Where have I been since my last post? There was a bit of a short, unannounced break in posts. I went from posting once a day, or at the very least, once every other day, to no posts since..the 27th of April, I believe. I’ve spent this week in prayer, and have been doing a lot of studying, reflection and personal examination. We’ve also been out of town, and we’re still on vacation and I’ve somehow managed to find a spare minute to type out a post. I’m a homebody – I hate leaving Tennessee. I hate sleeping in a bed that’s not my own. I hate being away from my house, my animals, my church. But there is a good side to that. I have to keep myself busy, so I’ve kept myself busy with important things. As always, I ordered a few books to keep me entertained during our ride there and back. I had been meaning to read a few different books, and, so far, I’ve only read two out of the five that I bought. I normally read a book in two days or less, but there was one in particular that really struck me. As you all know, I’m a big Leonard Ravenhill fan. I ordered his book Why Revival Tarries, and started reading it on Monday, and I still haven’t finished it. This book has convicted me and inspired me like no other book has, other than the Bible. As most of you all know, I feel extremely convicted to share the Gospel, and my way of sharing it is perhaps not everyone’s favorite way. I am quite blunt, and I have the habit of offending people and making people angry. (and I swear, I don’t do this on purpose.) This has cost me some friends. This has made me into a bit of an outcast, to say the least. I’ve never belonged to a group of people and felt at home. Youth groups have been a bust. Other church groups. Bible study groups. Even sports teams. Because I have this bad habit…I speak my mind a bit too much, and I’m willing to look at you straight in the face and rebuke you.
Obviously, this isn’t a good way to make friends. But then again, God never commanded that we make lots of friends and have a good social life. He did, however, tell us to rebuke, reprove and exhort. Now, don’t get me wrong – there’s a bad way, and a right way to do this. Don’t go shout from the rooftops that Susie at church is committing a certain sin and tell everyone. The Bible says to speak to these people in private first. Don’t be a jerk. Don’t be a hypocrite and tell people not to do something, then turn around and do it yourself. If you are living in sin, you have no business preaching on the streets and warning others about backsliding or sin or telling them to repent.
I have a confession. I am furious with Christians. I have a terrible temper when it comes to fellow Christians. And let me say this first off, so you don’t misinterpret what I’m saying. I am not a judgemental person. Truly. I honestly do not care what you did before you were saved. I don’t care if you were a drug addict. Addicted to porn. An alcoholic. A liar. A cheater. A thief. And if you are lost, I am not angry with you at all for sinning. If you aren’t saved, I don’t expect you to be perfect. I will warn you, because God has called me to do so, because I know that you will go to Hell without Jesus and repentance. But don’t get upset and say I’m judgemental just because I tell people they are going to Hell if they don’t get saved. That’s not judgemental. That’s the Gospel. And guess what?
You are a sinner. If you are saved, let me tell you something. Get this straight, Christian. You are vile. You were living in sin like a pig lives in mud. Your sins helped put Jesus on that cross, and the ONLY reason you are saved is because Jesus is forgiving, and full of grace. We are saved by HIS wounds, HIS grace, HIS mercy, NOT because we are good people. If that’s judgemental, or if you think I’m being rude or a hypocrite…well, I’ll be the first to admit, I was just as vile as any of you people, but not anymore. Jesus cleansed me.
I’m not being judgmental – I can’t judge, only God can. Only God can send souls to Heaven or Hell. God makes those decisions, I don’t. But, while I won’t judge like God, because I can’t, I’m going to do what I can do. What God told us to do. I’m going to rebuke. You Christians are insane. You are wimps. You are lazy. You claim to love people, but if you really loved them, you’d tell them that there’s a fire and to get out of the building! You’d tell them that there’s a judgement day coming and they better get to Jesus before it’s too late! I look around at so many Christians. These weaklings, these blind men and women, and I get angry. And I’ve always wondered…man, why do I think this way? There have literally been times when I’ve backed off and thought to myself…why can’t I be like every other Christian and focus on the love, because let me tell you, that’d make my life a lot easier. And then, this week, in my prayer time, I read the first few bits of Why Revival Tarries, and something jumped out at me. This is what A.W. Tozer wrote about Leonard Ravenhill,
“God has always had His specialists whose chief concern has been the moral breakdown, the decline in the spiritual health of the nation or the church. Such men were Elijah, Jeremiah, Malachi and others of their kind who appeared at critical moments in history to rebuke, reprove and exhort in the name of God and His righteousness. Let the people of God go astray from the paths of truth, and immediately the specialist appeared almost out of nowhere.
