Is this it? Is this what Jesus meant?

The following article is a tweaked version of a message I gave recently. It’s something God has really been pressing on me in recent months in my personal time of prayer and Bible study. I cannot shake it. I can’t shake the feeling that He may be waiting for many of us to admit to our dissatisfaction and lift our chins toward heaven and have guts enough to ask, “Is this it, Lord? Is what we are seeing of the work of Your Holy Spirit all we can expect? Is this what You meant?”

If it is, then may God give peace and acceptance and understanding to those of us who are unsettled. But, what if our dissatisfaction isn’t inappropriate? What if it’s God-stirred? What if it has nothing to do with cynicism? What if God is sitting on His Throne, shaking His head with our willingness to accept so little evidence of His promises and He’s waiting for a number of us to say, “Is this all we can expect of the outpouring of Your Spirit in our day and in our part of the world?”

We’ve seen drops. Even seen a few showers but I’ve taken longer showers than those on a Monday morning running late for work.

I just keep staring at accounts of those early Jesus followers then into the mirror, bewildered over the dissimilarities.

Hebrews 10:32-39, for example.

32 But recall the former days when, after you were enlightened, you endured a hard struggle with sufferings, 33 sometimes being publicly exposed to reproach and affliction, and sometimes being partners with those so treated. 34 For you had compassion on those in prison, and you joyfully accepted the plundering of your property, since you knew that you yourselves had a better possession and an abiding one. 35 Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. 36 For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised. 37 For, “Yet a little while, and the coming one will come and will not delay; 38  but my righteous one shall live by faith, and if he shrinks back, my soul has no pleasure in him.” 39 But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls. 

And Acts 5:27-29 and 40-42.

27 And when they had brought them, they set them before the council. And the high priest questioned them, 28 saying, “We strictly charged you not to teach in this name, yet here you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching, and you intend to bring this man’s blood upon us.” 29 But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men. 

40 and when they had called in the apostles, they beat them and charged them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. 41 Then they left the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer dishonor for the name. 42 And every day, in the temple and from house to house, they did not cease teaching and preaching that the Christ is Jesus. 

This is our heritage. The early followers of Jesus were unstoppable and not just unstoppable in works but unstoppable in faith and unceasing in joy. Do we look joyful to us? But what was given to them that drove their unstoppable work, unstoppable faith and unstoppable joy is the exact same thing we have been given.

Same exact Savior. Same Holy Spirit. “The promised Holy Spirit” (Eph.1:13) whose indwelling power turned fumbling followers of Jesus into unstoppable forces of the Kingdom of the living Christ. My daily Bible reading has recently had me in the pages of Jeremiah. The twelfth chapter records the prophet Jeremiah registering a complaint with God. He’d done so earlier and received reassurance from God. This time, God met Jeremiah’s complaint with a different response:

“If you have raced with men on foot, and they have wearied you, how will you compete with horses? And if in a safe land you are so trusting, what will you do in the thicket of the Jordan? (Jer. 12:5)

Something about it rang true to me concerning our present Christian atmosphere here in the west. We’re so preoccupied competing with one another for the spotlight that the real darkness rages on undeterred. We have lost our tolerance for discomfort and renamed it pain. And we have upgraded pain to torture. The least insult and we cry persecution. Because we react to every day frustration at a 10, when we encounter real opposition and oppression, we’ve got nothing left. We’re too exhausted from carrying our purses to move mountains. I don’t think we meant to be reduced to this. We were just picnicking by the brook of culture, wading knee deep when the flood came and engulfed us. We’ve had an outpouring alright but it’s the spirit of the world.

The thing is, we like it. It offers instant pain relief for our paper cuts and microphones for our ceaseless opinions. And, anyway, why get ourselves all scratched up in the thicket when we can perform in costumes on stage?

We’ve atrophied in our affluence. In some respects our quality of life has diminished our quantity of Spirit. We need less so we pray less, plead for less, believe for less, live for less. I’m not proposing we go sell everything we have but I am proposing we not sell our souls to everything we have.

The earth is quaking with peril. Injustice abounds and we throw it pennies and post selfies doing it. We’re preoccupied with our race against one another while the eyes of heaven search the earth for servants of Elijah’s ilk willing to pay the price, pray earnestly for rain with such fiery faith that, at the sight of the first fist-sized cloud, they’d run like the wind, leaving the chariots of the world’s proud and mighty in clouds of dust.

“The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed fervently…” (James 5:16b-17a)

We’ve lost our tolerance for pain and given way to whining and it does not look good on us. But here’s the question that keeps needling at me: Could it be possible that our habitual whining is the result of failing to wail when we should have? There’s stuff to wail about. The condition of the world, the sufferings of the masses, the hemorrhaging of the truth and the colossal loss of Christlikeness in the church are wail-worthy. What would happen if there was less long term whining and more rightly timed wailing?

Over the course of the last five years, one of the things I believe God has consistently made clear to me is that He’d require more in my later years than less.  Coasting was out of the question. If I wanted to teach and minister under an increasing anointing, for instance, or bear fruit more profusely or see bona fide breakthroughs in the Body of Christ and true wonders of God in the midst of ministry, I’d have to press in further, go deeper with Him in His Word, get bolder in love, service, prayer and get mightier in battle. Humbler in spirit. Some of the need for pressing in further as time goes on can probably be explained by Revelation 12:12. Satan is furious because he knows his time is short. Each generation will either get stronger in battle or sink further and further into defeat. But I also think God’s increased requirement was for my good. What once came a little easier, I’d now have to fight for. I’d have to want it desperately. Cry out for it.

