What is an aggressive faith? It is a faith that runs to good works and affects the kingdom with a good offense and not just a good defense. Living a life of defense only, is living a life that just deals with what comes your way as you wait on it. Revelation 3:16 So, because you are lukewarm-neither hot more cold–I am about to spit you out of my mouth.”
What causes us to get into a “defensive” mode, or get lukewarm?
1. Getting your heart beat on when you stepped out from the crowd and tried something God-sized. Something that reminded critics that they are supposed to be living that kind of life and they don’t like the reminder.
2. Trusting God for something and he came through in a different way than you were planning. This is a tough one for me because I like to map out everything in my sight lines and proceed knowing what I am facing. Remember, trusting God means we trust Him to do things His way and accepting that result. This should build our faith and not cause us to fall back from being aggressive in our faith.
3. Hiding safely in a group of non-aggressive believers and using their lack of faith to mask our lack of action. It feels nice and comfortable, but we are actually moving backward and not forward in faith. This the trend of the new “relevant church movement” and it is dangerous!!
Whatever causes it for you, God wants more, and He wants to guide us to a whole new level of belief that involves really trusting Him for the results. All of that sounds great, but in order to move to that level of belief we are going to have to get out of the water we are in (and it is not hot water, more like lukewarm) You may say, “Why is that going to be so difficult? Well, our world is spirally downward in an apathetic coma and our Christian faith has been caught in that spiral and the constant indoctrination of an apathetic, fallen world, is taking it’s toll on what should be a vibrant Christian group of people. In 2 Kings 19, the Word of the Lord says that Hezekiah was king of a people who had lost their zeal for serving the Lord, but Hezekiah came to his senses and called out to God through the prophet Isaiah to help them because the Assyrians were mighty and all around them, ready to defeat them. God spoke to Hezekiah through Isaiah and assured him that He was still in control and that he would use a remnant to reestablish a people who will follow God. In verse 30 he said a surviving remnant of Judah shall take root downward and bear fruit upward. In other words, the depth of their commitment to God the Father will be very deep and the fruit they will bear will be offered up and given to God. Now that’s what I call WORSHIP!! Right after that promise God goes into the camp of the Assyrians and strikes 185,000 of their soldiers with death as they slept. God used the remnant and God came through. I can’t imagine the shock of the Assyrian leaders waking in the morning to find 185,000 of their men dead in their beds. At this new development Sennacherib, King of Assyria, departed and headed back to Nineveh, AND STAYED THERE!! Hezekiah made the right move. He pleaded with God to help them, and believed that God would not allow the Assyrians to defeat His army and take his people captive. He saw what was happening all around him, but he saw the lack of any movement of the house of Judah to do anything about it In verse 3, He said, “children have come to birth and there is no strength to deliver.” Now that’s pretty bad. It sounds like what we hear all the time in our lost and defeated world view. Christians saying, “I don’t want to birth any children into this crazy world”, when God wants more children to be born to Godly parents who will raise them to take hold of the fight of the faith. You guessed it. An aggressive faith means having children and raising them to take up their armor and live for God also. We live in a world where we are having to talk people into not killing their children before birth, much less raise them in the ways of God. Just like Pharaoh’s desire to kill the Hebrew children in the time of Exodus because they were having more and more children and growing faster than he could control. Our world today is led by the ambition to snuff out any children before they even get out of the womb. The parallels are uncanny. When Isaiah brought the word of God to Hezekiah, it was not only a warning, but a plan of attack, with God leading the way. The Word of God through Isaiah showed Hezekiah the best way, and then God acted and their enemy was defeated. How does that translate into an active faith today?
First off, we need to believe in God. Yes, truly believe in God, and believe that His power is just as real today as it was in the Bible. Secondly, we need to see our condition, and respond to how God’s Word addresses that condition. Thirdly, we need to act, believing God is going before us, and then watch the God-sized miracles that follow. Yes, don’t freak out. I did say “miracles.” They still happen you know. The miracle of God killing 185,000 of Hezekiah’s enemies in their sleep was a huge miracle of God and the remnant that looked on saw God’s hand moving for them. In our world today, we would have the tendency to explain away any miracles God performs. We would call it an over emotional response by holy rollers, or a money making scheme by televangelists, or just an unexplained phenomenon. All of those would be an insult to God in any form, and the end result would be lukewarm faith at best. Hezekiah messed up by limiting God and when he realized his only hope was in the Lord he did the right thing by calling out to His God, even when many did not trust God anymore. Sound familiar?
So, what is the temperature of the water you are swimming in right now in your faith. Is it hot, cold, or lukewarm. Just remember, lukewarm water has just enough of a hot feel to make you think you are in hot water, but you aren’t! Lukewarm has to have some cold to make it lukewarm, so the cold is in there. What is the cold water in your life that is stopping you from having total faith in God doing a mighty work? Remember, at the same time we are learning to walk with God, the world is indoctrinating us. The world!! You know …satan! You won’t find this reasoning at any Catalyst conference in the future, because we have tasted the kool-aid and reasoned that it doesn’t taste that bad. But, our life after drinking the kool-aid of the world is lukewarm and doesn’t taste very good to our heavenly Father, to which He replies, “I will spit you out!!” We must come back to God and believe again that He is who He says He is, I AM!! Just like the children of Israel facing the waves of the Red Sea, we are facing a huge wave of worldly reasoning, but God has called us to a new life of freedom from the world and a life eternal promised for those who persevere. In the same way God parted the Red Sea for the children of Israel to walk on dry land and escape the Egyptian army, He is ready to part the waves of unbelief for us to step out of a world that hates Him and live a life of freedom in the “promised land” he has prepared for us in heaven. As Moses led the children of Israel, Jesus leads us and goes before us showing us the way to live an aggressive faith that changes lives. What a blessing!! The lukewarm water doesn’t feel so good now does it? Then turn up the heat and get serving in your daily life, and through your church, and make a difference as the remnant of the faith. We don’t have to have any more plagues to know that God is calling us NOW to leave the land we are now living in. Move and quit serving the world and getting leftovers! Live an aggressive faith and make a difference today.
The Pilgrimage continues….