The Trip So Far

01/16/2019

Pattern of Revival

Filed under: Real Life Christianity — John Miltenberger @ 13:41

Ref:
For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.
[Rom 5:6; NASB]

Patterns are all through the Bible, and every so often God shows me one. By the way, God loves to show His kids the secrets of the Kingdom, for they are a part of our inheritance, and sometimes, I can sense His pleasure as He “shows off” His handiwork.
When He showed me His pattern for revival several weeks ago, hidden in plain sight in the Bible, I could sense His intense pleasure at my astonishment. He is, after all, a good father, only perfect in all ways. So here is what I was shown:
The pattern for revival is manifest in the first chapter of the book of John, and specifically in verse 23, where John the Baptist quotes the prophecy of Isaiah (Isaiah 40:3). John’s ministry was to ‘make straight the way of the Lord’, in other words, get the people ready to receive their King. And to do this, John baptized the people who responded to his message by repenting of their sins, (and sinfulness), thereby making their hearts ready for what was coming. Overlapping the backside of John’s ministry, Jesus came to John in the wilderness, and walked out on the center stage of history.
God doesn’t respond to our perceived needs as much as He acts within His Word to achieve His own desires. No matter how “desperate for revival” we say we are, no amount of human desperation is going to preempt God’s timing. True revival comes from Him.
Here’s the pattern:

John the Baptist = making our hearts ready for revival through repentance and consecration;
Jesus Christ coming forth/manifested = revival. It’s a clear, one-two punch.

Others have noted, and I fully concur, that revival tarries because of us, not because of God. He lights a fire of holy desire in His people, and as it burns away the chaff on hungry hearts, ‘at [just] the right time’ He sends revival. In this pattern there is a duality of responsibility – ours and His. We are in charge of our hearts and He is in charge of His revivals.
So often I’ve been put off by the seemingly increasing desperation of God’s people. They gather together to shout to God, as if He’s deaf, in ever louder attempts to prove to Him how worthy they are of hosting a revival, but many of these gatherings only serve to highlight our own churchy agendas, and have little to do with the condition of the hearts involved in the shouting.
God is not fooled by how loudly we shout and cry out – He, above all others, is well able to see through our veneers of sincerity and view the unyielded hearts gathered before Him. We may convince ourselves of our worthiness, but even though we may think ourselves sincere, if in truth we are not, God is not fooled.
If two repent at the altar, and one is insincere, no amount of verbiage will suffice for true repentance. If we make our hearts ready through true, gut-honest repentance and holy consecration to the ways and plans of God, revival will come – He wants it more than we do, but not for the value of the entertainment, rather because the Holy Spirit always acts on behalf of God to further God’s plans and purposes. We might indeed get blessed, but God is glorified.
The difficulty often follows as God tests our hearts, not so He will know about them, but so we will see them as He does. This is definitely not conducive to a 30-second, one time prayer. It is the emergence of a lifestyle of holiness that God is after, and that is our responsibility.

John

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01/15/2019

Identification

Filed under: Real Life Christianity — John Miltenberger @ 11:54

Ref:
And he said, “Who are You, Lord?” And He [said,] “I am Jesus whom you are persecuting.”
[Acts 9:5; NASB]

I’ve always loved the encounter that Paul, the soon-to-be apostle, had with the risen Lord Jesus as he was enroute to Damascus. I can just imagine the mind-blowing shock it must have been for Paul to see the blinding light emanating from the divine personage. And I’ve always appreciated the obvious question Paul asked, “Who are you?” (and I’ve never understood why so many readers somehow think Paul asked two questions!). Just as exciting as Paul’s question is the answer: “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.” Just how was Paul (AKA: Saul) guilty of persecuting Jesus?
True, Paul had been busily engaged in making life miserable and no doubt shorter for the Christians he had been hunting down, but how was his one-man purge a direct attack on Jesus Christ Himself? The only answer that makes sense is that Christ identified as one with the very disciples Paul had been persecuting. That’s a closer bond than most of us can imagine having with Christ. ‘As one’ – like in a marriage, where God sees the man and his wife as ‘one flesh’; that’s apparently how close God sees us in our relationship with His Son!
This helps make clear, from God’s point of view, several passages of scripture:

Matthew 25:37-40:
“Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You [something] to drink? ‘And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? ‘When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ “The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, [even] the least [of them,] you did it to Me.’

