by Pam Clark (pamclark@prophetic.net)

Christianity can be popular with all the "feel good", good crowd, wow moments. But then there comes a decision making time where you have to choose the real Jesus. There are a lot of noble causes and of the writing of books, there can be no end. These books are good if they have something to say.

But there are many who ride the Christian bandwagon because it is the popular or advantageous thing to do. There are people who are advised to go to church to make good business connections. There are men who want "a good Christian girl" for a wife because of her virtue, but they really don't have a heart for the Lord as much as they do for their desire for the woman.

There are people who like to go to church because it's cheap entertainment. Or there are those who just want to feed off the church without realy contributing. There are a lot of "good" reasons to go to church. But we are at a place in time where the virtues need to add up to the power.

We are in a society today that has no "punch." We protest about a lot of things but it's just a noise, a clanging symbol, that can sometimes get on the nerves of others. We are in a leadership vacuum and few seem effective against sin or injustice, and it seems to increase every day. Our court systems are letting the worst criminals go free and the innocent are paying the price of the guilty.

We are upside down!!! The problem is compromise but I believe many didn't even intend to do it that way. They were caught up in the moment, they followed that which seemed good, they were the victim of a good sales pitch, but the bottom line is that they did not really KNOW Jesus.

Jesus has a personality and a character. He IS a real person. His Presence can be felt, His works are good and even many times astounding. Jesus is a supernatural being, and He is the Son of God.

But few seem to really know Him except in the most childlike of ways. The mental age of the church can sometiimes seem to be about 10 years old in the naivete. But He is really much more powerful and strong than that!

Some label power as God and any god of power will do. Some say their might makes right and if they can be more shrewd than you, then they will claim that to be God. But they really don't know God, because their fruit is not manifesting good. It doesn't really show out goodness and truth but just seems impressive and is without genuine Love. Big difference, but few seem to discern it.

The real God can deal with the shrewdness of evil, as He has been doing that for centuries. But the real God is looking for agreement; He wants to be more than just a seemingly indifferent babysitter. We can only find mature and holy agreement by entering in to Him and His ways. But we also have to do it in a way that does not come across religious.

There is power in doing what is right and being righteous. Real prayer power is powerful! But it can be compromised by agreement with sin. Some churches want to be so righteous that there is no room for the sinner to come in and get saved. A twist happens, the twist of the leviathan that says "we have arrived" and others must be "as we are" - but are not as He Is.

Jesus reaches out. Jesus on earth had the balance of a prayer life and alone time and the public ministry of reaching out to others to invite them into the power and life of relationship with God.

If we constantly wait for others to tell us what to do, then when the leader falls, there is this terrible domino effect. I have seen it a number of times! People are valuable and leaders are precious but if we are in love with the person but not the Lord, we have missed it when we were so close to being there!

The virtues of loyalty and fidelity are fleeting when the foundation is in man. And the snares are out there but if we really have connected with the Head of the Church, He will keep you when man fails. You may be broken hearted for a season, but you do recover!

Today it seems we are looking for the "get rich quick" plan, even in the church. When Jesus came to this earth, He came to live a life, not just give a show. He lived the whole plan of man from birth to death and then received the reward of His resurrection. He was our example.

He did not just come to teach us how to have good meetings, although He had them. He did not just focus on signs, wonders and miracles, although He had a lot of that. He did not just come as a way to make money, even though He was not ashamed to receive kind and generous free will offerings. He knew how to both receive and spend His money in righteous ways. He even had a measure of tolerance for the one who was taking the money and using it for himself (Judas). Jesus never condemned the sinner, His righteousness caused the sinner to condem himself. But He reached out to even him.

Jesus didn't want the focus to be "the sin" but the right life. We have to choose it!

When we don't believe that God is good, then we see Him a different way. We see Him then as a means to an end, and not as an example and way of Life. The one place where Jesus got the most demonstrative with His emotions was when people compromised the place of prayer and communion with the Father.

If we don't understand the value of that, then we cannot be Spirit led. Jesus is the House of Prayer for all people, but it's not "just" however we want to do it, but there is an order set too. It is not just "only" order, but there is order and the free will offering of the heart. It is what today we call interactive. That is how it is meant to be.

But because somehow and somewhere along the way of childlike faith we lose the maturing process, we have this ten year old mindset that wants its own way but also waits for someone else to tell them what to do. We stop just short of being Spirit led and we have a series of "decision moments" rather than a consistent communicative way of relationship. As long as someone else tells us what to do, we have someone else to blame when it goes wrong.

That goes to the problem of the guilt issue not being resolved. We walk in grace with the Lord! But if we don't have a proper understanding of that grace then we only see it as mercy, when it goes way beyond that into wisdom. If we just want to get by and barely that - such a weak life! - then we really just want the "fire insurance" of mercy, but there is SO MUCH MORE beyond that!

God wants us to walk in wisdom and if we ask for that, He gives it liberally WITHOUT fussing at us if we miss it! You can look at it as experience. If we have asked Him, and we co-labor with Him in it, He covers us, knowing that we have a listening ear to Him for instruction, which He willingly gives.

When the Body becomes religious, it cuts off the parts that can and do and NEED to supply! You can be so focused on one type of reach out that you are blinded to the other areas of ministry that you need to actually survive as a successful Christian. Many can feel like they have to leave the church to become normal and may even be right for a season!

Most will probably have a favorite form of serving, but without balance we are off center and can become warped. The real test is to ask: "Can I hear the Voice of God directing me?" There are areas of life where we need to go to others for counsel and good doctrine, but we need to know how to find that inner peace that we can own as OURS.

We are in a spiritual war in this life. There is a battle for your affections and your brain and your life. We will endure much suffering - that could be avoided - if we were equipped to hear God for ourselves in our decision making years where it means more than if we are wearing the right outfit or obtain a possession that we fancy.

God truly wants to bring the power of Heaven to Earth. He wants us to take dominion of this earth for His Glory and subdue it with Victory. He said for us to pray "Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven." Heaven is a good place! Most want to get there! And they would want it even more if they really understood it.

Some have been hoodwinked to think that Heaven is only offered for when they die! That's a lie! Heaven can be accessed now, but we have to learn it. There is a balanced way to do it. If we fall for the separation rather than redeeming a fallen world back to an Interactive state, then we falsely feel cheated if we do good works and don't serve ourselves.

Some can get so heavenly minded that they are no earthly good. And some can be so earthly minded that they miss God who is the best thing that could ever happen to them and who can give them an ultimate eternal Victory!

It's really not that hard to grow up with God. Some get a late start and still do real well. We can do as much in God and for God as we really want to. God even showed through Samson that if you make a mistake, you can still get great victory. If we would understand the maturing process and have patience with it, we could even learn that God heals blind eyes!

What did Jesus really come to show us? Do we study that? Did the disciples have a three year college curriculum or did they walk out life with Jesus? The answer should be obvious. Why would Jesus raise the son of a widow lady or tell His healed to "go their way"? He respects this life!

And if we would, we would find our nation restored and potent righteous leadership established in its proper places.

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