This has been the gift of my older age, not the curse. I bring it up only because I wonder if I’m not the only one to whom Jesus is, in effect, saying, “It’s going to take more than this.”

John the Baptizer said Jesus would baptize us with the Holy Spirit and with fire.

But where IS our fire? Where IS the Holy Spirit?

It LOOKS like the Holy Spirit.

It SOUNDS like the Holy Spirit.

It often ACTS like the Holy Spirit.

But here’s the pertinent question: Does it WORK like the Holy Spirit? The Holy Spirit is effectual. His work bears abundant, lasting fruit.

I keep reading and reading the New Testament. I keep studying those early followers, noting how the Holy Spirit looked on them and operated through them. I don’t think this is it. I think we’re settling for woefully less than Jesus promised us He’d do. He is unfailingly faithful so He’s not the problem. Where are the “greater works than these” among us? Don’t tell me they were meant for those first followers alone. I won’t believe you and I won’t because I don’t think the New Testament from Matthew to Revelation supports it.  We’ve lowered the bar and exchanged the spring of living water for the spiked Kool Aid of cool cultural Christianity.

Yes, it is incumbent upon us to be relevant because we are not the church of a century ago. We are the church here and now. But what will make us relevant is the fact that our faith actually works. That we really are who we claim to be. Evidences that Jesus does what He says He does. To have an appearance of godliness but lack its power was a sign of fraudulence in 2 Timothy 3:5. We’re called to a fearlessness in the Spirit that results in authentic power, love and self control.

Good Lord, where is an ounce of self control among us???

If we were experiencing more than a few splatters of the Holy Spirit, we’d see evidences like…

Repentance of sins, then FRUIT of that repentance. Salvation of souls. Freedom from bondage that outlasts the weekend. Release from oppression. Transformation. True humility. Forgiveness. Reconciliation. The impossible made possible. Deliverance from addiction that takes less than 20 rounds of rehab. Remarkable reductions in pornography. (I’m talking about among US. The church. Forget preaching it the world when we’re neck deep in it ourselves. Pornography is leaving us impotent spiritually as much as physically.) Real, live healing from brokenness and brokenheartedness. JOY abounding even in suffering.

Some hint of real unity.

I just keep looking around, reading, watching podcasts, listening, trying my best to pay attention and I keep thinking, “is this it?”

Looks like the Holy Spirit.

Sounds like the Holy Spirit.

Acts like the Holy Spirit.

That’s not enough.

We cannot let up until we see the EFFECTS of the Holy Spirit. And if we’re not seeing them, let’s have courage enough to ask why. Galatians 3:3 says we can start something genuinely in the Holy Spirit but finish it in the flesh. Sometimes we lose heart but most of the time we just lose interest. Oh, to fall back on our faces that the Holy Spirit would fall back on us.

Leadership keeps talking about our corporate need for repentance but have we led the way? Are we even really praying anymore? Do we read our Bibles anymore? As hard as this is to accept, reading a blogpost does not qualify as reading the Bible.  For crying out loud, we’re getting push notifications on our phones for our daily Scripture readings and calling it spiritual discipline.  The way to the altar of repentance is so overgrown with the weeds of neglect, it’s not even visible. It’s up to us to hack the way through it and make the way clear again. It’s up to us to weep and wail for the church who has lost her way.

We are suffering from anemia. We need iron back in our blood. Calcium back in our bones.

In 1 Thessalonians 2:13, Paul refers to “the word of God which is at WORK within you.” If we were in the Word of God, it would be at work in us.

In Colossians 1:29 he says,, “For this I toil struggling with all His energy that He powerfully works within me.”

Many of us working hard in the Body of Christ. We are exhausted and unfulfilled and perhaps for any number of reasons but maybe chief among them is that we are empowering the powerful instead of the powerless.

Is this what the outpouring of the Holy Spirit was supposed to look like? The powerful keep getting more powerful? We’ve become wolves among sheep rather than sheep among wolves.

There are many upsides to the access the internet gives us to see innumerable events and concerts and church services where the Holy Spirit is powerfully at work but one downside is that we can inadvertently create the same atmosphere but without the authentic anointing of the Spirit.

Our biggest hindrance can sometimes be the fact that we’re just good at what we do. And we know how to do it. We’re huge on hype and hype is posing as the Holy Spirit.  A few weeks later when the adrenaline fizzles out and we’re back to our old selves and the environment is back to its old climate, why aren’t we asking,

WAS THAT IT? Is that all there is to it? All we can expect? All we should expect?

It’s risky to wait on the Lord and rely on His Spirit. It’s so much easier to default into what has worked before. The crowd pleaser. The crowd rouser. But what if we got the nerve to quit defaulting? What if we risked feeling the lack of His Presence if that’s what it took to send us to our knees to cry out for Him? What if we no longer relied on what we know would rally and we started admitting to Him in corporate and personal prayer that we’ve grown inept and ineffective and we’ve faked half of what appears to be working and we want Him back in the worst way?

I want holy fire. Bona fide holy fire. I don’t think what we’re seeing is what Jesus was saying. I want to see the real thing. Feel its heat. See its effects. There are glimpses here and there – a few campfires smoking – but I don’t think anybody’s got gall enough to say that the Body of Christ is glaring with the evidence of the Holy Spirit. In the words of Moses, what else but His Presence will distinguish us from the rest of the world?

“O God, we have heard with our ears, our fathers have told us,

what deeds you performed in their days, in the days of old.” Psalm 44:1

 

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129 Responses to “Is this it? Is this what Jesus meant?”