2 Corinthians 4:10:
Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies. (see also: Romans 8:17)

When we are persecuted because of our faith in Jesus, God views the persecution as having been done directly to His Son, and when we are blessed, God views it as His Son being directly blessed. We are indeed His Body!
Quite obviously, from God’s perspective, we aren’t just wandering stars with a hoped-for relationship with Him, we are part and parcel of Him through our union with Him through our faith.
That’s a lot better than just being considered far-flung family members, don’t you think? And as the Apostle James said, how can we think we love God if we don’t love our brothers?

John

01/11/2019

Against Parking Brakes

Filed under: Real Life Christianity — John Miltenberger @ 12:05

We humans are a strange, often confusing lot. I can guarantee that anyone who studies his fellow man in depth will end up with an increased appreciation of his dog! We talk about God bringing changes and giving His church more power, but we routinely resist change because it is almost always uncomfortable. We talk about how we want to know the truth, yet we often will not accept it when it is given to us. We hate boring church services, and struggle to stay awake, yet openly criticize services that are too “free” – using our own definitions of “free”, of course. We struggle to grow spiritually because solid, revelation-based teaching is more rare than diamonds, yet we again fight to hang onto our pre-set religious filters against such teaching. In effect, we’re starving because we can’t grow any more on the steady humdrum religious diets we’re used to, but we’re too afraid to dump them for real protein. It’s a marvel we’re still in the game at all!
But there is yet one good hope; His Name is the Holy Spirit, and he will not rest forever. We should know by now that none of us were chosen in the first draft. Israel in it’s millions came out of Egypt because, and only because, of one man’s faith in the Holy Spirit.
But after all of that deliverance – unlikely and improbable as it was in the natural, they almost immediately faltered when faced with the Wilderness and God’s provision in it. That whole generation put their parking brakes on, and with only two recorded exceptions out of all their millions, died right there. They never saw the opportunity; all they saw was hardship and depravation. Pretty dumb, right? But how are we so different in our generation?
We like our comforts, and that includes anything to which we can say, “We are used to it that way.” God is not at all interested in our getting comfortable because He knows full well that it is when we experience comfort that we more readily falter. When we settle for the status quo in God, we begin to spiritually die, for where there is no growth there is no life.
Several nights ago I was praying, and as I felt absolutely no movement in the Spirit, I asked God to just tell or show me something. Immediately I heard, “The motives of many hearts will soon be made known.” Followed up with, “Make sure your heart is circumcised.” It was spoken to my spirit quietly and with no fanfare, and only surprised me because it happened so immediately, like He was just waiting for me to ask.
I’m not claiming to be a prophet, and I simply shared what I thought I heard. I feel safe in sharing it, but since I didn’t hear the context, I recommend taking a back-burner approach: don’t reject it out of hand, but set it aside and see if events vindicate it. But I will say this – making sure our hearts are ‘circumcised’ is convincingly valid for any time.
I want to see God’s called teachers, men and women called to teach and given a gift for it, to come forth. I’m stuck in neutral, and I desperately need the giftings of God to put me in gear once again. Personally, I desperately need to see the manifest healing power of the Holy Spirit loosed once more in our meetings. I need to hear the mountain-moving prophetic word brought forth, as it was in the book of Acts. I want to see the manifest power of God, rather than hear how it ought to be.
In all of this, for that mighty door to be opened in fact rather than simply remembered as church history, I believe my heart and the hearts of God’s servants need to be circumcised. The flesh once more needs to be cut off so it can respond willingly and quickly to God’s Spirit. If it took the ancient Israelis days to heal up, I can only imagine if hearts undergo true circumcision, there must be some amount of pain to the process.
I have been engaged in praying for the last two years (about), that I be made completely ready for the no-fooling works of God that we know is coming. And I’ve requested He show me no mercy when I cry out in pain and complaint. I want it all, and if it comes with pain, as it will, I don’t need the anesthetics of group-comfort to dull the experience.
Some might hear in their hearts what I’m trying to say here. Don’t quit until He brings it to pass.

