Seriously

Seriously

Sometimes we feel like we are walking in the dark, totally unfamiliar with our surroundings. We hope we are walking in faith, but the darkness obscures any clues, markers, or clear vision. We are being guided by something internal, deep inside, hopefully we trust the leading is from the Holy Spirit and that voice is his.

When we read the scriptures and the faith voyage of our heroes, we just assume it was easy. We assume they were confident, never wavered, were on task all the way. Then, I come across John the Baptist asking of Jesus, “are you the one or should we look for another?” Wow, the guy was there when the dove descended and the voice spoke. He had the sign from God that he was told to look for. Yet, there he is with doubt. Circumstances had changed fiercely. He was in prison, hated for his message and stance for righteousness. His beheading would soon be the price for a lewd dance.

There are others who were obedient to the call, walked in faith, and wondered if they had missed God somewhere. In our Americanized version of Christianity with modern heroes jetting around the country with multimillions income we have come to belief if you are a person of faith, you get a pass from trouble, doubt, fear, and questioning. Americanized Christianity is little more sometimes than religious capitalism. So, when we face trials and question where we are, we have no one to turn to because often we get the glib answer of the rote phrases of churchianity that mean nothing.

If this is the case, we are doomed to isolation and loneliness. This is really the root of the accusation against Christians that they are all hypocrites. A hypocrite is an actor, pretending to be someone they are not.

One of the principles that has to be ingrained in this new move or as one author put it, the Remnant Movement, has to be honesty. This generation is crying for transparency which is another way of saying honesty. Even though we call and desire transparency, there is a trust level that has to be attained before that can happen because betrayal is so prevalent.

If we are seeking to walk in faith, we must find a new way that reflects Jesus. It is not a matter of confessing till you get something. True faith confesses what has been revealed, not what you want to extract from God. Sometimes faith is a journey of darkness with little being revealed. Sometimes faith is trusting God for the next clue, the next flash of light on the path, the next glimmer of hope generated by the Spirit within. Even Jesus had to have angels come and minister to him at times.

This New Covenant walk is serious. Lives are at stake. Eternity is in the balance for many. Faith will have to be discovered in a way that reflects the new covenant. Real, Transparent, Trust in God!

P. Bill

A Breath of Hope

A Breath of Hope

I was talking on the phone with one of my friends from France this week. He travels a lot in ministry, speaking in France, Switzerland, and Israel on a regular basis. He mentioned that he had just come back from Switzerland and noted a change that was hopeful. He said that for the first time in a long time, he found young people seriously interested in the faith and had asked him to return and continue sharing the word and faith with them. It was so profound that it impacted him. (me too)

For a long time we have been looking for younger people to be interested in the faith. Not a superficial look and attendance, but a serious pursuit of God. It will take a serious pursuit to carry the gospel into the world. It will take a serious pursuit for the survival of the church as an entity, keeping it alive and representing the Lord.

We have had such an entertainment mentality and consumer approach that we have lost the deep commitment to the kingdom of God. Sad to say, the depth of engagement is shallow. Sad to say, the hunger for the word is barely existent. Everything takes priority over the celebration of the resurrection and the community of believers. It is evident in our society that more and more things are scheduled on Sunday mornings. Mid-week services of churches are pretty much wiped out as sports have taken the children and families. Our soccer fields, ball diamonds, and football fields are packed with cars, kids, and parents. It is a strong testimony to our priorities. What is being taught is that anything can take the place of spiritual enrichment and relationship with the Lord. So often, God gets the leftovers of our lives.

So, when I heard that young people in Switzerland showed a keen interest in the gospel, it encouraged me a bit that maybe we will see a turn around in things here as well. I seriously have a deep concern for the life of the church in America. Just because some churches have large numbers does not necessarily reflect the spiritual life of the church. Activity does not always translate into spiritual health.

I am still looking for the level of engagement that creates passion, helps passion, exports the faith to friends and family. It will take folks who are committed to the kingdom of God to carry things forward for the next 40 years. It will take children who sense a call of God to pursue Him. Most children will start in a deficiency because parents chose other things as priorities. Discovery of the Lord will have to start with the children. I guess maybe this pattern has been repeated throughout history. The Book of Joshua states that there arose a generation that did not know the works of God and had forgotten the accounts of their forefathers.

I trust God to do it again, bring life, cause hunger. I would like to see it. I would like to see it in The Connection!

P. Bill