Today my aunt and uncle left me their Prius and I drove the 70 miles north to the little town of Windsor, CO where the campus of Ellerslie Training Center is located. Ellerslie is like Miracle Mountain Ranch in a lot of ways, it is a discipleship program filled with intensive study and practical experience in spiritual matters. I knew of the directors Eric and Leslie Ludy from their books that I read when I was a young teenager, somehow I ran across this program online and considering the fact that I’m in Colorado, I decided that now was the time to see it.
When I walked into the chapel it was full of young adults, there were two lines along either side of the room of people waiting their turn to go up front, and a young woman was talking into the microphone. I recognized Eric Ludy standing off to the side. The young woman was crying and confessing things in her life that she wasn’t yielding to God’s control, I watched as she finished and the next person in line stepped up to confess their tendency to sleep in rather than get up to spend time with God. This went on for at least an hour with each speaker pouring out to their friends the things that they had been struggling with. I’m sure that it could have seemed weird, but I was touched to hear each one convicted of their sin and asking for forgiveness and support from their family.
A few girls grabbed me and laughed about my timing, apparently they always get random guests on “confession day” which occurs periodically throughout the year as issues build up with the different students. They fed me lunch where I had flashbacks to the Ranch when the boys went out of their way to serve us drinks and clean our plates when we were done.
The afternoon session was taught by Ben Zornes who preached with amazing conviction on the topic of weeping. He pointed out the numbness of our churches, the tendency toward apathy and the Biblical mandates for tears. I found myself deeply convicted to prayer and a real mourning for sin.
- Weeping over Unfaithfulness — Hosea 3:1 & 6:4-7, 10 — God made Hosea a living object lesson by showing that our unfaithfulness to Him can be compared to his wife leaving him to go back to her life of prostitution. Our faithfulness has very little “stayability” and we are easily swayed to commit adultery against God.
- Weeping over Famine — Amos 8:11-13 — Not a famine of food, but of hearing God’s word. We go up in arms about taking the commandments out of courthouses and whatnot, but do we actually mourn the fact that God’s word is little known in our world? Even Christians do not read the word faithfully and are spiritually malnourished.
- Weeping over Hardness of Heart — Zechariah 7:8-12 — This one strikes home for me. I know many people who seem to have no conviction at all, their heart is as hard as stone toward God’s work in their lives. I struggle with this as well. How often do I weep over this condition?
- Weeping over the Shepherdless and Captive Flock — Luke 19:41-42 & Jeremiah 13:14-15, 17 — If you think back over your last few months of sermons at church, how many have really convicted you? There are pastors and church leaders who have fallen into pride and lead the church whatever way is beneficial to themselves.
- Weeping for Disobedience — Psalm 119:136, 158, Romans 9:2-3 — Do I really mourn my own generation’s disobedience and blatant rebellion toward God? Do I take ownership and stand in the gap for my friends?
It was a great day, finding fellowship with these random strangers and letting God speak to me through the class. I know I’m just giving you a weird list of random information but I haven’t sorted it all out in my brain yet. God is stirring my life up and shifting things around lightning fast and I’m still dizzy! I’ll leave you with a quote from Leonard Ravenhill…
“The true man of God is heartsick, grieved at the worldliness of the church… grieved at the toleration of sin in the church, grieved at the prayerlessness in the church. he is distrubed that the corporate prayer of the church no longer pulls down the strongholds of the devil.”