Kingdom Tide: Unleashing the Ripple Effect of Awakening

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Amos 5:24 (NIV)

“But let justice roll on like a river;
righteousness like a never-failing stream.”

Reflect

Amos is a prophet for our day. He was not one of the professional hired hands, paid to tell the kings of Israel what they wanted to hear. He was not one of the ‘court prophets’ who propped up the status quo because they benefited from their proximity to the king’s power and privilege.

Amos was a wilderness prophet, a sycamore fig tree farmer turned voice of truth. And in a culture that boasted of their prosperity as a sign of God’s blessing and religious revival, Amos felt the unrest that always precedes awakening. He saw through the grand gestures of hollow religious activity. He heard the clear, disruptive voice of the Spirit, felt the weight of anointing, and spoke in obedience.

“But let justice roll on like a river;
righteousness like a never-failing stream.”

This is what awakening will look like. Transformation that Jesus works within through His righteousness and overflowing out of us through His justice. The change within us sparks change around us.

It strikes me that in these prophetic words of Amos we can hear the echoes of the Great Commandment of Jesus, inviting us into true righteousness, which can be most simply defined as loving God with all of our heart, mind, soul, and strength. Which then flows out of us as true justice, which can be most simply defined as loving our neighbor even as we love ourselves. With nothing other than the saving work of Christ as the fountain of both.

These twin currents of holy love collide in what our friend JD Walt has called “The Second Half of the Gospel.” This invitation into the sanctifying work of the Spirit is not always marked by grand moments of sweeping change. But instead it often comes through small, yet significant ripples of love. Over the last near decade, JD and Seedbed have leaned into what the Barna Group has identified as five key ‘transformational stops’ that outline this journey. And over the next several weeks, we will explore these movements together. Here is what our journey will look like:

Ripple 1: Dissatisfied (Experiencing Holy Discontent)
Ripple 2: Deeper (Becoming Broken by God)
Ripple 3: Dependence (Submission and Surrender)
Ripple 4: Delighted (Profound Love for God)
Ripple 5: Devoted (Profound Love for Others)

We’ve been praying for awakening for years. So many have sensed the stirring, planted prayer meetings, fasted out of hunger. But we must come to terms with the fact that awakening will not look like our dream.

It will not bring comfort or ease or leisure. That’s not awakening. That’s a nap. Awakening will be what it sounds like. Jesus the Light will break in and break down the old ways and break out in older yet somehow new ways. The Spirit will pull us from our beds, throw back the comforters, disturb our peace, and interrupt our slumber. He will meet us in unrest.

As our eyes struggle to adjust to the Light, there is a period of confusion. Where am I? What time is it?

Where am I?
What time is it?
Awakening.

Amos shows us what awakening will look like. As we sow for it, pray for it, and long for it, we are not watching for one grand moment. We are not watching for a landmark sermon or a revival meeting. Instead, we band together in smaller groups of disciples with the long view in mind. We read together, pray together, meet together, practice together. We surrender to the shaping work of the Spirit as he transforms us from dissatisfied to devoted.

Like Amos, we see through the shallows of more tired religious activity and envision the uncharted depths of possibility. As we go deeper the ripples go wider, crossing over each other to become a rising Kingdom Tide.

Pray

Jesus, we thirst for this movement from dissatisfied to devoted. Help us to sense the small stirring in the water, to stay aware of the growing ripples, to come awake to the swelling tide, rising up to flow out.

Conference

Look again at the five ripples of transformation. Where are you on this journey? Which of these resonates most with you?

For the Awakening,
Matt LeRoy

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Matt LeRoy is co-pastor of Love Chapel Hill, an eclectic, quirky church plant in downtown Chapel Hill, North Carolina. He is married to Sarah, who is out of his league. They are the proud parents of twin sons, Luke and Samuel.

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