John

12/24/2018

God In A Box

Filed under: Real Life Christianity — John Miltenberger @ 09:53

It is the Christmas season, and with all of the emphasis on boxes under trees, it seems a good reminder to me that the so-called American Church is still in the same old disarray I remember from the 50’s and 60’s – we’ve still managed to keep God in our comfortable religious boxes. And while it’s no longer the ancient times of just 50 years ago, the boxes still belong to us.
At this time of year, many churches in America seem to succumb to a spirit of predictability, and while the dates on the programs might have changed, the sermons have not, and like leftovers, we try to consume what once was fresh with smiles on our faces.
Although Facebook is a new(er) wrinkle for our times, the way we use it still borders on ridiculous, if not sheer waste. While it is obvious to a minority that social media can be put to good use, good Christians still cover the pages with their latest restaurant adventure, complete with all their selfies oozing good cheer and fun fellowship, while completely missing the point that God may have given Christianity a great, and free, tool to be used for His purposes.
Many years ago, a person I highly value once said, “Before you run out of ammunition, you will run out of time.”, and never has that been more true than it is about American Christianity at this juncture. And yet, we propagate stupidity with the way we use the great gifting of social media by using it no differently than the secular world around us.
I’m frequently disappointed and discouraged by not only the shallow content of most posts, I’m even more disappointed that although “saved and redeemed” we still seem to function on the reading level and patience with the printed pages, as most third graders.
I am continually shocked by who reads the posts I put on Facebook. The generated “likes” don’t come close to accurately reflecting the scope of the audience. I do find it surprising that a photo will garner more “likes” than a post that has life-changing implications, but it just reinforces my theory that many of today’s readers grew up with comic books, rather than real works of literacy.
When I post articles that are political in nature, and I do so quite often, it would seem that not even a small ripple is created in the pond, and yet a photo of my cat puts smiles on a lot of faces. But ask, which type of post really might make a real difference? I do not try to post for sake of posting; that is not my purpose in using Facebook, but if what I post is over 15 seconds long, or might present a worldview instead of a restaurant, it seems largely ignored in favor of a valueless presentation. That says more about the readership than the article.
Currently, Chinese Christians are being persecuted on a dramatic scale. This is going on while we American Christians dither away our time with fluff. We seem to forget that Christ Himself prophesied that all who would follow Him would be persecuted. How is it that we in America are so special that we’ve avoided a government crackdown on our beliefs? And why is it that we somehow seem to think it will never happen here? Apparently Christ didn’t mean America when He said what He said about persecution. Maybe he meant China and the poor unfortunates in the middle east…
We are running out of time and we haven’t even begun to be ready. Party on and pass the Bundt cake and coffee.
While I doubt this piece will put smiles on friendly faces, I felt it needed to be said. I’m not gifted with an over abundance of tact and diplomacy, but I have to ask, how far has tact and diplomacy benefited those who do have it? Come on America, wake up! Your so-called Christianity may be put to the knife, and what will you do? You can bet that with a Democratic/Socialist government, the boxcars would already be on their way to your town. Wake up!
How can so many of America’s so-called Christian believers find it reasonable to vote for legalized murder? And what are they spiritually deriving from their endorsement of it? What is the spiritual benefit of ignoring “politics” while being “religious”? It is the politicians who we elect that will eventually load American Christians onto the gulag-destined boxcars.
If our faith doesn’t work in real life, it does not work at all, nor does it reflect the life and ministry Christ demonstrated, and died for. And if our use of social media reflects ourselves instead of Christ, what should that tell us? As long as we “religious” people can keep propagating Christ in the manger, we can keep Him in our convenient boxes.
In actual fact, although Christ began earthly life in a “box”, He forever burst out of it at His resurrection. And He didn’t do it so we could be religious; He did it so we could be real.
And you can believe this: “Real” is what the world is waiting for, and they don’t see it in us – YET.

