People sometimes ask why we have such a passion to see the body of Christ come together and become one in the Spirit of God. Years ago, this burden was placed on a mentor of mine, a humble pastor whom I loved—Leonard Evans.
The Lord visited him and told him the out-pouring of the Holy Spirit in the last century was for the purpose of realizing the prayer of Christ, “Father, may they be one, that the world may believe.” Everywhere he went he preached the love message of John 13: 34, 35, “Love one another as I have loved you that the world may recognize you are my disciples.” His people got sick of his message. “Can’t you preach something else,” they complained. But he could not.
My good friend, Leonard, died young, I believe of a broken heart. Not only was his message rejected by everyone, the church became more fragmented than ever.
Now I’m not a visual person. I rarely see anything when I close my eyes. Yet, over 25 years ago, while in prayer I saw something that changed my life. It was vivid and in living color.
The Vision: I saw a lovely young woman, dressed in white, like a bride, wandering alone and lost in a barren wilderness. Her beautiful gown was ripped, soiled and tattered. She was thirsty and frightened. Tears stained her face. Each step she took left a bloody footprint in the sand.
“Lord,” I asked. Who is this woman?”
“My bride,” He answered, my American bride.” I wept for her! I could not stop weeping but I felt the comfort of the Bridegroom weeping by my side as well.
Excited, I began preaching and sharing this message, but like my mentor, there was little receptivity to my message. I was puzzled, Why was this vision given to me? Finally, after so much rejection, I got discouraged and put this call aside, thinking it was too impossible.
When I retired and was ready to take it easy, I met a woman with whom I shared this vision. Immediately she accepted it as from God and later she became my wife.
“You mustn’t give up. God wants you to continue on the path he put you on.” It was like a prophecy.
I cried out to God. “What can I do?”
“Intercede,” he said, “and prophesy! Call my lost bride back home that she may be restored to her former glory. Weep with me. Woo her and win her back to her Bridegroom. There are many others that I’m calling as well. This is the hour of her restoration.”
We are committed to this holy vision, in part through prayer and in part through this blog The Horizontal Church.
Lord of Mercy and Grace, forgive us our divisions. Heal and restore us, we pray and bring us back into the unity of former days. Restore your church to her former glory and power.