The Revolutionary Winds of Reformation.
A swirling revolutionary wind of reformation from heaven is about to descend on us in May and we will be under its' strong grip for the next 5 months. For many of us it will feel like decisions are being made for us and the shifts, changes, adjustments, placements and displacements will seem virtually out of our control. Faith, trust and worshipping God are the appropriate response and preparation for this season. This will be at a personal level, at a church level and at a national level. We are so out of order at every level that the Holy Spirit is coming in to bring order out of chaos. In many instances it will look like He is first bringing chaos out of order- but that would be a misread. Much of the "order" that exists is just the stale status quo. The status quo is about to be broken up in every area and in every way. Church is out of order, state is out of order and in many ways we are out of order.
For lack of expanded language- we are crying out and sensing "revival" but what is needed and what is coming is revolutionary reformation. 85% of American Christians are not regular church goers. Over 95% of the church goers don't tithe because they are not convinced it is Biblical. 75% of the pastors of these churches regularly think of quitting and struggle with depression. 15,000 pastors actually do quit or are fired every year usually over a moral issue. Without judging either side- this all just goes to establish that church and Christians need more than "revival". We can call it "revival" but what we need is an overhauling reformation. We are not close to what church needs to look like so reviving what we have is not enough.
Furthermore, perhaps only 1% of churches even attempt their Biblical assignment of "equipping the saints for the work of the ministry". And then, maybe only 1% of those 1%, actually equip the saints for anything other than church ministry. The saints are to be equipped for their 9 to 5 assignments and that only begins to happen as one embraces some version of the 7 mountain mandate.
If you are shocked at my assessment of church and church life it is actually much worse than what I have so far stated. I believe that 95% of churches don't even have a grid for the kingdom of God and how it is coming. Additionally it is still more the exception than the rule that the Holy Spirit is given any priority in church settings. The church is also perhaps 100 years behind even society's light as to properly emancipating and empowering women. Sunday mornings are still the most racist and the most sexist hour in America. Find the list of the top 100 churches of America and you will find almost without exception something very ritualized, male dominated and male driven.
So how are we going to go from assembly-line model, Holy Spirit deprived, non-equipping, personal kingdom building, church- that is burning out both the pastors and the members- to a living, loving, relational, Holy Spirit-presence filled, societally engaged church? Only major Help from above is going to get us there- and that is what is coming. That Help is often going to look like a bulldozer. The Holy Spirit will fall on and ignite the new but it will also come in and just clear out spaces for the new. Most of us are not even in a good enough place to sort out how this will all happen. Blaming pastors is not the answer though it is the easiest thing to do. I was a senior pastor myself for 14 years and can tell you that at least 20% of members are "toxic members" who go around from church to church leaving the debris of their own woundedness. We are going to begin to experience the extreme makeover of the church of Jesus Christ and we ALL need to make repentances and adjustments. We need new models of doing church but then most of all a greater embracement of love and forgiveness. This is a specific job for the Holy Spirit and He will be up for the task. He is going to pour His liquid fiery love over us all and it will be amazing what levels of unity, love, and humility that we will embrace that will allow us to begin to experience the profound changes that are coming. We will soon be doing more good than harm!
This same overhaul is coming now to government as the structural corruption has been made more evident even through this present election season. The underpinnings of both the Democratic and the Republican parties have been exposed as faulty. What the Lord will now allow to arise in government is more of a bulldozer than any sweet, gentle thing we might prefer. Bulldozers are not lovely machines but they are what is required as a preliminary stage to proper building taking place. I think many of you can feel and discern that this election feels totally out of our hands and as if we are just watching something that is taking place. The reason this feels that way is because this is what is happening. WE are not getting a real choice this election. HE is exercising His Sovereignty clause as Ruler of the Nations and specifically as Ruler of America. In the same way we don't really know how to fix ourselves as the church, we don't really know how to fix ourselves governmentally. HE does though and so we are going to be the beneficiaries of this outpouring of the Holy Spirit. We have been willing to settle for revival goosebumps, conversions and momentary joy- but what He wants for us is much more extensive. He will no longer just visit us- He is coming to make a place of habitation for Himself. What an awesome overhaul we are about to go through.
Finally, this revolutionary reforming wind of the next 5 months is coming to us personally. I believe most of us are going to feel like we are in a centrifugal force of heaven that we just can not get out of. Doors are going to suddenly close and doors are going to suddenly open. Repositioning is going to hit many of us- some in geographical ways and some just in business or ministry re- positions. Some of you will find yourself going to places you said you'd never go. Some of you will find yourselves voting for people you said you'd never vote for. Some of you will begin to do what you'd never thought you'd never do. So many surprises coming- because He is personally committed to getting us out of the same stale ruts that affect church and government. The new wine is pouring already and He is now coming in with the new wineskins- so that what is being poured out not be wasted. It is all going to be better than we thought - but in the process of getting there the more trust and worship we have for Him the easier it is going to be. Let the revolutionary winds of reformation come!