The power of the New Testament church was lived in an authoritarian, government regime where most Jews had no rights, were unable to become citizens of Rome, and could not appeal to the court system or hire an attorney. They were taxed at 70% (heard that before?) and still tithed, were treated as slaves, silenced, canceled, and persecuted because of radical faith in a man named Jesus others said was dead, who they claimed was alive. Yet in the middle of that persecution, with no social media, technology, or easy way to travel, they reached the known world in one generation through the supernatural power of God, an unwavering commitment to Christ, and were not afraid of dying for the sake of something that was eternal.
We say we desire first-century power; but that is likely to come on the heels of first-century persecution. The fastest-growing church in the world is now in a Muslim nation that despises Christianity and willingly martyrs or imprisons those who serve the Lord. Yet the church continues to rapidly grow.
Stop looking for governmental leaders to preserve our rights. They will not do it because self-thinkers are a threat to their belief systems and positions of power. We must not be like the Israelites who desired a king to fight their battles. We have a king who will fight our battles if we return to him.
It is past time for American Christians to move out of the fog of religion and fear of losing convenience and comfort. It is beyond time for us to stop placing our trust in men and come back to God. It is now time for repentance from our spirits of religion and fear of men. Our prayerless, powerless, self-focused, and immoral lives are being exposed. We must turn from the Sunday morning casual Christianity we have lived in, confess our sins, and seek the Lord in brokenness, humility, weeping, fasting, and praying.
No longer can we be content with things as usual and must cry out in holy desperation and desire the fear of the Lord to cover the land. The religious and governmental systems we have depended on are broken and our only hope is a national awakening brought about through a deep hunger for the person of Jesus only and his will for our lives.
God is pruning his church. May we be among those who are not illegitimate children and receive the discipline and correction of the Lord and not be judged with the world.
“Plant the good seeds of righteousness, and you will harvest a crop of love. Plow up the hard ground of your hearts, for now, is the time to seek the Lord, that he may come and shower righteousness upon you.” Hosea 10:12