It’s been nearly 3 weeks since our last gathering, and if I’m real and transparent, I have gone through a myriad of emotions…relief, sadness, grief, and confusion. Refuge has, and will continue to be a vital part of our DNA. Whether there is a corporate gathering or not will never change that. Seven years ago, God breathed a vision into Mike and me for the brokenhearted, the bound, and the ones who needed fresh sight of their identity and standing in Christ Jesus. We walked into the unknown not knowing exactly where God was taking us, but knowing that where He was going was good, and we wanted to be right alongside Him.
We have continued to try to stay in step with where the Spirit is leading, and for that reason, it was time to turn the page and go where again, we don’t know where.
There have been many reasons that the page needed turning, but I wanted to share one with you that most will be able to resonate with at some level. Jesus uses music to speak to deep places within me, and a few weeks before we settled into where we knew God was leading, I heard a song that sang over me truth and revelation to the state of my own heart.
In You I Live by Housefires
Silver and Gold
Could never come close
I’d trade it all for You
Silver and Gold
Could never come close
I’d trade it all for you
Cause You’re my everything.
All I ever need is You, is You
We all have things in our lives that represent silver and gold. To some it might actually be money or status, to others it may be a relationship held a little too close, while for others it might be a career or the hopes of the house and the Land Rover or a social standing. Silver and gold, in whatever form, were never meant to be hoarded, exalted, or idolized.
As I sit here writing, Bing Crosby was singing “Do You Hear what I Hear?”, and how fitting that part of the chorus sings, “Let us bring HIM silver and gold.” Exactly, Jesus. Exactly.
So as I’m listening to the song by Housefires, God gently showed me part of the “why” that Refuge needed to turn the page. Mike and I have loved this long season of leading people at the Refuge. We have seen people find their identity, break free of shame, overcome strongholds, and own their faith like never before. This season is one we will never regret, and even though the change was a challenge, to say the least, we would do it all over again if God led us to it.
So, that silver and gold piece…when Mike and I took the faith leap to step out and do something drastically different than any organized Body of Christ that we had ever seen or been a part of, our hearts were completely pure in motive. We just wanted to see the hurting and captive set free by the Power of Jesus that lives in all who say yes to Him. Somewhere down the line we got duped by the enemy. We allowed people’s questions of “So, how many do you have coming?” to begin to cloud God’s vision of the reason we began Refuge. We live in a performance based society. If you perform and people like it, you succeed. If you don’t perform, you’re a failure. That became our silver and gold. People and participation. I can’t tell you how many times we claimed the “take the thought captive and make it obey Christ” verse over ourselves and asked why we couldn’t get past it? Honestly, the battle in our minds was absolutely exhausting, (Can anyone relate?) and we knew that we needed to begin praying as to what needed to look different.
So the words “Silver and gold could never come close, I’d trade it all for You” became the song Jesus sang over me and I in turn sang it back to Him. Although there were many other factors that fed into God leading us to end our Sunday evening gatherings, we felt it was time for us to get out of our own way and begin to disassemble anything that was trying to build a higher place than Jesus in our lives. He deserves so much more. He deserves it all.
This decision was excruciating to make, but sometimes the hardest decisions have to made to put Jesus back on His rightful place on the throne of our hearts. I love the Body of Christ. I’m for the Body of Christ. Our hearts have always been to see in our community, followers of Jesus, lovers of Jesus to link arms for a united influence for the Kingdom. We will continue to be a part of the Body. It will just look different, and that’s okay. Jesus is King of our home and we will follow Him and His plan for our lives relentlessly.