So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. (Isaiah 55:11)
If the message we preach does not produce conviction and is not followed by demonstrations of the Spirit, then we are just spinning our proverbial wheels. The failure is on our side, and so we need to repent and begin to seek God earnestly.
Christians are content with the current state of things in the Church. I believe it is time for us to repent and return to God. He has so much more available to us than we are accessing. The revival so many are waiting for will only come once we first become unsatisfied with the current state.
Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. (Jude 1:3)
Jude encouraged his readers to “earnestly contend for the faith.” The faith operating in most of our lives is not the faith that worked in the lives of early Christians. Some will argue against this statement but cannot deny that we are not making an impact on the world Jesus intended for us too.
I’ve heard many “prophets” over the years deliver “words” from God in which He supposedly talks about moving in a powerful way that will shake nations. It is much easier to embrace the thought that God will move without our involvement than to accept responsibility for our lack of power. The Holy Spirit spoke to me about this recently. He told me that the world is waiting for an outflow of the glory within our spirits while we hide in our prayer closets, crying out for an outpouring of His presence already dwelling within us.
Some people resist the things we are discussing. They are more concerned with how their church or friends view them than God. We need to fear God more than man. If our denominations or churches kick us out for pursuing Him, then so be it!
1 And it came to pass in Iconium, that they went both together into the synagogue of the Jews, and so spake, that a great multitude both of the Jews and also of the Greeks believed.
2 But the unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles, and made their minds evil affected against the brethren.
3 Long time therefore abode they speaking boldly in the Lord, which gave testimony unto the word of his grace, and granted signs and wonders to be done by their hands.
4 But the multitude of the city was divided: and part held with the Jews, and part with the apostles.
5 And when there was an assault made both of the Gentiles, and also of the Jews with their rulers, to use them despitefully, and to stone them,
6 They were ware of it, and fled unto Lystra and Derbe, cities of Lycaonia, and unto the region that lieth round about:
7 And there they preached the gospel. (Acts 14:1 – 7)
We see in these verses that the reception to Paul and his companions’ ministry was not always the warmest. They had to flee Iconium! It is unrealistic to think those who resist the Gospel message will not treat us similarly today. Christians need to rekindle the boldness portrayed in the book of Acts if we will have revival.
I have had people push back on these things. In most cases, the objection is rooted in fear of offending people. Jesus offended more people than He reached. If you’re going to walk in the power of the Spirit, you are going to accept the fact that the Word of God will offend people.
So there was a division among the people because of him. (John 7:43)
Jesus’ ministry caused division. It also was followed by demonstrations of the Spirit’s power. We are called to follow His example and should be afraid of people reacting negatively to the ministry He calls us to walk in.
32 Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.
33 But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.
34 Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. (Matthew 10:32 – 34)
Does this sound like the messages we hear weekly in our church services? I don’t think so!
Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. (John 14:27)
Is there a paradox in Jesus’ message? Publicly He talked of division; then, in private conversations with the disciples, He spoke of peace. There is no conflict in His statements, though. His peace has been placed in our hearts and will sustain us through the opposition stirred up resulting from our obedience to His call.
I have peace with God, so it does not matter whether people accept my ministry. It is enough to be accepted by my creator even if the entire world hates me. Unfortunately, most Christians seem to think differently than this.
I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. (John 17:4)
John 17 contains the last prayer of Jesus for His followers before the cross. Notice in the above verse that He gave us His Word and even acknowledges that the world will hate us. The message of the cross is divisive. Revival will not be seen by those unwilling to confront sin and cause division.
One of the greatest enemies in our Christian walks is complacency. Far too many of us are content with the state of things in our churches today, which has made us complacent. The Holy Spirit was sent by Jesus not only to provide companionship but also to empower the Church. We can only imagine how grieved He must be by our unwillingness to press into His presence to discover the deeper wells of our salvation.
Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. (2 Timothy 3:12)
Paul tells us persecution accompanies a godly lifestyle. Very few Christians in western nations have suffered persecution at levels experienced by the early Church. We have become complacent, resulting in the state of ungodliness the majority of “professing” Christians are pursuing. These things may seem harsh, but they need to be said.
Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? (2 Corinthians 6:14)
If you can get along with someone living in rebellion against the Word of God, you are not walking in line with Scripture. People say they can attend churches that speak against miracles or the Holy Spirit’s ministry and not be affected. They are mistaken! It will not be possible to hide the Spirit’s anointing in our lives. Jesus would walk into the Temple and start healing people. The anointing creates a boldness that will make us stand out in the crowd.