Crisis: The Cocoon for Revival

I’m sure that you would agree that we are all living through a very trying time.  This pandemic (COVID-19) that has struck the world is causing concern, fear, and in some cases…panic.

However, I would like to share with you a message of hope and expectation.  There is more going on here than meets the eye.

Our God is doing something!

He is allowing something to happen on the earth that is going to open the door for something great and wonderful. 

But I am getting ahead of myself…

About three months ago, I received a dream.  (BTW – I rarely remember any of my dreams) This dream was very vivid and I can still remember it very clearly.  In the dream, a revival (a true spiritual movement of the Holy Spirit) swept across America and the whole world.  Thousands were coming to Christ and being truly “born-again.”  Many who had been members of institutional churches for years came alive spiritually and began seeking a more biblical life-giving experience of “church.”  I knew this dream was from the Lord.

The Dream

Worldwide revival, spiritual movement.

  • Many people coming to Christ.
  • Many “Christians” leaving the I.C. (institutional church) for the reality of the Body life. That is, community life with all the members functioning under the headship of Christ.
  • In our work – we would be very busy worldwide.  Writing books, conferences, planting churches, training workers, traveling, etc.
  • The main emphasis – Get Ready!
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Reach Christians in and out of I.C.

  • That this would be the biggest and most widespread movement (or revival) in history.
  • Again…Get Ready!!!

Well, I didn’t share this dream with anyone except my wife.  Of course, I had no idea when this would happen.

Then…three months after this dream, a virus spreads all over the world!

Hmmm…very interesting!

Then I began thinking about how God has used situations like this before to move by His Spirit over the earth.  It has happened many times in history.

This pandemic of corona virus is the largest worldwide crisis in history!  And you and I are living through it.  I believe it is all part of God’s plan to reach the people of this world with His good news.  It’s also for those Christians who are stuck in the religious “system.”  That is, those believers who may be “attending” church but are not living in a community of believers under the life and headship of Christ.

So let’s take a look at some of the movements of the past and see how God moved after a major crisis.

The Crisis – Age of Reason or “Enlightenment.”

A philosophical movement that promoted the idea that humanity could be improved through rational thought and change.  Promoters were Francis Bacon and Isaac Newton.

  • The Great Awakening (1720 – 1745) in the American colonies.  Emphasis was on the individual’s personal spiritual experience without the need of “clergymen.”

The Crisis – Started in England – the moral decline following the war of independence in America, the French Revolution, infidelity and rationalism in Europe.

  • Second Worldwide Awakening of 1792 – lasted 30 years and went “viral” and had a remarkable effect on world missions.  Started in Yorkshire, England and effected England, Wales, Scotland.  Promoters were Jonathan Edwards, John Wesley, Robert Haldanes, and Thomas Chalmers.

There were also third, fourth, and fifth worldwide awakenings!

There was also the Welsh revival in 1904, which spread to Europe, Austria, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, the Balkans and Russia.  Then into America which gave birth to the modern Pentecostal movement.

 The Crisis of 1929 – the Great Depression

  • Revival of Evangelicalism in 1940 in America and Europe with preachers such as Billy Graham and Oral Roberts

The Crisis – (1955 – 1975) – Tensions with the U.S. and the Soviet Union over control in Southeast Asia caused the twenty year war in Vietnam.  Young men were moving to Canada and many were protesting in the U.S.

Many young people were evading and protesting the war in Vietnam.  This is when the Hippie movement began.

Jesus People Movement

The Holy Spirit moved in a powerful way during this time in America and Europe with thousands of young people coming to Christ.  My wife and I came to the Lord during that movement.

It began in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s in the west coast of America and spread primarily throughout North America, Europe, and Central America.

Some of the leaders were Chuck Smith, Arthur Blessit, Lonnie Frisbee, John Wimber, and Juan Carlos Ortiz.

It has been over 50 years since the Jesus People Movement.  My point in all of this is to show you that God has always moved by His Spirit after times of crisis in the world. 

Now, in 2020, we are upon another one!  And this is a big one.

I have no doubt in my mind and spirit that God will be moving again over the earth in a big way.

The Big Question

The question that is begging to be asked is: “as believers, are we ready for this new move of the Spirit?”  Or are we only focused on the crisis?  Are we obsessed with watching the news on all our various devices?  Are we believing all the “information” the media is feeding us?