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  1. 51

    Wowza! Thank you Mrs. Beth for verbalizing to millions what I have been feeling in my Spirit. Like a wave, I have been riding the good ones and getting sucked out by the undertow. Beginning in the Spirit and finishing with the Flesh…couldn’t be more spot on with what I need to repent of doing. Many many miracles have been happening within my extended family, but I’m watching going LORD, raise up Lazarus! Please! This is getting heavy to carry around. Where are the rest of the warriors??? Getting dirty can get me dirty. Needing to get on my face again, willingly, LORD knows I fall on it when I don’t lay on it daily. Thank you again! Over the last month, GOD has allowed me to witness Heroine addicts being set free, recommitments to selling out for Christ, apologies from unforgiving believers, and the sweetest were (2) my 5 year old niece leading a bible study with the bible I just gave her the night before and equally precious – my 97 y/o grandfather’s dog had to be put down and GOD answered our prayer by filling my granddaddy’s heart to not feel the pain of this loss…he asked for Peewee over 100x’s a day and has not mentioned her one time since. GOD is so good! Thank you for sharing at length because I felt free to do so myself.

  2. 52
    Jenny Erlingsson says:

    I am undone. You have put into words what I woke up at 3am to hear. It has torn my heart right open, I feel the conviction of the Holy Spirit, my heart exposed. Thank you Beth for being obedient to share this message. We were made for more, Jesus died and rose and gave us the Holy Spirit for MORE!! And I have been satisfied with less thans and leftovers. Lord forgive me, forgive your church.

  3. 53
    Connie Harper says:

    I am guilty of a lot of this! The last couple of years I have felt “this can’t be what Jesus was talking about, but my problem is I’ve been waiting for this feeling to pass or for something to happen without me doing anything more than I’ve always done. Thank you Beth for these words that remind me it’s me that needs to stop waiting and get to pressing in harder, wanting Jesus harder, and not settling for less than what the Holy Spirit wants to give!!!

  4. 54
    Teresa Coleman says:

    You hit the nail right, smack in the middle of our lives. Oh my goodness!! Holy Spirt Fall fresh on me.

  5. 55
    Carol says:

    I so want this; yet I’m afraid of it too. I’m too self-centered. Lord, rain on me Your Spirit. Overcome me and my weak faith.

  6. 56
    Connie says:

    Thank you Beth for sharing your heart! I have added a few of your points to my prayer list and mostly my prayer is that what you are describing would be evident in me and then spill over to people around me. I have been walking with the Lord almost 20 years but the middle 14 or so I had very anemic faith. I wasn’t taught some things I needed in order to be in fellowship with Jesus (I knew Him as savior and tried to follow His ways but that was about as far as it went). Then He drew me back to Himself by His Spirit and grace (thank the Lord!) and I haven’t been the same since. But the fire of that time has dwindled and even these last few days I’ve been feeling discontent in my walk with the Lord.

    I need more of Him and I believe the key is that question you asked about God requiring more in our later years. I hear the same thing. It’s like when we were younger and we could eat whatever we want and stay trim. Then time goes by and now if we eat like that we gain weight. So we have to do more (or deny ourselves more) to stay trim. I think He requires more of us as we walk with Him over time. I love when you share in your teachings details about how you meet with God, how you press in during difficult study times, how if it’s not happening you get on your face. I need that example to follow.

    In fact, I wish more of our leaders in the Body of Christ would share how they stay close to the Lord and keep that fire burning as they walk with Him. Like Paul said to follow his example as He follows Christ. There was a time in my walk with the Lord about 5 or 6 years ago that I felt I hit a wall and really needed someone to help me get unstuck. It was me coming to the end of myself (but I didn’t know it at the time) and I knew I needed to do more in my seeking God but felt clueless (or maybe I was just lazy). It would have helped so much back then to have a pastor explain how he/she progresses in their faith. Parents teach their children. Pastors lead their flock.
    But maybe the lack of that kind of teaching by example is just another indication of anemic faith in the body of Christ. I’ll put that on my prayer list too.

    Thank you so much for your work in the Lord – it means so much to me and has been a tremendous blessing in my life! God bless you Beth!

  7. 57
    Delite Ritter says:

    Amen! This is so true! Also very convicting! I have felt this way for a long time about the church. It seems like we want to put God and the Holy Spirit in our own little box. Nice and neat. When I’ve talked to some in the church about the power of the Holy Spirit, they put up a wall. It’s like they are afraid of His power. If we would let God and His Spirit work in our lives, and stop getting in the way, imagine what He could do! I’m getting older in years, but still have so much to learn about the Lord. I’ve been a Christian for a long time, but sometimes still feel like a baby. Thank you for your faith, teaching, and perseverance in studying God’s Word. God Bless you Beth!

  8. 58
    Dianne Ewin says:

    I know the Holy Spirit is stirring my heart to see Him working huge in our family. I am actually taking more time, stepping back from some duties, to spend more quiet time with my Savior. To pray more. Pray. More. Like Ezra and Nehemiah did. And asking God to work as He did in His Word. Not following a formula. Following Him. “I must decrease, He must increase.”

  9. 59
    GJ says:

    Beth – Honestly, this may be the most powerful post you’ve ever penned. My heart was quickened and it also resonated with your words. So many quotable phrases – but this one just stung:

    The thing is, we like it. It offers instant pain relief for our paper cuts and microphones for our ceaseless opinions. And, anyway, why get ourselves all scratched up in the thicket when we can perform in costumes on stage?

