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Releasing Radical Christianity
I would like to end this teaching series by charging you with an apostolic challenge ...
If we were to look at modern Christianity, we would see many similarities with Jesus' contemporaries. Man, as a whole has not changed the way he responds to God. There are still those who can be found as hot, lukewarm and cold in their Christian walk. And yet, there is a constant drawing by the Spirit of God to go beyond our current state of maturity into the next realm of God's glory. But without knowing how to respond rather than react we can become frustrated.
We can easily see "the where" to go, but not always "the how" of getting there. All along the way our Father remains patient and merciful with His creation. One way that God gets us where we need to go is by divine dissatisfaction. Most of us would consider this sensation to be a reason to rebuke whatever or whoever we can, because surely this could not be God.
Much to our dismay, God is stirring the nest of immaturity and saying it's time to fly. Not the flight out of this world that we so eagerly and impatiently await but rather the flight of Isaiah 40:31, "But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint".
Let us go on to higher heights. Let us push in to realms of the Spirit of God that many have only dreamt of. Let us not settle into the complacency of the Sadducees or the legalisms of the Pharisees. Let us rather settle into the secret place of the Most High God.
It's in the presence of a holy God that we can begin to understand that there is a plan and purpose for us. Learning the basic foundational precepts of this One we adore is only the inception of the process we must patiently live. I say live because there are so many who do not realize the application of these principles and end up with lifeless theory.
We can delve into the depths of His truth as we pursue Him fervently, not in Spirit alone, but also in Word. Jesus said in John 16:13 that the Spirit of Truth would guide us into all truth. In actuality, He was saying that the Spirit would lead us into all reality. In order for His truth to become reality to us we must catch His understanding. Scripture calls this understanding revelation. The natural realm around us can only impart fact, not revelation. We can see this in Peter's experience in Matthew 16:17, "flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father".
Revelation is a dramatic enlightenment of something not previously known. "When he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is", 1 John 3:2. Lying blinders cannot remain in the brightness of His coming to us in this fashion. Any revelation we receive belongs to us and our children as a strength that the gates of Hell cannot dominate. If we will only challenge the course of religious Christianity.
Religion does not dare to allow for His directive in your life. The very nature of this bondage is to present man to God through a system of self-attained righteousness and control. Using whatever method possible to force us into it's mold of conformity, religion pulls men away from the reality of God. His truth then is not reality but has become a rigid man-made tradition which kills. It's the Spirit who brings life to us as He leads us into all the truth of Father God. It's time that the Church begins to intently cry Abba! It's only as we hunger and thirst after righteousness that we shall be filled.
The strength of any revelation depends upon the wisdom from above. That strength is simply the application needed to bring results. We must exercise the necessary prudence to see God's intended purpose fulfilled. Man has been given the rule over the natural realm but only as we walk in the Spirit. Faith does not deny the validity of the facts produced by the natural, but changes those facts by ushering God into the situation.
A revelation from God always has an application. The difference between success and failure is seeking the Lord until we have the necessary insight of putting it to use. This is precisely what was meant when Jesus said that He didn't do anything until He saw the Father do it. That is wisdom. It's difficult to get in over your head if you haven't jumped.
Jesus was not jumpy or flighty. He wasn't provoked by fear into presuming the Father's application. I believe that He was and still is a very calm and strategic individual. Why sweat it when you know the answer to the problem? He knew how to rule and reign on the earth. We need to learn from His example. Confidence will replace cockiness when that decision is carried through. Jesus knew that the only defense needed for a revelation was its demonstration.
A revelation put into application will ultimately produce a demonstration of the Spirit and power. The Spirit of Truth guides us into all truth. He is there with us to cause His reality to be evident in our natural world. We cannot concuct these results by methods, formulas, theories or ideologies. Therefore, the ever popular but widely misunderstood principle of Zechariah 4:6, "Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts". He will come through if we will listen and obey. God is easily entreated. He wants to move by His Spirit! He's eagerly awaiting to do so! Will we go against what we know and trust Him?
The norm for Christianity is not the complacency of unbelief that seems to try to settle all around us. It can come by our own indifference or that of others around us. Neither is it the attitude of judgmental saints with a gift of criticism. These are merely the extremes brought about by men attempting to live the life without the Life-giver.
The life of Jesus was the standard for normal Christianity. The pattern was set in John 14:12, "He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do". But how do we do this? We know that "faith without works is dead". Will we permit God to burn away the stubble that stands in the way? Will we let Him have His way when He puts us on the threshing floor? Or when He tosses us to separate the chaff as with a winnowing fork? There is a cost that must be paid. Peter stated in 1 John 4:17 that "as he is, so are we in this world". Whatever Jesus was to mankind, the Church should be as well, individually and corporately.
We are the living letters that the world needs to read. But how can they read what has not been written by living. And what makes us think that they would want anything other than a extremely different lifestyle. Someone said that insanity is doing the same thing over and over and over again all the while expecting different results. The mold of religiosity must be shattered in our own life before we can make a difference.
Revelation + Application = Demonstration.
Out of these three words come an acronym - RADical. The best understanding I have found for radical is a fundamental carried to the farthest limit which advocates revolutionary changes. In this hour, there is a desire stirring in the hearts of Christians to go back to the basics. Yet, when we see it demonstrated, we can become very resistant. Let us not resist change. It's a basic concept of Who we believe in. He must increase, but I must decrease, John 3:30.
Every Christian should be a radical Christian! You, too, are a demonstration of His grace and glory! Let's rise above mediocrity and pursue His purposes!