OR…

Are we seeking the Lord for what His purpose is in all of this?  I don’t believe that God directly started this virus.  However, remember the story of Job.  God allowed Satan to touch Job’s body.  God is allowing this “plague” for His own purposes.  This world has definitely moved far away from Him and He is now intervening.  I strongly believe that this intervention means a worldwide movement of His Spirit like we have never seen.

So…if this is true, then how can we all get involved?

Here are a few suggestions:

  • Prayer

Ask the Lord to show you if this is true.  If He does that, then seek Him to know how you should pray and how He wants you to get involved.  If you are finding others who are sensing the same thing, then get together for prayer with them.  It’s fine to pray for the victims of the pandemic, but remember that our two-fold focus is:  1) the moving of the Holy Spirit on the earth to bring folks to Christ and His church, 2) the setting free of believers from the institutional church system.

  • Encouragement

Share this hope and expectation with other believers, non-believers, and family and friends.  This world needs hope and our Lord is the only real Hope!

  • Broadcast

Share this message of hope wherever and whenever you can.  Share it on Facebook, your blogs, YouTube, email, and any other way you can think of.  Please feel free to link to this article and/or copy and paste it (in its entirety) into an email and send to your friends.

Our Ministry

The work that the Lord has given us is to share the message of Christ and God’s eternal purpose.  That purpose being the expansion and expression of Christ in and through His Body, Family, Community, Kingdom, and House.  That is: His Church!  And that is: the church without institutions, buildings, clergy, man-made religion, and tradition.

Christ freely experienced and expressed through His body by every member!

If you would like to know more about this ministry then I would suggest you browse around this website a bit. 

The Rebuilders: www.TheRebuilders.org

You will find many free articles, audio messages, books and more.

Also if you have read this article and sense the Lord in it please share it with others.  We definitely want to spread the word about what God is doing in this generation!

Crisis:  The Cocoon for Revival

A Flock of Eagles

Just for a moment… close your eyes and imagine looking up at an open, very blue sky.  As you enjoy this incredible beauty all of a sudden a huge flock of birds come soaring by your window of viewing.  It is absolutely breathtaking!  But then you notice something odd about this wonderful sight.  The flock of birds are eagles!  Huge bald-headed eagles.  What an incredibly awesome sight to behold!  As they pass your line of sight and you are still stunned by the view, you begin to wonder… how can this be?  Eagles don’t fly in flocks.  They are loners.

But God is bringing together His own flock of eagles.  They are spiritual eagles and they fly together.  They fly way above the clouds, into the heavenly places.

       “But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.”  Ephesians 2:4-7

These believers have touched the Lord and know how to live by His life and not their own.  They have learned to love one another and carry the cross to allow suffering and tribulation to mold them and mature them.  They are learning to live as a community (flock) and to no longer be loners.  They live for the King “eagle” himself and not for themselves.  They are also learning to live far above this world system and all of its entanglements.  They are also learning to live for His flock and to lay their lives down for one another.  To prefer one another.  To love one another.  And to lay their lives down for one another.

This is a totally NEW breed of eagles!

They do not follow the eagles of this world.  They only follow the King Eagle.

This new breed of eagles is being expressed by little flocks all over the world.  And they are a sight to behold!

These eagles sit at the top of their food chain and have no predators… except one.

MAN

Mankind and the system of mankind is the biggest threat to this breed of eagles.  They will fall like flies when weighted down with the cares of this world.  The master mind behind the world system has so crafted it to attract and consume these special eagles.

But that is exactly why a flock is so important!

They need one another to help each one fly above the world system.  They need each other to help and support each one so that they can fly directly into the Son.  Only a flock that keeps their eyes on the Son can survive!  Unfortunately many only come to the flock when they are utterly desperate.  It’s usually when they have tried everything else. But that is not the only hurdle.

True flocks of eagles are very rare!  (Those who are focused on the Son alone).

That’s because the world system (including the religious system) is so pervasive.

And yet these flocks are there.  They exist.  They are growing!

Are you, dear eagle, hungry for true “flock life”?

If so, there is help available to you.

Some of the eagles are gathering together in Western Colorado as I write this.  Eagles always fly in the high places!

“Yet those who wait for the LORD Will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary. “ Isa 40:31

Click here to read more about this opportunity.
http://www.therebuilders.org/special_invitation.htmll

You can also click here to read and hear more about the “flock life”.

Are You Serious?

Jesus Christ said some outlandish things.  Wouldn’t you agree?  Wow!  The guy sounded like he was from some totally different planet.  Even a different universe.  Wait… even a totally different realm!  I mean really.  Can anyone like this be taken seriously?  I thought that maybe I would quote a few of the things he said and then you can judge for yourself.

