by Don Nori
by Don Nori
The prophets of old were men who could understand the significance of what they were seeing and saying.
"...Of the prophets who prophesied of the grace that would come you made careful search and inquiry, seeking to know what person or time the Spirit of Christ within them was indicating.... It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves, but you, in these things which now have been announced to you through those who preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven - things into which angels long to look" (I Peter 1:10-12)
They were men who could see beyond themselves and into eternity. Joel was not primarily concerned with locusts and seasonal rains; he saw something beyond his own time and space. He saw seomthing for us. Isaiah did not have a primary interest in pottery. God was speaking to him about things of eternal value. Jesus' ultimate concern was not for lilies, birds or Solomon's glory. He was speaking to us, transcending time and space with a view toward eternal principles that would forever change man's concept of God.
The Lord is again looking for a people who will follow His way. His Spirit is brooding over the earth, seeking those who will break out of their own time and space and see the eternal significance of their relationship with Jesus. We are not here by accident. We are not saved by chance, but there is an eternal destiny that many, if not most of us, never enter. We are so filled with the needs of the moment, with the chores of making this life comfortable and our churches secure, that we cannot break through to see the significance of our destiny in life, to fulfill that for which we were born, to accomplish all that is on the Father's heart for our generation. Wilderness life has become so comfortable that we have forgotten that there is a Promised Land waiting to be possessed in this life.
Many are excited about a new outpouring of the Holy Spirit. It will be glorious! Jesus is coming to stay! He is coming with light and love and power and revelation. Remember, great revival usually comes with great calamity.
Many of us remember the glorious manifestation of God's presence in the late 1960's and 1970's. That period of time in church history is called the Charismatic Renewal. Millions were swept into the kingdom during that wonderful time of seeing miracle after miracle after miracle.
But we must also remember what was taking place in the United States during that time. We were being ripped apart as a nation by terrible race riots. Three national leaders were assassinated. The Vietnam War was dividing us, and the oil crisis was crippling us. Our young people were discovering new and more deadly drugs to sniff or smoke or inject. Difficult times had truly come, and they drove us directly to Jesus.
God is coming to dwell among His people. He is coming to break us out of the confines of our ties to this earth with all its rusting and broken promises. When Jesus taught the disciples to pray, His prayer was simple: "Thy kingdom come." He didn't ask His Father for a convention center, a big ministry or a Bible school. He didn't even ask for a newspaper or a publisher. His view was eternal. So should ours be.
When I think about the puny things I fret about every day, it causes me to repent before the Lord. We have a great responsibility and a greater significance than most can see. We have established our careers, built our houses, put our finances in order, sent our children to Christian schools, stabilized our churches. Our little "spheres" and "streams" are established and all is well with middle class "Christian" America. Or is it? Are we really fulfilling our destiny? Is all our activity in accord with what is on God's heart?
All of these things are essential; they are foundational to the work and mission of the Church, but they aren't the goals. They are the foundation on which the Church may go forth and do the work of the ministry. Stable families, good careers, controlled finances and loving churches are beautiful expressions of the life of Jesus, but we should be using these as a platform to break beyond our own time and space.
God wants us to look beyond the puniness of our own whining desires and selfish prayers. He wants us to break through time and space by the power of the Holy Ghost. He wants us to transcend the limitations of our finite minds to fulfill that for which we are born. We must remember that we were born with a destiny.
We need to begin to release our unbelief to the Lord and allow Him to have His way all the time, all around us. It's no big deal to have miracles in a church where there are several hundred believing people supporting and encouraging you to go on. But God is saying to us that it is time to dare to believe, dare to pray, dare to move out in the Spirit before the masses of sinners. Jesus' greatest supernatural displays were among the harlots and other heathen of the day. In fact, He experienced His greatest opposition to the miraculous and to His life inside the established church of the day. God's desire is to display His greatness to a needy and dying world. He wants us to break out of ourselves and carry His presence to where the Holy Ghost is already preparing the harvest - to the masses.