Over the past four days, Life Action has been at my church delivering their THIRST Conference, which focuses on personal and corporate revival. God has used this team to speak solid truth that has cut to the depths of my soul. How grateful I am for the opportunity to hear the Word of God and for God to enable my heart to grasp it.
In particular, this conference has called us as individuals to deeper holiness. Preaching from the Word, the team has stressed obedience to the Word motivated by hearts responding to the love of God poured out to us through the Savior Jesus Christ. Much that was said I have heard in various forms over the years. But my heart has been pricked in a new way; my heart cries out for this freedom that comes from complete surrender unto the work that God wants to do.
Much of what I am convicted with is not (and has not been) unknown to me. I’ve grown accustomed to sin and disobedience in the fringes of my life. It’s interesting how easy it is to go on with daily life and pay so little attention to the outer realms of the heart. Sure, I keep the surfaces clean and sort through the obvious clutter. But there are closets packed full of old things I’m not sure why I am keeping. There are corners that have dust and cobwebs. My baseboards have a bit of dusty build-up. Most of the time I try to not look too closely. And I hope no one else is either.
But then something like this conference happens, and the gross nature of what’s lurking there becomes clear. It’s not that I can’t hear God’s voice at all; it’s more that His voice is rather muffled. It’s not that I never sense His leading; it’s more that His promptings feel distant. I’ve settled for a certain level of intimacy with the Lord so that I can prop up my feet and enjoy the show of life. I keep thinking all that filthiness can wait for spring cleaning day.
All this reminds me of a scene I happened upon this summer during one of my early morning attempts at exercise. The trails I go to are lined with trees and prairie grass. This day it was especially humid. It had rained before dawn, and the damp air was so thick it seemed to hang like the air of a sauna. The sun was just catching the horizon, its light pouring forth across the fields. The angle of light combined with the wetness of the air brought to eye hundreds, perhaps thousands, of spider webs hanging from thin wisps of prairie grass. One after another they hung like wobbly creatures on stilts. Each looked barely stable enough to remain standing, let alone strong enough to serve its purpose of catching some prey. I’m sure the spiders saw little activity that day, for their secret webs were certainly not! The dew hung on each strand, outlining the web completely. Looking out across the field, it shimmered.
My amazement of this sight rests not only in its beauty. It is also due to the reality that those webs are probably there every day—and I never see them. Why? Because the conditions aren’t right. The dew is rarely thick enough to outline the spider’s work. And I would have to be there at just the right moment when the sun’s beams pour forth over the fields at a direct angle. Rarely are the timing and conditions just right like they were this day.
I see the THIRST Conference as setting the conditions right to expose the webs of the heart. Without the dew of the heart’s repentance and the purifying light of the Son, those webs remain present but undetected. The THIRST Conference provided an environment right for seeing what’s being spun within the heart so that some housecleaning can take place.