Spiritual Renewal: Therapeutic or Missional
By C&MA President, David Hearn
I love to run. In fact, it is often as I am running that I hear the voice of God most clearly and powerfully. I find myself captivated in praise and at times so enveloped in the presence of Jesus that I am overwhelmed with emotion. However, in these moments of intimacy with Christ, I feel a deep inner passion for the lost people around me. The Holy Spirit opens my eyes to see others in a different light. Running is actually becoming a missional calling. In Luke 10:2, Jesus sends out the seventy-two declaring, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” He instructs them, “Heal the sick who are there and tell them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near you’” (Luke 10:9). What if we embraced our spiritual renewal with a clear call to be on mission in everything we do? What if every activity is seen as a ‘sent moment’? Could the ordinary activities of our day become opportunities to declare, “The Kingdom of God has come near”?
On a recent run, I ran past a bus stop where a young man sat and I instantly felt the Spirit of God say, “Ask if you can pray for him.” My response is always the same in these moments, “Really? I don’t want to!”, but as the voice of God persists and becomes louder I eventually give in. I stopped, turned around, and introduced myself by saying, “Hi, my name is Dave. I pray when I run, and I felt God wanted me to pray for you.” He looked stunned and then said, “I used to be a Christian but not anymore!” There was a combination of hurt and anger in his eyes. Internally I prayed and asked God for a word to share. Immediately, I heard God say, “Tell him I have not forgotten him!” His name was Nate, so I looked him in the eyes and said, “Nate, God wants you to know He has not forgotten you.” His eyes got wide and began to fill with tears. In that moment, the Kingdom of God came near!