As you read this – we will be well into our routine of ministering three times a day in Ukraine. The day begins early with preparation – looking over the teachings of the day – because once we are in the flow of the day’s activities there is no time to prepare or review. It is straight ministry through to the time you fall back into bed at the end of the day.
Whenever God wants to do something upon the face of the Earth He raises up an individual to lead the way. The Bible is full of examples – Abraham, Moses, Joshua and Caleb, Gideon, Esther, Jesus… just to name a few.
Often preachers talk about how God wants to “raise up an army” but in many parts of the Bible we see God was first and foremost interested in raising up an individual. And often that individual did not have the kind of qualifications that we would be looking for to head up a movement that would change the world.
In the history of the Christian Church we have seen the same story … God selecting one person and then using them – after a period of preparation – to start a movement that would change the course of world history. My favourite example of that is John Wesley who, historians tell us, helped to keep England from going the same route in history as France during the period of social upheaval known as the Revolution.
God got ahold of him – a priest of the Church of England – and after his encounter with God on Aldersgate Street he went on to form what is now the Methodist Church. God grabbed hold of the MAN – the MAN had a MESSAGE – the MESSAGE brought many who became followers and so there was a need for a METHOD to disciple them. This allowed for mature and solid believers or disciples and spauned a MOVEMENT because others saw life in what was happening and joined in with John and his brother Charles and the others.
The issue then is that as the leader or leaders begin to die off you need to have raised up a new point man – otherwise, once the leader (founder) dies things often (but not always) slip into a MEMORY and then in time we are errecting MONUMENTS to these past great men and women of God. At the same time the MOVEMENT they were part of grinds to a halt and fossilizes in time and becomes a MAUSOLEUM. All life is gone and we have an organization but it is no longer a living and breathing organism as the Church should be.
Other current examples of this today would include Full Gospel Businessmen’s Fellowship, Women’s Aglow, and Promise Keepers just to name three. I am sure we could add a great number of local churches into this list as well. All started as the heart vision of one person. And now, having lost life and having fulfilled their purpose they try to reinvent themselves often getting into areas of ministry that were not in their original calling or purpose and which are really the territory of the local church (Bible studies, hospital visiting, marriage seminars, prayer meetings…). Instead, they should simply close up shop and say – “job done and task accomplished, we are no longer needed.”
Look around – there are new movements beginning that you can join and again make a difference in the world. These movements are being led by young men and women and are already beginning to be noticed by others. Their momentum is growing (gee, another “M”). If you have been part of another move – you are welcome to join as they could use your wisdom and experience. If you just got saved you are welcome to join. Young or old you are welcome to be a part of what the Lord is doing upon the face of the Earth today. Look for the leader -the one God has selected to lead in your area of the world.
He is currently looking for others to join with Him. Age does not matter … Caleb was one man who had a warrior spirit in him. … The spirit of a warrior is not dimmed by age or time.
Joshua 14:10-11 “Now behold, the LORD has let me live, just as He spoke, these forty-five years, from the time that the LORD spoke this word to Moses, when Israel walked in the wilderness; and now behold, I am eighty-five years old today. “I am still as strong today as I was in the day Moses sent me; as my strength was then, so my strength is now, for war and for going out and coming in.”
Oh, my original comment re. raising up an army – I believe God is. And, He already has appointed His point man – His Name is Jesus. Jesus is tough, manly, noble and the personification of courage. He is a warrior of the highest rank, the Commander in Chief of the Lord’s armies (and the Church as an army), the one with fire in His eyes and a double-edged sword in His hand. He has begun to raise up the army and He is it’s Leader. There are many others who will follow and obey and become leaders in their own right – but, when all is said and done – “then there is One” and He is Jesus our Commander-in-Chief.