Passion, Compassion and Reconciliation Becomes Them
By Bobbie Houston
Last year the following message was received on the Hillsong Television answering machine by a woman who didn’t leave her name. She said: ‘Hi, I would rather stay anonymous as the situation is rather embarrassing but I just want to praise your institute, or your gathering or whatever you call it. Last night I was destitute in the city and two of your fellow worshipers or followers who were at a Hillsong gathering helped me. I know this because as they were putting me in a cab, they handed me one of your brochures. Now I was a mess last night. I had no money and was found crying on the edge of the road as these two angels just came and helped me. I just want you to know how good it is that you are doing such wonderful work in this world. Your work hasn’t gone unanswered, that you have such people following you and preaching your hard works by their actions. Please announce this among your people as it has really made a difference in my life. I am a Christian, but I haven’t been to church in a long time, but I really saw it as some sort of awakening or enlightenment. God bless you and give you strength for your work to continue.’
It is amazing how a simple act of kindness can have such a powerful impact in reconciling someone to the goodness of God. As a church, we are known for many things but our desire is that the power of reconciliation will be at the heart of everything.
Word definitions are interesting. The word passion includes intense emotion, interest and enthusiasm. Compassion can be defined as is deep sympathy for the suffering of another, accompanied by the desire to relieve it, or the mercy and loving kindness of an amazing God in heaven who didn’t need to stay committed to us but chose to. The word reconciliation is beautiful, It means to end conflict or separation and to walk in the new. If we are going to call ourselves Christians, this message of reconciliation needs to consume us. We need to stir up the passion that leads to compassion, that in turn leads to a spirit of reconciliation. How do we do that?
“Delight yourself in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires and secret petitions of your heart” (Psalm 37:4). Desire is creative and what this planet needs is some creative Kingdom visionaries. Passivity brings God no glory and it also brings the earth no glory. It has a tendency to not participate and will often let others make the decisions and do the hard yards. As Gods intelligent, redeemed sons and daughters, we have a responsibility to apply our mind, our thinking, our emotions to the task at hand. A task exists on the earth and it needs application. If we never desire anything, nothing will come our way.
“And it shall come to pass in the last days” God declares, “that I will pour out of my Spirit upon all mankind and your son and your daughters shall prophesy, telling forth divine counsels, and your young men shall see visions divinely granted appearances and your old men shall dream divinely suggested dreams, and I will show wonders on the earth…’ (Acts 2:17)
Stir up the dream factor in your life. Gary Clarke, our London Hillsong pastor is passionately excited about the work our church is involved in with Compassion in Uganda. I understood why when he told me, “I just remember when I was a little boy I had a dream of making a difference in Africa.” We need to stir up the dreams within us. We are living in a heightened environment of Gods Spirit for a reason, possibly so that He can stir up dreams and stir up strategy for the earth. Philippians 4:6 talks of ” by prayer and petition” (by specific request) so don’t just pray vaguely, pray specifically about stirring up the dreams in your heart.
“A mans heart (or a man’s mind) plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps” (Prov 16:9)
Stir up your heart to make plans I believe and I believe God will direct them. The challenge of course, is to watch over your heart. I believe God wants to direct the plans that flow from a ‘good and pure heart.’
Stir up your eyes to see. All of us need to look beyond what is right in front of our noses and look to the supernatural. When you are confronted with people in everyday life, what do you see? Life is full of encounters, but are you seeing possibilities and opportunities for God to use you to reconcile people to His goodness?
Be supersensitive to the God whisper. God speaks to us through His Word, He speaks to us through preaching, He speaks to us through one another, but there are times when He speaks specifically and intimately. Listen for that whisper from above. Listen for the voice of God, it shapes and it directs our lives more than we realise.
I want to encourage you- live passionately, follow compassion and look for reconciliation in every encounter. You just don’t know where it could lead, and more often than not, it is strategise in leading you into the perfect plan of God.
© Brian Houston 2006 & © Bobbie Houston 2006
Pastor Bobbie’s series “Salvation’s Daughter” available here