    Relief from paper cuts – microphones for “me me me” and costumes…

    I sure love you –

    GJ

  10. 60
    Maria Flores says:

    The disciples were given power to witness. Fruits of the spirit were given to edify the church body (others). I wonder if God says to us, why should I give you such power? So you can live your best life now, so you can edify yourself?

  11. 61

    Beth, I have poured over your words this morning! I’m shouting YES and AMEN as tears stream down my face. For the past 6 months, I have been spinning my spiritual wheels… asking God – “Is this it?” And over & over I keep saying ‘Help me Lord… Show me Lord.’

    You pinpointed, with your words, the core of what the issue is. Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing your heart! . . . For not backing down… for not dancing around the issue. How my heart aches that I’ve lost my ‘fight’ and have settled for the “Kool Aid of cool cultural Christianity”, as you so appropriately worded it. How my heart aches that we, as believers, have ‘corporately’ sugar-coated the Christian walk.

    I’ve played Jesus Culture’s song “Set A Fire” over & over again the past few months (“Set a fire down in my soul that I can’t contain, that I can’t control. I want more of you God! I want more of you God!)

    Daily, I want my heart’s cry to be – “Give me more of you, Lord! Set a fire!”

    I don’t want to ‘settle’. I want to fight! My prayer is that the Lord will renew a desire for Him like I’ve never experienced before! (And may He forgive me for my complacency.)

    Thank you for your words . . . God is already using them to start a blaze in my soul! And I’m with you, sister! I want the “bona fide holy fire”… want to “feel its heat” . . . I want to live with an expectant heart, because I believe God is still in the business of shaking mountains!

    “Oh, that you would burst from the heavens and come down! How the mountains would quake in your presence!” (Is. 64:1, NLT)

  12. 62
    Karen Sanders says:

    Thank you Beth for your courage, your perseverance, and for articulating for us the cries of our hearts. Amen and Amen On my face before the Lord…with you!

  13. 63
    Lynda says:

    THIS is the cry for revival in the Church that will spread throughout the world. Thank you, Beth, for putting into powerful words what is stirring in so many hearts. “Father, we are your vessels. Pour out your Holy Spirit! Consume us with your fire!!”

  14. 64
    Ann Marie says:

    Hi Beth,

    I believe you nailed it. The next question is ” Does it work like the Holy Spirit?”

    The way I see it is that we are not only struggling with the world’s culture, we are struggling with our own self made salvation culture. I believe we need to get back to the gospel culture that changes lives, not just hands out fire insureance. I believe we are blind to what has happened in the church. We have lost our first love, the Gospel, which I mean as the creation story, the story of Israel/Old Testament, and Jesus completing the story of Israel with his birth, life, ministry, death, burial, resurrection, appearance and ascension, then his sending of the Holy Spirit. I didn’t see this until I read Scot McKnights’ book, “The King Jesus Gospel: The Original Good News Revisited.” Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan. ISBN 978-0-310-49298-6. I don’t agree with everything he says and He’s a historian so he gets way to picky about trying to pin the beginning of the change on someone or some group. But, I believe his point is that the change happened and we were like the proverbial frog in the pot on the stove and didn’t realize that we were changeing from a “Gospel
    culture” to a “salvation culture” in the church

    My point is that you bring it one step further by asking the question, “does it work like the Holy Spirt?” and, “Why doesn’t it work like the Holy Spirit?” I have to admit, that I need to dig deeper myself and look at what I am doing or not doing to bring the Gospel into my life and the lives of others. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

  15. 65
    Shannon Davidson says:

    So grateful for this word today. It has brought a fresh conviction on my heart. As I read this the Lord brought Ezekiel 37 to mind, the valley of dry bones. “This is what the Sovereign LORD says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life. I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the LORD.’ ”” Ezekiel‬ ‭37:5-6‬ ‭NIV‬‬
    May it begin with me.

  16. 66
    Susan Innes says:

    Amen! Thank you so much for sharing this! I needed to hear and I desire the same thing for our churches… for my own life! May there be an outpouring of the Holy Spirit within me, within us, that the world would be saved through Jesus Christ! Set my heart on fire that I may reflect Your love, grace, hope, and joy! Amen! Amen! Amen!

  17. 67
    Cassia says:

    AMEN! So be it!

  18. 68

    Beth, I am so energized and inspired by this passionate plea for a return to Jesus’ mission rather than our own contrived plans of what God may have us do! I come from a denominational camp which teaches that signs and wonders were only for the apostolic age. After spending the past year and a year diligently studying the book of Acts and Paul’s subsequent letters to those churches, the thing that keeps “needling at me” is, if signs and wonders were only meant for that age, then why didn’t Paul warn that the tangible work of the Holy Spirit would diminish after his death? He certainly warned the churches about an abundance of other things! Did he just not know? And even during the apostolic age, we have people being healed by Paul’s sweat rags in one minute and him unable to heal Epaphroditus the next…even at that time the gift of healing/signs/wonders seems unique in its appearance at the Holy Spirit’s discretion. Sometimes I wonder if we’ve just been duped into having low expectations of the Holy Spirit’s power within us, other times I wonder if there is something I’m just not understanding from the Scriptures, which is getting me off course…..PS I am loving this “older” passionate and zealous Beth 🙂 May be all become more and more like Elijah pleading for God to show Himself mighty among us…rather than limping between our faith and the world.

  19. 69
    Paula says:

    Amen. In this “sandwich generation” season of my life together with some health issues and a small dose of menopause to top it off, I was thinking how my problems can actually all be summarized as merely inconvenient and uncomfortable. Theme of my prayer life for a little over a year has been, please make me willing to step outside of my comfort zone and go/do where and what the Lord asks. Outside of my comfort does actually mean I will be uncomfortable and I expect it will be with things much bigger than my personal problems. I stand with you, my sister, in praying for a huge demonstration of the power of the Holy Spirit via the willingness of each of us to move beyond our fear of discomfort.

