THE CHURCH ON FIRE
THE CHURCH ON FIRE
To say that we are living in a volatile time is an understatement. Never in my lifetime have I encountered such a tense undercurrent in our culture. The matters are serious, the voices are loud, the movement is intense, the buy-in is vast. (Apologies if I am lumping things together but I have a point in this.) People are drawn to the social justice issue, not only because there is an issue that needs to be addressed, but because it has meaning; and people who are moving and leading in it are feeling it at a DEEP level.
There are many other issues people are “fighting” for at a deep level – masks (wearing them or not wearing them), the impending return to school or another season of distance learning (and what different sides of the aisle are arguing for), campaigning for upcoming elections (left or right seem to be the only definitions), whatever issue will be the next great showdown; as well as all the other major issues as a society that we are lobbying for or against. People are fired up and pouring all their efforts and energies into that “one battle” they believe will change the entire course of things for them.
The intensity is real! At times it feels suffocating. If I don’t at least tune in to the news (and I am not even talking about watching it for an extended time), I am deemed ignorant and uniformed. And yet it’s those moments watching news that often leave me feeling most hopeless, grasping for air and the hem of His garment.
Have people swung so far away from the Lord? Or is there something in this instability that we need to pay attention to?
The Church needs to wake up and take notice. People are in desperate need; they are HUNGRY! They are crying out for something that matters. They want to pour their lives into a cause that’s worth risking for. And yet, we are still offering a soft, palatable Christianity. Quite honestly, it seems to be crumbs rather than the rich banquet we have access to.
What would happen if we offered the pure, unadulterated Truth? What would happen if we were honest about sin and separation from the Lord? What would happen if we were truly unashamed of the Gospel? Walking with the Lord demands being “sold-out”; it demands your life, it demands your all.
Lukewarmness, casualness in our faith, Sunday-only Christians – these things are a lie and they are not enough.
I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. (Revelation 3:15-17 NIV)
“Knowing the correct password—saying ‘Master, Master,’ for instance—isn’t going to get you anywhere with me. What is required is serious obedience—doing what my Father wills. I can see it now—at the Final Judgment thousands strutting up to me and saying, ‘Master, we preached the Message, we bashed the demons, our God-sponsored projects had everyone talking.’ And do you know what I am going to say? ‘You missed the boat. All you did was use me to make yourselves important. You don’t impress me one bit. You’re out of here.’ (Matthew 7:21-23 MSG)
The first scandal in the Church is that we have lost sight of our first love. We have allowed other things to divert our gaze. There are many sold-out Christians fighting valiantly to make sure everyone has a voice at the table. But there are others who have simply jumped on the bandwagon. They are “fighting” to be part of the crowd, rather than following the Lord’s leading with His full breath behind their every effort.
There are many matters I feel strongly about, matters that stir up fire in my spirit and make me want to go raging out on to the battlefield. In fact, earlier this year, I found myself in one of those spots. It only took about two weeks in before I realized I was spending all my free time researching “this thing” and all my energies into fighting for the “right” voice. I am grateful for a loving Lord to gently open my eyes to see that I had diverted my passion to something other than Him.
I am now reminded of that time and how quickly I can lose focus and sight of Him. I must keep HIM at the helm – and where He leads, I will go! And if HE is steering the ship, I cannot go wrong. I will fight with all the “right” tools, not the “almost right” set of equipment.
What if our churches were willing to consider the cost? Not a building full of people but of a people on fire? What if we were willing to “lose” half our congregations for the sake of raising up a generation who will not be shaken, a people on fire, built solidly on the rock rather than on shifting sand?
I truly believe our society is so desperate and hungry to believe in and fight for issues of the heart. We are missing our opportunity – we have the answer – the only One that matters – and it will infiltrate EVERYTHING else we do!
In the midst of a culture floundering in the throes of instability, God can light the fire and renew the passion of the early days with our first love–those days where we were sure mountains were molehills to Him and that He could break the chains with His bare hands. He has never changed.
The same God who parted the Red Sea and delivered a group of vagabonds into a land flowing with milk and honey, the same God who protected three men in a fiery furnace and kept the lions’ mouths closed… the same God who sent His only Son to die as a ransom for our own lives. The God of the RESURRECTION calls us His own. THAT is a cause worth selling out for.
It’s time for us to RISE UP!
“Build Your kingdom here
Let the darkness fear
Show Your mighty hand
Heal our streets and land
Set Your church on fire
Win this nation back
Change the atmosphere
Build Your kingdom here
We pray.” Lyrics from “Build Your Kingdom Here”, Rend Collective
(Suni Piper is a prophetic intercessor who blogs at A Surrendered Life. )
Does this word resonate with you? Share it and leave a comment.
