If in any given equation there is one constant and one variable and the answer to the equation is different than the last time, we can readily conclude it is because the variable has changed. The constant never changes, and this is why it is a constant. The variable however changes, and this is why it is a variable.
In the age old question of ‘why aren’t we seeing the power of God as the primary church did?’ there is also a constant and a variable.
The constant in this particular equation is God. The word of God tells us He does not change. He is ever the same, yesterday, today, and forever, and in Him there is no shadow of turning. Now if God is the constant, and He remains perpetually the same, then the variable must be the other component of the equation, namely man.
All one must do is look to see the marked difference between generations past, and our current generation to understand why the power of God is so sporadic in our day and age. I submit it isn’t God’s hand that has grown short over the centuries. It’s not that God decided not to pour out His Holy Spirit or work signs and wonders within the congregations, or chose, on a whim, to leave us helpless and powerless. The reason we are not seeing the power of God as we ought is because men’s constitutions have changed, and not for the better.
It used to be, the saints of God prayed for boldness to stand firm, and not flinch in the face of the enemy. Nowadays, most believers are praying to be spared, or otherwise sheltered from anything resembling hardship or persecution.
It used to be men such as Paul looked upon their present suffering and considered it unworthy to be compared with the glory that would be revealed in him. Nowadays the very notion or hint of the possibility of suffering is enough to paralyze most believers in their tracks, never mind actual suffering for the cause of Christ.
It used to be Christians defended truth, and the word of God, and the sovereignty of Christ. It used to be Christians stood for something. Nowadays, they’re falling for everything, and defending anything and anyone except for the Christ who redeemed them and bought them with His blood.
It used to be we knew our place in the kingdom of God and the duty we had toward our King. Nowadays, we’re all little gods, with our own little fiefdoms, making up the rules as we go along, and expunging whatever tickles our fancy from the Scriptures without a second thought.
It used to be Jesus was the great prize, and the singular desire of the heart. Nowadays He’s just a means by which we attain what we really want…from fame, to fortune, to acclaim, to notoriety.
It used to be you could identify a Christian by their character. Nowadays, they only thing distinguishing us from the world are the fish stickers on our back bumpers.
It used to be men labored for the glory of God. Nowadays we strive for our own glory, doing all we can do to shift the spotlight from Jesus to ourselves.
It used to be righteousness, repentance, and holiness unto God, were elementary notions which even the babes in Christ understood. Nowadays we’ve done away with such things, replacing them with self-esteem and prosperity thinking.
It used to be men who wanted to know God went to His word and read it. Nowadays, we’re told the Book is unnecessary, antiquated and passé, and if you really want to know God, all you have to do is open your third eye.
It used to be men offered their all to God, and to the service of Him. Nowadays the first thing men ask is ‘what is God offering,’ and ‘is He willing to sweeten the deal any?’
What was is no more…the variable has changed, and thus the equation must give a different aggregate.
It is not God who has changed. Man has changed, and rather than own up to what we have become, rather than admit to the cowardice, indecisiveness, duplicity, hypocrisy, selfishness, covetousness, and lawlessness coursing through our veins, we are quick to shake our fists at God, and blame Him for not moving among mankind as He once did.
We can either focus on the suffering or the glory. But know this: you get to the glory by going through the suffering. Just a thought!
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.