I have had some interesting conversations just recently and I have really felt to want to talk about some basics of Christianity that I see changing or lost in my generation.
I have recently re-read a quote from a modern day Coptic Monk that we came across a few years ago in England. “We have rejected all labouring and discipline in the Spirit, the thought now is that grace is free and doesn’t require anything from us.”
I have been contemplating this for awhile and especially the thought “my Christianity doesn’t require anything from me”. It is about what I get and has nothing to do with what I give or me participating.
In the last months I have noticed a sad increase of emails coming from Missionaries who all of a sudden are losing sources of income and hearing of churches, cutting back staff and hours due to financial constraints. The fact is that money is tight around the world.
But as Christians should we be seeing an opportunity to operate in the opposite spirit and to give more or should our response be to dry up our giving? Seriously where are our reliance’s here?
I am well familiar with the controversy surrounding speaking in tongues as THE sign of people being filled with the Spirit of God. Personally I think that generosity is a much better marker of people being filled with the Spirit. People who are free to be generous, not because of what they have, but because of what they believe about who is within them.
I see a growing individualism in Christian circles where everyone is independent and strength is seen as “when you can stand alone and make it yourself in the world.” This is both in individuals and also in churches.
We don’t exist as Christians apart from the rest of God’s bride, it just doesn’t work that way. We are a part of His body, there is no inferior and superior this is Kingdom with each part finding and fulfilling it’s place.
I want to point out that our missionaries have stood out from this world ‘system’ and they have said I will surrender my life. I won’t put my 40-50hrs a week into earning money for me, I will invest my life and these hours into the Kingdom.
There has been a system in place for hundreds of years where home based wage earning Christians have partnered with Missionaries in Prayer and in Finance. But as I have asked around this has dropped from common knowledge, people honestly don’t know about some of these basic’s, about a Christianity that is about others rather than them, where their faith involves investing into something other than themselves or their church.
The Kingdom is just SOOOOO much bigger than that!
As I have asked around the concept of praying for others rather than just yourself, was foreign. Giving to Missionaries yourself and engaging receiving their newsletters and actually befriending them, foreign and even one guy considered not allowed unless sanctioned by their church!!
Wow people please be thinking for yourselves! What is God convicting you about? What ie He suggesting you get involved with and partner with? What are your passions?
There is great teaching out about the denominational spirit, that demands that people don’t think for themselves for fear of different opinions or splits. It is by Kris Vollotton from Bethel. When an increasing number of Christians are just looking for what they can get and are not at all interested in what they can give then this system falls over.
The incredible solidness and commitment of older Generations than me, is not duplicated in younger generations and the older ones are dying out. We have fabulous incredibly committed saints who pray for us and give to us what they can but a lot of these guys are pushing 80 now.
It is time for younger generations to be the power houses of prayer and also the power houses of finance releasing generous amounts of finance invested into the Kingdom. I’m talking scary, hurting, faith required, gifts.
I am fully aware that God can and does supply everything for those that trust Him. There is no doubt about this. I have personally walked this way for 20 years and I will tell you without a doubt that God IS Good and that He gives you enough. But there is also a current system in place where God has left a gap for His people to step up and to engage in His Kingdom work.
Practically: Contact some missionary that you know or a full time Christian worker (not someone on a wage) and tell them that you appreciate them, that you think it is cool that they are giving their 40-50 hrs a week not to see their own personal wealth grow but to the Kingdom.
Think about what it would be like to be following God, working for Him full time, yet not receiving a wage for it, but seeing God supply your needs through Supernatural ways and through the generosity and involvement of His bride.
Sow into their lives, not for what you will get but so that you get to invest into something of great value and to make their lives just a little bit easier.
Can I challenge you to not make this a one off gift as great as that would be but make it a monthly commitment, where you can jump in and ‘walk with’ these friends?
It really is OK for you to feel this and to take your own faith step, as you step out and into something this powerful. Do you want to be involved in Kingdom things? Do you want to be a part of something bigger than yourself?
If you don’t know any Missionaries then please contact me with a country that is on your heart or category that you would like to sow into like worship or Bible Translation, or Outreach. I will see if I cannot connect you with someone who is ‘out there for God’.
Electronic messages like this have a very short life span with all of the information we have pouring in so often we see something that we may want to act on but we delay and within 1/2hr or less the opportunity for us to have done something has passed. So if you are even a little tweeked to act on this please do so.
So please if you know a Missionary, write to them encourage them, and give to them.
Just recently I have been working with friends of mine who have just suffered a major setback we believe a deliberate strategy from Hell to take them out. Well they personally are not taken out but they are off the front lines of ministry for a time.
Prayer cover effects this. It blocks the attacks and it prepares the person to be wise to what is coming. We are at war and this kind of involvement is crucial to success, our part your part it all matters.
And finances, this shouldn’t be a hidden topic and missionaries cannot live on air in this world, no matter how Holy or Spiritual they are, food, rent, petrol and groceries are relentless on them the same as they are on you. I so wish that missionaries were honoured and blessed in different ways to what I to often see now.
Please don’t let this come as a guilt trip that is not the intent, but let it be a prompt for us to get before God and ask what is our part?
God what would you have me do here? Then engage, take risks, talk to people, contact a Missionary that you know and ask them some straight questions, read their stuff, read their newsletters when they come and respond to them encourage them. It is time my friends…
Time for risks
Time for Faith
Time to engage