The Church Jesus Is Building – Part Twenty

Those who are part of the current move of the Holy Spirit – the ones I have been calling the “revolutionaries” in the Church that Jesus is building – have no use for churches that play religious games, whether those games are worship services that drone on without the presence of God or ministry programs that bear no spiritual fruit. Revolutionaries eschew ministries that compromise or soft sell our sinful nature to expand organizational turf. They refuse to follow people in ministry leadership positions who cast a personal vision rather than God’s, who seek popularity rather than the proclamation of truth in their public statements, or who are more concerned about their own image and/or legacy than that of Jesus Christ.

Revolutionaries refuse to donate one more dollar to man-made monuments that mark their own achievements and guarantee their place in history. They are unimpressed by accredited degrees and endowed chairs in Christian colleges and seminaries that produce and graduate young people incapable of defending the Bible or unwilling to devote their lives to serving the Lord, His people, and the lost. And revolutionaries are embarrassed by language that promises  Christian love and holiness but turns out to be all sizzle and no substance. 

However, many revolutionaries have been active in good churches that have biblical preaching, people coming to Christ and being baptized, a full roster of interesting classes and programs, and a congregation packed with nice people. There is nothing overtly wrong with anything taking place at such churches. But revolutionaries innately realize that it is just not enough to go with the flow. The experience provided through their church, although better than average, still seems flat. They are seeking a faith experience that is more robust and awe inspiring, a spiritual journey that prioritizes transformation at every turn, something worthy of the Creator whom their faith reflects. They are seeking the spark provided by a commitment to a true revolution in thinking, behaviour, and experience, where settling for what is merely good and above average is defeat. 

Revolutionaries zealously pursue an intimate relationship with God, which Jesus Christ promised we could have through Him. They recognize that there is a huge price to pay in their lifetime – and they are mindful of the eternal payoff as well. Faced with an abundance of options, revolutionaries make their decisions with great care, knowing that each choice matters to God. 

In the Church today in many nations, the easiest thing to get away with is going with the flow and not upsetting the boat in any way. The ride is smoother and resistance is minimized. But like the wide path that Scripture warns most believers will take, it is a comfortable route that eventually and inevitably results in disaster and disappointment. To the revolutionary, there is no such thing as “going along to get along.” You either stand for Jesus or you stand for all that He died to repudiate. 

Revolutionaries invariably turn to God’s Word – the Bible – for their guidance as they examine their own spiritual life and the life of the Church. And, they are aware of the fact that just as the prophets of old were unwelcome in their own home town, so are revolutionaries looked at askance by even their closest friends and family members. The skepticism of those who lead conventional spiritual lives is a palpable reminder that growth always comes with a price tag as does following Jesus. 

Be forewarned: just as Jesus Christ, the ultimate lover of humanity, was scorned, misunderstood, persecuted, and eventually murdered for His extreme love, goodness, compassion, humility, wisdom, and grace, so are revolutionaries abused by a culture and the Church that is itself in crisis. The mere presence of revolutionaries makes the typical church and churchgoer uncomfortable. It is not uncommon for revolutionaries to meet with rejection – verbal, intellectual, relational, or experiential – simply because of their determination to honour the God they love. 

Are you a revolutionary? Is someone in your family or your circle of friends a revolutionary? Would you like to be a revolutionary – someone who lives only to love, obey and serve God, rejecting and overcoming every obstacle that emerges to prevent such a life?