THEY WILL CHANGE EVERYTHING
David Wilkerson predicted this emerging force: “God is revealing to all praying people that a glorious new work of the Spirit is about to break forth. God is going to shake everything that can be shaken. He will tear down the old political, backslidden, ecclesiastical system. He will disown the formal, super-church structure. He will chase out of His presence all those who are engaging in self-promoting ministries.”
These praying people he mentions will be the catalyst to these forceful changes. They are frustrated, hungry, and their numbers are growing fast. They are coalescing around certain truths: fasting, repentance, and holy surrender to Christ.
This force is the most underrated undercurrent in the church. Even though it is largely overlooked, it has the firepower to change the church just as much as a youth awakening. And look out when these two forces collide!
Many of these people were chased out of churches that were once fiery and Spirit-filled, but then went to a new format to attract outsiders. A growing number of Christians feel their church is promoting programs that don’t impact them. Even programs that bring in large numbers don’t matter to them. They believe only a move of God can save America now.
They believe we have no time to play games. They are frustrated that their church is catering to the lukewarm members. Most of all, they feel that they are being punished for wanting a move of God.
I want to direct my words to those leaders who are guilty of correcting members who yearn for an outpouring of the Holy Spirit. You’ve got it totally backwards. Those who are hungry for a move of God are the best thing that ever happened to your church.
If you have wounded the heart of even a single saint, it was a spectacular mistake. They, and not the lukewarm, should be setting the tone for your church.
Somewhere, we got the idea—I believe it came from the pit of hell—that exuberant worship, preaching with the anointing and with conviction, fiery prayer meetings, and deliberate soul winning are the “old ways.”
For millions of disenfranchised Christians, these things are not ‘old ways’, but timeless ways. And, their hunger for them is intensifying even as the church grows colder. Something will have to give!
Change has to come!
Again, David Wilkerson said, “I see it all over the nation today—disillusioned Christians searching for reality. The people in the pew are beginning to fast and pray. They are the ones who now weep between the porch and the altar. And, they are crying out for more depth and more of eternal values from the pulpit. If the minister of their church goes on in some egocentric way, pursuing expensive dreams, they will go out looking for a place where their deepest spiritual needs will be met.”
However, many mega-church pastors didn’t leave it there, they went even further. They began to punish members who pursued holiness. They call it a ‘religious spirit.’ These dear saints wonder, “Why would anyone punish a heart for wanting purity? How can vessels chosen to uplift the righteous and equip the saints, instead, create a system that rewards carnality and shames holiness?”
Let’s be honest. It’s not as if the modern church is exhausting itself on devotion and sacrifice. But you’d sure think so by the way some ministers keep telling us to relax, and quit trying so hard, because, ‘Daddy is so pleased with us.’
Even when a congregation is a listless, flabby, biblically illiterate club of moody consumers, preachers will heap on them yet one more message of pampered entitlement. It’s kind of like handing a diabetic a case of Snickers bars.
It has gotten so bad that Sundays have become a celebration of how much God lets you get away with.
These believers, who know there is more, are equally disappointed in the other extreme. Perhaps in reaction to the deadness, formality, and carnality, some have created churches that are highly emotional and have run completely off the map of scripture.
Satan seduced some into separating the Holy Spirit and the Bible—pitting them against each other. The Bible not only predicted this deception—it exposed the motive behind it.
2 Timothy 4:3 “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers…” What they can’t endure is the Bible. They drop the God-card to fulfill their lusts, and then blame the Holy Spirit!
It began in small doses. One preacher said, “Why do we trust a book? Did they have more of the Spirit than we have?” Another preacher said, “We’re not supposed to worship a book.”
They will tell you they are trusting in the voice of the Spirit more than The Book. What they are really hearing is their own voice…or worse. They don’t deny the inerrancy of scripture: they simply claim direct revelation from God that is equal to the Bible.
If you have all Spirit, you blow up. If you have all Truth, you dry up. You need both!
Studying the Bible has become passé. Many seek constant prophetic words, and trust these words without comparing them against scripture.
The Holy Spirit becomes “on demand.” You’ve all seen internet ads where “prophets” will give you a daily word from the Lord. Some even charge money to give you a prophetic word.
People blame all kinds of things on “leadings of the Holy Spirit.” “The Spirit told me I can leave my husband and children because He wants me to be happy.” Scantily clad women in church claim, “You may not like the way I dress, but the Holy Spirit does.” One preacher even compared the Spirit to smoking marijuana, and said, “I am toking the Ghost.”
The book of Daniel seems to divide those who live in the last days into two categories: Those who are corrupted by flattery and those who know their God. The entire verse reads: “those who do wickedly against the covenant he shall corrupt with flattery; but the people who know their God shall be strong and carry out great exploits.” -Daniel 11:32
The people who know their God are repulsed by both extremes of compromise and emotionalism. They want exuberant worship, even intense worship directed at Christ. They don’t want an emotional binge that feels New Age, and that seems to be trying to reach an altered state. They want to reach lost souls, but they want no part of an open-ended attraction program that never seems to lead souls into discipleship. John Wimber called them ‘The Radical Middle.’
As I said before, their numbers are growing every day. They are not rebellious, they are hungry. They are reaching out to God with great passion. They are preachers who suddenly realize they have built a monstrosity for God, but they have neither worked with God, nor do they have a relationship with Him.
They are young people who came to church, only to find they didn’t fit any model. After years of increasing emptiness, one day they just collapsed before the Lord and begged for Biblical reality.
Others are finished with egocentric pastors with grandiose, expensive dreams, and carnal visions. These members of the Radical Middle recognize that their pastors have been distracted—even derailed from their first love. Those who are interested in becoming true disciples are abandoning ‘attraction- churches’—something revolutionary is happening inside them.
Deep, deep in my soul where the real knowing happens—I know God is doing something new. God is finished with hirelings. He is drawing a remnant out of corruption and into a special, supernatural nearness to Him. They will empty themselves of everything. Every ambition will be burned out—except for one—to love and please the Lord Jesus Christ. They will change everything they are doing now, and begin to walk in the power of and for the glory of God Almighty!
And they will change everything!
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