“Stockpile treasure in heaven, where it’s safe from moth and rust and burglars.
It’s obvious, isn’t it? The place where your treasure is, is the place you will most want to be, and end up being.”

Really?  I have to tell you… this guy is really “out there”!  I mean, c’mon man; who says these kind of things?  It just begs the question:

“ARE YOU SERIOUS?”

Then there is this one:

“No one is able to serve two masters. For either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You are not able to serve God and money. For this reason I say to you, do not be anxious for your life, what you will eat, and not for your body, what you will wear. Is your life not more than food and your body more than clothing? Consider the birds of the sky, that they do not sow or reap or gather produce into barns, and your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth more than they are?”

DUDE!!!  You got to be kidding me.  I mean who IS this guy?  Is he on drugs or something?  Hare Krishna his next door neighbor?  Been hitting the bottle again?

IS THIS GUY SERIOUS?

And then there is the most outrageous statement of all:

“Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?  for the pagans seek after all these things. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.  

But seek first his kingdom and righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” 

Man… Are You Serious?  Who is this joke on anyway?

Dear believer, this is the question that I am asking you right now:

ARE YOU SERIOUS?    WHAT ARE YOU SERIOUS ABOUT?

IF YOU ARE TOTALLY SERIOUS ABOUT CHRIST AND HIS KINGDOM THEN

CLICK HERE

 

Is Christ Enough? Sexuality

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Seeing What’s Really Going On Behind the Scenes

There is no doubt whatsoever that things are radically changing in our world.  One area that is definitely changing is the whole arena of sexuality.  Wow, has this changed in the last 60 years!  Now this post will be very controversial just like the others in this “Is Christ Enough?” series.  But I ask my readers to bear with me until the end of the post.  I am going to make some majorly important points at the end.  So please hang in there with me.

The Current Situation

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that sexuality is changing around us.  Especially if you have been around for fifty years or more!  There have definitely been some major changes within the last three or four decades.  Please let me give you what I have observed in my 63 years.  Note- this is merely an observation and not a judgement or assessment of the morality or correctness of our current situation.

Crossing the Line of Male and Female Distinctions

What we have seen in the last thirty years is an attempt at doing away with all sexual distinctions and so-called prejudices.  The act of sex between male and female is no longer exclusive to that combination and now includes male with male and female with female.  The homosexual (gays and lesbians) world is vying for equality, acceptance, civil rights, and equal “air time” in the media and the government.  The arts are now opening up to this so called “movement”.  For example, more and more movies are being made with and about homosexual (and now transgender) relationships.

No longer is it just gay and lesbians, but now we have the LGBT movement which includes lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgender/transsexuals.

 … attitudes toward gays and lesbians have changed so much in just the last 10 years that, as Gallup reported last week, “half or more now agree that being gay is morally acceptable, that gay relations ought to be legal and that gay or lesbian couples should have the right to legally marry.” (In 1996, when Gallup first asked about legalizing same-sex marriage, 68% of Americans were opposed.)  By Mark Z. Barabak, Los Angeles Times  May 20, 2012

So what we are seeing around us is the fastest growing movement in history.  The majority opinion has gone from general opposition to acceptance in a decade!  And since now our whole nation (U.S.) has legalized same-sex marriages (see this article on Wikipedia) opposition has apparently become a moot point.

But that’s not all…

Now We Also Have the “Gender Blender”

Recently, fashion designers like Gucci and hip boutiques have begun selling what’s being called gender-neutral or gender-free clothing: clothes that can be worn by either men or women. (Both The New York Times style section and The Guardian have recently covered this trend.)
Then there was Target’s announcement in August that the retail giant would be eliminating gendered language in its children’s toys and bedding, transgender celebrity Caitlyn Jenner’s Vanity Fair cover and singer Miley Cyrus’ self-identification as gender-fluid.  (taken from CNN Style.com By Mary Rizzo, The Conversation)

 

Recently I was shopping for a coat at a “stylish” clothing store. I have to say that I was confused as to whether I was in the men’s section or the women’s. The coats looked very feminine to me. And my wife agreed! But it’s not just in clothing, it’s also in hair styles. Have you noticed recently that more and more “hip” and “trendy” hair styles among young people are unisex? What about the shaved head with a bun on the top? What about a bushy Mohawk on top with a shaved head? These hair styles are usually accompanied by tats all over the arms.  Now, please keep in mind that I am not making any judgement calls about any of these things.  I am merely reporting what I am observing.  My point of all this will be at the end of this post.

