The true Christian life is the greatest adventure and the most glorious quest that can ever be known on the earth.
Nothing Hollywood has ever produced can compare with the reality of the true Christian life. There is nothing as exciting, as fulfilling, or as compelling as getting to know our King and learning His ways. When this is our daily quest, the focus and devotion of our lives, we will find the path of life that is the bridge between heaven and earth. It is never too late, or too early to start this journey. As we do, we will be used to bring true life to the earth, and bring defeat to our ultimate enemy, which is death.
The goal of these Fifty Days devotionals is to impart a vision for what the Christian life is intended to be from an uncompromising, biblical foundation, with a historical perspective. I purposely sow into each of these devotionals some repetition and review to increase retention. My goal for writing is not literary or artistic achievement, but to promote spiritual fruit-fulness and an irresistible devotion to our purpose for being on this earth.
We are living in extraordinary times. Great changes are sweeping the world. Great changes are also taking place within the church. There are some things, such as sound biblical doctrine, that must never be changed. There are other matters in the church that desperately need to be changed. In general, the structure of the modern church is more an invention of medieval, institutional Christianity than the biblical model for the church. When the church rediscovers her true purpose and makes the necessary changes to fulfill it, there will be no greater force on earth, or one more relevant to the time. In fact, she will begin to live by the power of the age to come.
The changes needed to make the church relevant to the time are not just to make the church “seeker-sensitive,” but to enable her to become the living, powerful force that she is called to be. The Reformation of the church has been more than a five hundred year process, but it is far from complete. In fact, there may be as much reforming left to do as has been done to date. Will this take another five hundred years? No. It can even be done in a day. As we are told in 2 Peter 3:8:
“But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.”
This implies that the Lord can do in one day what we think would take a thousand years. The Lord is certainly patient and, therefore, will probably take a little more than one day to complete this job; but the radical changes that are needed to bring the church into her full purpose can and will happen quickly.
Some of the greatest changes coming will involve the structure of church life and function. We can learn much by looking back at the first century church, however, we cannot fully understand what the church is called to be by looking at the past. We are not called to be the first century church, but the twenty-first century church.
If we are going to understand the church’s full purpose, we must begin to look beyond the church to the kingdom. The Lord did not send us to preach the church, but rather the kingdom. We cannot fully understand what the church is called to be without understanding her purpose in preaching and preparing for the coming Kingdom of God. As the Lord said in Matthew 24:14:
“And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world for a witness to all the nations, and then the end shall come.”
This is not the gospel of salvation, which is generally what comes to mind when we think of the gospel. Of course, we will be eternally grateful for the gospel of salvation, but the gospel that must be preached to all nations is more than this — it is the good news that Jesus is the King of kings and He is returning to rule over the earth. This is the message that must be preached to all nations before the end will come.
That His kingdom would come, and His will be done on the earth as in heaven, was the focus of the prayer He taught His people to pray, and what we have been praying for nearly two thousand years. This prayer will be answered. We are living in the times when this message will be proclaimed across the earth. Not only will this message go forth, but the foundation for His kingdom will also be laid.
To preach this message we must believe it ourselves. If we really believe it, we will begin to live in His kingdom now. To live in the kingdom we must live under the Lord’s rule and authority. Is His authority growing in our lives? Are we becoming more obedient and more sensitive to His leading?
If we are abiding in His kingdom our message will not just be in words, but in demonstration of His authority and dominion. As we are told in 1 Corinthians 4:20, “For the Kingdom of God does not consist in words, but in power.” Unprecedented power is coming to the messengers of the kingdom to preach the message of its arrival with authority. This is what we are preparing for.
My hope for these Fifty Days books, is that they will find their way into the hands of those answering the call to the ultimate quest, helping to encourage and keep them along the way. In the next book we will go into much more detail about the kingdom that we are called to proclaim and be citizens of. You, however, do not have to wait for the book, you can live in this reality now. We must faithfully continue to go higher, farther, and deeper, but above all things, we must become more like Him.
~ Pastor Rick Joyner
|Pastor Rick Joyner is the founder and executive director of MorningStar Ministries and Heritage International Ministries and is the Senior Pastor of MorningStar Fellowship Church.|