By Kathi Pelton
One day a friend who spent many years working with Heidi Baker in Mozambique made a comment about a church in America that has continually stuck with me. She said, “This church has everything that we had in Mozambique, except one thing— desperation.”
These words pierced my heart with such conviction that from that moment onward— a growing seed of desperation has been planted within me. The words circled in my mind and in my spirit as if they were enveloping me. I began to think about the times of desperation in my life and how they caused me to throw off all restraint, all that “looks proper” and everything that hindered me from running to Jesus to be thrown off. Those moments caused me to throw off “me” in order to find him alone.
Since that time, I have begun to have eyes to see how there is an increasing desperation growing within the church (globally) that is causing them to throw off all that hinders them from finding Jesus alone. Suddenly, many are finding that their programs, systems, gifting, charisma and reputation are no longer getting the results that these things once gained. What was once “fresh bread” is now stale and undesirable. They are coming to the end of their selves and their ability to “keep up with the needs of a desperate world.”
It is as though we are seeing new wine poured into old wineskins and the old wine skins are now bursting. As many keep trying to hold onto the old, they find that it is being wasted as it is poured onto the ground because the old can no longer contain the new.
Although this has been happening for a while now, there is a “point of desperation” that is beginning to peak where believers cannot take it any longer and have begun crying out for the authentic move of God and authentic life of a believer that is not based on agendas, systems, programs or the influence of gifts. They want JESUS!
This desperation is a gift. Although it may not seem like it now, as we begin to respond to the desperate cry of our hearts to be enraptured by him, transformed by him and moved by him— we will begin to see that “when we ask for bread, he will not give us a stone.”
Over and over again, I have heard in my heart the words to the verse in 2 Timothy 3:5 that say,
“…having a form of godliness but denying the power thereof…”
As these words have ruminated in my heart, my eyes began to be open to how we have merely had a form of unity, a form of oneness, a form of family, a form of intimacy, a form of surrender…and the list goes on. We are desperate to no longer have a form of godliness but to have GOD! Only his power can do this in us!
But to go there we must get real and get raw. There is honesty to be spoken, offenses to tear down, reputations to be surrendered and schedules to be torn up. It may not look pretty or professional but it will make a way for the transformational power of God to flow. We may not have a fiery sermon and we may sit in an hour of silence— but God will come and he will move because we are making room for desperate hunger to be met by him alone.
Heidi Baker has had to face the most desperate of situations where she knew that she had nothing in her, save Christ, to offer to people who were literally living in the “valley of the shadow of death.” She had to drop everything and fall on her face to find the only One who can save. She has learned the lifestyle of desperate surrender that has birthed true intimacy that is followed by genuine miracles.
I feel the desperation building in God’s people. It is uncomfortable, it defies what feels proper or acceptable before others, it makes us vulnerable and removes our masks. The desperation is creating a true hunger that will push past the known until the new wineskin is formed by the Spirit of the Lord. New wine is being made in the barrels of desperation.
The final recorded prayer of Jesus in John 17 said this,
““My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.” John 17:20-24
The new wineskin will be that WE ARE ONE! Then the world will know! A form of oneness will not fool the world into believing. Nor will it impress the younger generation to be a part. It will not set captives free or transform cities. They want family and they want what is authentic. Their desperation must be met by the believers in Yeshua! Otherwise the world will offer them a counterfeit which will leave them in great confusion.
Jesus we need you! We are desperate for you— and if we aren’t— make us desperate. We need your true power that saves and transforms, we need true repentance and transparency, and we need to allow all that is being shaken fall away so that only that which is built upon the foundation of Christ will remain.
Give us the gift of desperation!
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