Only Fanatics Need Apply

I have said for years that “I would rather tame a stallion than drag a dead horse.” In other words, give me someone just saved who is excited, overboard, knows nothing, but is extremely in love and passionarte about Jesus. You can have your staid believer who has been around the Church and other Christians long enough to have had the life beat out of him. I tire of dragging dead horses and would rather clean up the mess that a wild stallion makes as I teach him some manners and channel the energy and enthusiasm than drag a dead one. Been there, done that, bought the t-shirt. Have a closet full of those t-shirts.

Just read the other day that Mr. Pentecost or David Du Plessis said, “I’d rather tone down a fanatic than to try and raise the dead.”

Of course, for the average believer who does not have much life they would disdainfully tell you that fanatics are those who love Jesus more than you do. We don’t like fanatics because their excitment shows us how dull we really are. Their enthusiasm reveals our lethargy. Their passion lets others know of our apathy. So, we tend to steer clear of “fanatics” or people who are bigger “fans” of Jesus than we are. They are embarrassing.

I believe we have entered a season where mediocre simply won’t do any more. I believe that we have entered a time in Church history where Jesus is speaking to individuals and saying “return to your first love.” I believe that every believer will need to make a personal decision to do just that – those that say yes and take the time, make the effort to “return,” will join the ranks of fanitics and will both follow Jesus closely and be dangerous to be around and even, at times, embarrassing. Those that are too busy to respond or simply don’t want to will stand on the sidelines and write the others off as fanatics.

A fanatic won’t give up, let up, or shut up, until they get up, rise up, and take up all who Christ wants them to be!

Your choice.

Speaking of dragging dead horses which I no longer do – I love the quote by Dr. Rick Warren, “If the horse is dead, dismount.”

Weariness to the Flesh

Many believers today are simply tired – really tired deep in their heart and soul. Tired of every day life. Tired of situations and circumstances that continually pop up and absorb emotional energy and time. Tired of “duties” that seem to be imposed upon them as Christians. Tired of hearing what they are suppose to be doing as followers of Jesus. Tired of … you name whatever is wearing you out emotionally, mentally, spiritually and physically at this point in your life.

Jesus said: “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke fits perfectly, and the burden I give you is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)

The Message Version (I really like the way it expresses the thought Jesus is expressing): “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me–watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

Many are still living a religion in spite of being validly a born again believer and truly converted through repentance and godly sorrow, forgiveness and asking Jesus to be their Lord and Savior. They started in the Spirit and are now working at fulfilling the Christian life – and all of life’s demands and requirements – in the flesh (Galatians 3:3). Something needs to change in your life immediately if this is how you are feeling.

Healing Revivalist John G. Lake once said, “The life of the Christian, without the indwelling power of the Spirit in the heart, is weariness to the flesh.”

Many a believer and pastor or leader is living in a state of fleshly weariness when they certainly no longer need to. They have received the Holy Spirit when they were born again. He lives within their spirit and is there to release grace and power to accomplish everything needed in daily life and in the suddenlies of life – the emergencies and unique situations that often arise without warning. He is “another Helper” as Jesus said and thus wants to enable and empower us to accomplish God’s will in our lives. We simply need to learn how to “lean not on our own understanding” and learn how to “fellowship with the Holy Spirit.”

We are living with undue stress and anxiety. We are living in the fast lane when we don’t need to be and without accomplishing what He has called us to do. We are living without God’s peace ruling in our heart and soul. We are living without a daily encounter with the love of God and no longer feel acceptance based on knowing His love personally but have automatically revert back to the world’s way and base acceptance on our performance. We are living on a never-ending merry-go-round and it is time to stop that world and step off.

No one can do this but you. And, holidays won’t rescue the situation. A few days to rest won’t either. Reading a novel because it is summer and ‘time to relax’ will not help. It is not linked to your physical, mental, entertain, recreational world – it is all about your spiritual life and your walk with the Lord. It is time to take a good, hard , honest, and penetrating look at your life – motives, attitude, actions, values, ethics, morals… and get plugged in once again to the Spirit of God and let Him help you sort things out and bring them back into godly order.

From Hibernation to Every Nation

The Church is often referred to in Christian literature as “the sleeping giant.” She is depicted as living below her potential, not accomplishing her task or purpose of touching lives with the love of God, and not walking in the resurrection power that lives within each born again member.

Prophetically my sense is that the sleeping giant is waking up and recognizing that it has allowed itself to get off course. It has become another religion and is no longer a life-force changing the society that it finds itself in. In fact, often it does not relate to or is even aware of the society that surrounds it or the culture it is suppose to impact. It is simply doing it own thing and using gimmics and worldly things to attract people to attend and then join. Statistics prove this – and that many joining are truly unaware of what the basic beliefs of the faith they have joined really are.

As the sleeping giant awakens we are seeing a new generation of Samuels arise within the Church but ministering directly to the culture and world in which the Church is located. Hannah gave birth to Samuel. He was the one to bring a new order, reforming the temple protocol from corruption to correction. Eli the priest was becoming dull (1 Samuel 3:3). The lamp of God was flickering low and about to go out. Yes, it was still burning but things were not as they should have been. Then God raised up Samuel who spoke to the people (not just those attending the temple but the general population). He was prophetically keen and spoke words that pierced the armor of a hardened, yet religious, culture. The same is happening today.

God is raising up a generation of prophets and apostles who, like Samuel, will speak the Word of Lord directly to the heart of a generation and not simply minister to those in attendance at “the temple.” They will speak in the marketplace; they will speak on the street corners; they will minister in homes; they will minister in the cities and in the towns and villages. They will minister to the nations. No longer will the prophets and apostles bring a prophetic word just to the Church and to individual believers (who can hear God for themselves) but they will speak to the potential and the future of regions, districts, and nations as Samuel did.

And, I believe their message will be somewhat different than what is usually heard from prophetic voices today. They will call people from every nation on Earth to repentance and to turn to God in these last days. Every nation will hear the Gospel and the prophetic cry to repent with godly sorrow, be forgiven, and enter into a relationship with God. Their message, in most cases, will not be “return to the Lord” as Samuel’s message was. No, they will speak prophetically to nations and people who have never considered the God of Abraham, Issac and Jacob as revealed in the birth, life, ministry, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It will not be a “return to God” message but a “turn to God” message spoken and released with supernatural power.

John 12:24-26 speaks to the heart of this new generation of Samuels… I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.