Last night our house group met up at our house as we do most Monday evenings, and as we discussed a new section of Bill Hybels’s book on Authenticity, something came up which I was very challenged by.
We were trying to define or establish where is the borderline between being Christ-like when we walk alongside someone who is going through difficult circumstances or an illness, and making the decision that that particular person needs to see a professional counsellor both for their sake and our own protection too.
I know that the world tells us that you must be qualified and experienced in order to be able to properly help someone who is either mentally, physically or emotionally sick or someone who is struggling with a dramatic circumstance in their life. My question is: If as Christians we claim that we are in this world but not of it; that the Spirit of God lives in us, and we believe that as Jesus declared, we would be able to do greater things than those He achieved, how is it that we in our unfaithfulness and lack of trust turn God’s awesome gift of His Spirit living in us right back on his face, and destroy the power and potential of His very promise when we put limits on what Jesus clearly assured us we would be able to do in Him, through Him?
I am not talking here about people who have a criminal tendency or who are an obvious threat to those involved, where our common sense alone would tell us that it is not our place to deal with such situations. I am talking about issues which are the cancer of our society such as depression, debt, adultery, gambling, gossip, compulsive lying, fear, anxiety, sexual abuse that has taken place in a person’s past, etc, etc, etc.
So many of us are willing to accept that when ministry teams in our or other churches travel to third world countries, the Spirit of God in them brings about miracles, healings, deliverance from demons, and all those things that formed part of Jesus’ ministry. And yet, we absolutely fail in Western society to deploy the very same power that God has entrusted us with in the places we live in, in our own communities. How is our faith ever going to “move mountains” if it is ourselves, and nobody else, who put the limitations and restrictions of who we can help and who we can’t? How many people that are suffering near you at this very moment, have you neglected to care for, because you are trusting in your own ability or inability, and forgetting in the process that you are a new creation in Christ and have been equipped and chosen to be Jesus to those people? What do you believe: your flesh or the word of God? Why then do we disqualify ourselves of the honour of serving as the Royal Priesthood that God has called us to be?
Many argue that the needs in the Western world are not as desperate as in Third World Countries, and in acknowledging so, we are blatantly taking as matter of fact that this is the reason why God blesses those nations with such displays of His healing power, and not so much other countries in the developed world. WE ALONE have put limits to what God can do, and in doing so, we become puffed up in our own righteousness, ability, edification and spiritual development, whilst hundreds of lost souls all around us are ready to throw the towel in; resigned to sink even further into a dark pit of fear and despair, because the light that Christians constantly talk about is nowhere to be seen, as it is men and not God who are in the “limelight”. We put men of God on a pedestal and rely on them to fulfill the commission that Jesus left to each and every single one of us who believe in Him. We put all our faith, hope, trust and investment in a ministry or a man instead of in the God who made them. We become so busy forever learning and training in how to be the perfect Christian (there is no such thing), the perfect leader (there are no perfect leaders, only those anointed and appointed by God and not men), so consumed with equipping and empowering ourselves with what Jesus freely gave us the day He died on that cross, that we end up grieving the Holy Spirit and stepping out of God’s anointing. We want the bigger things, before we are faithful with the small ones, and want the glory without the sacrifice, we want the fame and recognition without giving of ourselves to the people that Jesus’ heart cried out for and after all of that, we have the frivolity to pray for REVIVAL.
The time is NOW! No more procrastinating, no more hiding under our own disguised dreams of glory and of furthering our own kingdoms. The world is crying out for help as we remain seated comfortably in the security of our own salvation.
Ever since I started writing this blog, I often take time to read other people’s writings, and if I see a need, I pray about it, and if I feel the Lord leading me, I will comment on their blog offering a word of encouragement, empathy, compassion or advice. I cannot being to tell you how heavy my heart has become at times when I have read people’s most intimate confessions of despair, depression, and thoughts of even suicide. There are dozens, hundreds of souls out there desperate for the love of God to break the chains that hold them down. The harvest is plenty but the workers are few. Why? Where have we set our sights as Christians, because we are obviously missing what is right in front of us?
The Western world is as much, if not more, of a mess than any other countries. We are all so blinded by power and money. Everything has to be big in our society, even God’s power in our midst has to come with thunder and lightning for any Christian to take any notice. When we think of serving the Lord, we are not content with helping people in need, the nameless and faceless in our midst. We search for God in the wind, in the earthquake, in the fire, and all along God’s power has been available to us and entrusted to us through His still small voice, His gentle whisper in our ear to give a word of encouragement to the single mother who struggles with bringing up the kids on her own; to the father who is losing touch with reality as he struggles daily with breaking free from the claws of depression; to the lonely soul that no one takes notice of and quietly sits at home contemplating suicide, because nobody cares; to the broken wife who feels rejected and humiliated by a husband who has committed adultery; to the husband who is crippled by the guilt of his sin and needs the love of a Christian to cry out to Jesus on his behalf and seek forgiveness and restoration in that man’s relationship with his wife; to the homosexual or lesbian person who struggles with temptation, but can’t see a way out because Christians around him/her, the ones equipped to bring Jesus’ light into that person’s darkness, treat them like they are already a lost cause. The list is endless, and yet, we have put God in a box and we have convinced ourselves that He couldn’t possibly be in the small things, the “small people” that we often fail to see or do not care to notice. How could He? He is Mighty God with bigger fish to fry. Right? Wrong, wrong, WRONG.
I TELL YOU THE TRUTH, ANYONE WHO HAS FAITH IN ME WILL DO WHAT I HAVE BEEN DOING. HE WILL DO EVEN GREATER THINGS THAN THESE, BECAUSE I AM GOING TO THE FATHER. AND I WILL DO WHATEVER YOU ASK IN MY NAME, SO THAT THE SON MAY BRING GLORY TO THE FATHER. YOU ASK ME FOR ANYTHING IN MY NAME, AND I WILL DO IT. JOHN 14:12-14
When Jesus knocks on your door, when there is someone in need, do you hide under the pretext that you are not good enough, qualified enough, experienced enough and wait for that person to knock on someone else’s door or do you live by the faith that you profess and trust in God’s power in you to transform darkness into light in this world right here, right now?