This is definitely not a feel good article. HEADS UP! I gave you the warning in the title and here! Read on at your own risk.
Ever since my church hosted one of Todd White’s Power & Love conferences I have been consumed with outreach ministry videos on YouTube. Along with some of Todd White’s videos I have been watching a couple other guys names Tom Loud and Pete Cabrera Jr. The actions of all three of these men have really raised questions within myself about my faith and identity. So in turn, I have been seeking the Lord a lot lately on my identity in Him.
Pete Cabrera Jr., in particular, has really piqued my spiritual understanding. As I have watched his videos I have felt many things. Things like- bewilderment; hunger; awakening. He performs undeniable miracles and has a genuine heart for the lost. I get the Holy Ghost trembles, as if I’m running a fever, when watching his videos. His walk is the antithesis of conventional, modern, Sunday morning Christianity.
This is exactly what I have been needing to see.
All three of the aforementioned Men of God LIVE it. They don’t “attend” it; they don’t just preach it. It isn’t just a part of their daily lives. It IS their daily life. It is WHO THEY ARE and they prove it!
As it would most Christians (or at least I hope it would), conviction started to be released in me. Couple that with the Holy Ghost outpouring at the recent conference and you have a delicious recipe for self destruction. And I mean that in the good way.
During my worship and prayer time one morning, I was expecting a word from the Lord. Nothing necessarily specific; just a word. (Side note: I no longer go into prayer with doubting God will speak to me anymore. I honestly used to. I now fully expect God to speak to me daily). Thankfully, the word was about identity. It was proposed to me in questions.
“Is a gazelle a prey stalking predator? Can a lion be a sea dwelling creature? Can a square roll like a sphere?”
Through these questions it became apparent to me that identity isn’t just something you claim you believe you are. Identity isn’t just how something looks. It primarily and greatly is within what we actually do. Who we are inside produces what we do outwardly. Jesus couldn’t help but do the things He did because it is who He is! Pete Cabrera, Todd White, and Tom Loud can’t help but do what they do because they not only know who Christ is, they know who THEY are in Christ! Everyday is a pursuit. Everyday has a mission. Every person they come in contact with is subject to the presence of the Living God because they know they have it. I am not pointing these three men of God out to praise them. I am pointing them out because they truly are walking epistles and good examples of how every believer could be walking. I can’t help but imagine what the impact on this world would be if even just 50% of the rest of us comfy Christians actually got the revelation they have and lived it out.
Us Sunday morning Christians sing songs and pray prayers about wanting more of the presence of God in our lives, yet we are far from willing to take His presence to the streets and see the lost saved and the sick healed with it. So the question is raised- why is this? I believe strongly it is because we have lost our identity in the pews; it got blinded by the stage lights; it got misrepresented by complacent church leaders (which I can say, because I am one), and it’s been associating with political parties. Our identity has become self-seeking and no longer self-denying.
[Please understand I am most definitely NOT against cool stages with awesome light shows and modern buildings with ship lap interiors. I am just pointing out that these things have really become more important to us, and it ought not be so.]
Feel free to seriously examine your heart as I did with my own with this next question. When is the last time you received a teaching and truly thought to yourself, “How can I apply this to spreading the gospel and helping others?” Be brutally honest. I, personally, really have to go way back to my early, baby Christian years to remember the last time I thought that after a teaching (that is up until the past week and a half).
What was done for us through Jesus, and ultimately the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, was to equip us to… I hope you’re ready for this… BE GOD’S PRESENCE ON EARTH AND DO HIS WILL! Did Jesus not come to prove the good and perfect will of the Father on this earth and to restore mankind wholly into the image and likeness of God it was originally created to be? The removal and atonement of sin was just a part of it. The restoration of mankind was not to just create a few billion converts, hope they don’t sin, and let them just sit around talking to each other about doctrine while awaiting the return of Messiah. The purpose of the entire gospel was for God to restore mankind and fill the earth with His sons and daughters so that the Kingdom of Heaven manifests! “For creation eagerly awaits the revelation of the sons of God!”, Says Paul, in Romans chapter 8. This is the gospel!
If we are the sons and daughters of God, and if we have truly accepted His Spirit, then our old identity is dead along with the old man. The new man has life now! We no longer have an earthly identity but a heavenly one! Therefore, how is it so that the majority of us believers are not out on the streets doing the things we identify with; or better yet as? As a son or daughter of God who has the perfect identity of God on the inside by the indwelling of His Holy Spirit, why are we sitting idly by?
