In the moments of the pandemic, and even prior to all the events that have taken place, I have felt a deep push, pull, crushing inside to cry out for the church to be alive again. This Holy Spirit crushing isn’t bad, in fact it is really good. It has pushed me to open my spiritual eyes to Revival. No longer am I hoping for it, waiting for it, and wondering if it will ever come. Now I realize we are all standing in it.
The Church is the body of Christ and all of those who believe. We use the term church to mean so many thing, that I think it becomes confusing to anyone who doesn’t understand all the terminology there within. Much like we use slang in the modern American English, Hot for instance can mean temperature, good looks, while cool can also mean temperature, amazing, awesome, fashionable, and on and on. “Church” has so many meanings. But for this context, I would like to use the term church as in the operation and organization of believers in a Sunday morning context as well as a weekly life.
We all have the ability to be against something. One could be against hymns, against raising hands, against 3 songs per service(4 is much better), against tithe, against tongues, against prophecy, the list goes on and on and on and on.
But rather being against something or multiple things, the question the world is asking is,
what are you for?
People are not leaving the church because they don’t want God, otherwise why would they come, try it out or even stay for a while? People are leaving the church because they can’t find God.
We have made church to be another source of entertainment, where you can come see our cover band, hear our words of inspiration, and notice all the expensive decoration, lights, and smoke machines we have put into disguise that the very one we are speaking about has somehow left the building.
When my family wants the best Chinese food in our area we head to a restaurant named Chan’s…the best Thai food, no doubt, Wild Rose. My point is this, if we wanted the best Thai food and we went to Wild Rose only to find they are serving an imitation of Chinese food or we went for a great Chinese dish and got mediocre Thai food from Chan’s, we would stop going. What the restaurants are advertising is not that which they are delivering. This is my point. People are truly flocking to the church looking for the real and authentic God, Jesus the Messiah, and the Holy Spirit. What many are discovering from the church is a series of smoke and mirrors, or a man behind a curtain who is pulling some levers or flipping some smoke machine switches that make it appear that something is going on. Folks we have kicked out the Holy Spirit. We have expelled the very one who created all things for some sort of entertainment value that has become less than entertaining.
Between a million self- help sermons from people who don’t carry any unction to the replacement of worship for a modern day rock band with flashing lights and a fog like appearance, people have been able to uncover the fraud and look behind the curtain to see that the only thing dwelling in our churches is a hireling who does not love sheep, carry the heart of God, and has no idea or desire to operate by the Supernatural Power of the Supernatural God that we say we believe in. We have misappropriated the giftings and truth of God and replaced it with a grace that is void of truth and the order of importance of an out of place emphasis on certain gifts over others. Frankly emphasizing a certain gift as important that is completely out of order from what His words have revealed to us. Paul writes that we should desire prophesy over all other giftings.
Look, I want us all to realize and even though it appears that I may be against church, much like those that are looking for God as they enter the church and can’t find him, because he has been expelled. I am not against church, I am actually for it. Let me explain.
I love the church, always have, always will. I love the people of God, I believe that God has given me the task as a shepherd to care for the sheep, lead the sheep, and train and equip the saints for works of service. Much like many who have served the “church” or People of God, I have found two things to be true, sheep bite-hard might I say- and sheep poop on you and as you know it is very messy at times. That being said, I love the church even when they bite and poop on me. All that to say, I want all who read this to understand I am for the Church, I love the Church and I am not against anything about the Church.
There was a man who showed up to our church for a while, after caring for him, loving on him, giving him food, helping him with rides and shelter. One day he came into the lobby of the church and I happened by. He asked if I could talk with him and I said, “of course”, he then begin to tell me all the things I wasn’t doing right, any other leader or pastor ever experience this, of course not! Anyway he began to tell me all the things I needed to preach against; entertainment, tv, politics, and even what type of food and restaurants people should frequent. Each time he spoke about what I should be against, the Holy Spirit smiled inside my heart and I smiled on my face. This only got this man more twisted up and he began to yell all the things I should be against. After a while, and after wiping off my face from the furious spit that came out of his heart, I simply said this; “I am not going to preach against x, y, and Z. In fact I am not going to preach against anything. I am going to preach for.” He looked at me with a curious face. I continued, “I am going to preach for the resurrection of Jesus, the power of the Holy Spirit, and the fact that we serve the God of Creation. I am going to preach for the grace, love, forgiveness and redemption of the love of Christ. I am going to preach for those that believe in Jesus to be supernaturally transformed into the conduits of God’s love and power as they become reconcilers and ambassadors for the Kingdom of God and the reality of who Jesus is. I am going to preach for the power of the Holy Spirit to come into our lives with supernatural power to heal, release, set people free, and guide us into all truth. In fact, I am not going to preach against anything, I am only going to preach FOR the things found in scripture and those things that will build up the body of Christ.” At that he began to cuss, scream, and say some very creative things about me. I have never done this before or after and I am only recommending this if you need to, but I literally called him by name, told him it was time for him to leave and physically grabbed him by the arm and politely but forcefully showed him where that door was. As he walked away spewing with anger. I simply said this with all peace in my heart. “You know I love you, you know I have cared for you and have giving you everything you have asked me to provide, I am not against you, I am for you.” He walked away and walked back into the church. In that moment, I established that I am not against I am FOR.
So what am I for? I am so glad you asked.
