Guest Blogger Tyler Rohlfsen: Ascend Prayer Gathering
From my limited understanding of the world, I think modern society often views life as a climb, in which we are expected to consistently claw our way to personal, social, and economic fulfillment. We are born, we go to school, we land a job, we build a family, we retire – all in the hopes that at the end of our days, we may look back and say, “I’ve made it. I’ve arrived.” While I’m not against ambition or believing in big goals, I think this view is inconsistent with the Christian message. When God adopts us into His family of faith, we are known to be “citizens of heaven” (Philippians 3:20), meaning that any sense of “arrival” in this life couldn’t be further from reality. We will have only “arrived” when Jesus once and for all welcomes us into the Heavenly Jerusalem. What a beautiful hope we have in Christ! While such a worldly climb may be a misplaced priority,there is another ascent that we as Christians are invited into, out of Psalm 24:
Who may ascend the hill of the LORD? And who shall stand in his holy place?
In the Old Testament sense, “the hill of the LORD” refers to the physical elevation of Jerusalem, the well-known city that was literally situated on a hill. The “holy place” alludes to the special area within Hebrew Temple, separated by a large veil, inside which the physical presence of God rested on earth. This is the same veil thatwas torn by the earthquake on the Friday of Jesus’ death, forever demonstrating that the separation between God and man is fully abolished at the cross.Although I’ve pretty much neglected it thus far, the purpose of this post is to share about the most recent Ascend gathering here at King of Kings. Some 50 or 60 people joined together a few weeks ago for to worship God, hear a teaching by Pastor Brad on the activity of the Holy Spirit, and receive and grow in a responsive ministry time. Freedom was a major theme of the evening: freedom from depression, freedom from fear, and freedom to love God wholeheartedly. So why is a gathering like Ascend so worthwhile, so needed? It’s not because we need another church program; I think you’d agree with me that we’re doing just fine in that area. It is because we, as Christians, have the opportunity to align with our chief aim in this life and the next: friendship with God. You and I were created to know God intimately and personally. What’s beautiful about the Lord is that He does not make it difficult for you and I to encounter Him – in fact, He has paved a way for it! The cross, the empty grave, and the torn veil point to the reality that Christ has opened the door of His presence to us.
Be sure to carve out time for the next Ascend meeting – the Lord is longing to release greater revelation and power upon His Church!