What if Walmart said, "Trust us, give us a percentage of your gross and we'll spend it wisely. You'll get a good product. We promise." Would you believe them? Don't you think there are market forces at work in the church?
That is, if I were the pastor of a church of 1,000 people and I preached six weeks in a row about the dangers of riches and the judgement on the wealthy and the need to pick up our cross daily and the complete inadequacy of a magic prayer when you were eight if you've never since lived your life with holiness - do you think I would still have 1,000 people at the end of the six weeks? Do you think I would have a job?
See, WE'RE the consumers! As long as we spend the money there will be someone willing to tickle our ears.
No way, boys. Not anymore. Not with MY money. We are seeing NEGATIVE population growth in the church. We are NOT feeding the hungry, we are not caring for the orphans, we are not reaching the lost. We're not even keeping up with population growth. We are bringing in $250 BILLION a year and spending 95% of it on comforts and programs for the "saved". AND we're in debt up to our eyeballs!!
THIS IS NO KIND OF WAY TO FIGHT A WAR!
So I say, accept personal responsibility (as I have) for having fed this beast. If your church is soft and fluffy - DON'T throw more money at it hoping it will start saying hard things - the money is what made them want to BE soft and fluffy! If your church is saying the hard things and meeting needs and doing God's work the way God wants it done - then give them ALL your money!
Where are the martyrs?! Where are the people willing to do anything for the cause of Christ?! We need them to get to work. Something big is coming. God's given us the vision and laid out the plan. All the pieces are coming together.
All the people in the wilderness need to hook up, get fed some real meat and then we need to send them BACK into the churches with big armloads of meat to show love and feed the hungry. If we can get little tornados or revival started and they get some critical mass, eventually people are going to go up to the pastor and ask him to preach something hard for a change - and THEN he will be unshackled and free to say what he's aching to say, but been taught (by us) not to!
Don't leave the churches. Stay and speak truth with love. But don't assume you're going to get fed meat there, you might not. But stay because you love them and just ask lots questions. Lean over to someone next to you in the service and gently and very sweetly say something like:
We need covert, special forces commandos to fulfill Romans 12 until we can get the whole army ready to fight. That's the simple three step plan for warfare on God's terms.
If in thanks for His mercy, you're willing to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God - do THIS:
CONFORMING TO THE PATTERN OF THE WORLD!!!!
transformed by the RENEWING of your minds.
3. THEN you
will know what is the perfect will of God - AND THEN DO IT!
There's more, but that's the big thing. You can ONLY find repentance and revival and restoration by those three - in that order.
Then, once you're hearing God really well, go back into the churches and heap burning coals of conviction on their heads by feeding them the meat they are dying for and the water they are thirsting for. Be Christ to them. God is preparing MANY hearts. People I thought unredeemable are asking questions again. The harvest is white.
Ask lots of questions, show love, bring them to small groups inside or outside the church where they can be challenged and grow. Don't expect to feed people individually and disciple them in groups of a thousand.
That's what we're hoping to see - a massive, self-replicating, mobile, cellular, no-nonsense structure that can operate inside or outside the church walls (and survive any persecution) to reinforce and restore and urge others toward Christ.
Read Judges 6. God calls Gideon to save Israel from the Midianites, but before he can go do that, he has to take care of the idolatry in his own backyard!! So he calls TEN friends together and they go in covertly at night (very shrewd - frontal assault won't work) and switch Baal's altar to an altar for God and then use the Asherah pole as the fuel for the sacrifice to God. They use the assets of the idolatry as the fuel to accomplish something for the Kingdom!! I love that part!
In the morning the men are mad and want to kill Gideon, but his Dad talks them down. Now ... I think they gave up too easily if they really loved Baal. They're trying to save face, but I suspect some of those Jews thought, "You know, this is better anyway. We should have done this a long time ago. Wish I'd have had the chutzpah to do that!" Just a couple chapters later, they want Gideon to be ruler over them! Give me 11 good people willing to die for Christ, hearing God's will clearly, trained to show love, speaking only pure Truth, shrewd as serpents, harmless as doves, and determined to make a difference - and we'll bring revival from the inside out to ANY church on the planet! (God willing.)
THEN Gideon can blow the trumpet and mass 32,000 and go fight the larger enemies rallied against God. And he needed all 32,000. The ones that went home weren't chicken, they had responsibilities and families and businesses and infrastructure that the tribe needed to maintain. God knows that. He wasn't mad at them. But notice Judges 7:8. Gideon sends 31,700 of them home, but they leave ALL their provisions! That's the way God's economy should be working. The folks on the front lines doing battle up close with the enemy need to have SO much provision and supplies that they can meet any need - feed any that are hungry, give to any that are thirsty.
Those 1% on the front lines hearing God clearly are people that have proven they can be trusted to use assets for the Kingdom - those willing to die for Christ aren't going to buy a BENTLEY!! I'm sorry, they're just not.
I know folks working with prostitutes and drug addicts and runaways and gangs - and hardly anybody is supporting them. There is a giant underground church of ex-skinheads and witches and satanists and gangbangers that will not even TALK to a Christian in a cardigan or set foot in a church for how toxic it is to them! They're pushing back the darkness in the worst conditions and getting NO help at all. Do we not care about the down and out? The unreached? Did Jesus?
Think of it this way, if God let's you and your kids stay home in the suburbs and keep your job and somebody else will go hold the heads of the junkies and clean up the prostitutes and tell them about Jesus - what's it worth to you?
Which do you think results in more treasure in heaven?
New chandelier in the sanctuary ----------- getting 14 year old girls off the streets and into heaven?
Tithing because a guy in a suit says you HAVE to ------------- Reaching those who have NEVER ONCE in their lives heard the name of Jesus spoken in their presence?
Your new $3000 big screen TV --------- Feeding 30 orphans in Ghana for TWO YEARS?
We're just weeks away from this being a reality and having a strategy and plan that can fit on ONE piece of paper and be duplicated anywhere by anyone that's willing to do ANYTHING for Christ and push back the darkness.
I Corinthians 14:8 "Again, if the trumpet make an uncertain sound, who will prepare for the battle?"
We've got nothing BUT uncertain sounds -- if there are any at all! I've got no patience anymore for anything that isn't 100% about Jesus. No more messing around. This is WAR!
Where are the martyrs?!