This is a great time to be alive – especially for those who love Jesus Christ. The opportunities to minister are unparalleled: the million of searching hearts and agonized souls, combined with the abundance of resources Christians have at their disposal, make this a very special era for the Church. Throw in the rapid and profound cultural changes occurring, as well as the struggles local churches are undergoing, and we have an environment in which the birth of a spiritual revolution is inevitable. The confluence of those elements demands a dramatic response, and the emerging revolution represents such a historic thrust.
There can be no turning back at this point, no return to the old ways and the comfortable forms. Although we cannot accurately predict what the Church will look like twenty years hence, we can be confident that it will be more different from than similar to the Church at the start of the twenty-first century. The revolution is an extensive grassroots response to the undeniable and insatiable human longing for a genuine relationship with God our Father. The transformations it introduces are sometimes difficult to accept and oftentimes inefficient in their development, but the outgrowth is a stronger and more irresistible Church.
As you seek to comprehend the emerging revolution an describe it to others, keep in mind its central facets. It is comprised of a demographically diverse group of people who are determined to let nothing stand in the way of an authentic and genuine experience with God. They are involved in a variety of activities and connections designed to satisfy a spiritual focus. They are God-lovers and joyfully obedient servants. They are willing to do whatever it takes to draw closer to God, to bond with Him, and to bring Him glory and pleasure. If that can be accomplished through existing structures and processes, they accept that; if not, they will blaze new trails to facilitate such a Spirit-driven life.
En route to this intimacy with God, they are integrating the seven spiritual passions of a true revolutionary Christian into their lives. Their daily expressions of worship refine their sense of beauty, the creativity, and the majesty of God. Their joy at knowing Him naturally provides the impetus to communicate to others the Goos News about Jesus’ sacrifice and offer of salvation. Their infatuation with the Kingdom fuels their consistent effort to know more about God’s ways. They respond to His love by seeking ways to invest the resources they control of influence for Kingdom outcomes. Their friendships hinge on spiritual growth. They pursue opportunities to use their abilities to affect the quality of life in the world. And they recognize that their most important relationships is within their family and that Christ must be the centrepiece of their experiences together. These passions enable revolutionaries to remain centered on God in a world of distractions and seductions. Their attention to these passions allows them to be the Church.
At what stage, or under what conditions, is the revolution successful? Revolutionaries recognize that spiritual success is more about surrender than results. They know that God examines the fruit of someone’s livfe, but the real fruit of the Kingdom is flat-out, no-excuses obedience to God. Such submission produces a perpetual string of behaviours and outcomes that may be imperceptible to a frenetic and hardhearted world, but represent major victories within the Kingdom. Why? Because life is war, and every time a soldier willingly engages in sacrificial battle for the King, His honour is advanced. Revolutionaries’ complete and total surrender to Him and His cause is the essence of eternal victory.
It is this holistic devotion to being Christlike that triggers the transformational legacy of the revolution. First, revolutionaries are changed so profoundly that they see life through na completely different lens. Then, armed with that new perspective and the courage to respond, these individuals set about transforming then world by being relics of Jesus in every space their inhabit.
The last in the series tomorrow…