John

11/21/2018

Significance

Filed under: Real Life Christianity — John Miltenberger @ 07:52

This morning I was thinking of a brief conversation I had last night, as a friend asked me what I was “seeing” in the Spirit. It was a difficult question to answer because although I’ve been sensing an increase in the motion of the Spirit, I’ve had no other details as to the significance of the movements. I can feel the speed but I can’t see the destination, and it’s exhilarating and frustrating at the same time. But I’d rather have that kind of frustration than the frustration of the plateau, when all seems to stand still.
Thinking it over, I began to think about the perfections of God. He is perfect in all ways, and by “perfect” I mean to say He is completely complete. Someone recently preached that God is so perfect He never needs to think! Now there’s a thought to think about! And when I thought about the perfections of God, I realized that His Kingdom, in which He reigns Supreme, is also perfect, for it is an extension of Himself.
2 Corinthians 6:16 says we ‘are the temple of the living God.’, for He Himself indwells us as He once dwelt in the temple made by Solomon, and as such, we are admonished to cleanse ourselves from all filth and be holy. Makes sense; we don’t like to live in filthy houses and neither does He. All said, it brings me to a biblical principle we talk around all the time: the ‘now, and not yet’ of God’s Kingdom as it relates to His people.
As God sees the end from the beginning, in His mind we are already a kingdom of priests, but from our historical perspective, we are still “being made”, or conformed into that position. We are being chiseled into the unique shapes He needs each of us to be, in order to become, and to be, His dwelling place for eternity. And as these stones are being uniquely conformed to His pre-planned patterns by His Spirit, sometimes the work seems painful to us.
One could almost paraphrase Romans 8:28 to alternately read: All things work together towards the completion of Your Kingdom.
I suppose it is in our nature to want to be important, or to do something important for God. However, for the temple to be “complete”, each piece, down to the last nut and bolt, had to be in place and functional in those specific positions. While some would say the altar of sacrifice might have a more important function than any of the curtains or doorways, the reality is that the altar had a function apart from the curtains and doorways, but all were just as important in order for the building to be considered “complete”.
Perhaps you’ve never felt the call of God to preach or to do street evangelism. Perhaps you simply close yourself in and pray intercessory prayers. Perhaps you are never recognized as the mover and shaker you always imagined yourself to someday become. But I say, “So what?” If you perform your God-given function 100%, no matter how insignificant it may seem to yourself or others, 100% is still 100% in the mind of God, and will merit a “Well done!” in the end. The one who cleans the toilets and the one who preaches are both accountable to the same One, and if the preacher preaches at the 50% level and the toilets are cleaned at the 100% level, which would have the better reward?
If we are faithful in the little we’ve been given, more will be entrusted to us. The one who climbs to the top of the mountain must have ultimately completed every step, no matter how small they might have seemed during the climb.
Be encouraged to take the next step. God may not always show you the long view of the road ahead, but He will show you the very next step. Faithfully take it.

John

11/01/2018

Hatred Is Not Logical

Filed under: Real Life Christianity — John Miltenberger @ 11:35

Ref:
‘But the natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he is not able to understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.’ [1 Corinthians 2:14, LEB]

While my reference verse mentions ‘the things of the Spirit of God’, I believe it also applies to any real understanding of spiritual matters in general, and in that regard I mention Hate.
Day after day we are fed a destructive diet of horrible headlines, not the least of which was the synagogue shooting several days ago. And in the body of the reports I’ve seen, the reporters once again, try vainly to discover the shooter’s motivation, as if by close inspection some amount of understanding will be discovered, and with it, perhaps we’ll be closer to preventing the next such event. While this is a natural human reaction to tragic circumstances, it is complete folly and misses the point entirely because Hate is a spiritual issue and is not subject to any humanly discoverable “laws” of logic.
Hate, like true love, has a spiritual origin, and the origin of Hate is a demonic manifestation of evil. Real love, of course is the opposite and springs from a Godly origin. This is not complicated stuff, but it is impossible to really understand any of it without being able to discern events from a spiritual perspective. And in the face of sheer hatred, logic is out the window.
Anti-Semitism only really makes sense to the degree we agree with God on the origin of hatred. The devil has no love in his character. None; zero. And as he has the market cornered on Hatred, he dispenses it wholesale to anyone willing to employ it. He simply hates, and hates and hates. So why do Christians have to wander around in a maze of confusion while trying to make sense (logic) out of Hate-inspired events? Why do so many otherwise smart folks keep asking “Why?”
The answer to this question will never be found within the logical patterns of men’s minds; the answer is found in the spiritual depths of God’s mind, and He gives the understanding to those who seek Him for it. In fact, the answer to this question is right out in plain sight – on the pages of the Bible.
Satan hates Jews, and there is no way to change it. He will always hate them, just as he will always hate any people that God has chosen. And he will always actively hate any of us who choose to love God. The only up-side to any of this was often mentioned by the late Dr. Derek Prince, who used to say that is important to have the right enemies.
If we want to be on the right side in eternity, it is vital to be on the wrong side prior to it.

