Building People of Substance for Works of Power
The political media has been rambling on about the surge of populism in the world, particularly in the United States and Europe. From the Tea Party and Trump, to the Brexit movement in Britain and the Yellow Vests in France, regular people are irritated and taking political action. Political wheezers and geezers seem perplexed as to the cause, but William Galston of the Brookings Institution summed it up nicely, ““It is now evident that populism draws strength from public opposition to mass immigration, cultural liberalization, and the perceived surrender of national sovereignty to distant and unresponsive international bodies.” The age of instant information unconstrained by the media and political elites has made Mr. Average Guy aware of the ghastly and convoluted inner workings of government and finance, and he doesn’t like what he sees.
I believe that what we see in the natural is always reflective of something in the Spirit. God is doing something in the earth. Powered by the rise of a newly “woke” and empowered “laity,” God is starting a wave that is not yet understood by the “elites.” Luther and the reformers broke free from a millennium of ecclesiastical ossification, restoring the wonderful gift of the new birth through individual faith in Christ. The Pentecostals welcomed the power of the Spirit back to the Church, and the Charismatics opened the door to the Spirit for folks in the denominational pew. Now it’s time to see this power move from the pew to the harvest field. Church is about to go from being a doctrinal lecture, or a vaudeville show, or a motivational speech to being a loose-knit band of individual believers connected by mission, moved by compassion, and orchestrated by an invisible Conductor. The world is being changed. God is behind it. Are you ready?
Somebody Said: Give me one hundred preachers who fear nothing but sin and desire nothing but God, and I care not whether they be clergymen or laymen, they alone will shake the gates of Hell and set up the kingdom of Heaven upon Earth. John Wesley
Scripture Reading: God’s various expressions of power are in action everywhere; but God himself is behind it all. Each person is given something to do that shows who God is: Everyone gets in on it, everyone benefits. All kinds of things are handed out by the Spirit, and to all kinds of people! (1 Corinthians 12:6-7 MSG)
Every major shift in communication and transportation brings waves of revival as information and locomotion become available to common people. The Reformation rode the printing press. The Pentecostal revival spread by telegraph, local newsprint, and telephone as the message moved around by train and automobile. Television and aviation carried the Charismatic move to the world. The internet and whatever follows have expanded the opportunity for mission to every believer with a smartphone. For us, it means constantly adjusting to deal with the opportunities and the implications as we equip the saints for the work of the ministry. The Genie is out of the bottle. Dust off your sense of wonder at the wisdom and power of our God and let’s do this!
Pastor Virgil L. Stokes
Faith Christian Fellowship of Tucson
3141 W. Ironwood Hill Dr.
Tucson, AZ 85745