  20. 70
    Toni Ryan says:

    Oh Beth, couldn’t agree more!

    May the Lord of all creation remove the blinders from all of our eyes! And, may the women of God be empowered to stand up for our Lord and be the example He’s called us to be for those he’s called us to set the example for. And if called to lead, may we have a Holy boldness to do so!

    God bless you, Beth for your heart of ministry and faith.

  21. 71
    Jasmine says:

    It’s not hard to get sincere, loving Christians to doubt themselves, to encourage them to look into a mirror and feel insufficient. Can we stir up the fires without pointing fingers at the beautiful body of Christ? Please? Our ministries may not look like much when evil and chaos is fixated upon, but I see evidence of the power of the Holy Spirit of God every day in so many ways. Yes, let’s ask Him for more, because there’s always more, because His supply is endless. Yet let’s not accuse anyone of enjoying the blessings He so generously provides.

  22. 72
    Lacy says:

    Thank you for the opportunity to rethink and realize the weighty need! I often step out into my day with the handful of the Spirit’s work in me that I have allowed Him to pour out, feeling good that I have received. In all the deep darkness, trouble, and struggle in the world, we DO need more! If we want to see any sort of victory, we (I) need to spend more time pleading. Saying, ‘Lord, look at what we face, we can’t do this without more of You!’ I agree, we need to ask for more & more of His Spirit….with boldness, love, and power!

  23. 73
    Leslie Reed says:

    Oh Beth! You’ve nailed it! How I long for the next generation to know how to open up the word of God and live it out! We have to be way pavers and go before them teaching them how. That means teaching them how to handle suffering, and how to know the difference between discomfort and true pain. That means we better know what we’re doing 🙂 That means we better be in the word ourselves learning how to apply it to our own lives. (Preachin’ to myself over here)

    Lord teach us to get over ourselves long enough to see others. Help us to go through trials in hope that we can use them later to comfort others as you’ve comforted us! Help us be honest and vulnerable with one another instead of competing. Teach us to love like you do.

    God is good. Revival is coming!

  24. 74
    Susan Jeffries says:

    I have been struggling with prayer a lot lately. I am comfortable with quick prayers for someone or a situation, but Jesus searching, heart rendering prayer has escaped me. When Beth wrote that she thinks more is expected of her as she gets older, it struck me as so true for me as well. We are about the same age. When I retired last year, I asked God to give me a purpose. I told Him I was available to whatever he would have me do. The last 18 months have been interesting to say the least. But… where is my devotion to reading scripture, to praying, really praying? Holy spirit Come, and show me the way!

  25. 75
    Ashley Matney says:

    Beth, girl… you have such an amazing insight on this. Some of which i was thinking and didn’t realize it. This is truth! I want to feel Gods word like i did when i first believed!!
    Thank you Beth!

  26. 76
    Jc says:

    This is why I left church 7 years ago. It all just felt so fake to me. My core frustration? The social climb. Everybody wanting to be famous, or if not to be famous, to somehow up their social status by being close to someone who is.

    We’ve bought the lie of our culture in the church, a place where going lower, humility, service and sacrifice ought to be what we strive for instead of fame, recognition, and power.

    My conviction? I gave up on church rather than fighting for my soul within it, and now I lack all desire to return. But my kids are 4 now, so soon enough I need to fumble my way back, repent of my cynicism and laziness, and commit to prayer. An honest to goodness miracle of faith is what I need.

  27. 77
    Jc says:

    Btw it’s a tiny bit ironic that I’ve tried about every avenue to put a stop to my 4 year old’s whining, and yet, come to find out, mama ain’t all that different! How I have moped and complained over every little thing, some trials justifiable, maybe, but bickering so not at all proportionate to my suffering. Let’s just say the little ones come by it honestly and who knows if God is pulling his hair out too!!?

  28. 78
    Mary Bailey says:

    Thank you, Jesus! It’s not just me!!! Beth has just said what I’ve been feeling for years! Come Holy Fire!

  29. 79
    Pam Mayer says:

    Reading this blog post and every hearfelt response is the best infusion of iron and the most absorbable form of calcium I am seriously deficient in. Down on my knees in repentance, thanking God for his forgiveness and worship music on to overcome, well, you all know how it goes. I have been so exhausted this summer with trying to just get permission from my sister who is my Mom’s financial/healthcare POA to get two new hearing aids for our mother. Why this is such a battle is literally beyond me. Today the Holy Spirit gave me an opportunity to be a blessing to an elderly woman who was behind me in the Cub checkout line. She made a special trip just for a bag of Werther’s Hard Carmel candies. My ears perked up as my eyes went from the contents of my grocery bag up to this sweet woman who was describing the pleasure she anticipated being nowhere to be found as the shelf was empty. Oh! Dear woman, this bag of sweet delight (out of my grocery bag is for you!) Our stores seem to sell out quickly of Werther’s Original Hard Candies. I went home with something just as sweet: obedience in the moment! Thank you Jesus for lifting my weariness with a candy gift and these words from Beth and my sisters in Christ.

  30. 80
    Christine says:

    More repentance. More time on our knees in fiery commitment to God. More time in His Word. Less time on social media. No compromising with the truth. If God says its wrong or an abomination, man has no business trying to make it acceptable because he wants to be politically correct and please others but not God. We need a backbone. Not a wishbone.

  31. 81
    Joy says:

    Thank you~thank you for speaking truth to my soul.