I am for a real authentic move of God that is so undeniable that all who see and partake in it will have no way of excusing who the real God is.
Elijah stood in front of an alter and he laid everything on the line if God didn’t show up. Our Sunday mornings should be like that, they should be leaders who are walking into an impossible situation with only one solution. That solution is for the Holy Spirit to show up in power and authenticity so that everyone will see, experience, and receive the love of God.
I am for God taking back the church,
I am for allowing God to be the head and even the Pastors being that part of the body that shepherds them to His feet. I am for prophetic words to be established as a major important part of what we do on Sunday morning, because people are looking to see if this God that we say we believe is really and truly real.
I am for deep forms of soaking in worship until the Holy Spirit breaks through. I am for people coming into a building and finding a family.
I am for our houses of worship to look more like hospitals than palaces, where the hurting find love, acceptance, family and the home they always dreamed of. Where we desire mercy over justice, love over anger, truth over lies. I am for the power of the Holy Spirit being able to shock us with the unexpected. I am for the church to operate with power and authority over the dominions and powers of influence in this dark world. I am for training and equipping the saints for works of service, notice the word service is not the word position or power. I am for the Kingdom of God and all of its characteristics to be on display in the body of Christ. I am for creativity of heavenly proportions.
I am for the great I AM. His kingdom, His power, His glory, His Lordship, His way, His grace, His forgiveness, His acceptance, His love. I am for the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
And lastly to tie a bow on it, I am for an authentically real, move of the God that disproves all the lies spoken about him and proves that the God we serve is still alive and active, willing and able, wanting and waiting for His people to do that which He has told us to do and be who He has told us to be.
If we the church was able to function in an authentic move of God, there would not be empty seats, all other forms of entertainment would fail in comparison to the love of God on display for all to see. If the church was open to allowing God back into the doors and over the service, God would do that which He said He would do, and we would see what we are all looking for God to do. The one thing missing in most of our churches today is the very thing that we say we desire the most. God in all of His glory, all of His power, all of His love, grace, and forgiveness.
I have often said, if we do not serve a supernatural God why do we serve God at all. I mean that if we only serve a God who is able to what we can do, what good is that. We don’t desire to serve God because of His supernatural powers alone, yet at the same time if we serve God and don’t understand that the very essence of our loving God is supernatural, we don’t understand our God at all. Afterall, it was God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit that were present at the creation of the world, as God spoke it into existence. It was God who parted the red sea to save the Israelites from pending pandemic and disaster. It was God who brought down the fire to the alter that Elijah stood in front of to show the Prophets of Baal who the real God was. It was God who spoke to Moses through an un-consuming burning bush. God who allowed three young men to stand against a government who mandate them to bow to a false God and through a party in a fiery furnace, by the way, anyone else believe that the forth figure in the furnace was probably Jesus? It was God who helped Daniel in the lion’s den, God who delivered Jonah from the whale, Jonathan and David from the Philistines, and it was God himself who came in the image of man, born of a virgin in a stable who would become the king of kings and lord of lords and sit at the right hand of the father. What part of the Biblical narrative is not supernatural? Some folks believe that after all this God just decided that man was incapable of continuing to move in His supernatural power. Remember all of what I for mentioned happened before the Holy Spirit ever came to us and dwelt inside us. The very Spirit of Jesus and the Father lives in us. The very Spirit that rose Jesus from death to life, the very Spirit that empowered all the disciples to continue to do the very thing that Jesus showed them to do. The same Spirit that lives in Jesus lives in you and me, and somehow we think that Spirit has shut off His supernatural power source?
I am a Foursquare ordained Pastor. In our movement we have foundational scripture that all Foursquare churches are supposed to display on their wall. That scripture is Hebrews 13:8.
“He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.”
The He in this scripture is the I AM, The ALWAYS, THE FOREVER God we serve. If HE is the Same, back then and forever, my question is, Is He the same Today. Answer, of course He is. He does not change like shifting sand, He is not moved by circumstance, situation, or culture. He does not skip one generation for another.
He does not change. The same God who created the earth, the same God that lead the Israelites, the same God that sent us Jesus, the same God who directed the disciples, the same God who lifted Himself out of the pit of death, is the same God that we serve right now. If God did all those things in the past, if God was able to revive other generations, if God chose His people to reach this world, then God should be allowed to lead the church however, whenever, and with however He wants to.
If you desire to know what I am for. I am for the body of Christ to understand the call, the responsibility and the authority and the power that we have been given to use for the purpose of building His kingdom. I am for a revival that this world has been waiting for, a move of God that will shake the very foundations of nations, culture and society so tremendously that it will bring us to a repentant kneeling of the One who should be in all, through all, and above all. Habakkuk spoke these words and they are ever on my lips, “Lord, I have heard of your fame; I stand in awe of your deeds, Lord. Repeat them in our day, in our time make them known; in wrath remember mercy.” Habakkuk 3:2 and then in 2 Chronicles 7:14 it says, “If my people, who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray, seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land.
If I am asked what I am for, my answer is simple, I am for the church to arise as the real bride of Christ and show his glory, power, and love to the entire world starting in every church building in this world, flooding into every home, and moving from every believer of Jesus with real, authentic loving power of the Holy Spirit to all who are in desperate need of seeing the only true God. I am for the next great move of God where millions surrender their lives to Jesus.
The only way I know this will take place is when we repent of taking the control out of God’s hands and surrendering the church completely back to His control.