John

10/15/2018

Pharisaic = Strain at a gnat; swallow a camel

Filed under: Real Life Christianity — John Miltenberger @ 12:58

With reference to:
38 For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, 39 and they were unaware until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 40 Then two men will be in the field; one will be taken and one left. 41 Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken and one left. 42 Therefore, stay awake, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. 43 But know this, that if the master of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into. 44 Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect. [Mat 24:38-44; ESV]

While I’ve never been a flat-earth person, I can just bet that about one thousand years ago, give or take a few hundred, there were many good Christians who sincerely believed the earth was flat, not round. However, in spite of their sincerity, they were sincerely wrong. So what? Looking at the flat-earth belief from the advantage of our current time, it really doesn’t seem worth fighting over, does it? Yet I know some did. In fact, I’m sure to challenge the flat-earth theory at that time, incurred great animosity from other, good Christian folk. Again…so what? Flat earth, or round earth…our salvation hinges on neither.
The Pharisees of Jesus’ time ran amok because even though they had the Scriptures and the prophets, they failed to understand the former and killed most of the latter. They were sincerely wrong even while being completely sure they were right. And while an understanding of “Jewish tradition” may seem critical to us now, it is in fact (my opinion) like the salt and pepper we use on our steaks. I believe there can be great benefits derived from understanding how the Jewish elders understood their own Scriptures, but I think we should also bear in mind these were the same smart folks who looked Jesus right in the face and missed their Messiah. Would that they had the benefit of our hindsight!
I would note there is a big difference between bible teachers/preachers who are inadvertently wrong in the nuances of their lessons, and those who are intentionally wrong for personal gain. And with regard to God’s Word, it’s fair to say that we’ve all believed many things we thought set in cement, only to find later the only cement involved was in our heads. But to go ahead and label someone a false teacher/preacher simply because their current revelation differs somewhat from our current revelation, can have no positive effect for ourselves or the other person.
I cannot count the times when I was absolutely sure, without a shadow of any doubt, that my wife’s viewpoint was way off, and most of those times the fault was with me. I had been temporarily blinded and deceived into thinking I needed no correction…very embarrassing, and ultimately indefensible. Crow meat tastes ugly, but I needed the meal many times; it was a good diet for my pride.
All said, Jesus promised to come back for us, and while I cut my teeth on Rapture theology, I have my doubts now. So what? He promised to come back, and personally, I don’t care one whit whether I meet Him in the clouds, or Wichita, Kansas – the only two things that matter are: 1) He would have kept His promise, and 2) I was ready to go when He showed up. (Oh, by the way, the last time I descended in an airplane, we descended through clouds on our way to the destination). Whether I meet Jesus in the clouds and come back on down to the earth with Him, or whether I meet Him in the air and go with Him somewhere else, the only important thing to me is that I went WITH Him. The rest of the little details will sort themselves out. And another good point – at that time, all the Rapture theory viewpoints will not factor in! I simply cannot imagine crowing in heaven (or earth, during His reign), that I was right and you were wrong.
All prophecy, whether given by you, me or Jesus, will finally only be verified in hindsight. Prophecy is meant to build up the body of Christ – any other use means we probably need to modify the ways, as well as our motives, for reading Scripture in the first place.
Just sayin…..

John

10/04/2018

The Black Robed Regiment

Filed under: Real Life Christianity — John Miltenberger @ 11:35

‘Contrary to popular belief, politics is not inherently “dirty” – it only became so as Christians abandoned it.’

