When the Bible prophet, Elijah, challenged the people of Israel to follow God, “The people said nothing.” That sounds much like how Christianity is presented today. A preacher challenges the congregation to follow God, but the people say nothing except for an occasional amen or a programmed unison response. Meanwhile the Word of God says, “Let the redeemed of the Lord say so,” and “They overcame him (the devil) . . . by the word of their testimony . . .” and “When you come together everyone has a psalm, a hymn, a revelation . . .”
The situation that Elijah was facing required that orthodoxy (“right or straight or accurate glory or praise”) be demonstrated among the people of God, not just articulated by one man. (Articulating right doctrine without doing it is deceptive–right doctrine memorized by the mind can be quarantined from the heart.) That’s why Paul could write: “If an unbeliever or an inquirer comes in while everyone is prophesying, they are convicted of sin and brought under judgment by all as the secrets of their hearts are laid bare. So they will fall down and worship God exclaiming, ‘God is really among you!’”
For 10 years my wife and I helped oversee a Spirit-led testifying-based church that met by allowing anyone present to speak as they were prompted by the Spirit (according to 1 Corinthians 14:26). People shared testimonies, short-teachings, Scriptures, prayers, etc. Numerous times we saw first-time visitors began to weep as they witnessed the living Jesus speaking through ordinary people manifesting Spirit-inspired eloquence. We frequently felt and saw the fire of God flowing out of people’s hearts and burning up their sacrifice of praise. (To learn more about it, search: Beyond Church Ekklesia.)
Cultivating an environment of faith where God can demonstrate His power isn’t just for Bible stories. It can happen today if we gather as His body, let go of the rope, step out of the boat, and begin to walk in the Spirit!
Biblical Christianity’s not about one man being audible for an audience. It’s about hearts filling up with awe and lives being transformed by Jesus.
Of Christian beliefs
Aren’t opening hearts
To the living Jesus.
We need to cultivate
Where Jesus is allowed
To make demonstrations
Of His reality!