Uni What?

There is also the whole unisex movement around the world.  Did you know that the idea and implementation of unisex restrooms has become a huge debate around the world?  As I write this post cities around the world are actually voting on measures known as “bathroom ordinances” which would prohibit discrimination based upon gender identity.  This is coming about mostly because of the transgender issue.  If, for example, someone decided to change their sex, then which restroom can they now use?  Because the transgender community is growing, now many people and institutions are feeling forced to redefine sexuality and gender altogether.  No doubt, the next step will be bi-gender movement.  These people are both male AND female either physically, psychologically, or both.  Now society will have to not only accept this but re-frame all social structures to fit into this new lifestyle.

What About Sexual Intercourse and the Marriage Relationship?

Moving on from the “Gender Blender” stuff let’s now take a look at marriage (between a man and a woman) as a life choice and institution.  Wow!  Have things changed in this area or what?  First let’s take a look at the stats on marriage:

Professor Stanley at the University of Denver suggests that people consider the following statements:

  • About 31 percent of a person’s friends, aged 35 to 54, who are married, engaged or cohabiting have already previously been married.
  • People who have been married many years (say, 35-plus) and have never been divorced have almost no chance of the marriage ending in divorce.
  • The rate of divorce per year per 1,000 people has been declining since 1980.
  • A young couple marrying for the first time today has a lifetime divorce risk of 40 percent, “unless current trends change significantly.”

However…

What these stats don’t tell you is that less and less people are even getting married at all!

The marriage rate in America has hit a record low and is expected to drop even further next year, according to a company that specializes in wedding and fertility trend forecasts. But some experts speculate that the headline-grabbing recent retreat from marriage may be bottoming out.

Others have made similar findings. A Pew Research Center report recently said that one-fourth of millennials are likely to eschew marriage entirely.

And of course these stats are for marriages that are men and women.

What’s in a Word?

Now there is something else that has become more and more pervading throughout our society.  That is the use of the “F” word.

Recently I was getting some work done on my laptop in a McDonald’s restaurant.  All of a sudden about 50 junior high school kids overtook the place with a very loud and tumultuous roar.  At that point it was extremely difficult to hear or think!  I was sitting at a bar (for people with laptops) that seated six people.  Well, it didn’t take long before five young teenage boys sat down at the bar.  Obviously, there must have been a junior high school real close by.

At first, I wasn’t really listening to them because I was trying desperately to block out all the noise so I could continue working.  Unfortunately, I had forgotten my earbuds but I instinctively knew that they wouldn’t have helped much anyway.  Soon my mind began to wander and I found myself listening to these boys.  The first thing I noticed is that just about every fifth word was the “F” word!  It flowed out of them like a sewer hose!  It was obvious that they really didn’t realize what they were saying and that word was just like saying any other word like “a” or “the”.  Then, I started hearing them discussing their sexual conquests and those of people they knew around them in the restaurant.  It was nothing for them to say things like. “yeah, I F—- Suzie” and “I heard that Joey has also already F—- her”.   It was like nothing I had ever heard before.  Treating sex like a sport or something.  It was absolutely frightening! Now whether these sexual “conquests” were based in reality or not is not really my point.  The fact that they were thinking and talking like that is my point!

About two weeks later I was driving near that same spot and was waiting at a traffic light.  As I was sitting there a crowd of young teenagers walked across the street in the crosswalk right in front of me.  Guess what?  They were all using the “F’ word loud and clear!

Of course, we have all noticed that language has changed in our culture all around us.  We can see and hear it in movies, music, art, the internet, etc.  For many, true marriage with one person (for all your life) is looked down upon and is outdated in this sexually “enlightened” culture.  Sex, is now something separate from true marriage (with one male and one female) and is considered to be as a “sport”.

NOW FOR MY PROMISED POINT!

First of all, before we can discover what is truly going on here, we need to ask the all pervading question: “WHY?”

WHY has sexuality changed radically in our culture in the last 50 years?

WHY are gender roles and definitions being changed and blended into one big pot?

WHY are we now moving to a unisex format?

WHY? is traditional marriage becoming a thing of the past?

WHY are our children now seeing sex as a sport for any age and using the “F” word?

The answer might actually shock you!  It’s something far deeper than the breakout of our society or world system.  Yes, of course, it is tied into the world system.

The apostle John told us something very revealing about the system(s) of this world.