Could it be because we no longer associate with the true identity of Jesus?
If Jesus were here in this day physically leading us as He did His disciples, make no mistake, we’d be walking around the cities not just proclaiming the gospel in word, but also in works. We’d be laying hands on the sick and watching them recover. We’d be telling complete strangers everything about their life with words of knowledge. We wouldn’t just be saying we believe something just because it is written; we’d be proving we believe something because we are doing it. Because it’s WHO WE ARE! You want a move of the Holy Spirit? Then move! He is in you waiting for YOU to move! You want to be free from bondage and sin? Go and do what you were redeemed to do! I guarantee you you will stop thinking so much about your own crap when you start seeing the power of God flowing through you to deliver others from theirs. Can we really claim to have God’s love if we aren’t pouring it out to those around us in the supermarkets and our work places? This is becoming so real to me it hurts!
You might say to yourself, “Well it’s not like I can live like that everyday…”, and I would beg for the answer to, “Why not?” Is God not God everyday? Is Jesus not Jesus everyday? Is a son of God not a son of God everyday? Is it really something we should just switch on and off at will? If so, we need to check our beliefs and identity again!
I am still seeking God on the fullness of my identity in Him as a son, not because I want to be selfish with it or because I need more affirmation of who HE is, but because I need to know more of who I am in Him. I also know God needs the truest and purest reproductions of Himself on this planet for the gospel to keep spreading; for people to be healed and for the lost to come to know Jesus.
We must no longer vainly wait for a kingdom that is already here. We are royal! Let’s go do what royals do!
I will finish with this.
I know most of us wont step out because we’re too afraid to miss it. That may seem like humility, but I am learning it most definitely isn’t. I’ll share a testimony with you in hopes to encourage you to trust the Holy Spirit that is in you.
I recently felt a strong prompting by the Holy Spirit with a word of knowledge midday on a Saturday. He told me a woman with fibromyalgia will be at church the following day and that He wants to heal her. Even more specifically, He said she will have almost not come. Obviously, I had doubts and I hate to say I struggled with actually committing to do it. I knew my carnal mind was trying to step in and tell me I heard incorrectly. I pushed the carnal mind aside and I proceeded to indulge in some more videos of the guys I had been watching because I knew it would increase my faith. A few videos in, Tom Loud ends up praying for a woman with fibromyalgia and the pain left her. You could see the surprise in her eyes to see the pain leave. I took this as confirmation number one.
As soon as I woke up Sunday morning the Holy Spirit prodded me again. As I got ready it was on my heart the whole time. I arrive at church early for band practice as I am on the worship team… still have it on my heart. It was like a stubborn child repeatedly pulling my shirt tail and saying, “Dad. Dad. Dad. Dad.” Praise and worship is over before I know it and I am sitting in my beloved front row pew. Pastor taught about the Holy Spirit and rattled several key points that helped me greatly. All the while, my entire torso was on fire as if my spirit were responding to an altar call. I took the specific message and spiritual heartburn as confirmation number two.
The message is over and the band is called back on stage. By this point I am determined to do what the Holy Spirit tasked me to do (because after all, it is who I am now). I refused to put on my guitar but instead just sing while Pastor was praying for people to receive the Holy Spirit. I waited for the seemingly right moment to approach Pastor, and jumped on the first opportunity. After a few more moments, and when everyone who came down to get filled with the Holy Spirit had returned to their seats, Pastor pitched it to me… phew boy, here we go! I spoke what I was told. After I saw no immediate movement, I had no problem admitting to the congregation the possibility I may have missed it. I emphasized, though, that I would rather step out and miss it hoping someone might be healed rather than not stepping out and someone definitely not get healed. After a few more moments, four women stepped out to be prayed for. PRAISE GOD! I was so honored to be the one to pray for them!
Now, God was pretty specific with me when He spoke to me and said woman in the singular form, however, I had no desire to limit what God could do though if multiple women were to step out. I trusted that He would heal them all if that were to happen. But just to emphasize how good God is… I approached one of the ladies before she went to go sit back down and asked her how she feels now. With tears in her eyes she said she felt good, and that she almost didn’t come this morning! I proceeded to tell her more specifically what the Lord had told me and that He was referring to you when He put it on my heart. This was my final confirmation. HOW GOOD IS GOD?!?!?!?
I pray that the body of Messiah will finally awaken once more to it’s true identity and start living in the fullness thereof! Amen!
– From Death To Life