You just knew I'd end up preaching here. You just knew it would come to that ... =)
The first few days I went to the prayer room, I almost could not stand to go. Brian called it "my sin problem" - every time I went, I was overwhelmed by my sin ... I couldn't stand to stay in there for very long, because I just couldn't take it after a while. I couldn't stand to see how depraved I really am.
I'm better now. It took several days to repent and to believe that I have been forgiven, but now I can go to the prayer room and worship and pray ... my sin problem is resolved by the blood of Christ.
I am learning about truth - until this point, I haven't had a very high regard for the truth. I think I said a few weeks ago that truth and love seem to stand in opposition to one another, especially in our culture, and so I've erred toward love. Which I still believe is the right approach to take ... but I also believe that in Christ truth and love do NOT stand in opposition to one another. They certainly did not in the life of Jesus. I've realized that I have been dissatisfied with the shortcomings of Christian life I have seen around me, and I think that is what Mikkee would call "a holy discontentment" - it was good to be dissatisfied. But, rather than turning to Scripture to see the right way, I turned to other things in our culture, such as politics. There is no satisfaction there, either. The Truth is found in Scripture. I am learning to trust that and to look to the Word, rather than other people. I don't do this easily; it causes so much internal friction because so much of my life is not in line with the Word. But Paul says, "Let God be true and every man a liar." I want to live this out. I'm learning how right now.
I have also been studying spiritual warfare. I have intentionally not studied spiritual warfare for years, because I thought it was a hokie and simplistic view of life. I also thought that people used spiritual warfare to avoid personal responsibility, and I didn't want to be a part of that. But what I'm learning is that the theology behind spiritual warfare is solid; it's the application that can get a little weird (if in the wrong hands). Most of spiritual warfare is a defensive stance - to stand against evil. That is accomplished by following Christ, by admitting when I'm wrong and turning away from the wrong thing, and by being honest with myself and God. Isn't this our goal as believers anyway? I could say much more about this, but you have been kind to read my all of my rantings to this point, so I'll spare you. But if you're interested, I'm reading "The Three Battlegrounds" by Francis Frangipane. I also had "Spiritual Warfare 101" one afternoon with Todd, and have several pages of notes from it. So if you want to talk more about this, email (or call) me, and we'll hash it out.
So that's what I'm learning. The more I go to the prayer room, the more I enjoy being there. Anyone who wants to come to Kansas City and experience our life here has an open invitation. You can probably stay with us, but even if you can't, IHOP rents out rooms very cheaply for visitors. We would love to have you. I would love for you all to eat dinner at the Searcys and then go to the prayer room with us. You'll never be the same ...