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I was deeply moved by this article! I felt faith that Jesus could move me back to my first love. My love is a warm love, but I want it to be a hot love!
To all who respond to this, thanks. But this is not the time to have civil government dictate what we can or cannot do. They have no authority over us, only the Lord. We are to go out and make disciples and baptize them in the name of the Father,Son and the Holy Spirit. We are to be a light in the darkness, salt of the world a lighthouse over a stormy sea.
So are you ashamed of yourselves for being led around by Satan’s army of unbelievers. If you are truly His, you will be persecuted even until death. There is no good or bad in heaven, only forgiven. Fight, pick up your cross, follow the King of Kings to victory. Remember the Bible says that you are coheirs with Christ and you are seated with Him- it means that YOU ARE JESUS TO ALL AROUND YOU, YOU HAVE THE SAME AUTHORITY AS JESUS AND POWER OVER ALL NATURE LIKE ME. GO BOLDLY AND FIGHT YOU CHAMPION OF THE MOST HIGH.
I am a senior and don’t go out much. With the church limiting people have not been to church but did hook up with the Pastor from my church in Massachusetts. She is now in North Dakota. She started her church on line when they all closed. The church is Dakota Life Christian Center. She has been teaching on the gifts of the Spirit in depth then puts them on You Tube so I can study them. It has been wonderful to learn this and study it.
What is going on in our world right now breaks my heart. The deception, the lies all the evil going on. I have hooked up with you also which has been wonderful. I pray with you also. I feel the best way I have reached people is the only way I have to reach out is by, and this will probably sound dumb, but I have scripture T-shirts. I wear them whenever I go out. I have masks with Gods got this that I wear. I have scripture witnessing cards that I put prayers on the back for them to pray for the country, our president, our local leaders and for God to mend broken hearts, and I give them out to waitresses or cashiers or anyone I feel I can and should. I feel this is the way for me to reach people I don’t know. Lots of people ask where I get them and I can tell them. Hopefully they will do the same.
I keep my self strong in the Lord because if I don’t I could fall into the worlds view. I don’t watch a lot of the news. I don’t trust it for truth. I look to IFA and sometimes Pastor Lance. I remember that I am in this world but I am not of this world. My God leads and guides me by his word and his Holy Spirit. I believe my prayers are heard in the courts of Heaven and my God knows my heart. I am praying with all I know and have in my heart. God is my source and I know it in my heart, and my spirit and I keep it before me. Believe it or not wearing a T-shirt with things like: Not today Satan, Pray more Worry Less, Make America pray again and more actually speak to me when I have them on. I can’t forget what I am saying and it strengthens me and I pray others are blessed also.
THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR SENDING THIS LETTER. I’M LIKE YOU, DON’T WANT TO BE LUKEWARM. I DO STAND IN THE GAPE AND PRAY WITH YA’LL. YE IWANT TO PRAY WITH YOU AND I DO. I REALLY WANT TO BE ON FIRE FOR THE LORD AND TELL OTHERS OF HIM. I AM VERY THANKFUL TO BE JOINED WITH LIFE ARENA CHURCH. WE PRAY AS A BODY AND INDIVIDUAL. THANK YOU FOR SENDING THIS EMAIL TO ME . YOUR SISTER IN CHRIST, VIVIAN L RAMPEY
I agree with Suni, for 10 years I told my church that persecution is coming to America, their reponse is you are no prophet, you didn’t hear from God, it is not in our lifetime. My family even said the same things. Fast forward to now,all the things that I said I will do for 2020 is happening right in front of the whole world with the number of diasters going on and such.
If the Gospel of Jesus Christ is not proclaimed to all the world, then do not expect a welcoming party in heaven. THe Church needs to do what I have done for 32 years alone. Get off your stupid butt and help me with the masive harvest field of broken people. Or is it aokay that I have to deal with them alone for another 30+ years. Church needs passion for God again and be a witness to the broken people out there even if means dying for your faith. WAKE UP AND TAKE ACTION
Is there a positive outcome for the churchgoer to be denied temple community? You point out that multiple issues/distractions cost us our effort at proclaiming the Gospel; so the Lord has us where we need to be: flat on our knees seeking Him, or not. You’ve exhorted us to seek Him, our First Love. Thanks.
men from me. It is time we stop playing church and become The Church of Jesus Christ, the church that does battle on our knees first and to rise up and become the church militant carrying the cross of Christ as our banner. Lead On King Jesus.
Yes and Amen! That was well said! Jesus died for us, may we live fully and completely for Him!
Amen and Hallelujah! Keep us encouraged and feeling mighty and we can accomplish this mission and bring our country back from the brink.
