A short time ago, coming out of Yellowstone Park going east, I drove along a spectacular stretch of highway accented by breathtaking valleys, mountains, beautiful woods, rushing streams and waterfalls. After a distance of about 30 miles or so, the scene leveled out. I pulled over and stopped and then looked back. What had I just seen? It had all been so beautiful. The rapturous emotions I had experienced were fading, and I desperately wanted to feel it again, to relive it. So…I turned around, drove back and repeated the drive. This time, I drove slower. I stopped often. I took a walk through a stream. I found a rock and used it for an altar.
The value of a thing, the understanding of a thing, in some cases only becomes clear when we realize that it has vanished, or is vanishing. As I stood looking back on the edge of that scenic area just outside Yellowstone, it was clear to me that what I had just seen and experienced was something wonderful. And the contrast between that and the common road I was now facing created something of great value. It was real – almost tangible. It moved me.
When churches drift away from the “Upper Room,” which is to say the commandment of the Apostle Peter (Acts 2:38), it is a serious situation. We are not built to be complete within ourselves. We are complete in Christ. “And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power” (Colossians 2:10). The only real church is a church in relationship with God having been born again. No philosopher, theologian or system of self-discipline can change this. We “must be born again” (John 3:7).
The decline of morals and the principles of holiness in our culture and, sadly, in many churches is clear. We cannot ignore it. However, instead of looking at the problem and taking responsibility for the weaknesses we have allowed to cripple us, it seems we idly watch as our country, our pulpits and our families crumble all around us. Instead of realigning ourselves with the truth and taking a stand at all cost, we say little and do even less for fear of being labeled as “too negative,” “too old-school,” or “too reactionary.”
Think of it this way, suppose your child was at the zoo and an escaped tiger was approaching your baby in an aggressive manner. Wouldn’t we react, if at all possible? Wouldn’t we at least TRY to fight off the tiger? Wouldn’t we do our best to grab the child and take him to safety? Discussing the problem with your wife first, calling a committee meeting, or trying to intelligently debate with the tiger about whether or not he is hungry enough to eat your child is utter foolishness. The moment, the crisis, the situation requires immediate, swift response. You see… resisting is not a negative reaction.
The revolution in global politics is here. The revolution in Christianity is here. The revolution in science is here. The revolution in communication is here. The moral revolution is here. And the revolution requires us to be prepared to respond. We don’t have time to come up with some new path; we don’t have time to rewrite history, change our core doctrines. We must recognize that we are complete in Christ – ready with His Word to be revealed at this precise moment (1 Peter 1:5).
May the forces of darkness and deviant political systems and false doctrines that are being unleashed upon this world meet a fired-up Apostolic preacher. May they be met with an army of believers who will not succumb to the enormous powers and alluring deceptions of the Antichrist. Let us, through the discernment of the Holy Ghost be fully and profoundly aware of the present dangers of our times. Let us not mistake worldliness as an adventure into some new, improved path. Let us not see holiness as a stigma of the uneducated or unenlightened.
May the preacher for these times be one who understands that without Christ things retrogress; therefore, he will preach in season and out of season, he will stand on absolutes, and he will never doubt that progress will cost his time and perhaps his life.
When we borrow or import carnal ideology, false doctrines and worldly methodology, we should not think we are finding solutions. Men reach for the world when they have lost the true ethos or anointing of their lives. The Holy Ghost is our power, life, hope, strength and salvation. Without it, we lose our authority, our gifting, our transcendence, our “blessed assurance.”
There comes a moment – a moment where the miraculous is experienced – a moment where the rush of God’s power and anointing is alive and felt so deeply – and sometimes, for whatever reason, that moment wanes. It is passed through. Suddenly things change and we come to realize that we’ve lost something great. The glory is gone. The foundation is shaken. It is this moment that calls for reaction. It is this moment that calls for resistance. This moment calls to the individual heart to turn back, to look again at the vanishing grandeur of His presence, His calling, and His anointing. It calls us to do more than simply remember how sweet it all once was! Will we accept the ordinary or will we go back and reach for the pure Pentecostal experience?