No longer at a Crossroad
Not long ago I found myself sitting in the study of Leonard Ravenhill. A personal friend had made a connection with the current owner of the home of Leonard Ravenhill. My friend drove us to the location where we had the honor to sit in the study and spend time praying. The study looks the same as in the day of Ravenhill. An English style office that David Wilkerson once paid to have built for his friend Leonard Ravenhill. The home has been remodeled throughout the years, but the office remains the same. Gone are the books and the fixture that once belonged to Leonard Ravenhill, but the walls, the smell of wood, and the echoes of Ravenhill all remain.
That day we also visited the gravesite of Leonard Ravenhill, Keith Green, David Wilkerson, and Steve Hill. We saw the residence and offices of David Wilkerson, the campus of Keith Green (that would one day become Aquire the Fire with Ron Luce), the YWAM campus that originated as a Bible College through David Wilkerson, and the home that Steve Hill and his family purchased only to live in for six months as the Brownsville Revival would be birthed (forever changing their lives). I stood at the headstone of Ravenhill and became overwhelmed at the life that this man lived for the Lord. Tears began to drop one by one until they turned into weeping. I found myself at the grave of each of these four men weeping and asking myself where are the men like these today? I stood there recognizing that I had really accomplished very little compared to these men. I wept, wept a lot. Days, weeks, and months have now passed since that day in Texas. However, the tears and the urgency within my spirit have yet to reside. A day forever impacted me, yet it didn't come through a prolific speaker, lights, fog machines, and/or a relevant icon. It came from silence, from weeping, from prayer, from the realization that these men lived their lives in a manner that few have yet to understand.
We are in the midst of leaders who are surging to the top. They don't wear high dollar suits anymore. They don't have the perfect combover hairstyle. They don't wear an abundance of makeup. Today, they wear tight jeans with rips and tears, tight shirts to detail muscle tones, high dollar designer shoes, sophisticated glasses, top of the line cell phones, and an entourage (defined as armor-bearers). They use social media to market themselves in ways that many companies would be envious of. They go after one another like ravishing wolves seeking who they can obtain as spiritual sons/daughters as if it were a contest of sorts. They talk about the importance of loyalty and honor, only to demonstrate that they are loyal to no-one but themselves and of course demand to be honored at all times. We were once a generation who sought to wash the feet of others, but today we seek our own feet for another picture of our epic shoe game.
Truth is, there have always been leaders in the church who have manipulated and/or abused others for the purpose of personal gain. It's nothing new, and I know that Ravenhill, Wilkerson, Hill, and Green dealt with it in their day. However, there is something very different about their day and our day. I can name you many such as those mentioned and I can add to that list. Today...that's not so easy. There appears to be a decreasing number of men and women who have devoted their lives to the holiness of the Lord. We are in a time where it has become acceptable to receive all things in the name of love, but never speak of repentance, holiness, and the righteousness of Christ. If we preach a message that has conviction, we are called judgmental. If we preach holiness, we are called legalistic. If we preach purity, we are called old school. In modern Christianity we have so dumbed down the gospel that we are unable to tell the difference between what is good and what is God. Ministry has become a popularity contest and epic battle of who's who. People don't care whether or not you are truly born-again, they just want to know if you can prophesy. Messages have become dictations of previous experiences as many no longer spend time seeking His Face. Offerings have become sermons, while sermons have become pep talks. Miraculously we somehow now have a saturation of Apostles and Prophets, but can't find Pastors, Teachers, and Evangelists. Everyone seems to be a father, but have no knowledge of first being a son. We have become obsessed with the man in the mirror while only considering the creator as an option for Eternity.
Theology, Doctrine, Consecration, Sanctification, Justification have become words that no longer have value to the average Christian. We don't see the value of Biblical Doctrine as we value what we believe in as long as we feel good and we are accepted by our peers. We can no longer bring up concerns with theological errors as we are immediately labeled disloyal, offended, jealous, and dishonorable. We are a generation who doesn't know what we believe because we have been taught to live in the moment, but don't know how to prepare a proper foundation for the future. We have exchanged the knowledge of the word of the Lord, for the lure of being known. We don't want to hear words that might convict us of sin. We only want to be comforted, encouraged, and exhorted to continue as is. We now embrace a foul mouthed leader, while deeming a pure tongue as culturally irrelevant. We are no longer at a crossroad as the pendulum has swung too far on the other side. We are in a serious state of affairs. Christians from around the world are being martyred for their beliefs, while we continue to assassinate (verbally) one another of trivial things. Yes, the Lord our God is a Good Good Father. And yet, the Lord our God is a Judge. God loves You! As much as He loves us, He also requires for us to love Him above all things. Our lives should be the example of His love for one another. With that love, we must also be the example of His Holiness and we are positioned to be Holy as He is Holy. We are looking for ways to excuse our sin, while He has provided the way to grow beyond the snares of sin. There must be conviction within our lives that awakens us from the slumber of complacency. We can no longer permit the recklessness of ministry to define the work of the Lord. There must be a call for the righteousness of Christ to break us once again. We can't afford to continue this selfishness and define it as the "new" move of the Lord. Yes the Lord will do a New thing, but at no time will the New of the Lord contradict the established Holy One.
I'm calling for all men and women of God to break away from mob-driven networks, fear-driven fellowships, and demoralizing organizations that are abandoning sons and daughters. When your group means more to you than your brother down the street...you are wrong. Kingdom is Family, but you will never see anyone as Family as long as you value the culture over the Kingdom. I'm calling for all men and women of God to get back into the word of the Lord. Know what it says, why it says it, and why you believe what you believe. Stop buying into the lies and manipulation of these spiritual gurus. I'm calling for all men and women of God to stop being entertained by gossip and slander. Get back on our faces and repent for the way we have embraced green room "concerns". I'm calling for all men and women of God to renounce the wickedness that they have embraced for the sake of getting along with influencers. I'm calling for all men and women of God to reach out for personal healing and deliverance. I'm calling for all men and women of God to devote the time they obsess with who is saying what on social media for exchange of time in the prayer closet. I'm calling for the men and women of God to embrace the fullness of Christ. I'm calling for the men and women of God to be the Ravenhill's, Wilkerson's, Hill's, and Green's of our Generation.
“Are the things you are living for worth Christ dying for?” ― Leonard Ravenhill