  32. 82
    Pam Nelson says:

    Thank you Beth! This has to be in my top 10 (maybe top 5) favorite posts on your blog. So compelled to keep working through this theme. Don’t want to move on and miss what God has for me here. Desire a deeper work of the Holy Spirit in my life. Thank you again!

  33. 83
    Denise Ramey says:

    Yes! Thank you for these good words, Beth! I want that!

  34. 84
    Karen Pope says:

    AMEN!! Thank you for bringing my heart and mind back to a clear undimmed focus on my Lord. Here in the West, we are so distracted by comfort. God does not call us to comfort, but to His truth. Truth in His word to be lived out in our lives every day. No. Matter. What. I am also in my older years now, and have had to stand firm in my faith recently in ways I have never had to stand before in my entire life. Painful stands with people I dearly love. By His grace, I am still standing firm. You are a great encouragement to me, Beth. Thank you for being real and helping all of us to keep standing strong for Him. God bless you.

  35. 85
    Susan Teets says:

    Wow! How true! My husband and I have been struggling with exactly what you have spoken from the Lord. We have been in the ministry now for 32 years and the drastic changes have been so unsettling. We are constantly talking of how the church is no where near what God intends it to be. We are in an age of self that goes beyond anything. We have struggled with the fact that many look for a church that can meet their every “whim”. ( we call it the shopping cart mentality)Sure you may need certain things but where are those that come to a church asking, “I wonder how I can serve here, what can I do to minister to others?”, that attitude is long gone because we are in the generation of it’s all about me. The church is suffering greatly because of this shopping cart mentality. Oh, we see the mega churches but for the most part they are lacking the Holy Spirit fire that you are talking about. Most want an hour service and no hard core soul searching messages, we just want the “fluff”. And, if the Holy Spirit convicts, they blame the pastor for making them feel bad and don’t return. They have to find a church that makes them feel good. I want to thank you for such a timely word Beth. Last evening I told my husband I just want to retire. I was ready (as many times before) to just slide into not doing anything, just take it easy. But, I can’t! I will continue to pray for the Holy Spirit’s burning fire within my life and to touch those around me. Thanks for your passion for the Lord. You’re an inspiration to us, you’re being used by the Lord to touch lives! One last thing, everyone should read the book by Tommy Tenney, Experiencing His Presence. Thanks again Beth!

  36. 86
    Patty Pierce says:

    You just put into words what is in my heart. Even so Lord I pray for an outpouring of your spirit on your church. Oh Lord I pray

  37. 87
    Denise Ciofani says:

    Dear Beth,

    I just yesterday heard the audio version of your session 6 of Children of the Day where you talk about prophecies and how some of us can be self-appointed fire fighters extinguishing the Spirit’s fire. DO NOT!! I find myself saying that this morning with a little attitude – DO NOT! As a result I found myself thinking something similar to what you said here in this post – Is this it? Am I satisfied with this? Thank you for these thoughts. “Thank you” seems inadequate. AMEN!! May we fall to our knees and ask God – what does this mean for me, in my home, in my family, in my church?

    Denise

  38. 88
    Lisa Rippy says:

    Three years ago, I saw happening what you’re talking about … I watched webinars, podcasts, surfing mainstream Christian medias (had been for quite a while) and one morning in December of 2015, I thought exactly what you are talking about. So, I called my 86 year old spiritual mentor and poured out to her my thoughts …. my concerns…and her advice was simple, “Lisa, just stay in the Word. Just stay in the Word and be a doer of it!” I was married for 19 years (formerly Lisa Cronk) and I even had the pleasure of working for Travis Cottrell for a brief time. But as you mentioned in your article of the power of pornography, it also holds the potential to destroy marriage….to interfere with a vengeance with your companionship with God. It holds the power to put you on the back row of church and convince you that the emotional island you are now living on is where you belong. ~ Thank you for what you have addressed….I can’t think of a post that I have been more relieved to see actually verbalizing what has been happening slowly and so subtly for the past several years. As Watchman Nee wrote in his book, “Let Us Pray” – “Satan’s tactics are often times so subtle they are imperceivable.”

  39. 89
    Deborah Mott says:

    Praising God for truth! Could this be why in Revelation the people of God are called OUT OF Babylon? I have not fully understood this but believe it has, or may have a part to what you are speaking about. There is such a mixture IN the church, unrepentance, wrong motives n hearts (high places, like in Old Testament… like series The Keepers… networks within using the church as a cover to do evil and they are evil?) I dnk? But I do know GOD IS and is preparing a spotless Bride and promises that the gates of hell will not prevail!
    Tearing Down Walls Building Bridges by O S Hawkins utilizes the book of PHILEMON as a major source in relating to God. I think it brilliant, so far. (Not done reading) Paul was a prisoner of religion and worse estranged from God, an enemy of God…JESUS delivered him and wow God used Paul to share his living proof testimony with world through WORD! Similar to you Beth! Thought of you and prayed a bit for you as reading book. Thought neat bc it’s your SSMT memory this year!
    May we continue to give clear testimony of the grace of God for the sins of our past like Paul did! He said SUCH WERE SOME OF YOU! True believers are transformed! I have been transformed, Called to give testimony by the LORD, and the persecution has been unrelenting. But I know the GOSPEL IS AN ATOMIC BOMB to enemies territory and I press on proclaiming the GOOD NEWS! Yet like the USS INDIANAPOLIS because I am on a ship with others that are rowers that simply do not have my back and do not know the treasure and POWER of THE GOSPEL, the enemy can and could do our ship damage! But God is my refuge.
    Praying for ROWERS (ENTRUSTED #5) like in book The BOYS IN the BOAT… in the end they won GOLD BECAUSE THEY WERE “IN THE SWING”. (Rowing term) (picture of true UNITY, Humility Synergy, Oneness… John 17 to me) Then we will overcome the enemy that stands against God’s people! There is much propaganda out there! Much fluff. But God knows hearts. It’s a place I rest. As AnnE with an E quotes …. can’t quote it quite yet by memory but live it. My conscience is clear. If God wants me befriended He will send me a Paul as I feel like I am in prison but like Paul I am gladly a prisoner of Christ v 9.
    Thank you Beth.
    I am here in Fort Collins, Colorado early! Excited for LPL and You Lead! Please pray for my family! I sure would love the blessing to speak to you. God willing. Thanks for the post! Acts 2-4 us LORD!

