I moved down to Concord, NC in 2003 to attend FIRE School of Ministry. The school has a, what i might call, very specific apostolic and prophetic mandate from God. They're not just a school to fill your head with all sorts of theology and have you go out and start a nice little church somewhere. But their mandate is specific and training people up and sending them out to start a revolution of some sort. More specifically, a Jesus Revolution.
When i first started FIRE in September of 2003, it was very upbeat. The music was very upbeat and to jump around during the music was most certainly encouraged. Over the past few years, i've noticed that it has taken a bit of a twist.... a very good kind of twist.
FIRE is still all about sending people out into the world and making a change. Over the past few years, we as FIRE have been focusing more on maintaining the intimacy with God the Father and understanding what it means to be a son of the Most High God. At first, i was a little hesitant to go with this. I was all about taking charge and just going for it. By life or by death... charge...! You know, the school is all about revolution. come on now!
But over time, i've come to understand to maintaining intimacy is a revolutionary idea. There is a balance between being more demonstrative and settling back and soaking in the presence of God.
My life was dramatically touched and changed by very direct and in your face preaching. A "no holds bar" approach to preaching the gospel. So naturally i followed through with that. And there is a time to simply lay down the law on people and just present the gospel as it is. And then there's the time to gently love and encourage someone and realize that we all go through hard times. I used to have very little tolerance for weak faith. My idea was was just to get over the offense and get on with life. Quit being such a baby that so and so said something about you. And to a degree, at times, i'm still like that. But over time i've learned to apply tact to that. To simmer down a little bit and be more sensitive to peoples feelings.
I'm still very direct at times, but i've learned to not always be soo serious and uptight. Learn to chill a bit. Learn to sit and listen to someone and perhaps just say something like "i'm sorry.. i hurt when you hurt.." And simply just putting an arm around someone or sending an email or something. Let someone know that you care about their feelings. I'm still very bold and direct if and when need be. I've been cussed out before for various things. Most of which really didn't have much effect on me. But when you learn to care about the feelings of others, you have an amazing inroad into their life and your really able to minister and encourage them and lead them in a certain way.
I've most certainly done my fair share of saying stupid things in the past and looking back, deeply regretting it. Later on thinking "man, i was a jerk!" Especially being someone who is in a position of leadership and/or someone who is looked up to, its essential for me to learn to be sensitive to others feelings.
All in all, developing and maintaining intimacy with God is most certainly the most important thing. How can i expect to walk in the power of God if i can't first walk in the love of God? And that love comes from an intimacy in prayer and reading the Word and getting to know the Father's Heart for His children. Through prayer and relationship with God, you become to understand your sonship (daughtership for girls) in God. And you begin to understand who you are exactly in the sight of God.
He doesn't like that you sin and do stupid things, but there is forgiveness of that sin through Jesus Christ.