Don’t Stop At Good Enough!
A People With A Promise
There’s a story in the Bible about a group of God’s people who received a really great promise. God promised that He was going to take them to a place in life that was overflowing with His goodness. The process in getting there could fill pages, but to simplify things, we’ll just say that after a lengthy wandering with the rest of God’s people in the wilderness for forty years, God finally brought them to the border of this wonderful land.
A Really Good Place
While this group of people hung out at the edge of God’s promise, they began to notice that the area around that promised land was pretty nice too. They were big time rancher and shepherd type people, and this place they were staying was absolutely full of pasture lands just waiting to be settled.
In fact, it was so good that this group of people (the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and Manasseh) went to their leader (Moses) and asked if it was okay for them to just call this place home instead of trying to find a place to live in the promised land. Initially this did not go over well, but in the end Moses said that if that was what they really wanted, they could have it.
Fading Into Insignificance
What you’ll find about this group of people in the rest of scripture, is …not much. They just slowly drift into insignificance and are eventually carried away into captivity by a rival nation.
25 But they acted treacherously against the God of their fathers and played the harlot after the gods of the peoples of the land, whom God had destroyed before them. 26 So the God of Israel stirred up the spirit of Pul, king of Assyria, even the spirit of Tilgath-pilneser king of Assyria, and he carried them away into exile, namely the Reubenites, the Gadites and the half-tribe of Manasseh, and brought them to Halah, Habor, Hara and to the river of Gozan, to this day.” 1 Chronicles 5:25-26
Another Land of Promise and Power
Over the years, I have become increasingly aware of the gap between the life and ministry of Jesus and His disciples and the life and ministry of the modern church – one which I am a part of.
When Jesus sent out his disciples into ministry, He introduced a promised land of another kind to the world. This is what He said…
7 And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ 8 Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons. Freely you received, freely give.” Matthew 10:7-8
And that’s exactly what they did! They brought God’s Kingdom to earth. They went out into the world and healed sick people. They didn’t send them to the doctor with a powerless little, “We’ll be praying for you.” They prayed for them, and they were healed. They raised the dead. They were so fully empowered by Jesus, that these early followers of Christ actually prayed for people who died and they came back to life. Believe it or not, but that was what happened. They cleansed lepers – at the time, an incurable disease that affected many and absolutely destroyed their lives.
Not least among the list was the fact that they cast out demons. Very unpopular idea in modern church, but some problems aren’t psychological, they aren’t a chemical imbalance, they aren’t behavioral – they are demonic strongholds in a person’s life. They didn’t send them to counseling to minimize the impact, they discerned the true origin of the problem and with the authority and power of Jesus, they set that person free.
Living On The Border Of The Promise
I suppose that my great frustration, and the thing that I am fighting, is to break free from this mold of ‘good enough’ Christianity. I appreciate all of the programs, sound teaching, inspirational messages, and everything else that truly makes church enjoyable, but if we fall short of the full power and promise of God in our lives, then we are destined, just like the three tribes of Israel to slowly fade into insignificance.
As I have been pursuing God in recent months, I have begun witnessing the Gifts of the Spirit manifest in my life, and although I’m pretty much clueless as to what I’m supposed to do with them, I am already seeing the life changing power in accepting nothing less than the fullness of God in my life.
What I haven’t seen though is same kind of impact that the disciples and early church had in this world. I feel like I’m on the border of that true revival, and I’m desperately fighting the temptation to settle for something that’s just really good.
You’re Gonna Have To Fight For It
Entering the promised land meant fighting all the people and kingdoms who currently held dominion in those regions. The children of Israel had to fight every one of them in order to move into that promised land, and it’s no different for us. The Bible clearly describes the spiritual kingdoms that we MUST overcome in order to see God’s kingdom truly advance. Ephesians 6:12 It doesn’t happen ANY OTHER WAY!
A Personal Experience
Not long ago, I experienced something like I have never encountered before. We attended a church service where the Pastor invited the entire congregation to dedicate a period of time for prayer and fasting. After leaving the service, I began to be so overwhelmed by the impression that God was about to do something so extraordinary that it would be the birthing of a great new revival.
I’ve never in my life experienced such an intense impression before. We went to a restaurant, and I was sitting there trying to disguise the tears I was wiping out of my eyes while trying to rush the family through the meal because it was so powerful that I felt like it would just erupt inside of me if I didn’t get out of there. Every time I made eye contact with someone, it was like I could feel God’s torrent of yearning and desire to rush into their lives and set them totally free from everything that was hurting them, and to be honest it was almost more than I could bear.
I Won’t Stop At Good Enough
I don’t know what all of that meant, but I know one thing for certain – I’m not at that promised place of God’s outpouring yet. I don’t see Jesus walking the streets through the lives of His people yet. I don’t see a move of God so powerful that it cannot be ignored yet.
Last night I attended one of the most awesome worship services I’ve ever been to in my entire life – it so awesome in fact, that I’d like to say – wow, that’s what it’s supposed to be, but as grateful as I am for the manifestation and move of God we experienced… I want more!
Do you want the best that God offers? Do you want to see the same kinds of impact that the early church experienced in your community, or is the place you’re at so good that you’ve decided that it’s good enough? Don’t stop at good enough!