I had open heart surgery with 5 by-passes on New Year's Day, 2016! When my heart broke and needed to be put back together my life depended on the care of the surgeon and the will of God.
Under the influence of very powerful anesthesia there was little sleep and no hunger for food. As a result I as a bit delirious and staring at the ceiling of my room I couldn't figure out if I was in South Carolina, London or Baltimore.
Without a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, I couldn't imagine what others must go through facing such a life and death moment. I can't speak for others but clinging to life was a maze of emotions that went from 'where are the angels to moments of paranoia!
I wondered if I was going to live or was in the process of dieing. What caused me to vacillate was dealing with reality. I became suspicious of the doctors and nurses. I couldn't sleep.
I was trying to think about Communion with Jesus... but there was intense focus of the enemy to distract me or destroy me at the same time made me very very aware of something.
In the hospital bed I felt alone to battle with the intense misconceptions, and distractions of the enemy trying to destroy my faith.
But Jesus! never, ever, ever leaves us or forsakes us. Facing my frailty and helplessness without awareness of Jesus let me know my inability to fight alone. For two days I battled with conflict.. I told my wife and Communion partner for 3 years, "We need to stop having Communion!"
The enemy worked me over all night long. She didn't know it but I somehow got convinced that only the Roman Catholic worship model of the Communion-Centric Eucharist was correct and everything else was suspicious, including our three year daily communion journey with Jesus in our home!
Camille lovingly, graciously rebuked my fears and doubts and said, 'Remember!'
I was so weary I couldn't even respond. I was feeling pretty hopeless. At that moment I was pretty convinced we needed to give up CommunionFire Ministries and just join the Roman Catholic or Antiochian Orthodox Church. Western or Eastern, but Catholic was the only solution or was it?
Within 24 hours (still little to no sleep or food) I was amazed at how devastating and debilitating the enemy attack had been. When the battle subsided a little bit, the memory of our encounters and experiences in Communion every day for the past three years came to mind. This was real!.
So, another sobering reality hit me square between the damaged heart repairs.
How then do we reach 650 million non-communion-centric Protestants, Evangelicals and Charismatics?
Not my problem! Jesus makes it clear He is building His Church and the gates of hell will not prevent Him. Jesus also told Peter, "Upon this rock (of revelation) I will build My Church! That construction involves the power of the Holy Spirit in us to make us His living stones to build with.
Our focus, like the rest of our "christian clans', is Jesus!
Had platform-centric worship and preacher-centric gatherings replaced the quiet power of having Communion with Jesus?.
We have seen self-serve Communion offered: in the lobby of the sanctuary to take whenever convenient, behind curtains at various stations throughout the sanctuary and shared from the front by the preacher, pastor or worship leaders once per month or once per quarter or year. In some denominations there is no communion at all!.
We want Communion with each other but what about the primary relationship we have with the Lord? Sometimes having Communion with each other reinforces 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th hand witnesses from others about the Lord's presence. Is this an indirect influence in our life? Are we leaving our relationship with Jesus up to others at the expense of knowing Him personally, intimately and one-on-one through Communion? Before trying to have communion with each other, don't we need to first cultivate our relationship with Jesus?
What others say; what clergy promotes or what 'our church' shares all becomes the turning point of our faith instead of a 1st hand personal relationship with Jesus! What kind of surgery was Jesus doing while I was having physical surgery?