I have one main job. It is to encourage people to come to know and feverishly love Jesus Christ through the study of the Bible. God called me at 18 between my freshman and sophomore year of college, started teaching me how to get up in front of a group and communicate between that time and my mid-twenties then, at 27, He set a torch in my chest for His Word. That fire has burned in me for 30 years. It is my whole ministry life. I love those pages more than I love a sizzling skillet of great food. I love the One who breathed those words on the page, taking His own sweet time, over centuries strewn mysteriously with periods of divine silence. From the very beginning, God called me to serve interdenominationally. I have been part of one denomination since the cradle roll but I have had the privilege and clear insistence of the Holy Spirit to serve all over the Christian spectrum where people would have me. I will serve any group of people anywhere my schedule allows as long as I don’t have to compromise the message of salvation through faith in Christ Jesus alone and the exhortation for people to come to love and know Him and serve Him through the ongoing study of Scripture.
I serve Baptists, Lutherans, Assembly of God and everything around them and in between. I serve both cessationists and charismatics. I serve people who raise their hands and people who sit on their hands. Doesn’t matter to me. I’ll serve anybody. It’s not everybody’s calling but it’s mine. I may feel less comfortable some places than others as Jesus opens gates to new fields but I cannot find a single place Jesus commanded us in Scripture to go where we feel most comfortable or where people already agree with everything we have to say. I love the Body of Christ in all its diversity. I am not blind to our flaws and sins and imbalances but I still believe in the power of Jesus Christ to save and deliver through the gospel invading this globe.
Here’s why I’m writing today. We are in colossal need of a collective uprising of faith even amid our differences of opinions on other matters. Faith is still the paramount response God requires from His people. We want so much for it to be our righteousness because it feels more secure and reliable and tame and God knows it looks better out there in front of people. You will get no argument from me on that one. Make no mistake, our pursuit of righteousness is crucial. Carnality kills our witness and quenches the Holy Spirit. It destroys our relationships and unravels our effectiveness. But God has a greater priority even than our righteousness. He wants our FAITH. We don’t get to make the rules. We don’t get a vote. God is sovereign and this is the way He’s chosen to do it: Our faith is counted to us as righteousness. Of Abraham, Paul wrote in Romans 5…
20 No unbelief made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, 21 fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised. 22 That is why his faith was “counted to him as righteousness.” 23 But the words “it was counted to him” were not written for his sake alone, 24 but for ours also. It will be counted to us who believe in him who raised from the dead Jesus our Lord, 25 who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification.
Without faith, it is still impossible to please Him. (Hebrews 11:6) Jesus can do anything He pleases but He is still the same Savior who worked few wonders where He saw little faith. (Mark 5:5-6) He is still the same Son of God who stated unwaveringly, “According to your faith be it done to you.” (Matthew 9:29)
We need God’s intervention in our day. Our nation needs His help. Our globe is quaking with oppression and darkness. People are lost, suffering, starving and dying. People in nearby cubicles at work feel despair and hopelessness. Many within a few miles of each of our front doors are contemplating suicide. We need doors open for the gospel that are shut so tight, the best evangelical strategies will not budge them. We need God’s wonders to be renewed in our day. (Habakkuk 3:2) Even if you believe wonders largely ceased with the completion of the New Testament canon, I’m wondering if perhaps you might be willing to cry out for the sake of this broken world and ask God to have mercy on us and intervene miraculously in our midst.
The common bond for all of us truly in Christ is our faith in what He has already done through the power of His cross and resurrection. That is nonnegotiable. But is He not also calling us to faith in what He has yet to do in fulfillment of His own prophetic word? What He might currently do if enough of us were willing to lay down our differences and our comforts to fall on our faces and ask? This is not about spiritual gifts if that is an issue that makes you resistant to believing God for wonders in our day. This is about supernatural power. And we are desperate for it. We need wonders of salvation, deliverance, freedom, rescue, repentance, revival, reconciliation, forgiveness. We need healing from bitterness and offense. We need miracles of unity in a fractured church. We need holiness and wholeness. We need mighty servants of God raised up all over the world to serve Him, to teach and preach His Word. We need boldness and fearlessness. We need supernatural strength to suffer well when suffering is imperative to His glory. We need to love people we hate. We need miracles.
To those of us who are willing to keep believing Him, God has promised the immeasurable greatness of the very power He exercised to raise Jesus from the dead. (Ephesians 1:19-20) He is able to do immeasurably more than we could ask or think but He commands us to both ask and think, and to pray and believe, to seek and beat the door down.
We are here such a short time. You and I will stand in that great cloud of witnesses in the blink of an eye. We want to be among the generations of whom Jesus can say, “I got to do great and mighty things in that era right there. Those people had some kind of fiery faith.” Oh, make it so, Lord Jesus. Let it be. Revive us again.
“Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on earth?” Luke 18:8