While Ezra prayed and made this confession, weeping and falling facedown before the house of God, a very large assembly of Israelites – men, women, and children – gathered around him, and the people wept bitterly as well. Ezra 10:1
If I close the sky so there is no rain, or if I command the locust to devour the land, or if I send a plague among My people, and if My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land. Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place. 2 Chronicles 7:13-15
Behold, I am coming soon, and My reward is with Me, to give to each one according to what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End. Revelation 22:12,13
As our nation struggles with a confrontation of socialist ideals and a tyrannical government, the body of Christ faces new challenges. Specifically, the decay of the church’s authority and influence is allowing attacks on the very institutions that helped found this country. The result of these challenges is awakening the body of believers to repent and return to the purity of faith and Godly works that gave us the freedom to worship and spread the good news as directed by the Holy Spirit!
The national diversity of believers has some very basic obstacles that they must overcome in order for God to use us in unity of His Spirit. The body of believers are at odds because of divisions of constitutions and articles of faith interpretations in various Christian denominations. Some of the denominations claim things about how God works in the churches. There are so many things that the factions of the body of Christ split hairs on that I am not even going to attempt to list all the examples. The major point is the head of the church is Jesus Christ, and He sent His Holy Spirit to guide and direct each church to deliver the message that, “He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life and no man can come to the Father but by Him” (John 14:6). If we, as an entire body of believers, cannot join together on the Great Commission that we are called, then the church as a whole will fail because of fragmentation of efforts. This fragmentation causes mixed messages that the enemy willingly uses to destroy the labor of spreading the good news. The world also has an agenda to destroy the church, and it is the work of the devil to cause such divisions in the body of our Lord. Then He said to them, “The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few; therefore, pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest” (Luke 10:2). In these days, the church can ill afford these divisions to continue to be. We must unite under the Lord – our Banner and Savior!
God’s people need to repent from the shameful opposition of believers to different works of the Holy Spirit by other believers. We have developed, in these latter days, some who believe the works of the Holy Spirit have ceased and are no longer needed because we have the written word. Others who receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit work with authority from God to utilize the gifts He gives them in ministry. Accusations arise where judgements are made to justify one’s belief over the other. God is bigger than what we reason or understand, and this continued difference of viewing the works of the Holy Spirit diminishes the power of God in the body of Christ. No one person or group can claim to know how God can work simply because, “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:9). Let’s just let God be God and do what He has commanded us to do!
Christ’s body is strong when we are all working in unison for the advancement of the kingdom. When we read the book of Acts, we see a church starting strong after the empowerment of the Holy Spirit working in various ways to reveal the saving grace of Jesus Christ. There were healings and deliverances, with numerous signs and wonders. Incredible times! Yet, there were others, leadership and alike, that were being martyred and imprisoned. In fact, Paul is the perfect example of all sides: persecutor of believers, converted believer, follower of Christ, leader in the church, evangelist, church starter, and martyred by the emperor of Rome. Today we see these same things happening everywhere in the world. Throughout the early church grew many examples of the struggles of theological differences and how they were resolved. That being said, it is important for us, in the year 2021, to see God working through all of us in many different ways. We should be careful to not judge the works of others by methods, but instead by the fruits produced. God will bless the body that loves Him and each other with passionate determination to live and do His will. Working together and realizing the exciting power of God working through us is a blessing and very fulfilling as we reap a harvest of souls for His glory.
Blog Contributed by Kevin Garland