We know that we are of God, and that the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.(1 John 5:19)

Okay, so understanding that, what do you think the enemy of God is up to in this area of sexuality?

He is attempting to assault, mock, and destroy the testimony of God’s eternal purpose in this world!

Considering the fact that most Christians don’t even know (let alone understand) the eternal purpose of God, this should not come as a shock to us.  Dear believer, I implore you, if you do not know what I am writing about please read other posts on this blog that have to do with the “eternal purpose”.  Do so in a spirit of prayer asking God for his revelation in this all important matter.

Now, you may be asking: “Milt, how does attacking sexuality and marriage in our world attack the testimony of God’s eternal purpose?”

Well, I am really glad you asked that!  🙂

Paul does a wonderful job of summing it up for us in this passage:

Ephesians 5:22 (22-33) The wives, be putting yourselves in subjection with implicit obedience to your own husbands as to the Lord, because a husband is head of the wife as the Christ is Head of the Church, He himself being the Saviour of the Body. Nevertheless, as the Church subjects itself in obedience to the Christ, in this manner also the wives should subject themselves in obedience to their husbands in all things. The husbands, be loving your wives with a love self-sacrificial in its nature, in the manner in which Christ also loved the Church and gave himself on behalf of it, in order that He might sanctify it, having cleansed it by the bath of water in the sphere of the Word, in order that He might himself present to himself the Church glorious, not having spot nor wrinkle nor any of such things, but in order that it might be holy and unblamable. In this manner ought also the husbands to love their wives as their own bodies. The one who loves his own wife loves himself, for no one ever yet hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, even as the Christ, the Church, because members are we of His Body. Because of this a man shall leave behind his father and his mother and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. This mystery is great. However, I am speaking with regard to Christ and the Church. Nevertheless, also as for you, let each one in this manner be loving his own wife as himself, and the wife, let her be continually treating her husband with deference and reverential obedience. (Wuest’s Expanded Translation)

There it is! There you have it! In case you didn’t get it, I will spell it out for you. Paul tells us that the physical marriage union is a picture, an image, a shadow of something much deeper and higher. It is a reflection of the spiritual marriage between Jesus Christ and His lovely Bride, the Church! And this is all about him getting what he has wanted since before creation. That is, an image, an expression, a family, a body, a bride, a city, a tree (vine and branches), a new kingdom, a new humanity, and a new creation! This is so that the fullness of Christ would be expressed and displayed to all creation (visible and invisible) through this “woman” “wife” if you will.

I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.
(Ephesians 1:18-23)

So… of course the enemy of God will do whatever he can to stain and tarnish the picture of His eternal purpose.

Is Christ Enough?


I am now writing a series of blog posts concerning the above question: Is Christ Enough?

We will explore and apply that question to various areas of our lives such as:

  • Our physical provision in this life
  • Our emotional well being
  • The way we think about things
  • Our personal lifestyles
  • The practical outworking of the kingdom
  • Our families

And perhaps many other things…


Our Physical Provision in this Life

loaves“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. “But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. “The eye is the lamp of the body; so then if your eye is clear, your whole body will be full of light. “But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light that is in you is darkness, how great is the darkness! “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth. “For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? “Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? “And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? “And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. “But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith! “Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ “For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. “So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
(Matthew 6:19-34)

The Big Deal

This is a really big deal for us Christians in this modern age.  And it’s especially true of the so called “western world” or “first world”. That’s because we spend so much of our time and energy and attention on “making a living” and providing for our families.  In impoverished countries provision is also a huge distraction because of always needing to find your next meal! So we have the opposite sides of the same coin, that of being mammon (riches or for some just daily bread).

I cannot speak much into the impoverished scenario since I was born, grew up, and lived most of my life in America.  However, I have seen the needy not only in this country but in several third world countries as well.  But I mostly work here (in the U.S.) helping organic expressions of the Body of Christ.  And yet it’s obvious that our Lord’s words in Matthew 6 apply to all people everywhere.  Therefore, I believe this post will apply to everyone in the world even though I may use some examples from my own environment.

It looks to me from the passage above that Jesus went out of His way to hit this nail really hard on its head!  Apparently, even in those days this was a big deal.  Of course, we cannot live without food and drink.  Just won’t happen unless God supernaturally intervenes.  So this is an important matter.  I remember when I was in West Africa and my friend and I went to one of the sidewalk shops and found a statue of a man sitting almost like the “Thinker” by Rodin.  Except this statue had one major difference… he had no stomach!  Curious about this, I asked the store clerk what it meant.  He told me that the man was trying very hard NOT to think about his stomach because he was very hungry!  Wow!  What an eye opener that was!  So this is something that effects everyone throughout the world no matter what their situation may be.  We are driven to find provision because we absolutely must eat and drink – end of story.  However, that is not the main point of the words of our Lord.