I totally agree a small practical tip would be good. something concrete we can do. The church i MEAN Prayer is the ultimate weapon and that my friends and I are already doing forwarding messages of hope calling and encouraing others meals donations forwarding emails like this and praying folks will open them and pray too. something else you can ad? I am 78 yrs old home with my husband who willn soo be89
Remember our History, it hasn’t been taught since the late 60’s, I’m the oldest in our family and the teacher, of my brother’s and sister’s and all the generations after that wanted to accept it. We can only share our Faith and our Wisdom and knowledge, as seen in the Bible we should seek after wisdom, knowledge, and understanding. Don’t allow Fake News into your home, you will gain both knowledge and understanding by seeking out good news sources that still have ethics and speak the truth, recommend them, and share your knowledge of History, so we do not corrupt ourselves from within, we have to embrace forgiveness and be willing to extend it to those that ask and are willing to listen to us. Pray yes, but pray and do all these things where others can see you, and be an example, so others will follow. Where you are is the battlefield, so be present and don’t be afraid to tell others to stand-up and make a difference as well. Encourage the Church to do this as well, and of course vote for those like President Trump that are standing for all that is lawful and truthful. They are rare, but truly we prayed for someone that would move our government back to the Constitution and the right path. We now pray and are working to get a majority in the House and continue holding a majority in the Senate. They of course must pass through our discerning eyes, and ears as well, if we are going to vote for them. Key is what they say, who backs them and if already in office, do they vote and put forward bills that confirm what they say they believe, and right now even though most Republicans are conservative if they don’t stand with the President and for the Voters, they are of no value. It’s like a Christian if they don’t walk the walk and talk like a Christian they are of no value to themselves or the body of Christ. Hope this helps, and has given you some ways to take action.
Thank you for this message! It is on point! God placed in my heart at the beginning of our world crisis 4 words.
We, the church, must repent of our sins-lukewarmness, complacency, comfortability, partial obedience, the many distractions, and more. God showed me that I needed to reconnect, hunger, and thirst for Him more than anything.
When the church wakes up and is revived by the fire of the Holy Spirit, then it will spread like wildfire outside the church. Then, God will reveal His
Power, Greatnesses, and Majesty like we’ve never seen before! Then, our nation can be healed.
It’s interesting that you give 4 points all starting with R. I have been praying for years for our country with these 3 words, 1. Recognition of sin, 2 Repentance of sin, and 3 Revival. We may think we are not seeing much in answer to our prayers, but we don’t know what God is doing underneath all that is going on. A Holy Spirit Revival would be so wonderful, and a true lifesaver for thousands. keep praying, Elizabeth
Thank you for your response! Praise God! He is speaking to His church! Amen!!!
Encouraging Truth! Thank you! We must believe and pray with faith.
May we be bold to share the Answer–Jesus– every where we go and in everything we do.
Amen. Praying to that end. That He will bring us back to our first Love. That He will show each of us our hearts and bring us to our knees in repentance. Only then will revival come. Our nation is so utterly sick and desperate. We as the body of Christ are in desperate need of repentance from our lethargy, selfishness, our comfort and worldliness. Lord please have mercy on us. You said You would shake everything that can be shaken so that only that which cannot be shaken remains. Hebrews 12:27. I believe You are shaking us Lord. Please wake Your people and do a mighty work. We love You and trust You.
Hallelujah!!! We have left our first love and He does not appreciate it. If we have spurned Him, He will spurn us. The price is way too high. Thank you for a ‘God Word’ for a change and not just a lot of rhetoric to stir people. If we continue to stick to God’s Word, He WILL come through for us. He wants no other God’s before Him. We have replaced Him with man, mammon, and pride. Forgive us, Oh, Father, and have mercy on us. For this is a Christian Post, is it not? WE HAVE NO OTHER HOPE!
Great word! This article is spot on! My wife and I watched the movie Rampage recently, and the 2 beasts were wreaking havoc on humanity. They continued to increase in size and strength and in number. The bad guys created a sound that the beasts would hear and drive them crazy, drawing them to the source to destroy it to make it quit. Today, people are hearing sounds that trigger that need in them to stand for truth, but the voices they’re hearing are deceiving them and keeping them from Greater Truth. We are the voices of God to speak the truth, declaring the Word of God, so they can hear the truth, hear the Voice of God and recognize Jesus Christ as the Right Cause to connect with, stand up for and run hard after. Let’s pray for them to hear the Lord’s voice and follow Him.
YES, YES, YES! As a former Sunday School teacher, I used to say this all the time! We have let our youth down along with new believers and seekers by not sharing the whole Word in the Scriptures. I’ve been praying for revival among God’s people to become on fire for the fullness of His Word, and for the world to be ready to receive the hope it offers. Speak to us LOUDLY Lord Jesus! glorfiAnd let all that we do glorify and point to You! Amen
Yes and Amen!
