The Key to the Church Changing the World

fire in pews
(Charisma archives)

One day when I was driving down the highway, a song came on my CD player. Some of the phrases rang in my spirit: "I am so tired of compromising/ I am so tired of lukewarm living/ I want to go against the grain/ Set me on fire." As I listened, I was struck by the thought that many Christians today live in a state of compromise.

It hasn't always been that way. There have been times in history when the church lived by a different standard than the world. During the days of the early church, for example, the new believers went straight to the marketplace after being baptized in the Spirit and declared what had happened. As far as we know from the biblical record, no one told them to do that; they just had such an intense awareness of who Jesus is—glorified and risen—that they were compelled to share it!

Even in the midst of the persecution that attended their testimonies, they could not keep silent. The Bible tells us that many were scattered to other regions, and "those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went" (Acts 8:4, NIV). Miraculous signs followed those who believed.

What was different about the early church? I believe they had a greater revelation of who Jesus is. Some had seen and heard Him in person and witnessed His mighty miracles. Others who had not seen Him personally had heard firsthand testimonies from those who had.

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But there is no lack of seeing and hearing today. We have access to the accounts of Scripture and the Holy Spirit within and among us. Why don't we experience the realm of power that is recorded in the book of Acts? Could our lack of revelation of who Jesus is be tied to a lack of purity in heart?

I once heard a well-known leader say that God told Him, "Where there is no mixture, I will pour out my Spirit without measure." The words of Jesus recorded in Matthew 5:8 support this statement: "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God." We will see God if our hearts are pure—that is, if there is no mixture in them.

A mixture is a combination of more than one element. The Spirit of God plus our carnal nature is a mixture. God's life plus the ways and ideas of the world is a mixture. God condemns such impurity: "Don't you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God" (James 4:4).

The world needs to see a church without mixture—operating in God's power. Are you willing to be one He uses for His purpose? Ask Him for a fresh revelation of who He is and begin to look at the world around you from an eternal viewpoint. Just like the believers in the early church, we as Spirit-led women are called to change the world!

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