The One Supernatural Quality America Needs Right Now

(Charisma News Archives)

"But this I say, brothers, the time is short. It remains that those who have wives should be as though they had none; those who weep, as though they did not weep; those who rejoice, as though they did not rejoice; those who buy, as though they possessed nothing; and those who use this world, as though they did not make full use of it. For the form of this world is passing away. ... But I prefer that you have no concern. ... that you may serve the Lord without distraction" (1 Cor. 7:29-32, 35).

Materialism has most of our nation and much of the church world by the throat. Mammon is our god. Our material prosperity, in many ways, is a greater danger than our poverty. It is killing our spiritual life, power and vibrancy. In a nation like ours it seems hard for the church to conceive and understand the paradox of "life coming out of death," "glory coming out of suffering" and "power coming from our pain."

The "Spirit-Filled Life Bible" has these comments to make concerning the above passage:

Paul presents this teaching in light of the tension between the temporal, unredeemed, secular order and the believer's spiritual life and calling. The present distress applies to the whole of this age and not to some distinct period of persecution in the first century. The spirit of this entire age is stressful, temporal and distracting.

Because of the nature of this age and the reality of the coming of Christ, believers are to adopt the attitude of finding the source of their life in Christ, rather than in earthly institutions, whether marriage, the social sphere or the economic world. A Christian is to live intently and responsibly and yet see these realities as ultimately temporal.

This entire theme speaks of living unsettled, not putting down your roots in this temporal place called earth and living as spiritual pilgrims passing through. Whether you live here in the comforts of America, in some impoverished underdeveloped nation or somewhere in between, you can live in a state of unsettledness.

Let me illustrate with a couple of personal examples what it means to live in this attitude.

A pastor friend of mine, whom I will call Bill, a family man and nearly 50 at the time, sat with me at lunch one day and shared some deep thoughts and feelings he was experiencing. Tired of a lack of fruit-bearing power among some of his long-standing church members and all the fluff that goes with the profession of conventional ministry, he spoke of leaving his established church of some 20 years and living a different sort of Christianity. He also spoke of selling his home and totally unhooking from his familiar past.

"I scare my wife every time I talk this way," he said.

"What will you do?" I asked.

"I'll get a regular job, gather me a band of radical disciples like Jesus did, win souls and live out authentic relationship-based New Testament Christianity."

What would make Bill leave a fairly successful small community church with all its security, comforts and benefits that took him years to build up? Allow me to take you through more of the conversation, and you'll see. Please realize that I'm only using this one man's experience to prove a point.

He told me in so many words that he was tired of professional Christianity, fearing the church, as he knew it, was becoming a bit of a dinosaur, irrelevant in many ways and not connecting the dots between theory and what they possessed in reality.

Bill shared with me how disappointed he was recently when a long-standing member of his church, a licensed practical nurse by profession, failed to share the gospel with a dying man, leading the poor man to believe that there was somehow hope outside of Christ: "I hope he finds a better place when he dies." the nurse lamented.

The pastor was flabbergasted when he heard this! After years of sermons, teaching and training, all this church member had was theory—teachings she had yet to learn to apply in real life.

Bill shared other examples of this same type of spiritual dysfunction in his church. Not that there weren't any serious students of the Word, but there were far too many who displayed a sharp contrast between what they heard and what they actually made work in their lives. Bill's longing was to develop disciples in the real world, outside of the traditional setting of the organized church. In other words, his passion was to make disciples in life-relationships, which he felt might be more effective, as opposed to the more traditional and structured way of doing it.

Please understand that it doesn't really matter what model or methods you use to make true disciples as long as it is effective. I'm sharing a personal example to show you how much Bill, a longtime pastor with an established church, was willing to give up in order to follow the Lord's direction for his life and live like the pilgrim that he was called to be.

The more I listened to Bill talk, the more I could identify with him. The babe leaped in my own womb as I realized more and more that true disciples of Jesus Christ have zero tolerance for complacency and indifference, and they are quickly bored with the status quo. My own heart bore witness with Bill's convictions, and I sensed God being drawn into our conversation.

True disciples of Jesus have a martyr's heart.

I know of another brother, a former student of mine who is now an evangelist who travels to unreached regions where few men will dare to go. I emailed him to ask about the cost of a five-country preaching tour he was currently on. He wrote back:

Good hearing from you. I hope all is well there in the states. Better you than me. I have no family, no home, no personal belongings, and of course, no payments.

If you don't mind going low budget like me you can do the trip for reasonably cheap. Once you get to Bangkok (BKK) the flights are less than you would expect if you go on a budget airliner. The risk of going into immediate glory can run a little higher. If you want to run to win then it's not a problem. Crash landings are sure to get you there before the rest of the pack.

I should be in the States for about three months if the Lord tarries. I want to drop the hammer while I'm there. I might not ever get another chance to preach in the ole USA again. I'm surprised we're still hanging in there.

Like I said, time is short. Who knows what will happen between now and then? All hell is about to break loose! The restrainer is about to be removed!"

These words come from what I call a martyr heart. At this writing, this brother was nearly 40 years of age and has chosen to live unmarried and unhooked from earthly possessions to serve Jesus wholeheartedly. He constantly speaks of his love for the lost masses of unreached people groups who have not yet heard the true gospel. Not everyone is called to be a missionary and live this way, but everyone is called to be a disciple of Jesus and live with the same mindset and attitude (Matt. 10:37-39, 16:24-25; Luke 14:33) in whatever sphere of life they are in.

Bert Farias' books are forerunners to personal holiness, the move of God and the return of the Lord. They also combat the departure from the faith and turning away from the truth we are seeing in this hour. His current passion is to promote a culture of the supernatural manifestations and ministries of the Holy Spirit in the church today and to pass it on to the next generation. His books serve as forerunners to the move of God, the coming of the Lord and the glory that is to come. "Passing on the Move of God to the Next Generation," "The Supernatural Church of Love and Power," "The Coming Restoration" and "The Nature of the Kingdom of God" are a simple blueprint for what the Lord Jesus is doing in His church today. Bert's newest releases are now available on Kindle and paperback. Other materials/resources are available on his website, Holy Fire Ministries. You can also follow him on YouTube (Holy Fire Ministries), Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Bert Farias' books are forerunners to personal holiness, the move of God, and the return of the Lord. They also combat the departure from the faith and turning away from the truth we are seeing today. The Tumultuous 2020s and Beyond is his latest release to help believers navigate through the new decade and emerge as an authentic remnant. Other materials/resources are available on his website, Holy Fire Ministries. You can follow him personally on Facebook, his Facebook ministry page, or Twitter.

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