Sound doctrine is putting most people sound asleep. It must be kindled by fire with prayer!
– Leonard Ravenhill
Recently my family and I had a discussion on a previous church we attended. Verse-by-verse teaching was that church’s specialty, what they built their service around. Without prompting from me, I asked them for their take… they said most of the messages put them asleep. The bible studies explained what the verses meant, but did little in the way of challenging or equipping them on how to live the Christian life. Passion and a sense of urgency were often missing in a time when the world is going insane. Being a “house of prayer” usually meant “God bless our service.”
From what others have told me, this is what many are experiencing in their weekend services today. We offer knowledge and doctrine but we’re not equipping or challenging God’s people to take their Christian walk to a high level… “My utmost for his highest” as Oswald Chambers would say. The fruit of this is evident everywhere as Christians – including leaders – are responding in their flesh to the madness around us. It’s as if they’re unwilling to face the fact that we’ve lost our salt or that our liturgy, the way we approach the church, has failed. Everything is the government’s fault, the political party they don’t like’s fault, or the media’s. We Christians don’t do mirrors. Meanwhile the country collapses. Occasionally someone says “we need to pray for…” and then it’s back to chaos and division. We’ve become so nice, polite, educated… and passive.
Then there are the masses of God’s people who are in bondage to various types of sin and whose lives are being shredded by the enemy because they don’t have a clue that they’re in a fierce spiritual battle. It’s hard to equip people for the spiritual battle when your church won’t touch the topic because it makes people uncomfortable. Or maybe the pastor won’t teach on Ephesians 6 for several years in his verse-by-verse Bible study-plan so “oh well, we’ll teach about the armor of God then and then everyone will be good.”
The Rogue Christian isn’t content watching everything collapse, neither are we content with anything less than going all the way with God. We want our lives to count for eternity and we’re willing to take the actions steps to make it happen.
This will get you started on the way of the Rogue. We’ll look at more in the coming weeks.
Every believer must become a prayer warrior. We are at war and prayer is our most powerful weapon. Being “Devoted to prayer” doesn’t mean “God bless my day!” as you’re charging out the door and checking your phone for texts, nor doesn’t it mean studying about prayer. Rogues spend 30-60 minutes alone with God every day, with fervent prayers from the heart that cry out for broken people, a church that’s lost its way, and the raging spiritual battle. If you want a passionate love relationship with the Lord, you have to go after Him often.
We must set aside the idea that church services are only about worship bands and a message. You can’t justify that from Scripture:
And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.
Our churches are jammed with isolated, prayerless believers who are leading lukewarm lives that are of little use in the raging spiritual battles around us. Put your people on their knees in corporate prayer at every church service, and break them into groups of 2 or 3 to share and prayer for each other, and your church will be a game-changer.
Remove isolation from your life.
Meet with another brother or sister once a week every week for the purpose of support, accountability and prayer. You need it, so do your brothers and sisters in Christ, and it’s commanded (James 5:16). Anything less is living your live in the flesh.
Go hard after God
Make your life’s goal to know Him. Watching and waiting for Him, listening for His voice, solitary worship, resting in silence, and going hard after Him with passion mark the way of the Rogue. Don’t be content with Bible studies or knowledge. Do you really have the fruit of the Spirit coursing through the veins of your heart? Are there moments when you’re alone in His presence and weeping for joy? Or are you playing church? Don’t expect going to church to be the main source of your relationship with Him; not even close. The most life-changing moments in my life and of others we’ve worked with has been when they’ve had powerful encounters with God when they were alone. It’s not that we don’t meet God at church, but when you’re going after Him alone without distractions He seems to honor it more because there are no distractions and we come with pure motives.
Set aside all your ideas of what you think your life should look like.
Your knowledge and experience, even Bible knowledge, can get in the way. God blew people’s theology away all throughout Scripture and He sent them out to places they often didn’t often expect. Give Him room to work in your life and that of others. Get your hands off the controls.
Picture: Duncan Andison