‘Most preachers agree that, along with the family and the church, government is one of three institutions God ordained for the promotion of peace and order so that the Gospel can be preached throughout the world.
Strangely, when it comes to preaching about these three institutions today, preachers enthusiastically address two of the three – the family and the church. They generally steer clear of government convinced it is “unbiblical” to get political in the pulpit.
The late Adrian Rogers often said, “God created the principle of human government and it is inconceivable that God would create government and then tell His people to stay out of it.”’

[Dan Fisher, Bringing Back The Black Robed Regiment]

There is a great book written by Dan Fisher that is largely unknown to most professing Christians. In this two-book compilation, Fisher explains in lurid detail, the participation of the preachers prior to and during, during our Revolutionary War. Many would preach from their pulpits with bibles and muskets present, and then go into the trenches to lead their very own congregants in throwing off what they understood to be a Godless tyranny. Most incurred a death sentence in doing so, as Britain’s king hated and feared the “Black robed regiment” for their leadership.
In these books, whole sermons are reproduced verbatim, and the detailed histories of many of these patriot preachers are told, and I wish we had them back in our time; we’ve never needed them more!
The quotes I collected from these two books fill up many pages in my computerized notes, and I’ve put two of them in my introduction, above. All of this leads me to ask several pertinent questions of American Christians today:

1. Why are the vast, very vast majority of today’s clergy so deathly afraid of preaching about the Christian’s obligation to participate in matters of civil government. Further,

2. When was the last time you heard a preacher publically talking about the subject of politics from the pulpit, other than vague illusions to it?

3. Why is it so very rare that preachers deal with our civil DUTY as Christian men and women to vote?

4. And finally, do we American Christians believe that God purposely placed us in this land, cleansed us from our sin and brought us into His family, just so we could abdicate our right and mandate ‘to rule’ on earth, to a bunch of heathen unbelievers? Is it any marvel why “politics” is ‘so dirty’. It should be obvious.
God told His people to ‘come out from among them’ in the sense of not participating in the sins and sinful lifestyles of the heathen around them, but He never indicated they were to leave planet earth up to their rule. Look where that has brought us?
We love to point our pious fingers at the filthy, dirty and ever increasing perversions we see in the ‘world’ around us, so carefully reported by the propaganda machine we call the media, but what we ought to be aware of is the four fingers pointing back at the absence of the church to step up to the plate and change it – and the most effective element of change is the venue of politics.
That’s just my opinion, of course, but ask yourself: Where did the American Church, the ‘Body of Christ on the earth’, go? Why is it weak, ineffective, and the laughingstock of many? Is that part of God’s plan? Really?! Here’s another question: Is prayer without action the same as faith without works?
We are victims because we have allowed it to be that way, and I have to wonder, is that the Bride, Jesus is supposed to be coming back for? He deserves better!
I’ve heard multiple figures for how many professing Christians didn’t even vote in the last election, arguably the most important election in our history, other than the ones before and during our Civil War in the 1860’s, but the number is in the tens of millions of registered voters. So what do you figure they were doing that Tuesday? My guess: watching God TV and hoping it would “just all go away”. It is shameful, and that’s way too nice!
We like to preach about our God-given “authority” and how the Holy Spirit empowers us from within, but I have to note: None of that makes any difference if all we want to do is sit in our so-called ‘churches’ and have country club meetings every Sunday.
If we don’t want to fill some political office, the least we can do is be a burr under the saddles of the heathen who are.
Perhaps it’s time to open the prison doors of our religious hearts and let the Holy Spirit go free!

