toward the end of our time together, some of the troubles facing our nation began to weigh on my heart.

For the first time, I really experienced the hopelessness of the hole we are digging. I saw, and almost experienced, that the only thing that can deliver [America] was revival and, at the end of that weekend, I had a real thirst for it. I didn’t even begin to work out what revival looked like, but I had a fire in me for revival.

With a little research, I found that all major revival begins with true repentance. I came across Jesus’ first words of His ministry in Mark 1 and James 5.

With two brothers in Christ, we walked past the threshold of the sanctuary to repent. I’m not sure they were on board with repenting and, to be honest, I wasn’t either. I remember that, as I put one foot in front of the other, I thought of reasons why I really didn’t want to do this—things like, “I’ve been forgiven for these sins,” and “I don’t want them to know that,” and “Is this really that important?” But a moment later, I was at the altar, praying.

What came out of me started slowly but, over the coming minutes, I let loose the worst sins I had—things that I’d only shared with God [Tweet-er]. I was humiliated there, with my two friends, but I wanted God more. Like a leper dashing through the crowd, I could almost feel the blows to my carefully curated self—but then something incredible happened.

I felt the presence of God. He’d been there all the time, but something about this humbling, this running to the feet of God, risking a lot, and laying aside any condition to my service, revealed Him to me in a much fuller way.

I went down that day, and He bore me up.

Though my nation didn’t experience revival, I did. On that day, I felt a physical wrenching in me that I now consider an anointing. Three days later, I was given the vision that became this Gospel Story heard around the world (hear it now!). For me, this is what it looks like to go down, and yes. Yes. EXTREMELY YES! It is worth it to go up.

I don’t know if this works for everyone, but it works for me. Each time I make that walk to repent of my sins of the week and any others that come onto my heart, with my brothers in Christ or another that I pull into a prayer room—every single time, my eyes are opened to the very real presence of God within that room. I don’t know if it will work for you. To be honest, I haven’t found anyone willing to try [WoodyaTweet] it again with a group, but it’s a big enough deal that I urge you to try it.

Wouldn’t that be just like God to have put His Kingdom within the reach of anyone willing to make that long walk down the aisle and earnestly repent as Jesus asked 2,000 years ago?

I love you.

#stepthisway

Photo from Post Secret: Confessions on Life, Death and God

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