Great is His faithfulness; His mercies begin afresh each morning. The Lord is good to those who depend on Him, to those who search for Him. Let them sit alone in silence beneath the Lord’s demands. Let them lie face down in the dust, for there may be hope at last. (Lamentations 3:23, 25-25, 28-29 NLT)
My father taught me, “Take my words to heart. Follow my commands, and you will live. Get wisdom; develop good judgment. Don’t forget my words or turn away from them.” (Proverbs 4:4-5 NLT)
I love to eat fresh vegetables. It is a real joy to go to a market that sells them. But there is a shelf life, so I must continuously repeat the process. It is the same way with the Word of God. I must continuously go to it to get a fresh Word because life’s challenges change from day to day and year to year. But unlike fresh vegetables, the Word of God never spoils.
As I write this article, I am in the midst of a three week period of praying and fasting. I am purging my mind of all the distracting thoughts and preconceived ideas running through my head. It could be compared to cleaning out my refrigerator of anything past its expiration date. Any vegetables that are not fresh have to go. I asked the Lord, “Help me to get a fresh Word from You to share with Your beloved ‘Bride’. Help me to convey exactly what your Word says without any twisting or bending.”
He had me step back and view not only the Church as a whole, but the country I live in. I see forces that are trying to rip both apart.
First, my country of America. I see hatreds in my government that are reaching the boiling point like never before. I watched a video of two snakes fighting. One bit the other one with its poisonous fangs. The other latched onto its enemy and strangled it to death before the poison took effect and killed it also. How apropos!
Second, the ‘Church in America’. As we know from history and the Bible, the ‘Bride of Christ’ (or as we refer to the ‘Church’ as a whole) consists of local bodies (local churches) where believers in Jesus Christ gather together to share in fellowship by breaking bread, studying the Bible, and praying together. The verb ‘church’ was never meant to be a spectator event, but it was meant to be a participation event conducted at the local level.
This is what the Lord has allowed to me see with my mind cleared and with the light of the New Testament shining on His ‘Church in America’:
1. Many who associate themselves with Jesus have abandoned marriage, but they engage in a sexual relationship as if they were married. Even worse there are those that have grasped the practices of homosexuality. Many have invaded positions in the local churches.
2. Many have abandoned fellowship with a local body of believers and have chosen instead to be spectators to mega-ministries via the airwaves and internet.
3. The largest part of these mega-ministries are the false charismatic movements with their new age teachings. These movements are out to smother the life out of the local churches so they can take charge of their adherents.
4. In turn, many of the local churches have disobeyed the command in Ephesians 5:11 to expose the evil and twisted teachings of these false charismatic movements. No wonder why so many who are part of a local church membership are associated with these new age teachings and actually promote them within their churches.
5. The local churches fail to expose these evils because they have abandoned the New Testament requirements for teachers, leaders, and those with responsibilities within the local churches (Acts 6:3, 1 Timothy 3:1-13, Titus 1:5-11, 1 Timothy 2:12-14, Genesis 3:16). We now see leaders without the baptism of the Holy Spirit. We also see women holding many offices which only men are permitted to have according to the Word of God. We see people who are placed into authority because of their college degrees, of their prominent positions at their places of employment, and even by incorporating affirmative action so as to appear politically correct. They do all this rather than seek Holy Spirit filled men who are men of prayer.
6. The Church in America gravitates toward the charisma in individuals and their physical abilities rather than the spiritual (Let’s not forget that Isaiah 53:2 tells us that there was nothing beautiful or majestic about Jesus’ appearance, nothing to attract us to Him). It is the same with the programs within a church. It always must be the most dynamic rather than the spiritual that is resorted to in order to draw people in. They treat the Word of God as being boring so they incorporate whatever it takes to stimulate their audience.
7. Rather than simply obeying the commands the Lord sets forth in His Word, most of the Church in America bows down to the pressures of society and conducts itself within its walls of what is dictated outside its walls.
These are only a handful of the many things I see. Yet there is a cry for ‘revival’. But what is the definition of ‘revival’ to those who are corrupted in the ‘Church in America’. They will always put an emphasis on signs and wonders. But the three spiritual attributes of revival are humility, brokenness, and desperation for lost souls. Yes, signs, wonders, miracles, and healing may follow. But not always. Just study the Hebrides Revival of the 1950’s where many souls were brought into the Kingdom, but not one physical healing was recorded.
Please listen to the following video:
Are you seeing the same things I do that I have shared in this article? Is the Lord calling you to obedience, holiness, and prayer? Is He calling you to a baptism of love for the lost souls we share this world with? Is He calling you to seek for true revival and awakening?
We were never called to be perfect. We were simply called to be obedient to His Word. If we are obedient–>we will love. If we are obedient–>we will pray. If we are obedient–>everything will fall into place.
Please see part 2 of this two part series Revisiting Annas and Sapphira