The 2021 Believer
As believers in Christ, we’ve set the bar way too low. We compare ourselves to the ungodly & unbelieving community in which we live and perceive ourselves as holy and righteous compared to them, but that is an incorrect assessment. The scriptures say that the unbelievers will get progressively worse over time, and that is what our community and Nation has become. The truth is that todays Christians have a lack of integrity, an indifference toward some of God’s principles, a carless disregard for truth and a subtle pride making them feel superior to all of those sinners and to other denominations. The truth is that if we compare ourselves to the unbelievers of the 1950’s, their goodness would shine brighter than ours. As believers, we are called to represent God; to shine brightly in this crooked and perverse world as we draw others to Christ through our example and our words.
2Cor 5:20 says: Now then, I’m an ambassador for Christ, as God did beseech you, by me, I speak to you in Christs’ stead; Be ye reconciled to God! We are ambassadors of God! Our home and our life are supposed to be in Heaven as we live our lives in such a way that shows it to all of those around us. We are not of this world, meaning the evil and darkness which this world has become; but we are in this world, to shine brightly the purposes and hope that is God. Unfortunately, I believe that we’ve fallen far short of that. We might lean into some of Christs’ principles and attempt half-heartedly to do our best, but it is far from 100% total dedication and commitment. We might mean well and have lofty goals but are really without the passion and determination to see it through. The scripture says: You haven’t even resisted unto the shedding of blood, striving against sin. I envision Christ dying on the cross with all of the blood pouring out of His body watching us give up time after time over our own lusts, desires and frustrations. It’s like He’s saying, is that the best you can do? Especially after all I have done for you. What a lame commitment! What a lame effort! Yes, it’s hard; but with God helping us, we can do better; We must do better! God wants to live in us and through us, but with the iniquity, sin and apathy we are involved in by and large, God can’t touch us with a ten-foot pole! It is time for a Great Awakening in all believers; an Awakening to God’s Holiness, to God’s Purity, to Christs’ Doctrines and our calling in God! It’s time for our actions to mirror our words! It’s time for us to truly become Christlike! It’s time to become transformed in the way we think, talk and act; time to be unmoved or deterred by attacks or assaults! It’s time to become very humble, very loving, very kind, very passionate, very respectful and very sensitive to God and others! We desperately need God’s visitation in our lives and there is no other way to accomplish it; We Must be “Born Again”!
It’s one thing to talk about these things and to see errors, but it’s another thing to reveal the way to accomplish it. In our Nations history, we desired to push westward but the land was mysterious and uncharted. It wasn’t until the Trail Blazers set out at the risk of their own lives to show the way and chart the course, and blazed a trail into the unknown for others to follow. This is in a small way what I am attempting to do with this next segment.
As Americans, we have been conditioned to get the biggest bang for our buck; with the littlest of time and investment we desire to receive the greatest outcome. This has creeped into Christianity and has become who we are. We think very little of God’s rules and commands in our lives, and show up for one hour a week to a church service. We will search many churches to find one that we feel comfortable in. The churches understand this so they try to get the people in and out as fast as possible. The bigger churches have three identical services every Sunday morning that goes as follows; They let 5,000 people in at 9am and get them out by 9:45, they let 5,000 in at 10am and get them out by 10:45, they let 5,000 in at 11am and get them out by 11:45. 15,000 people are in and out of church so fast that it seems more like a cattle drive than that special time of meeting with God every week. It is no wonder that God is no where to be found, and only talented and funny speakers quickly sharing what they are allowed to. We will never truly come to know and understand God like that; it’s just another performance making us feel good. The only way to truly know God and experience His amazing reality and visitation in our lives is to seek Him ourselves!
When Israel told the Prophet Samuel that they wanted a King, God told Samuel this: They have not rejected you, they have rejected Me. The reason God said that was because the Nation of Israel was tired of living by God’s commandments and the Prophets words and judgements (which were literally the voice and commands of God). They wanted a King and the Priests to be responsible for all of that so they could lead a less demanding lifestyle. They were really rejecting a personal relationship with God, and happy to have a superficial one. This is a good example of the American Church by and large; a superficial relationship with God and happy for it. The only thing that is wrong with that is, it’s like no relationship at all in God’s eyes. God doesn’t hear your prayers or answer them, doesn’t help you in time of need, and doesn’t even know who you are; “depart from Me, for I never knew you”. We need a real relationship with God, which is easier said than done.
Many families wanted to head west when they heard of the gold rush in California, but many didn’t make it because it was very dangerous and difficult. This is what it is like to form a true relationship with God and to accomplish what it is that he has called you to do. It is setting out on a path with uncertainty swirling all around you as you fight problems from without (thieves, Indians, etc.) and fight enemies from within (starvation, injury, failure). True Christianity and a real relationship with God is the new and unexplored frontier!