  40. 90
    Kay Marie says:

    Kay Marie
    WV
    Proverbs 28:26
    26 Those who trust in themselves are fools, but those who walk in wisdom are kept safe.

  41. 91
    Jamie says:

    Thank you, Beth. I love you so much. We have never met personally, but I have attended multiple Living Proof events here in California and have worked through the majority of your studies. I have learned much about our God and my faith at your knee. This post contains such truth. May this message be heard across the world and have resounding impact for His glory. And may it begin with me. Praying for you and your ministry, sister.

  42. 92
    Tara says:

    Amen! I have been blessed to go to Africa many times. The first time I returned from there, I was overcome by the sense that the church in our nation was ASLEEP and UNAWARE. I had not realized this until I went there and was a part of a Body that was about advancing the kingdom of God. They treasured the Word. They truly trusted God for their daily bread, which He provided! They were not surprised at suffering or trials. They lived with real joy independent of circumstances. They recognized spiritual warfare and knew how to pray the devil out of their midst. I have seen it. When I was among them, I felt like I was in the New Testament! They are not perfect, but they are living in the Holy Spirit. The Body of Christ in parts of the world that have very little materially are often richer in spiritual things. I think our prosperity and our comforts have cheated us of dependence on God and the abundant life God meant for us to have. Our vision of what is truly important (that which is eternal) has been clouded. We can’t be satisfied by the bread of life because we are full on cotton candy—it tastes good, smells good and even looks good but it does not sustain.

  43. 93
    Virginia Dossey says:

    This is right on! I’ve been asking the same question, “Where is the outpouring of the Spirit? Oh God, let it begin with me!” I am a Marriage and Family Therapist and so many clients have never been in a church. My job is to help them find healing. Only in Jesus can we find it. Keep preaching it sister!

  44. 94
    Lahry Sibley says:

    Well, I’m surprised, and very well pleased to read this. Let me preface my assessment by saying that I don’t like women “preachers/teachers”. I think that they are unbiblical. I particularly don’t like women preachers/teachers of notoriety that attempt to teach men. So, I must have been led by the HOLY SPIRIT to read this article. Thank you, Mz Moore for sharing this with us.
    I think this article is quite “prophetic”. For you to understand what I mean, lets put meat on the word.

    Jer 23:22  But if they had stood in my counsel, and had caused my people to hear my words, then they should have turned them from their evil way, and from the evil of their doings. 

    This is what a “true prophet” does. And there are no exceptions to this, in the whole Bible. Never mind the “forth telling”. The above text is PROOF. And this article fits into this text real well.
    I have been writing and preaching this message for years. In fact, the LORD has been dealing with me about this, for probably most of my life. All of my “unsettledness” has been because of HIS ability working in me to not settle for “status quo”.
    A true prophet of YEHOVAH sits at HIS feet and listens. And how do you know when HE speaks? Look at the text! The prophets passion of heart is to TURN THE PEOPLE OF YEHOVAH’s HEARTS FROM THEIR EVIL WAYS AND EVIL DOINGS.
    And of course, this is what this article is all about.

    I’ll leave you with this. A friend of mine sent it to me. He said, “when a man(woman) who is honestly mistaken hears the TRUTH, then that person is either no longer mistaken, or they cease to be honest”. Amen. What about you? What about me?

    I have long wondered what it would be like, if I were to really yield up myself, for communion with the MESSIAH in HIS death, and walk in the DEMONSTRATION, the EVIDENCE of obedience and POWER? You know, cast down all, no matter what it cost. Cast aside deceptions and traditions of men. Cast down COMPROMISE. Raise the bar all the way back up to the CROSS, where I DIE WITH HIM.
    Honestly, I’ve yet to find out. Oh I talk about it. But talk ain’t worth much, if I don’t live it and EXPERIENCCE HIM personally and up close. I want to meet HIM at the burning bush. But there’s a cost to be paid. It’s called the CROSS, where we die with HIM by faith, to sin and self will. We take up HIS will. What is that? Read Romans 12, especially vs 1,2. But if we live by that chapter, we’ll have a faith that moves mountains of luxury gluttony. HE will empower us to be witnessed by others as a faith worth being persecuted for, worth dying for. Is your faith like that? Is mine? Something has got to change. And it sure is not my LORD. I have to change. But will I? I must go to the CROSS again to day. I must deny myself it’s wants, and seek my LORD and HIS will, and OBEY HIM. I must follow HIM. That means I cannot stay where I am. Sigh. I must follow HIM. Yes the green pastures are up ahead. But there is a “wilderness of sin” that must be navigated successfully, if I am to reach the river Jordan and cross over.

    Thank you Mz Moore once again. I pray that the soberness you share, is indeed shared by all who read this.
    May the LORD bless you and keep you, and prosper all you lay hand upon, for HIS glory, honor and praise. Amen.

