By John Miltenberger
I usually shudder when I hear of Christian martyrs, and I fervently pray that if called upon to give up my life, God will glorify Himself by helping me die well.
These are things not often discussed by the brethren, as we meet for prayer or Sunday morning worship, but these are things I’d like to have pre-settled in my mind. Will I have what it takes? It is critical that we learn to trust firmly and doggedly in God while we have this window of time, for all times have their life spans, and all windows eventually shut.
Some would say these thoughts are too morbid to dwell on, and if we ‘dwell’ on them, yes, they are. But we are never encouraged in Scripture to live reactive, rather than proactive prayer lives, and to be fully ready, we must allow ourselves to be equipped for God’s service, in whatever form it takes.
Policemen carry guns not for the sake of morbidity, but to be equipped for any situation, but I think perhaps we have made ourselves too similar to England’s policemen in our spiritual readiness. Hoping for the best is good, but it’s not good if we enter the future spiritually unarmed and willfully naïve.
As we enter these times, times in which civil war may be imminent in our country, I have been praying that the children of God will be fully equipped to serve Him, whatever the future brings, for all is under the ultimate jurisdiction of our God. We must be made ready, and we must be willing to be made ready, or else we will shuffle along with our peers, firmly inside the invisible limits sanctioned by our particular churches. How is that wisdom? How is that ready?
For the last five years or so, I’ve been fervently praying that God would reveal the “real”, and diminish anything less, so prevalent in our Spirit-filled church congregations. Where are the real apostles? Where are the real prophets? You get the gist. Where are they?
I earnestly desire to see miracles of healing happen whenever healing prayer is offered. I want to see people raised from the dead and missing limbs grow out, and have it be normal! I want to encounter the fire of God as Moses did, and I want know we shake the walls of God’s throne room when we pray. We should be doing that; I know it!
I have to wonder…where did these burning, yes, ‘burning’ desires come from if not from God? I do know this – they didn’t come from Satan, and as long as my heart is humble, they haven’t come from me, and yet they torment me with desire, a holy frustration, and I cannot escape them! It is a bitter-sweet frustration, and it tears me apart sometimes.
I desire to see God’s Kingdom, His real Kingdom, rock this old world back on it’s heels, but other than a glimmer here and there, I have not seen it like I believe God Himself wants it to be seen. I also think that any hindrances to these manifestations of His presence are not on His side of the equation, and that concerns me.
We have those today who “prophecy”, by speaking good, scriptural intentions over others, and I’m not calling it into question, but where are the ones called to be Prophets by office? Where are the ones who will go where God sends them, having no agenda of their own, and repeat with conviction, the very words God puts in their bones? Where are the ones who are called and bound to do this even when it will be their death sentence to do so? Where are the Burning Ones who carry His very words?
I am desperately hungry for these to be brought forth on the earth, and I’m getting more desperate with every passing day. Never have we needed the “real” more than we need it now, and yet, time drags by as we indulge in the “normal” of the shadow-real. I know, it’s the best we can do, and it’s better than nothing, but that doesn’t make it real, and that doesn’t mean God is manifested the way He wants to be manifested through those called to burn for Him.
It is time for the great men and women of God to come forth from the shadowlands of the religious. It is time, but their coming forth must be fought for, because nothing worth having is cheap and easy.
No birth is without contention.
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