Saints Crying Out to God
2 Chronicles 7
14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
Our nation is in a great crisis. The anger is at a boiling point and can erupt into war. Our President is standing tall for values the majority of us love. The liberals have reached a point that it’s do or die for them. They cannot stand a return to the America of the past. Solid family values are repulsive to them. They love the free lifestyle of everyone doing whatever the old sin nature wants. Sodomy, abortion, etc. is their dream.
The only way out of this situation is the Hand of God. When men pray, God will answer. The most noted Scripture for a promise of revival is the following: “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” (II Chronicles 7: 14) Will you set this next seven days to pray for America? Our church is open every morning at 6:00 AM for intercession. I will be here every morning. Call or come and pray with us.
The Christian world must become disgusted with the pale religion that fills our pulpits and pews. We need a holy hunger for robust, masculine Christianity that drives us to our knees in search of Holy Ghost boldness. Our consecration to Christ must reach a level of devotion that moves us from the natural to the world of the supernatural. We need to forsake our programs, schemes and social bondage that we might become instruments completely used of the Sovereign God Himself.
I quote from Dave Hunt! “The creature can offer nothing to God but that which he has first received from Him; and it must of all necessity have the divine and Godly nature both born and living in it to render acceptable worship to God. Anything less than this is the abominable worship of the flesh, seeking to present to God that which comes from carnal self. Can anything reflect light before it has first received it? Can any other light be reflected than that which has been received? Neither can any created being have godly affections except as the divine nature dwells and operates in it. If the man Christ Jesus said, “I can of mine own self do nothing,” how much more is this certain of us.” (The Indwelling Spirit, William Law, edited by Dave Hunt, pages 17- 18)
It does not matter how much of religion you claim, how many Bible verses you can quote and how many church related activities in which you are engaged, until you move from the world of the natural to the supernatural, you have no more of God than the heathen. Nicodemus was as religious as the best church members in America, but he did not know God. Jesus said, “Ye must be born again.” (St. John 3:7) Our churches and pulpits are filled with unconverted men and women who would be absolutely startled at the descending presence of the Holy Spirit. They have never experienced Him; they are very religious, but they have never experienced God.
Christianity is first and last a life totally different from anything this world offers. Until you have something this world cannot give you, you don’t have God. Until you experience a transformation beyond the counsel of a religious psychologist or counselor or deliverance deeper than some self-help scheme, you are doing nothing but playing with religion. Because someone tells you to believe in a higher power or because you confess that there’s a man upstairs is very little more than positive thinking. You can temporarily change your emotions by a simple statement in the positive but that is not the life change so powerfully represented in surrender to Jesus Christ and His indwelling Spirit.
Living in the flesh and living in the Spirit are two different worlds. The best your flesh can produce even in a positive vein or mindset is still flesh. Much of religion today is nothing but “positive thinking” in the guise of Christianity. You must constantly pump yourself up to survive. The preachers in most pulpits should be called “cheerleaders,” instead of men of God.
13 Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms.
14 Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:
15 And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.
FROM ORIDINARY TO EXTRAORDINARY! As long as we remain ordinary church leaders and members there will be no real change in our families, friends and neighbors. When we compare our faith with the spiritual tide of Acts we look like spiritual pygmies. They turned their world upside down, while we cannot even manage to keep ours right side up. Let’s look at that dangerous “Book of Acts” for examples of moving from the ordinary to the extraordinary. This is a picture of robust Christianity.
“Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour. And a certain man lame from his mother’s womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms of them that entered into the temple; Who seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple asked an alms. And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, Look on us. And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them. Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk. And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God. And all the people saw him walking and praising God.” (Acts 3:1-9)
Four things were evident in what I’m calling Robust Christianity. One: “Here were Christians acting like Jesus.” They had lived in His presence and surrendered to His will on a level of total dependency. Now they were acting as He taught them to act. Not only did they act in His name, but confessed that the faith that rescued this man was not their faith but the very faith of Jesus Christ Himself. “The faith which is by Him,” (verse 16) was described as the source of faith in them which commanded this miracle. This crowd would never allow themselves to be called a “word of faith” church. They claimed nothing but that provided by Jesus Himself. Not only was their righteousness by faith, but their faith was by faith. They were enabled to believe because they had declared their own complete bankruptcy.
Two: When men are enabled by their total surrender to act like Jesus, “God Himself can act like God.” He wants to fulfill every promise in Holy Scripture. Our Father is ready to manifest Himself to this generation but will not act contrary to the Holy Scripture. To suggest as some do that He only healed a few choice people or according to a kind of flexible will is an indictment against Him. His provisions are either for everyone or for no one. Don’t frustrate the grace of God. (Galatians 2:21)
This generation has contrived a theological escape for every clear promise of Jesus Christ. We have excuses why some are not healed, why the gifts of the Holy Spirit are not manifest, why the churches are engaged in social programs instead of Holy Ghost activity and why our ministers fall into all kinds of moral sins, etc. The manifestation of God is absent for one reason, our level of living is beneath the level that allows God to reign in our midst and to show His glory to our thirsty souls. The problem is in us.