The Main Point

From what I can see in this passage in Matthew 6 these are the main points Jesus makes:

  • Do not approach provision the same way that the Gentiles (heathen) do
  • In the Kingdom of God we are not to worry about such things
  • In the Kingdom of God we are not to “store up” or provide for our future provision because if you do your heart focus will be on those “things”
  • This means that you will not only be distracted from the Kingdom but your whole focus (eye) will be polluted
  • Don’t worry!  God is very able to take care of you!  Worry is fear and is the opposite of faith and trust in God
  • We should be like birds and lilies!  They live a simple life of complete dependence upon God
  • Our full focus should always be on Jesus Christ and His Kingdom and nothing else

Wow!  Is this something we all need to hear or what?!?!  I would say that 90% of the believers that we work with in organic churches in the United States struggle with this issue as one of the top five struggles.  There is the incredible pressure all around us to keep up with the “status quo” or “the Jones’s” and whatever that all means.  Especially in large metropolitan areas there is what we used to call “the rat race” which means that we are all running around like chickens with our heads cut off trying to “make it” in the world around us.  The pressure of social and financial “success” is everywhere and in everything we are taught.  That’s why we are told that we need to go to college and get a degree so that we can be qualified to get a good job, and more importantly, a good career.

And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these.”  (Matthew 6:28-29)

I have been sharing recently with a few churches about the Song of Solomon.  It has been an incredible experience.

Do you realize that “the Lilies” is one of the themes throughout the Song?

 My beloved has gone down to his garden, To the beds of balsam, To pasture his flock in the gardens And gather lilies.  (Song of Songs 6:2 )

The Beloved here is our Lord Jesus, the King!  The Maiden (the Bride) is telling us that He pastures his flock in the garden to gather lilies.  There are five other references to the lilies in the Song.  Jesus is looking to gather together the lilies.  The only reference in the New Testament is the one in Matthew 6 and yet it completely ties in Christ as the One (the Beloved) who is gathering lilies!

lilies_images

However, there are things that get in the way and the world is one of them.

Brothers and sisters, we are not a part of the world system!

In fact, pertaining to that system we should have the same attitude as the apostle Paul:

But may it never be that I would boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. (Galatians 6:14)

In other words; We are now completely DEAD to the world system and the world system to us!

But is this how we really live?  If we are really honest with ourselves isn’t it true that we get most of our cues from this world system instead of God’s kingdom? Saints, do you know who is the mastermind behind the scenes controlling the world system?

We know that we are of God, and that the whole world lies in the power of the evil one. (1 John 5:19)

But are we taking cues for our lives from this system?  Are we swallowing the lies, philosophies, psychology, goals, and dreams of that system instead of the Lord Jesus Christ in His Kingdom?  Is the “American Dream” our dream or is it what King Jesus wants?

Seeking the kingdom means that we put all of our attention, our goals, our resources, our thoughts, our time, and our focus on the interests of God instead of Man!

A Promise from the King

And guess what?  The Lord Jesus (the King of the Kingdom of God) guarantees us that if we put His interests and priorities first that He will completely take care of all our physical provision!  And that’s not all!  He also promises us that we will live a worry-free life.  Do you see that?  Matt. 6:33 is a spiritual principle.  But it is a conditional principle!  It’s as if He is saying: “if you do this, then I will do that.”  If you see first my interests, my purpose, my kingdom, then I will take care of all your physical needs.  Wow!  What a deal!!!

Seeing the Unseen

Of course, what our Lord is talking about here is pure and simple faith.  That is, complete trust in Him.  It is by faith that we bring things that are not seen into the seen realm.  It has to do with the word “substantiation”.

Now faith is the substantiating of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.
(Hebrews 11:1)

The word “substantiating” literally means:

  1. to establish by proof or competent evidence
  2. to substantiate a charge
  3. to give substantial existence to
  4. to substantiate an idea through action
  5. to affirm as having substance; give body to; strengthen

In other words; faith actually brings the invisible into the visible world!  When we trust God with all of our provision He will do it!  He will bring it into this physical world by our simple trust in Him.

What a King we have!

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