WE NEED TO NEED GOD AGAIN/WE NEED TO NEED EACH OTHER!
After seeing many complacent and inflexible people walk away from the Lord or at least away from ministry, you can understand why I would want to ask Him why. Why Lord? Why don’t most Christians I know have a burning and longing to give You everything…to fling all overboard and give chase with reckless abandon? Why don’t most Christians act like the burdened saints in the Bible? Why? Why?? Why!!!
While there are several good answers…lack of good Bible teaching, lack of prayer, poor discipleship…there is one issue that seems to be screaming in my face lately. WE DON’T NEED GOD…AND WE DON’T NEED EACH OTHER. I think these problems are more or less one in the same and stem from the fundamental pants-pooping resulting from not following the two greatest commandments: love God; love your neighbor. Simple, right? Well, given all of our tepid and pathetic behavior, I guess “simple” isn’t yet simple enough.
Most people won’t say this, but if we were honest, we don’t want to have to NEED God or really anyone else these days. Historically, within 40-50 years after a serious movement of the Holy Spirit (in this case, the hippie Jesus Movement), what started as a mighty tidal wave of simple and honest Jesus-Following, ends as an astoundingly boring ebb of a sweet reality of reliance on God. In other words, we are now in a ditch, a low point, a receding of the Spirit…a place where we just don’t want or need to NEED God.
This stale place, ironically, is the very primer for a new and fresh flow to sweep back through the Body of Christ. It, very honestly, can only get so bad before we the Christian people cry out again. Thank God that it is also a historical fact that God can and will bring us to a stark realization of our wretched-naked-poor-blindness. Spiritual poverty leads to a necessity for the Lord.
So–and here is the bomb dropping–WE SHOULD WELCOME CALAMITY & COLLAPSE. You know, adversity, struggle, difficulty, trials, discomfort, etc. Come on, don’t bail out on me. This is so good for us. I can attest from personal experience that losing most of my material comfort along the way has been very good for my Christian walk. Losing a car, losing my cell phone, financial well-being, nice clothes, the ability to go out to eat, personal time, and even sleep has disciplined my soul to again need God. And oh how refreshing this process of poverty has been.
This is no new news. This is by no means a novelty. This idea has been ebbing and flowing through the Church’s history since the time of Acts–the inception of the Body. Jesus had told us to forsake ALL to follow Him. All materials. All belongings and goods. All money and allegiance. All. And the saints in the Book of Acts actually did this! Unbelievably, it really worked.
Many people read Acts or read something like this post and say, “Ho do I do this?” Most ask the question with a general longing to follow God with their whole heart…but A WHOLE HEART IS BURIED IN THE CHEST OF A WHOLE LIFE. Count the cost brothers and sisters, but do not shrink back. It will cause disillusionment and difficulty, but great are the rewards of knowing the Lord again is COMPLETELY at the helm of your life.
Very pragmatically, you can go without a lot of things you think you can’t go without. You can function on less sleep. You can wear modest clothing you don’t replace all the time. You can even make less or NO trips to the mall! What about NOT having a car or a cell phone or a regular job–for shame! We and others I know have lived and thrived without these comforts or with even less.
Who says that a job will save you? In this economy, we better start figuring out how to survive without regular work or paychecks. It doesn’t mean you don’t work; I have actually been more busy serving the Lord than with any job. This line of thinking is dangerous, I know. This line of thinking can be offense, believe me! And it has even been thought of as unbiblical. I just can’t agree with that. Desperate times call for very desperate measures. Have you ever been desperate once in your life, truly desperate?
But what does it all come down to? Faith. Trust. Truly serving the Lord. Are these the end-all and be-all? I would argue yes. And I stake my life, my family, and my ministry on it. There is truly no higher a calling in these complacent and pathetic days.
So let us need to NEED God again and need our camaraderie and fellowship as well. Let us throw caution to the wind and run after our God and put ourselves in a place where we can minister and serve with and to our fellow brothers and sisters, in the Name of the Lord. This is community. This is the Body working as it should. This is a group of believers functioning together under one Shepherd and one Head.
This is simplicity.
This is the new, yet very old reality.
This is NECESSITY.