Three: The third evidence of extraordinary Christianity was the effect on the hurting man begging at the gate. He was enabled to “act like he met God,” because he did. He had been on the outside looking in (never allowed to enter the temple, because of his imperfections in his flesh), but now he moves to the inside looking out. He had no concern for the cold, religious crowd as he entered the temple, “walking, leaping and praising God.” The living God had infused him with abundant life.
16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
17 Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months.
18 And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit.
Four: Beautiful results are now clearly visible. The fourth evidence of robust Christianity is, “a whole city stirred for revival.” Luke, the author writing by the Holy Ghost’s inspiration, calls it, “The times of refreshing…from the presence of the Lord.” (Acts 3:19b) This is the constantly recurring theme throughout the dangerous book we call “Acts of the Apostles.” They lived in the world of the supernatural because they had ceased to accept the limited life of the natural as being normal Christianity. To them it was not Christianity at all.
SUPERNATURAL CHRISTIANITY THROBS WITH COMPASSION! The power of God will never be available to carnal Christianity. The Holy Spirit came to complete the gospel as preached by Christ in the four gospels. (Letter preaching kills, but the Holy Ghost anointed preaching lives.) Jesus commanded His disciples not to leave Jerusalem until they were endued with power (virtue, dunamis) from on high. They had the message before Pentecost, but they had the message and the power after Pentecost. Pentecost was more than the place of power, it was also the place of death and resurrection. They became one in purpose when God as the Holy Spirit took “presidential control” over their lives.
Compassion that represents the Biblical heart is seen in the good Samaritan. He didn’t ask the man’s name or demand to be repaid. It was the ultimate act of selfless devotion. It didn’t happen in a cathedral or before a multitude of gasping spectators. He didn’t ask an offering, but rather gave one. He didn’t solicit an address for follow-up, but gave his own for further service. He stopped to serve, not to be rewarded. It is a contrasting story to today’s church world. No wonder we rot in our own spiritual decay.
“And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side. But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him, And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee. Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves? And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.” (Luke 10:30-37)
If you want spiritual power seek to follow this striking example. Do not misunderstand me. Divine life by the Holy Spirit is not obtained by being compassionate, but rather by surrender to Christ. Yet, He never gives this life for your own selfish pursuits. He gives it that we may serve Him, but serving Him is to be wholly given in serving others. Many people who serve others are as pagan as if they never heard the name of Jesus. Spiritual life is by His grace for we can never earn it, yet, when we are consumed with grace we have no desire but to give ourselves for other people. True life from God fills us with the very compassion which brought Him down to be our Redeemer.
IT’S MOVING UP TIME! We need to move up to Hallelujah Boulevard. Too long many professing Christians have been living on “Dried Up Street” or “Merry-Go-Round Circle”: others have chosen “Touch Me if You Can Parkway” or “Fault Finders Lane.” Some are living on “Television Hooked Road” and “Gloomy Dead End Street,” while there’s a whole crowd on “Doubter’s Trail.” Everyone of these broadways are crowded with the multitude that go on Sunday to the House of God, but live their lives in these hopeless dens all week. It’s time to move.
2 Corinthians 10
4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)
5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
6 And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.
Hallelujah Boulevard is straight and narrow, but full of joy. You must check your sins at the toll gate for there are no bargain counter offers. The toll keeper is Jesus and he’s waiting to relieve your heavy load. Unforgiveness is at least 10 blocks away. Worldly living is most uncomfortable on this boulevard. All signs proclaim one simple message. It’s “Praise the Lord anyhow.”
The theme song is “He Keeps Me Singing.” There are not speed limits because the Holy Ghost has never had an accident. The highway never needs repairing so there are no detours. It’s a one-way street with a pearly gate on the far end. It’s unspeakable joy and peace beyond understanding as you cruise toward your happy destination. And, most important, there’s power and anointing to bless every soul who will hear the witness of Jesus Christ.
TOUGH TIMES MAKE US STRONG! Robust Christianity is all of God’s best poured out on a fully surrendered saint. There are times of tribulation to build our faith and hardships to make us strong. All of this we learn to love for His sake. Apostle Paul said, “When I am weak, then am I strong.” “Will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” (2 Corinthians 12:10b, 9b) Since our world was not made by chance and our Creator is still in control, nothing can happen by chance. When we “rejoice in all things” and refuse “to be anxious,” God is left in control. The least amount of anxiety on our part is called double mindedness. Either God is in control or we are, for there is no middle ground.
REST IN THE HOLY SPIRIT’S CONTROL! It’s time to rest or cease from the Christianity in man’s control. It has brought the church to its weakest point since the turn of the 20th century. Every work of the true servant of God must be rested for Holy Ghost direction. The Apostle to the Gentiles said it best, “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” (Romans 8:14) Any spiritual activity that is under human control is powerless to save. It may build a social club or a religious empire, but it will not build the kingdom of God. It’s wake will be strewn with the confusion of human failure.
The Holy Spirit is calling us to Christ’s church. He stands at the door as the porter to invite and open the door that Christ’s sheep may go in and out to find pasture. All other attempts to build the church are the same as the thief and robber who seek to take that which belongs to another. (St. John 10:1-5) Modern Pentecostals, Charismatics, and Evangelicals are the present day thieves robbing Christ’s church and Jesus Christ Himself of the glory which He cannot share. When we cease our thievery and enter into total obedience, His glory will once again appear. “He shall come down like rain upon the mown grass.” (Psalms 72:6)