OUR HEART FOR THIS CHURCH BODY
We have felt a stirring in our spirits regarding the words of Martin Luther King Jr.'s, “I have a dream...” speech. We deeply believe that the Lord Jesus has a dream contained in the pages of Scripture for His Church universal as well as Heart of the Father Ministry, and it's one that burns within His heart. We believe He wants to shift the mindset and culture in His church body so that we can become what He died for: A living temple of God, filled with His presence, majesty, and glory.
Martin Luther King Jr.’s iconic speech spoken at the National Mall in Washington, D.C. before approximately 200,000 people on August 28, 1963 was probably King’s most famous speech and clearly helped to shift the mindset and culture of the nation regarding the issue of racism. As King said in his speech, “I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed.” Our prayer and our cry is that it would be so with the Church as well! The following paragraphs are our attempt to relate the dream of Jesus for His church body, as well as Heart of the Father Ministry, as though He Himself were articulating it.
I have a dream for the Church, which is Christ’s Body, that she would become the spotless Bride with heart and eyes for Jesus only. That she would cherish in her heart one controlling passion and one vision: That Jesus Christ would have first place, supremacy, and preeminence in everything. That all our efforts and pursuits would be primarily to give Him what He wants, instead of fixating on getting Him to give us what we want.
I have a dream that the real reason for our corporate existence as a church would be that He would fill all things with Himself. That nothing and no one would be celebrated and delighted in above Him or instead of Him, but that every heart would thoroughly hallow Him and that Jesus would be rightly treasured and fully honored in everything and in every way. That, as His people, we would be true spiritual Levites whose inheritance is not in this life, because Christ Himself is our inheritance.
I have a dream that we, the people of God, will remember our first love and once again become zealous and deeply jealous in our hearts for the honor of Jesus...that our hearts will always burn with the words of the Father, “To Him be glory in the Church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.”
I have a dream that those with ministry callings and giftings within the Body would not compete with the Lord for the affections of His Bride, but would be friends of the Bridegroom whose only desire is to draw the affections of the Bride to her rightful lover. That all the ministries would say in their hearts, “He must increase and I must decrease.”
I have a dream that our gathering together will be a place where every member will be able to express their unique deposit of grace to build up the Church; where "every joint" will actually supply something beautiful. That it would be a place where the seemingly weak and insignificant members will be valued just as much as the highly gifted people.
I have a dream that the compelling questions that are constantly being asked are, “What does God want?” and, “How can we best give it to Him?” Where there is a culture that is only looking for one “smiley face” and one “thumbs up” - the ones from heaven! Where everything we believe and build is established on the solid foundation of the Word of God. And the driving ambition is, in the words of Paul, “Whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him.”
I have a dream that our worship will continue to grow deeper and more focused on the person of Jesus Christ, deeply exalting Him. That we would be less concerned about being personally blessed and increasingly more passionate about giving Him “the honor that is due His holy name.” That our times of worship would be less about our own times of personal devotions, and more of an expression of one united Bride’s heart pouring out undistracted love and adoration to our God!
I have a dream that as Christ’s own possession, we would “seek the things above where Christ is” and “not seek the things that are on the earth” which distract and suffocate the deep love that He deserves. That holiness would once again be seen as beautiful and desirable and that the pure fear of the Lord would return again to its rightful place as “the beginning of wisdom and knowledge.” That compromise with the spirit of the world would cease to be an acceptable option for His people.
I have a dream that we would be a people who actually become “the habitation of God.” Where our pursuit would not be so much to have a visitation or revival, but that God would find in our community a resting place where He can permanently and powerfully dwell with us. That we would constantly host His glorious presence and nearness. Where a “move of God” does not need to be brought in from the outside, because God Himself is in our midst, doing what only He can do. Where we truly become a community which is “lacking in no good gift.”
I have a dream that a covenant community would be formed in which every person is bound together as living stones in “a holy temple.” A place where love is “not in word and tongue, but in deed and truth.” Where the relationships are supernaturally deep and where love is sacrificial and real. That God would so infuse us with love for each other that we would each be less concerned about our own feelings and opinions, and actually have in ourselves “the attitude that was in Christ Jesus,” “considering others as more important than ourselves.”
I have a dream that every member of the Body would increasingly take responsibility and ownership of the spiritual temperature of the corporate gatherings and endeavor to come spiritually built up and ready, with eager anticipation of what the Lord is going to accomplish in our midst! Where every member is constantly being "fully equipped for every good work" and where every ministry within the Church body, instead of taking on its own independent identity, would become a dynamic connection point to the larger HOTFM community. Where the consumer mindset would be completely replaced with the "mind that is in Christ Jesus," delighting to serve others in the Spirit of the Redeemer who laid down His life for us.
I have a dream that God would do a mighty miracle in our midst by giving us the grace and desire to lay down our agendas in order to pursue His agenda and empty ourselves of our own desires so that He can truly “fill all things with Himself.” And out of that fullness in our community, there would constantly be an outflow of the Gospel and its transforming power into the surrounding cultures, bringing a true demonstration of the Kingdom of God and its glory.