When we begin this trek into the great unknown, the first thing that we need to realize is that it doesn’t happen overnight. When an obese individual starts a weight loss program they don’t see immediate results; but over time, as they fight their impulses and desires they can see great change. A lifestyle change is truly what it takes to lose hundreds of pounds and it is the same concept as we seek to know and follow God; we need a lifestyle change. Our first goal is to become one with God; to be in unity with God and actually be living for God. I hate to say it but it can very easily take up to a year to accomplish this, as we fight not be ungodly and continue to fail and succeed in this process. It also takes that long as God is watching to see our determination and effort. God sees and knows everything and He’s the one we are trying to be real with. There is no faking this! So, this is how it starts; we decide and commit to stop sinning in every aspect of our lives forever. Not easy, right? This has to be the mindset! We can’t just do it for a while until we get what we want; it’s God, and He knows everything. Christ said that unless you are willing to eat my body and drink my blood, you have no part in this; they all said that is a hard saying. We have to pick up our cross and follow Him; follow Him in purity and holiness. Now you can see why it takes a year or so, as we battle through sin and failure seeking to be Christlike, and all the while God is watching and helping. It is the hardest thing that you will ever do. The good part is that if you apply yourself and fight with all of your heart and soul, you’ll gain God’s attention; soon He’ll bring direction and enablement. This is the place where we begin to get disgusted with ourselves, and discover what we are really like, and who we really have become. This is where God changes us from the inside out. We become broken and contrite for our sinful nature and how easily we give into it. This is where we begin fasting and praying with all of our hearts, desperate to change and in need of God’s help; and after a year or so, we find God, or should I say, we are found of God. What a miracle! As funny as it sounds, this is simply the beginning. We are still about two years away from God’s actual visitation upon our lives. Of course, it could take a much shorter time, but it could also take a much longer time, so, understand that. So, now we have unity with God! We are doing our very best to walk in His ways, spending time with Him in prayer.
Next is focusing on what God has for you to do. The goal in this faze really has nothing to do with our calling; It has everything to do with who God is. As Christians, we think that we know all about who God is, but our understanding is usually superficial at best, and at worst, we really do not know God. We can read the Bible and claim to understand, listen to one minister after another and pronounce our insight and parrot their opinions; we can study until we are blue in the face, but until we understand the actual truth of God’s word, we do not have a true picture of who God is. Allow me to explain; The Bible was written in Latin which is a far cry from English, even King James English. The only way to understand what was truly written is to understand the language and spend a lifetime studying every single verse in the Bible. There are brilliant theologians today in the Baptist organization that fully understand Latin, but cling to “once saved always saved” and “predestination” even though a correct interpretation of those scriptures disproves their doctrines. Their bias taints their view, and instead of seeing those doctrines as Calvinism which is false doctrine, they embrace it as truth and preach it. They have no idea of who God is and what is awaiting them. The Pentecostal movement declares that the utterances coming out of their mouth is what happened at Pentecost and proof of Spirit baptism which is in complete contradiction to what truly happened at Pentecost and how believers embrace the Holy Spirit. The Bible and its scriptures are of no private interpretation; they mean what they mean, and until we truly understand them, we will never know who God is and what we are supposed to do.
This is how God forms us and one of the ways that He prepares us for our destiny. We are formed into the image of God, and without a true image of who God truly is we go astray. Writing my books caused me to seek God like never before; I feared to write anything incorrect, so, I desperately studied with and open heart and a pliable Spirit. After 25 years of passionately living for God and preaching His word, I felt that I knew just about everything; but as I dug deep into God’s word with the help of Matthew Henry’s Bible Commentary, I began to see many things in a new light. Some scriptures were like an epiphany of sorts, changing my opinion and perspective of God and consequently, who I am supposed to become. It was enlightening, liberating and convicting all at the same time. The only way we will ever begin to know what God has for us is to, 1) live for Him with all of our heart and soul (as we said before), and 2) Come to know God in the absolute truth of His word, and what He wants to do in our midst. When we understand God’s view point, we know how He feels about what is going on around us (family, Nation, World) and what we can do as His servants. That’s where we get direction, anointing and favor. When we do and say what God wants, when He wants it, we can’t lose; He’s all in and continually makes a way. Our misconception of God confuses us and causes error. Let me explain, if we just feel that God is love, then we feel sorry for the blacks that refused to stand during the National Anthem because God loves them, and we find ourselves supporting violence, theft, murder and whatever else those disrespectful unpatriotic blacks do. We can’t make God out to be who we want Him to be; He is who He is! We say God doesn’t judge, so let everyone do what they want. For over 20 years our schools have taught lesbianism to 5-yr-olds in kindergarten with Heather has two moms saying that God made people that way, which is detrimental to their emotional and physical wellbeing; could anything be more sinister and devious? I think not! We have to understand who God truly is and how He truly feels if we are ever going to understand what His views are today and how we might enter into our calling & destiny.
Understanding who God is through life’s experiences and the scriptures will never end; it is a lifelong journey. The great George Whitefield read Mr. Henry’s commentary through four times, the last time on his knees. Each time learning more & more as he matured and understood. We can’t let someone else tell us who God is. Seminary diplomas mean nothing without correct understanding. Years of ministry mean nothing without true insight. It is up to us to seek God while He can be found; before it’s too late.
So, after we get past this point to some degree, we are passionately living for God, and know Him truly; now comes the hard part/ fun part; working out our calling! This is when we begin doing what we were born to do; the place where we are inspired by God and begin stepping out in faith. This is where we risk all and step into the unknown; like walking on water. The place where the impossible becomes possible because we are truly trusting in God by faith and living our lives accordingly; The place where God is in control and we give Him all the glory. At first, we may make a million mistakes or at least perceive them to be, but God will be sure to guide us; we are not afraid of looking like fools & failures because we are doing it for God and for God alone. We don’t shy back when it comes to the cost because we are dead to this world and our fortune is in Heaven. We are always being challenged and led so we pray for 1 and a half hours every morning, and pray for 1 and a half hours every evening and are open to pray all day long; we desperately need God and his guidance from day to day and we realize it. The more God opens to us, the more we do, and see His hand moving in our lives and begin to understand where He’s going, and our faith is enlarged. This is when God begins to show up in power; with unprecedented favor, spiritual dominion along with ability & anointing.
This is what the 2021 believers look like; truly living for God, with a close relationship with God, receiving God’s direction for his or her calling, and taking our cities, Nations and World for Jesus! This is a movement, and we together are one in Christ; His Power, His Timing and for His Glory! We are the “Book of Acts” believers, coming together to form the “Book of Acts” church!
Glory to God!