“Isaac reopened the wells that had been dug in the time of his father Abraham, which the Philistines had stopped up after Abraham died, and he gave them the same names his father had given them.” (Gen. 26:18)
In Canada, where we have an abundance of fresh water, we may not feel the urgency of finding a good well, but in the days of the patriarchs it was a matter of life or death. I believe this verse expresses both a physical and spiritual need for life-giving water. In the spiritual dimension, God had promised to bless Abraham and make him and his descendants a blessing to the world, if he would believe in Him. As we know Abraham did and became the spiritual father of all who put their faith in Jesus. But, just as in the patriarchs’ day there is an enemy who wants to take away our blessing and stop up the well of living waters that Jesus spoke of that is our inheritance (Jn. 7:38,39). To maintain the flow of the Holy Spirit promised to Abraham (Gal. 3:14) we must contend for it like Isaac did. He had to face the opposition of the Philistines in the land and re-dig the wells his father had dug and claim the promise passed on to him.
I believe that that is what the Free Methodist Church in Canada needs to do. Our family of churches have a revival heritage that goes back to the Wesley’s, but the enemy has been stopping up the wells of the Spirit. About 4 years ago, as I was praying for the FMCIC I felt lead to pray that God would raise up someone who would help us re-dig the wells of revival that our movement came out of. Within a year our newly elected, Bishop Cliff, made it a first order initiative to develop a prayer team that would help us grow into being a house of prayer that welcomes the renewing work of the Holy Spirit. Since then, we have been re-digging those wells. We could settle for digging out our own cracked cisterns based on our own self-reliant, good works, but instead we are calling ourselves to dig down to the artesian well of revival.
Instead of being just Social Justice Warriors, we want to be Gospel Justice Warriors. My friend and former FMCIC pastor, who helped plant 3 churches and re-plant a fourth among us, Tony Hedrick, sent me an example of this distinction recently:
“Though conjecture on my part, I have been reading about revival. History seems to indicate that revival changes an entire culture for the better. The First Awakening (Wesley Whitefield, Wilberforce, Newton): brought changes to charity (Booth), emancipation (England) and welfare penal and child labor laws The Second Awakening (Kentucky- Cumberland and the Prayer Meeting Movement): abolition (U.S.), free universal public education The Third, (U.S.): temperance, suffrage and women’s right to vote. The danger is this, the church makes social action more critical than prayer. It isn’t one or the other, but at the end of the day, if we want God’s solution to human need, we must do it God’s way. We need God in order to experience lasting societal transformation.”
So, I commend to you Bishop Cliff’s invitation to give ourselves to re-digging the wells of our movement through prayer, fasting and Scripture application by committing to the Rule of Life practice for the next 3 months.
You Are Invited To Be Part Of A 3-Month (March 1-May 31 2021) Fmcic “Rule Of Life” Covenant
The end goal is that as good Methodists we will lean into our desire to pursue holiness – with a heart for God, and a shared methodology. We understand that a Christ-follower is already holy because God calls us holy, AND we are also to pursue holiness. The 3-month covenant is an opportunity for FMCIC family to mutually encourage each other to establish a spiritual rhythm that helps us to pay attention to each other, to our community and most importantly, to God. A rule of life helps us to posture ourselves to be open to all that God would have to say to us, and be attentive to. The covenant that Bishop Cliff is inviting you into:
• Pray three times daily (morning, lunch, evening)
• Read, study, meditate, a common Scripture daily
• Half-day fast weekly
• Every other week 45- minute triad meeting
• Monthly Sunday PM national zoom meeting with Bishop (not a covenant obligation)
For more information about this invitation please go to https://www.fmcic.ca/fmcic-rule-of-life/