Such a man was likely to be drastic, radical, possibly violent at times, and the curious crowd that gathered to watch him work soon branded him as extreme, fanatical, negative. And in a sense, they were right. He was single minded, severe, fearless. And these were the qualities that the circumstances demanded. He shocked some, frightened others, and alienated not a few, but he knew who had called him and what he was sent to do. His ministry was geared to the emergency and that fact marked him out as different, a man apart.
They are sent from God not to carry on the conventional work of the church but to beard the priests of Baal on their own mountaintop, to shame the careless priest at the altar, to face the false prophet and warn the people who are being led astray by him.”
Tozer goes on to tell us that people like these, the specialists, are not often an easy companion to have for the very reason that they can not turn off their Christianity. Tozer refers to it like a faucet. How many Christians turn their faith off like a faucet when they are out of church or out of Christian company?
You see, ever since I was saved, I have felt so called towards the emergency. I joke with my friends and mother and say, if I were a man, I’d probably be one of those annoying, fire and brimstone, screaming preachers. There sure have been times when I’d love to yell at people from the pulpit of churches. Perhaps, then they’d listen. I get angrier than other people at the sin in this world. I seem to be more easily annoyed by backsliders, by false prophets. Not because I am judgemental or hate sinners, but because I hate sin and know that God’s judgement is coming! And we, Christians…we aren’t doing anything and it makes me furious. How often have I prayed to God, begging Him to lead men and women like Tozer describes, these specialists, into churches, into the lives of people I know. And God seemed to tell me something very clearly this week.
Be the change you want to see in the world. Be the person you feel like the world needs. What is stopping me from being that person? Why do I hesitate? I know what God has called me to do, yet I stop. I get too concerned about what others will think, but oh, I’m done with that now. I’m done waiting for others to rise up and come to me. I’m done trying to find supportive people to come and build me up so I can do this. God is giving me all the power in the world, just by being behind me and watching over me. So many Christians, myself included, have been fishing for compliments instead of fishing for men. For lost souls. And we need to stop that. We need to get up and do what God calls us to do.
Perhaps you aren’t called to be this type of person. Maybe your ministry isn’t going to be geared towards the emergency, but I know this – my ministry, this blog, my future endeavors, whatever they may be, I know what God is calling me to do. I know how He’s calling me to share the Gospel. It may not be your cup of tea, but I pray it convicts someone. I pray it angers someone and makes them wonder why. I no longer worry about offending others because sometimes, we need to get off of our high horse and see that we aren’t always right. No, not even me. Everyone can use a bit of conviction. No one is above that.
So, here I am. And, well, if you don’t like it? Oh well. Here are my thoughts on why this country isn’t seeing revival. Here are my thoughts on why this world seems so hopeless – us Christians are weaklings who refuse to do what God calls them to do because they’re too afraid. And God forbid I am a part of that crowd.
Satan has been using this love movement for far too long and allowing it to hinder the Gospel and it’s outreach. We are loving people straight into Hell, and I’m sick and tired of it. And to be honest, I’m tired of pretending to be okay with it. I’m tired of pretending that this whole movement is okay. I’m tired of seeing Christians so lukewarm. It’s time to stop making excuses. It’s time to do what we’ve been called to do. It’s time to rise up.
I’ve spent my life, these last couple of years especially, so torn up about my life and lack of friends. Goodness. I’ve sat up at night in tears because I’ve felt like I have no one, but this quote from the book, that part about certain people not being good companions for most people, it hit home for me. It was almost like God was saying, hey. Pick. You either do as I say, you either preach as I command, you either follow Me and carry your Cross, or you have friends and a good social life.
And I pick Him. I pick my cross.
My cross may be different than yours. But it’s mine to carry, and it’s time I carry it gladly, without any remorse. Without looking back. It’s time that I let God work in me how He see’s fit, and if He decides to let me continue on feeling alone…I’ll learn to appreciate that. I’m learning to be content with His company.
This post is messy. It’s not well written. But I want you all to know, this blog is real. My posts are meant to be realistic. Sometimes, I need a big dose of conviction. Sometimes, I need God to slap me upside the head and say, Hey, wake up! I’ve been calling you! And I needed that slap this week. So here goes the journey to make sure that my posts are relevant to what God has said. Here goes my attempt to make sure I always preach the true Gospel, and never cheapen it.
Tozer said this about Ravenhill, “It is impossible to be neutral. His acquaintances are divided pretty neatly into two classes, those who love and admire him out of all proportion, and those who hate him with perfect hatred. And what is true of the man is sure to be true of his books, of this book. The reader will either close its pages to seek a place of prayer or he will toss it away in anger, his heart closed to its warnings and appeals.”
Let it be impossible for the world to be neutral about me.