I have been writing letters for about 12 years to leaders, believers, and disciples (Christ followers). Most pieces I write have to do with things I see or hear in the spirit or have experienced, related to the Word, pondered in my heart, and then put to pen. A similar theme has been in all my messages for the last few years— we need to come back to the Word and the relationship with Father, Son, and Holy Spirit that Father intended us to have from the beginning, worthy of the price He paid for it. I seek, pray, listen, and cry at times in my endeavors to find a way to impart or give away what I find in a way that will cause others to find the Truth and walk closer to Jesus. The more I discover about relationships, the more what I deemed truth has had to change or grow. (Our perceptions should change as we move forward into a deeper more meaningful relationship with God.)
This walk into intimacy with God leads to much evidence that reveals the fact that many of our meetings and much of our efforts to plant churches is vanity, not Christianity. Christianity is about obedience to the mandates of Christ – to Know Father and Jesus the Christ, Jn.17:3 and to live in the place of “perfect love” 1Jn 4:17-20. It is the pursuit of the fulfillment of God’s desire for an intimate relationship and for us to endeavor to complete His purpose that will lead to gatherings and meetings full of rich fellowship and the presence of Christ that will change our families and communities as we reach out as a result of being Christ’s..
Most Christ followers want to see a “move of God”. They want to see a “revival” like those we read about that happened in the past. Or they are pursuing something “new” that they hope would surpass what has happened before and leave a mark on the future of mankind and his relationship with God. Many pursue a “church-planting-movement” (CPM), which is simply a back to the basics, discipleship movement based on Mt. 28:18-20, Lu. 24:44-49, Jn.20:21-23 and Acts 1:8, 2:4.
Few pursue or study “meekness” though the bible says, “the meek share inherit the earth”. And though Scripture says that everything but “Love” (the God kind of Love), will fail, most do not study this either nor even understand the basics of God’s love. For the most part there is no understanding of; Honor, obedience and sacrifice, which are the foundation of God’s Love lived out by Him. Commitment to God’s purpose and surrender to the needs of the relationship He offers us are foreign to our living as Christ followers. People want to “live by Grace” which to them means doing nothing but enjoying the Glory of God and His benefits for them.
Tell me, what relationship exists that is vibrant and fulfilling that costs nothing or that does not have lots of interaction, communication and a revealed commitment? Show me one that does not take commitment or works (activities walked out together) to keep it alive? A relationship with God is not founded on works but without works of love will not continue. (If we are saved we must show good works, Mt.5:16, Titus 3:8, 14, Jms 2:26, 1Pe 2:12). That is what Paul, James and Peter talk about; in relationships that are authentic, there is a “need of the relationship” that must be fulfilled by the participants involved in the relationship—that is “our works” .
Dana and I (and our friend Gary) have just been on a 6-week trip to Australia and Indonesia sharing the reality of who we are and where we should be heading as the body of Christ. Dana and I spent a lot of time in Australia endeavoring to communicate the desire of the Lord to have not just a casual friendship with people but deep fellowship. We shared about the responsibility of sonship, intimacy and dynamic fellowship with Father. We talked of a relationship that compels one to be obedient to the desires of Father, not just to receive or “get” from Him.
Many that attended meetings asked us about husband and wife friendships and how to have spousal relationships that would endure anything that comes at them. These questions seemed to stem from a deep devotion to one another but showed a lack of mentoring by older Christ-following couples into the younger ones. Many of the more mature couples had not been mentored in how to have rich long-term friendships or relationships. Therefore they cannot impart what is needed either. Our present practices in Christianity do not lend to us actually discipling others. We do not take the time or give the time to others so they might grow, instead we send people to meetings or “classes. It is much cleaner and easier—discipleship, mentoring relationships are messy!
All the questions we encountered really came back to the fact that we Christians, for the most part, do not know how to relate to God and have a meaningful, real relationship with Him or each other; Which leads to the question of how then can we “show our love for one another” to the world?