John

08/15/2018

The Order of Things

Filed under: Real Life Christianity — John Miltenberger @ 12:08

Even a cursory reading of the first chapters of Genesis give the reader ample evidence that God is an orderly Person. The creation is mute testimony of that fact, and we can clearly see that any rampant disorder translates to disaster, for disorder equates to rebellion.
Since we are a part God’s creation, and apparently the epitome of it, we too are subject to order, and we are expected to be in order with regard to the way we live and the way we relate to others, especially to God Himself. The problem? The problem with disorder usually occurs as we remain ignorant of it. Like a pile of dirty clothing in the middle of a room, it only becomes an issue when we finally “see” it. (my wife always helps me to “see” – one of her skills for sure!).
Disorder is one of mankind’s natural defaults ever since the Fall in the garden, and usually how we manage, or mismanage disorder becomes the way we live and view our lives. Bringing order out of chaos is one of God’s most notable characteristics. This is clearly seen in what happens in Genesis chapter one, right after it is stated, ‘the earth was without form and void.’ (Genesis 1:1), and immediately we see God’s Spirit bringing order out of the chaos. He will still do that, if we let Him.
It is no mystery that right before blessing, comes order. This is true within ourselves, our families, our workplaces and our churches. And it is no stretch to point out that one of the first things to happen when we seriously seek God for revival is the implementation of order in our own lives. It is not usually pleasant, but it is necessary.
As I stated earlier, disorder in all areas is not only our default position, but probably a cosmically recognized trademark of humanity. If advanced civilizations of Aliens really do exist, I’m sure they routinely talk about how disorganized and chaotic planet earth is. If not, I’d have to challenge just how ‘advanced’ their civilization is, for there can be no concrete advancement without it being laid on a foundation of order.
Nobody I’ve been in contact with recently has any real grasp of what “Revival” means in pragmatic terms. We use the word interchangeably with “(a) last great move of God”, etc., and their interchangeability perhaps testifies to our ignorance, but all of us want God to split open the heavens and come down and manifest His power.
The Apostle Paul told the Corinthians ‘ (his) speech and (his) preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that (their) faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God. (1 Corinthians 2:4,5). And that to me, is revival, and it is usually preceded by the implementation of order. I might point out that only after Solomon’s temple was finished, i.e.: in order, did God fill it with His manifold presence, and I think that’s a divine, timeless pattern.
As we draw closer to God in our corporate quest for ‘revival’, I believe we should welcome His attention to detail in our lives, as He seeks to put us in order. There is no need to bend God’s arms in our prayers so He will relent and send it; He wants to do that more than we want it, and His Son wants to return. He is not holding back because He’s one whine short of providing His answer – He’s waiting on us.

John

08/05/2018

TDS? No Mystery Indeed

Filed under: Real Life Christianity — John Miltenberger @ 16:03

Since the election of Donald Trump last November I’ve heard increasing media coverage of what is fast becoming a clinical term: TDS, or Trump Derangement Syndrome. At first, the term was humorous to me, as I viewed it as simply a way of poking fun at a bunch of sore losers, but it’s not so funny anymore, as violence of all shapes erupts across America.
This morning, as my wife and I were talking about spiritual matters, it came clear to me that what we’re calling TDS is simply the unleashing of the spirit of hatred across our land. It is obviously a spiritual issue, because no logic can now account for the depth of this derangement.
Worse, I believe that we are labeling it TDS in the light of Trump’s presidency, for now, but this spirit will focus on somebody and something else once Donald Trump passes from the scene in our country, as indeed, all men will eventually pass. Then what?
The devil knows the times, and he probably knows end-time prophecy better than any of us, since for him, end-time prophecy is intensely personal. For many of us, what we call end-times prophecy is anywhere from a slight interest to an obsession, but for him personally it is indeed the end of all things – forever. And as someone once stated, “Forever in the wrong place is a long time!”
The spirit of hatred, now out of Pandora’s Box, can not be put back into the box, and it must be dealt with spiritually to be effectively dealt with at all. What’s more, the spiritual must be augmented by a physical practicality, to make any difference in our present world system, and for spiritual beings like the Church should be full of, this struggle will continue unabated until the return of Jesus Christ.
Having said all that, I’m increasingly struck by how helpless the Church seems at this juncture in history, at least in America. We’re captivated by news headlines, immersed in the current societal plunge into depravity and exploited by lies on every front. We even struggle to be genuine with each other, even while we preach on the ‘unity of believers’. I wonder, have we even begun to fight this cosmic demonic tsunami in any way approaching reality?
As the Bitmoji label says, “The struggle is real”. When will we know it, accept it as it applies to every person, and begin to organize our army into an effective fighting unit? Only God can take us there, but He won’t take us there until we give up our Bystander Credentials and sign on as the real spiritual warriors we’ve been created to be. For…..
Once “TDS” has passed into ancient history, the hatred will still be loosed, for the targets may change but the spirit of hatred is not going away with our headlines. It is the manifestation of one of the devil’s last moves, and the Church united is the only real hope we have.

John

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