  45. 95
    Lee Ann Wright says:

    Beth, Thank you for these words. I have been praying about this exact same thing. The church is so caught up in the world it is hard to see the difference. I have worked as a church secretary for 26 years and it hurts my heart to see how much the church has fallen prey to a counterfeit spirit that they so mistake for the Holy Spirit. It is like the eyes of leadership are blind. Oh, God, I continue to seek and cry out for Your Spirit to truly show us truth.

    • 95.1

      I have experienced enough of the Holy Spirit’s presence to know that we are accepting some sort of substitue…embracing a strange fire. I am guilty of craving the uplifting of it all in this world gone completely mad. It is easier than the thickets. It is seemingly refreshing to wash the wounds from scratching out our place in the world of real, everyday, “Do you really know JESUS” evangelism. But, something about it disturbs me at my core. I know God can pull His church out of this pit, but will we ask Him to? Lord, help us to see that the real thing is worth the digging, scratching, and weeping. Thank you for this timely message.

  46. 96
    Heidi McClain says:

    Hello Beth,

    I haven’t responded for a long time, mainly because there are so many others who are much better at commenting than I am. I lead a small Sunday school class of women. Ive been doing this for about 7 years. It has been a struggle at times but God has been faithful to teach me that HE leads the class and is the source of all needs. A lesson is always given to me and his presence is very near.

    But it requires very diligent obedience in walking in the Spirit. And it’s getting harder. God asks ALOT of a teacher. Things hat are nothing to other believers are HUGE issues of obedience to me. If I want to be a competent teacher of the Word, I have to obey and lean in close to Jesus. That used to feel so easy. Now it requires ALL that I have.

    There are so many voices out there. Good, godly christians speaking their opinions on everything. Ive had to really shut down on social media. But with all of that I still am NEGLECTING Gods word. I even put an app on my phone to keep track of prayer requests. What happens? Every time I go to open it, I’m distracted by several other things. It’s so easy to get sidetracked. ive had to go back to writing them on good old fashioned paper.

    I KNOW what I want to do, but somehow I just don’t do it. I’m doing your study of ENTRUSTED right now. Ive been struck with two things. How very difficult everything became for Paul at the end of his life. So much suffering, persecution, betrayal and loneliness. And how much he absolutely poured himself out for Jesus. There was nothing left to pour on the day they killed him.

    Ive also been reading books on what is going on in the Middle East with christians there. WOW! What a contrast to life here in the USA. They are pouring everything out. They have everything to lose. They know the time is short and what Jesus has asked f them. They are facing the loss of everything. It doesn’t stop them from sharing Christ with people who will kill them. And their little ones. It’s been such a sobering wake up call for me. I see my shallowness. My fear of losing comfort. My home. My family.

    The time is so short. Anyone who has studied prophesy knows this. I feel an urgency from the Spirit to PREPARE. To warn people. We have time, but not a lot. We are not living with the reality that Christ’s return for us is imminent. We are still acting as if it’s years away, or not in our lifetime.

    I guess that is why your post resonated so strongly with me. If we have to FIGHT to be in his word, then I will FIGHT. You are not mistaken about this age. I feel t too. It’s getting darker. But to me that’s an invitation to PUSH for the finish.

    Perhaps your role is changing. In a time of war, everything changes. People are called upon to change their occupations. There are new needs. I will pray for you. He will show you clearly what your role is. What mine is. Difficult days are ahead. For all of us.

    You are so loved Beth. Bless you in Jesus name for your faithfulness.

    Heidi

  47. 97
    Christina Kroeger says:

    Thanks, Ms. Beth!

    I’m a young mother of 3 littles who has been in college ministry for a few years. We just planted a church at a new campus, and I’ve been it a bit of an upheaval heading into our new ministry year. Really anxious and mourning the safety net of an established church.

    I’m going to be serving in a way I haven’t served in years – working directly with the students and trying to get on campus as much as possible. This has been pretty intimidating given my season in life. Something about your article stirred my faith. These students need Jesus, and I believe He sent our family to tell them about him. It needn’t be any more or less complicated than that. Besides, the Lord has surely done mightier things than making a 30-something woman with 3 small kids relatable to college students. 🙂

    Much grace, Ms. Beth. Thanks for being a faithful servant.

  48. 98
    Laura says:

    Beth, thank you for putting words for what my heart has been crying for years. I thank God in prayer so often for your voice and influence in my life and the lives of so many others. Praise to the Father and may He give us courage to live sacrificially in the Spirit and suffer the consequences with joy!

  49. 99
    Pamela McDonald says:

    Thank you for these important words!! Thanking God for the truth that you have shared. “Spirit of the Living God, Fall Fresh on Me”!

  50. 100
    Kathy says:

    Wow, I could not agree more. Thank you for putting into words what I have not been able to express. At my old age of 68, I am pleading with God to direct me. Is the miracle, that we get to leave the struggles of this earth after a life battle against satanic attacks? I’m praying to witness and be a part of first hand more of the goodness of the lord In the land of the living. I have experienced so many miraculous touches of the Holy Spirit . I am grateful yet some of the greatest battles are still raging in my family and in the lives of those I love and care about. With Jesus it was a daily event for the Lord to operate in a transformational manner.
    Again thank you, Beth. I know “wait upon the Lord” is a directive also. I just see so much acceptance that the Holy Spirit is not tooo interested in powerful moves today in our lives. It seems we often have to leave our churches to find ministries that believe in the power of the Holy Spirit. Blessings and love to you and yours

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