Is it time to reconnect?
Could we be in danger of living like unbelievers?
There is a sin which cannot be forgiven; Jesus called it ‘blasphemy against the Holy Spirit’ (Mark 3:29). Bible scholars still debate what this actually means. One thing is for certain; if you are worried that you have committed this sin, you haven’t! If you had, you wouldn’t be troubled about it!
The most serious iniquity we can commit short of the above is what? Murder? Torture? Bank robbery? Rape?
Here is perhaps the most challenging warning written to followers of Jesus: “See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God.” (Hebrews 3:12)
So, sin and unbelief are inextricably joined together. Why is that? Perhaps it’s because unbelief causes us to ‘turn away from the living God’ and instead follow a lesser god, a dead god or a caricature of the biblical God.
The nature of unbelief is to insinuate that God is not really who he says he is and that he cannot do what he says he can do. In the last analysis, this is the basis on which human beings will be evaluated.
John 3:18 says, “Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.”
Why should this be any concern to us? After all, we have already given our lives to Jesus Christ, haven’t we? Notice that the writer of Hebrews addresses his warning to ‘brothers and sisters’, not to those who far away from God.
Earlier this year, I was challenged afresh at the Elim Leaders Summit in Harrogate. The theme was ‘Expectant’ and was magnificently addressed by all of the speakers. But for me, I needed to do fresh business with the Lord. I discovered that I was in danger of becoming functionally an unbeliever. I needed to get back on the front foot of faith, to be far more expectant.
Now, please don’t misunderstand me! Doctrinally, I believe it all. That is not the issue. I know I’m born again and a child of God: but in practice, if I’m not careful, I can end up living my life as if the Lord is not at work as a living, intervening God.
In terms of evangelism, outreach, church planting, etc, this is a critical issue. The consequence of us living by faith will be that we will not shrink back from engaging with lost people, we won’t refrain from sharing our Good News when the opportunity arises and we will trust that signs, wonders and miracles will become far more commonplace as we touch broken lives.
I have no figures for this, but it seems to be that there is a marked increase in the numbers being healed and set free from the power of the enemy across our Movement. Fantastic! People can see the Gospel as well as hear it proclaimed! He is a living God!
Now might be a good time to reconnect with our living God and begin to ask that in this next season of following Jesus, we will be among those who have an opportunity to show his ‘aliveness’ to a world which so desperately needs him.
There will be all sorts of open doors between now and Christmas: let’s see what the living God is doing and join in!