Earlier this week I saw the final cost breakdown of the Hope Women’s Center build-out and was instantly overwhelmed by the greatness of God. Due to a truly amazing volunteer work ethic within our little church body, the incredible generosity of many construction trade partners both within and outside our church family, and the gracious financial generosity of some donors, the Hope Women’s Center cost us less than $500 net, net to build-out. One general contractor within our church family estimated this project should have easily cost us $50-65,000. That didn’t include furnishing the facility, which again was provided primarily by some of our church family either building or donating some outstanding furniture, cabinets, chairs, etc.
This is just one of a few examples of what many of us are sensing about God’s movement in mobilizing our little church to do what we’ve dreamed about for many years... “Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever! Amen.” Ephesians 3:20-21 (NIV)
I would like to propose we proactively do something together that would demonstrate our dependence on the Lord as we beg Him to do “immeasurably more than anything we ask or imagine” in and through us. Please believe this suggestion is born out of an ever deepening desire to be completely abandoned to Jesus; an ever deepening desire to be about His business; an ever deepening desire that we could one day say “Whom have I (we) in heaven but You? And besides You, I (we) desire nothing on earth” (Psalms 73:25) and it be true.
The motivation for this came a few days ago when I came across a passage in Acts that I had dated (9/13/2003) as the last day of a 40-day fast back in 2003. Our newly formed church had started the incorporation process in July of ‘03, which was finalized in early August. The launch team (Magelssens, Pierces, Riordons, Asts) decided to fast and pray that we would be a church after God’s own heart; a church that didn’t compromise and go ‘corporate;’ a church that stayed focused on the mission of making disciples that make disciples. We were so impassioned about staying on mission that we fasted for 40 days begging God to direct our every thought, our every motive, and our every action. We so wanted to be a church that would truly be pleasing to Him…we still do!
I would like to invite you to fast and pray for the next 40 days with us and for us, His church, to desire Jesus more than life and His Kingdom far above our own. I’m proposing a fast that consists of one meal a day. In many Jewish circles they would fast from sunrise to sundown and eat a meal together after sundown. Please don’t get messed up legalistically and be free to define the fast however you are led of the Lord. Some might only fast for one meal a day instead of two or not even fast from food at all but from something else like TV or anything that will remind us to pray. The point of it is to take every moment that we feel hungry or desire something else and let that be a reminder to beg God to make us hungry for Him and His Kingdom (Matthew 6:33).
Here are some specifics things we’d like to be praying about as a people:
- That we would tangibly love God and love people (Matt. 22:36-40)
- That the love of Jesus would control us (2 Cor. 5:14; Romans 8:35-39)
- That we would be known both within and outside of wvBc by our love for one another (John 13:35)
- That our greatest desire on earth would be God Himself (Psalms 73:25)
- That we would do all things for the sake of the gospel (1 Cor. 9:19-23)
- That we would utilize our time, talents, and treasure for the cause of His Kingdom (Matt. 25:14-29)
- That we, His people, would be one even as He is One and tangibly demonstrate that oneness by us as Spanish and English speaking people continuing to grow & work together (John 17:11, 20-23)
- That we as believers would function within our true calling as ‘ministers of reconciliation’ & ‘ambassadors of Christ’ in full time service within our families, neighborhoods, jobs, recreational activities, etc. (2 Cor. 5:17-20)
- That God would continue to transform our Community Groups to be less and less just weekly Bible studies and more and more like missionary outposts – please think both/and NOT either/or – (Acts 1:8; 2:42-47; Heb. 10:24-25)
- That God would use Sunago (CoMotion Fitness, Liberty Thrift Store, Oasis Martial Arts, Blue Mountain Programs, Hope Women’s Center) to excel more & more for the gospel (1 Thess. 4:1, 10)
- That God would sell the Scottsdale property so that the resulting revenue could be used to pay down our debt (Prov. 22:7)
- That God would provide the funds/resources to build a community center on the ten acres He has entrusted to us at Litchfield & Acoma and in the meantime open our hearts and minds towards creatively utilizing the property as good stewards (Luke 12:42-44)
Please add to the list as the Lord prompts your heart. We’re planning on starting the fast on Monday November 13th, which, if we’re counting right, we would then end the fast on December 22nd.
Please use the following website for any questions and as a resource regarding fasting: https://www.cru.org/train-and-grow/spiritual-growth/fasting.html. It’s one of the best sites I’ve seen on the topic.
Prayer in general and praying together as a people is the single greatest activity we could engage in to see God move in our lives and the lives of those we touch. Acts 1:14 says, “These all wit one mind were continually devoting themselves to prayer…” In Colossians 4:2 Paul wrote, “Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving.” Peter wrote, “The end of all things is near; therefore, be of sound judgment and sober spirit for the purpose of prayer.” (1 Peter 4:7)
Thank you and the Lord bless you and keep you!
Because He Lives,
Skip on behalf of the Elders