We've seen many improvements in modern day Christianity in the past twenty years, but it still seems like overall Christians in our day and age struggle with Bible knowledge, putting theory into practice, and taking effective action against problems of the times.
Many Christians today in the west live dormant Christian lives. They are not growing, vibrant, active Christians.
We want to more than just luke-warm, run of the mill believers. We want to be glowing, passionate 100% on fire for Jesus Christians! That's what I want anyway. I want the real thing, 100% genuine, and I want to do it. I want to live it.
It's a stereotype to assume that "most Christians are hypocrites." Actually I see in my life that most Christians I encounter are really trying their best to live it. And I see a lot of good being done by people of faith in the world. A recent example is that 80% of aid to the hurricane Harvey disaster area was from Christian organizations.
It's often like that. The money-grubbing prosperity gospel types, and the sex scandal pastors, they are always on the front pages making us shake our heads in dismay. Meanwhile organizations like the Salvation Army, Compassion International, Samaritan's Purse, and a thousand other organizations are in the backdrop quietly helping people and speaking life into darkness and they never, never, never get any sort of publicity nationally unless there is a sex scandal or some sort of corruption or scandal. It's not right, but what can ya do?
As a Christian world we have many warriors on the frontlines of this battle between good and evil, and usually the best ones don't ever get recognized in modern news media. Only the bad ones. But I imagine we'll hear many names we never knew in glory who did more than we ever realized for the cause of Christ.
Nabeel Qureshi was one, he's dead now, at the age of 34. Another is Marilyn Hickey the "mother of Pakistan" and another that comes to mind is Amy Orr-Ewing who brought a stack of Bibles to the Taliban. The vicar of Baghdad Canon Andrew White, and his work with the refugee Christians in Iraq also comes to mind, there are hundreds, and thousands and millions of heroes out there that never get a moments credit or attention from our corrupt, wicked, disgusting, secular news media. They might get 30 seconds on Fox News, or a few minutes on CBN, but not much more than that. Meanwhile there is genocide against Christians in the middle east, and the media won't talk about that either because it doesn't fit their false narrative of western imperialist oppression. But that's alright. Because God sees them. And they don't want credit. They don't want glory from the world. They want glory for God almighty. And they've given it to him in ample supply.
My message to you today, and to myself as well, is this: Be one of them.
Be a real, powerhouse, strong, mighty, heroic Christian follower of Jesus. Don't be a sleepy luke-warm Christian, sitting in the pew half asleep, engaging in debauchery during the week, half caught in the world, half in the spirit. Really live it out. Really do it!
There are many kinds of Christians. There are the civilians. They do very little. Then there are the foot soldiers of the kingdom. They do a bit of work here and there, but are poorly trained and easily picked off by the enemy in battle.
Next there are rangers. Rangers are veterans of the field, they're tough and they've got the bruises and scars to prove it. They can fight, and they can survive. But there is still somethings that they can't do. They aren't elite. They don't have the skills necessary, and they haven't gone far enough into their training and wisdom and the truth of the scriptures to be truly heroic, though they do a great deal of good.
Then there are the Delta Force Christians. These heroes are legendary. A squad of 12 demons and their human puppets could go up against them, and they can take them all on single-handedly. They have true communion with God almighty. His Spirit goes with them in full force. They transform communities just by their presence. They radiate the power of Christ.
They are ninjas when it comes to Spiritual warfare. They're like master chief in battle with the covenant. Be one of these heroes. How? I'm glad you asked.
1. Walk in Step with Jesus - Stay close to Jesus. The enemy fears Christ. The power of Christ is unstoppable. And as long as you are following the will of God in Christ Jesus for you, you're unstoppable. Your a ninja. If you walk closely with Christ and keep your eyes on Christ, the enemy will shiver. And you'll be able to fight every battle in His strength and win through the suffering.
2. Believe with Total Certainty - Belief is power. And the hotter and more glowing and burning is your trusting faith in God, the more power you have. There is really no limit on this, build it, higher, higher and higher. You'll be unstoppable. The Spirit of God will delight in ministering through you, and on you.
3. Know Spiritual Warfare - a good beginning to study and understand Spiritual Warfare is by reading C.S. Lewis' book Letters to Wormwood. It'll help you understand how the enemy targets you and non-believers. Understand how the enemy will attack you, and understand the power God gives you to counter-strike.
4. Wear the Armor of God daily - Don't overlook the armor of God formula. Wear the helmet of salvation - be assured of your eternal life in Christ. Wear the breastplate of righteousness - know that you are washed in the blood of Christ and made pure by Him alone. Put on the belt of truth and understand truth, girded up in truth, and wear the shoes of the readiness of the gospel, always be ready to share about Jesus and let the Spirit lead you to do so. Lift up the shield of faith against the lies of the enemy that are so deadly, and strike with the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Know your Bible, know your word, and walk in step with the Spirit in applying it.
5. Study Deeply - Discern all things. Understand and be savvy of culture, of politics, philosophy, worldview, key issues of your day and age, and the underpinning beliefs on the people around you. Understand what they love and what they fear, know what society is talking about, and understand and perceive how future events will unfold and understand how Christian truth applies to every situation. This means reading books, watching presentations by leaders, listening to audiobooks, watching documentaries, and studying all things to be understanding of the times. This step is crucial, and separates the rangers from the delta force. Rangers fight on emotional and physical levels effectively, delta force fight on spiritual levels, philosophical levels, and understand that what they are fighting is not a person or even an idea, but a struggle between two sides in a spiritual conflict.
If you do these things, you'll be of great use for the kingdom of God. God is real. Heaven is real and hell is real. We're at war and each day is a battle. We're called to knowledge, wisdom, discern, prayer, study, and spiritual warfare. God works through us. He calls us to do great deeds in His name. Now is the time. Take up your spiritual armor, and take your stand against the enemy. Speak the truth and don't be afraid. The Lord will be with you.
- To Carry the Gospel: Am I Called to be a Pastor?
- God Has Hidden Beauty in Every Corner of the Earth
- A Battlefield of the Mind
- The Seven I Am Statements of Jesus: Who is Jesus?
- How to live as a consistently growing Christian
- Why Am I Here: Beauty, the Universe, and the Search
- Seven Honest Questions Regarding Christianity
- The Eternal City: A Real Place? What will it be like?
- 20 Quotations for Your Pondering
- False Christianity vs. Biblical Christianity