Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Fringes of Revival

 Something is happening in the state of Christianity, and it's both depressing and exciting. The Church is evolving, in a sense. Some ways for the better, some ways not so much.

 For the bad, many of us are becoming more and more like the world, which is tragic. The image of God is becoming the likeness of society, and it's cancerous. We have reasoned the Holy Spirit out of our teachings of the Bible because, frankly, we don't know how to handle Him. He frightens us. Makes us uneasy. What we most see about Him is the unforgivable sin of blasphemy of the Spirit, and so out of fear of committing this sin we instead completely neglect the fact that He is referred to as a Comforter, Advocate, Helper, and the like. And in our exclusion of the Spirit we have made ourselves double-minded and wayward. We can preach and teach, but without the Spirit, it is all hollow. Nevertheless the Gospel has been preached, but what example is a Gospel that has no power for those preaching it?
 When those who are easily influenced see a Christian leader on stage (or anyone merely claiming to be a Christian) living an adulterous life with the world (in love with the things of the world), flippant in morals and loose in conviction, carefree with their words, actions and very thoughts, they think, "Real Christianity doesn't look too hard." What they see presented as "real Christianity" is actually a facade.
 When a person's public life and private life have shewn themselves to be entirely at war, it's easy to think they have two kingdoms at war with one another inside of them, but there is only one, and that kingdom is capable of showing itself as a work of "light."

There is supposed to be a difference, and it's supposed to reflect at all times instead of in beneficial circumstances alone.

 Here's the good; not to say it's exclusive to any specific age-group, but this has caused a great mass of young adults in the 18-24 year old age bracket to stand up and say, "We will be different!" There is a great nation of believers who have grown worse than cold; they have grown lukewarm. But like Joshua and Caleb, some are taking their stand and saying, "Choose this day who you will serve, but as for me and my house, we will serve YAHWEH!" and, in essence, "Though there be giants about, the greater the struggle, the greater the glory!"
 It is indeed far worse to be lukewarm (or halfhearted) and to act like being saved is no big deal, because it shows no power of redemption to those who are lost; it causes them to see something that can be ignored because it has all the appearance of being a mere option. This damages the image of Christ. If He has saved you and called you His own, you are a new creation, not in part but in whole, and you are not the same. If you are truly saved, you are no more of this world than He was when He walked the earth. We need to get our mind right and act not just like something changed in us but that we are not at all the same. After all, it's not for our glory but for His that He has saved us.

 There are those who have contrasted the halfhearted and apathetic by becoming radicals. We call them radicals, at least. These are, simply put, those who have conceded to the fact that they're remade, reborn, and reformed in His image. These radicals are those who, when they walk into a room (or a church), every head turns. The mutterings of various conversations become hushed tones. They bear an image unlike anything commonplace, they exude something like conviction but also like love. And everyone notices how drastic the difference in these people is. Before a word is spoken by them, people say in their hearts, "I want to know what that peace and grace is like."
 It's been my prayer to one day be so apparently born of this unworldly race that people feel the love of God flowing from me in such a manner.

 It is something to be striven for, of course, but i've tried hard enough to know that it can't be managed by my own strength or will. It doesn't take as much fight as it takes surrender.
 To quote a band called My Epic,
"I used to think I had to write these songs just so.
For Heaven's sake and for my own, I put myself through Hell,
But I quit striving for perfection; surrendered up to it instead.
And now the songs keep pouring out, and I cannot contain myself."
 (from the song, "Lazarus")

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