As Christians, I think we could agree that if we were sitting in a room and the living Lord Jesus Christ walked in, our lives would change radically in that moment. The power of His presence would rock us inside and out. In an instant, everything we ever thought we knew would be altered. We would be face down on the floor, weeping from the core of our being. He is that powerful. He is that real.
Yesterday I experienced His presence no less than that. Did He walk into a room alive and in person? I would say yes. My world was rocked inside out, and I am not the same person tonight that I was yesterday morning.
This radical encounter with the living Christ came at an unlikely place, at least from how the world might see it. I was at the graduation of an addiction regeneration program. Jesus showed up in a way that wrecked my inner world. I do not ever want to be the same. I donít think I could be if I tried.
The world would say what He did was impossible. These men came into the program crying out their last breath, wanting to be dead. Jesus took them and transformed them. What I saw in that room were men and families who were willing to let God do the impossible. What I saw in that room were vessels, molded by the King, for the purpose of pouring out His life, His power, His transforming love, and yes, His wakeup alarm, wherever He sends these men.
My life was permanently changed just from sitting in that room.
Wherever I have not allowed truth in my heart; wherever I have cowered in fear; wherever I have not walked in the authority I have in Christ; wherever I have not allowed His heart to beat in mine; wherever I have rejected the life He gave me Ö I saw it clear as day, as these men shared their testimonies.
Then I saw something beyond all that, as my life crumbled at the cross. I saw the power of resurrection life. I saw it in these men, who had allowed God to break them in pieces, so that He could breathe His very life, His transforming power into those once shattered hearts.
I have never encountered the power of Christ the way I did in listening to those men. In watching how He moved in them. In feeling His love and His power consume an entire room, just by His presence in them.
A lot of popular wisdom says regeneration isnít possible. Some think itís not even a good idea.
Here's what I say about regeneration: Where else can God find a habitation like the one where He crashed into my world yesterday? Where He shook my false foundations to the core, to see what would stand that was rooted in Him.
Until yesterday, there were places in my heart where the enemy continued to taunt. There were tendrils of pride and fear and a need to control Godís work in my heart, where I still dug in my pinky fingers, even as I invited Him to help me let go.
All of that crumbled at His feet, as He spoke in truth and in power and in love through the graduates. Today I canít even remember why I was proud or afraid or needed to keep God at armís length in any part of my heart. All I can think of is Christ, and how amazing He is, and how I saw Him alive and in person yesterday in those men. And how His Word needs to come forth from those who have been willing to die to their lives, so that God can resurrect them. Today I canít remember what was ever more important than watching Christ work and take back His people and redeem!
Christ rocked my entire being and I am forever changed. He did this in what the world would call an unlikely place: a menís regeneration program.
Thatís not surprising, when we remember how God rocked the entire world - all who ever lived and ever would - one night from a tiny manger in Bethlehem. That baby lives in real power and love today, in all who are willing to be broken, so that He can give them true life, and that they can pass it on.
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