This past Sunday marked 3 months together as Restoration Christian Church. This week, I’ve tried to intentionally step back a bit to process what God is doing, where He’s leading, and how we need to get on board with him. For us, it was never about heading out and then asking God to bless what we were doing. The mission of Restoration starts with a declaration: that we believe Jesus is restoring people who restore the world. Then comes our part – the mission is to join Him.
Fittingly, this past weekend I spoke about Peter stepping out in faith onto the waters in the face of fear. We talked about how the Bible is full of stories of God calling men and women into places where if he doesn’t show up in power and redemption, they’re out of luck. God never seems to call us to manageable situations. He never seems to be interested in what we can accomplish on our own. From Moses to Esther to Gideon, no one measures up on their own. It’s only in and through the power and presence of God that redemption is found.
John Wimber once said “I spell faith R-I-S-K.” I’ve always loved this idea. As Peter saw Jesus walking on the water towards their boat, he says “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter answered him, “command me to come to you on the water (Matt. 14:28 CSB).” Not “if it’s you, make this storm stop.” Not “if it’s you, get me to safety and comfort.” No, if it’s you, call me out into the impossible. Call me to a place where, if you don’t come through, I’m done for.
As I reflect on the first 3 months of Restoration, our whole church is one big step of faith. We’ve surveyed the constant faithfulness of God, we’ve held to his promise to build his Church, and as a result, we’ve stepped out onto the waters. We’ve put ourselves in a position where only God can come through. In seeking to build a multiethnic church in downtown Lexington, we are stepping out in ways that are and will continue to stretch and challenge us. But we aren’t stepping into the unknown, we are stepping towards Jesus. He’s already out there, calling us out in faith.
And we’ve got a long way to go. But in the meantime, I’m grateful for those of you who’ve made Restoration home.
You are pioneers.
You are risk-takers.
You aren’t clinging to the boat.
Where some see an empty field, you see the harvest that awaits.
You are stepping out in simple ways, like serving our kids.
Like loving our neighbors through Easter Egg Hunts and simple acts of love.
Like stepping into intentional community with others.
Like embracing cultures outside of your own – and we’re seeing Jesus in new ways as a result.
I pray that God deepens in our Church’s DNA that we are risk-taking, adventuring, Jesus-seeking people that are more in love with God’s kingdom than our comfort. My prayer for Restoration is best summed up in this Indian Benediction I came across recently (thanks JR Briggs):
Now may the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,
and the love of God the Father be with you;
and may the Holy Spirit come upon you
and disturb you and trouble you,
and set before you an impossible task
and dare you to do it;
until in your desperation
you fall on your knees
and remain there until he fills you with his power
which alone will enable you to do it;
and then…but only then, may the Lord grant you his peace.
See you Sunday night!