In the early 80”s I knew there was only one thing I wished to pursue, which is Love, God’s love, and I knew absolutely nothing about the subject. I was a very self-centered, bigoted cowboy. Though I studied a lot on different doctrines, I would always end up back at Love. Healing, forgiveness, studies on “end times events” and pre, mid, or post tribulation rapture, once saved always saved, and so many other subjects found in the bible could never hold me or turn me anywhere but back to the study of Love, relationships and God’s purpose.
Through these years of pursuing an understanding of LOVE , Father has showed me a lot about people and the reality of who they are inside or what hinders them from freedom and intimacy with God (a close dynamic fellowship with Father) that fulfills our lives. As I listened to Father, I found that I simply knew things about people. I do not try to know these things, I just do. I am sure it is the result of His care for people’s freedom and about my relationship with Him and my pursuit of knowing Him.
No matter how long I live, I am sure that I will still be in pursuit of a greater (more dynamic) relationship with Father the day I go to be with Him or meet Him face-to-face.
In Indonesia as well as Australia there seemed to be an almost despair for the presence and power of God. By that I mean that most have been and are hungry for the reality of Christ expressed in the bible but they are at the point of surrender to never seeing such an expression of His presence through them.
In our religious training we have been taught to pursue His presence in the confines of “denominational or Christian religious doctrine” which constricts us as to how we respond to what we read. The time is upon us to go back to the Word and express what is written there. World governments and economies are falling. The end is approaching faster than we can fathom. Christian religious leaders are telling followers “everything is good”, All we need is more “glory “ meetings. A greater separation from God’s purpose is manifesting in the Christian religion. Most who follow Christ and are dedicated to fulfill His desire will be or are classified as heretics or rebellious. The religious church is about to start persecuting the relational church with a new fervor.
Many we found both in Indo and Aussie land were trying to reach a lost world without “the power of God upon them” or with a distorted view of His purpose and kingdom. Eloquent words will never replace His power, Acts 18:24-19-:10. There seems to be a fear of walking in His presence and the resulting power as it could cause us to be seen. I found that fear was prevalent in many of those who proclaimed His Name. We are supposed to be a light in the darkness and a candle set on a hill. How can we be a witness without being seen? Why have we taken some of God’s commands and said, “this scripture is a command” and others we have decided are simply “suggestions”. The ones we take as “suggestions” are the ones we don’t want to be for now or for everyone, the ones we don’t understand the relevance of like; Lu. 24:49, and Jn. 20:21-23. These we are not “comfortable with” or see as “relevant”. This stand against scripture has left us in a place where fear prevails and we are open to many attacks from the enemy spiritually as well as physically. We open ourselves to much by refusing to accept and believe God’s precepts, provision and commands. Can we trust God? What would God ask us to receive or do that which would not be a benefit to His Kingdom, purpose and our ability to live for Him? Why do we judge what He says rather than accept it? Why do we make some scriptures dispensational and others not? Is 2Tim.3:15-17 true or only partially so? Has God changed? Did some of His words fall to the ground and not accomplishing what He says they will? I found ministers and missionaries afraid to talk about God for fear of judgment and persecution. Why be a missionary or minister if you are going to fear dying? What is the point of going if not to share the truth or to live the truth in the face of the enemy? What is true Christianity about? Where is our faith, trust and love?
I believe God is fed-up with our excuses and our fear of everything but Him. I believe that the “Church” is about to experience God like He appears in the book of Acts ch. 4:29-5:14. Some are getting desperate enough to pray dangerous prayers knowing we cannot stand against those who are coming against us without the POWER of Christ upon us, without signs and wonders preformed by Jesus in the world we live in. And the result of this desperation and cry for Jesus to stand up again is to renew “the fear of the Lord” in the midst of the “congregations of the saints” through judgment of those who make promises to Holy Spirit and Father and do not keep them. Those who lead and do not live in integrity could be in a dangerous place. God is coming to His Church as a result of desperate prayers.. He will cause us to understand “grace and mercy” and the fullness of His love by judgment and accountability to the truth showing up in the body of Christ.