“I believe we are leaving the day of the ordained and ushering in the day of the ordinary. It is a time when common Christians will do uncommon deeds because God delights in using weak and foolish things to shame the world. Do not settle for a lesser life. If you start on this journey and set sail for deeper waters, you will come under attack. You will join the ranks of those that the enemy cannot ignore, and he will fight against you with unfair tactics.” __Neil Cole (Organic Church)
Last week, as I wrote about the prophets of the Old Testament and proceeded to look at the role prophets play in the church, an old memory floated to the surface of my mind. In my youth, I heard an older relative make a remark about a gentleman in our community whose passion for the things of God was well known. This gentleman—we’ll call him Sam—sought every opportunity to worship and serve, even opening his home on Saturday nights for “cottage prayer meetings”. He was constantly exhorting and encouraging people to seek revival. When someone commented to my relative about Sam’s fervent belief in the Lord’s soon return , she shook her head and answered, “I love Sam to death, and he’s a fine man! But now, I just don’t believe in human prophets!”
I wondered then, and I still wonder today, just what other kind of prophet she thought there could be. Were not all the prophets in the Bible human? All God’s people are human beings, redeemed and transformed as part of His New Creation, His church. Not all are called to be prophets. Nevertheless, all are called!
The inspiring quote above, from Neil Cole’s book Organic Church, seems appropriately prophetic. The whole world groans under the strain of natural catastrophe, the threat of radical terrorism, the collapse of the economic system, and the upheaval of socio-political unrest. Yet, in these times, there is a stirring of promise in the wind of the Kingdom. People are turning back to God. He is seeking men and women of courage who will stand up and run to the battle. Jacob limped. Gideon wasn’t all that brave, as I recall. Peter, “the rock”, denied Jesus. Saul of Tarsus was a proud and stiff-necked religionist who persecuted the church! But God always did have a way of calling unlikely people—ordinary people—and turning them into champions for Him. No matter what you think your weakness or shortcoming is, if you claim Him as your Savior, He has plans for you to do uncommon things!
God is waiting to pour out the new wine of revival. Old wineskins won’t hold it. The traditional, the status quo, must be challenged. And the enemy will fight you with unfair tactics! It is going to take an army of common people doing uncommon things, by the power of Christ in them, to turn the tide! And it’s going to mean letting go of traditions and trappings that have kept common people passive in the pews for 1800 years. It is going to take a new wineskin to hold the new wine. If you aren’t willing to let go of “church as you know it” and be the church as He wants it, stop praying for revival right now. It’s coming anyway, but you will not find it “opening this Sunday at a church building near you.”
Yesterday, I left my readers with a question: “Why, after nearly 2000 years, do we not see more people who look like Him?” If we want to see more people who look like Him we can’t settle for a lesser life ourselves! We should want it to be said of us that we were such champions for the Kingdom the enemy could not afford to ignore us! We must enter that place of total dependence on Him Elijah knew, in order for Him to do uncommon things—extraordinary things—in and through us! As for the enemy’s attacks…well…I’ve written recently about being robed in His righteousness and about being hidden in His precious wounded side. I seem to recall something in Ephesians, Chapter 6, about the full armor of God. I’ve also tried to show my readers it’s essential to learn how to be two places at the same time. Remain in the place of total dependence on Him at all times and you’ll be ready to go where He sends you, when He sends you, at the same time.
You and I are common, ordinary people. Our Lord didn’t just set sail for deeper waters, He walked on water! Let’s set sail for those deeper waters! If He is for us, then who can be against us?