Thank you for this encouraging message to remind His people that we now must stand up and be strong and courageous as such a time as this. The Lord has reminded me again in these last days that we cannot fight this battle in our own strength, but we must put on our armor that our Lord provides for us, the WHOLE armor which is:
•The sword of the Spirit (which is the word of God)
…And praying always, being watchful, praying that all His children would be given the boldness to make known the mystery of the gospel to a generation that desperately needs the Savior, Jesus Christ!
This is so on my heart. Years past I “lived” in 1st love. They were the most beautiful years with my Lord. But business and lack of focus on His face slowly
entered in. In the process I didn’t want to fight either. But He has definitely been trying to awaken us from the deep slumber of apathy, compromise and lack of fortitude and complacency. We are not desperate enough for Him to be rescued from this trap but He’s certainly leading us in that direction. We have left our 1st Love like in Song of Solomon and missed Him coming, but with repentance and one cry of our hearts I know He’ll have mercy to forgive us, take us back and set the fire of Love in our hearts again. All lives matter and we carry the Solution -Jesus – THE ONLY ANSWER within us. The world has been waiting far too long, the earth has been groaning and waiting for us to mature and there is much work to be done after we fall in love with Him again. The cloud of witnesses are praying and watching to see if we’ll follow and go forward to places they envisioned. They are cheering us on! We can’t let our faith and fervor die. We MUST WAKE UP! We must see past the distractions and lies the enemy has sold us and PRESSING ON FOR THE HIGH CALLING HES CALLED US TO and BECOME THE PRIESTS HE SAYS WE ARE, to be the Lovers of Jesus and take our sword and scepter He’s giving to rule and reign and occupy til He returns!! Forgive us Lord for living in selfishness and pride, wasting what You’ve given so freely. Bring us to 1st Love, send the FIRE OF YOUR SPIRIT TO REVIVE US AGAIN, fill us anew and send us out full of power to bring the lost to You. May we walk and believe we are the “world changers” You said we were! May miracles signs and wonders follow us as we are transformed in Your Presence!
I agree with you Christine we have taken our eyes off JESUS and let our pet issues absorb our attention as the article states.
LORD help us turn back to you and the building of YOUR kingdom in JESUS name AMEN
Christine, Thank you. I prayed with your thoughts and ideas from the Holy Spirit. You are “right on”.May God bless and anoint you more than you could ever imagine. Sandra
🙏🏻 By your comments and praying with others, you can sense Holy Spirits urgency to bring the body to where Lance Wallnau says- “AS ONE.” Praying we get it this time.
Yes Yes Yes …. it is time for us as the church , to show the scriptures…all the scriptures! No 3 songs , our opinions, more entertainment , coffee club and and let’s throw in 2 scriptures.
Let’s get out of the way and The Holy Spirit can lead !!!
Amen! and Amen!
I appreciate this word…purify my heart Lord, purify the church’s heart
Amen. A surrendered church on fire, seeking the real King. Revival and repentance in the land. Renewed minds, changed hearts (sold out) for the cause of Christ. A spiritual revolution.
Just as I began this prayer time I, too, desired to go raging in the streets! I am so thankful for this encouraging word. I am asking Jesus to use my passion “against” issues to be used “for” His Kingdom, led by Him. Holy Spirit showed me Psalm 119:28
“My soul melts away for sorrow; strengthen me according to Your Word.”
More time on my knees to start!
Many are called, few are chosen. Matthew 7:21-23 s/b sobering for the church during this Sabbath Rest Shut-in.
Simon the Zealot was chosen as an Apostle by Jesus, as was Judas Iscriot. His disciples were a motley crew in the natural. Yet Jesus had different plans for the world through them. There us Hope for me!
Simon the Zealot was a Jew with a self-righteous cause, issues of the heart as for every Jew. Barnabas, Saul, Nicodemus, were zealous! Zealots were a thorn to the Romans, nasty fellows. Resistance, conflict, upsetting the apple cart constantly.Yet Jesus picked Him.
Jesus must have been a conflict for Simon’s flesh. (Have you read the gospels?). Simon was a man who knew he could be thrown in prison for his activities, as a Jew. It must have been a hoot for the Pharisees & Romans to see Simon with the 12! Something in Simon too was looking for the ‘real deal’, the consolation of Israel, as was Nathaniel, under the fig tree, fruit out of season. The Nation was ripe for Messiah, and He looking for first fruits. Afterall, He created our hearts for One purpose.
Take the Narrow Road that leads to Life, Him. Today if you hear His voice, do not harden your heart.
Thank you for this encouraging word. I strongly agree, and pray for the fire of God to burn in our hearts again. ✝️💜
I’ve really been stirred by the IFA reports I’ve read this morning. I believe like the song, “Build Your Kingdom Here”, that the church must rise up and it will.