The Un-Quo Church

And who would use old wineskins to store new wine? For the old skins would burst with the pressure, and the wine would be spilled and skins ruined. Only new wineskins are used to store new wine. That way both are preserved. Matthew 9:17 TLB

There is an old adage, “Be careful what you ask for, you just might get it.”

It is a dangerous prayer to ask God to bring “new wine” from your heart. After all, He just might do it.

And what will you do, if He takes you at your word, and takes everything inside your nice ordered little world, and turns it upside down, and inside out?

What if He wants to use YOU to bring revival to a Church weary of the stale status quo?

If you are enamored of the status quo? These are questions you would, and should, carefully avoid.

What if?

These are dangerous questions if you are fond of the illusions of safety and certainty.

But, what if God wants to shake the dust of complacency off of your life because He has other plans for you?

What if COVID was just the opening gambit? What if your world is never going back to what it once was?

What if… God wants you to get comfortable, with expecting: THE UNEXPECTED?

Is YOUR bush burning?

In his book, “What if God Has Other Plans: Finding Hope When Life Throws You The Unexpected,” Chuck Swindoll writes,

“Once God had Moses’ attention, He spoke. There are times when God wants to stab our curiosity, so He shocks us out of our routine. Routine is a subtle enemy. We fall into a mental rut, like stumbling into an open grave. And in that mind-numbing routine, we miss God’s call.”

Are you standing in Moses’ sandals?

Dusty Sandals?

I found a wonderful quote in One Magazine by a man named Clint Morgan,

In 1857, a pastor named James Smith preached a sermon entitled “Keep Close to Christ!” In his introduction, he shared the last words of advice from a dying minister to his sister. The transcript of the message gives his account of this final encounter between the pastor and his loving sister.

The words of a dying minister, realizing the value of the soul, and the solemnity of eternity, are important words. Taking her by the hand, and fixing his eyes upon her with a loving look, he said, “Keep close to Christ!” What could he say of more import? Her life lesson was comprised in four words, “Keep close to Christ!” She had come to Jesus, she professed love to Jesus, she found happiness in Jesus; but the dying brother knew the deceitfulness of the human heart; the power of the world’s fascinations, and the craft and subtlety of Satan, therefore he exhorts, “Keep close to Christ!” May the Lord give us grace to get near to Him, and then give us more grace, to keep near to Him; for alas! how many of us, like Peter, follow Him afar off.

Last year, I attended the International Fellowship of Free Will Baptists in Campinas, Brazil. National leaders from five countries gathered for fellowship, ministry reports, dialogue, and strategic planning for the future.
Several of the national pastors were asked to prepare messages for this gathering. As I listened, I was impressed with the depth of their messages as well as the passion and compassion of the speakers.
One of the speakers referred to his appreciation for well-polished shoes. He launched from this thought to a reference to the disciples and their time with Jesus. I think we all could agree the disciples probably were not greatly concerned with polished sandals. This pastor reiterated that those who followed closely to Christ more than likely had dust from His sandals on their sandals. A disciple should not have “polished shoes.” Instead, as he follows closely, dust from the Master’s shoes should be on theirs.
Do we have dust from His sandals on ours? “For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps” (1 Peter 2:21).    

Mighty Rushing Wind

When The Lion of Judah decides to roar, who can hush Him?

When The Mighty Rushing Wind of The Spirit begins to blow, who can tie Him down?

I ask these questions because there has been a restlessness inside of me that has been rumbling around inside for several years now. Every once in awhile it speaks.

Then, someone from the status-quo tells me to, “Shut up!” and so I have.

But… lately?

I have been wondering. “Is this me, or The Holy Spirit’s restlessness, building inside?”

And, if it is The Holy Spirit? Well, I ask again, who can stop Him?

Picture yourself among the disciples: A sound roars from the sky without warning, the roar of a violent wind, and the whole house where you are gathered reverberates with the sound. Then a flame appears, dividing into smaller flames and spreading from one person to the next.

Acts 2:2, 3 The Voice

Unlikely Ones

In his book, The Wild Ones, Nate Johnston writes,

One morning last year the Spirit of God fell upon me heavily and I began to prophesy:

Here they come! The unlikely ones, the misfits, the overlooked! Here they come! They will be like David, the unlikely king, the unlikely warrior, the unlikely victor, the ones overlooked and called useless and hopeless. Here they come! They are the carriers of the pure voice of the Lord leading the Church back to the feet of Jesus. They are the igniters and fire-starters of revival in the nations. They are the ones who have been silenced and constantly muzzled and sent back into the wilderness by the religious voices or the insecure. They are the ones who have been broken and shipwrecked, pushed to the side, and underestimated, but NOW HERE THEY COME! The wild ones are rising. The undignified ones like David who had nothing but a harp and a sling, but they will take giants, smash through immoveable doors and walls, command mountains to move, and lead the Church forward into victory!

unusal heroes rising, the wild ones

God is raising up the unlikely ones right now who like David may be the last pick to be king, yet God is choosing them to impact the earth. Right now, there is a changing of the guard because God needs worshipers, kings, and priests to lead the Body of Christ forward. I say this respectfully, but the kingdom of Saul has had its day. The wineskin has burst, and we can’t operate the same way we have. We must be a generation living at the feet of Jesus, not basking in the sun of ministry accolades. God is resetting the affections of the Body of Christ, and He is using these unlikely heroes to lead the Body of Christ out of dysfunction and back into alignment with the heart of the Father.

Nate Johnston, The Wild Ones

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