A Call To The Remnant

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What fire, has the younger generation acquired?

Posted by appolus on August 18, 2008

So, how does this play into what is going on in the church today and the dilemma of the younger generation raised on acquire the fire and pump it up messages. This generation dwell almost entirely in the realm of the soul. Silence would terrify them. They have been raised to think that a heightened awareness of their senses is “the presence of God.” What a tragedy, not just for them, but for the unchurched world. If you were a unchurched person, you would get the same heightened feeling at any rock concert, and of course, most times the world does this better. Their concerts are their church. Just go to one, one time and you will see these people “worshipping,” corporately.

Acquire the Fire?

 

1Ki 18:21 And Elijah came to all the people and said, How long are you limping over two opinions? If Jehovah is God, follow Him. But if Baal is God, then follow him. And the people did not answer him a word.

 

 

This is a comment written by a lady to a post that I had written………..

“There was a time when you could go into a church and feel the presence of God. You would tiptoe in and cry at the alter and tiptoe out. You would talk about church all day and at bedtime. You would talk to your neighbors about the Lord. Does anyone know what I am talking about? Does your church have God’s presence there? When we witness to neighbors about the Lord, do we tell them about our church, do we tell them about the programs we offer? Do we tell them about our softball team or about our free cup or our free espresso from our Coffee Bar? Or, do we say , just come and I guarantee you that you will meet God. Come to Him and He will reveal Himself to you if you will humble yourself. I see it happen everyweek so please come. I got saved in my 20s and was a professing sinner, then I really got saved about 6 years ago, now I am in my mid 40s. I hear about the old days from all the grey headed ladies in church. I am hungry for God’s manifest presence and I need to know what to do about it. I pray, I confess, I do not live in any known sin, yet I stumble at times and the Holy Spirit convicts me and I immediately repent. I go to prayer meetings at church. I read my Bible, I talk about Jesus at work and try to get them to come to my, or any church. What are we doing wrong, or me? Is my church under judgement? Or our nation? Is there churches out there experiencing God where the Spirit is moving and people are confessing and their lives are being changed? They are living for Christ and dying to self and carrying their cross? Jesus, please show yourself.”

That was a very sad letter to me. I recognize much of what she is saying. In the last several years I have visited several churches, in different parts of the country. I have also visited churches that used to be the way she described, drenched in the presence of God. I was in Destin Florida just last week and visited a Pentecostal church. The young man and his group that were doing worship were visiting, friends of the Pastor. This young man is quite well known in the “Christian music industry.” He “performed,” for almost an hour. In that time there must have been over 50 different instructions given to the congregation. “Stand up,” “Dance,” “Raise your hands,” “Cmon, give the Lord a hand clap,” “Just be free,” over and over again. I thought about that lady as I was being entertained from a very talented young man in his early thirties, the same age as the Pastor. As I sat there, this thought dropped into my spirit “This is the results of the acquire the fire generation.” As it turned out, when they were finished, the Pastor thanked them profusely for their “Spirit filled worship,’ and thanked God that He had just moved mightily amongst us. He also acknowledged his friendship with the artist and thanked him, that even although he was now a “big name,” that he would still deem to come to his little church. He told us how his friendship with this man went back to their youth camp days.

We are living in the days when these young men and woman who grew up with acquire the fire and pumped up Christian youth camps are now assuming leadership roles throughout the American church. The Spirit that the lady above is looking for, has been replaced by music that is designed to “pump people up.” Indeed the entertainer told us that he moved in freedom, and that we too should move in freedom. Now , what was freedom to this young man? He twirled when he danced, “just let yourself go and be free.” Is this the freedom of the Gospels? Is this the measuring rod by which we measure a Christian’s freedom? For a whole generation, sadly it is.

As many know, our bodies are multifaceted. By that I mean we are made up of body , spirit and soul. If we are living in a soulish generation, how did that come to pass? What is a soulish generation? The body has five senses. We can see, we can hear, we can touch, we can taste and we can smell. These are very powerful factors in our lives. One could argue that much of human misery and sin flow out of these senses. All of adultery starts with seeing. Consider David on his balcony as he see Bethsheba. Consider pornography, where the eyes feed directly into the soul. Greed and materialism, desiring what our neighbor has, all starts with seeing. Obviously touch would play into all of the sexual sins that plague us as people. Hearing also has been used to great advantage by the enemy. Where would false teachers and religions be without peoples ability to hear the lies? Gossip and backbiting all begin by listening. Taste and smell contribute to gluttony and lead to our present situation when a large percentage of the country is overweight.

Of course all of the senses can be used to enjoy all the wonderful benefits of what God has given us as free will agents, human beings. We can see the glory of a sunset. We can lift up our eyes unto the hills and see where our help comes from. We can lift up our eyes and know that the heavens declare the glory of the Lord. We can look at our husbands and wives, our children and our family and garner great joy from just that. The list is endless of what we can enjoy simply by seeing. Hearing, where would we be without the hearing of the Gospel? To hear your child laugh, to hear a bird singing, to hear the crash of the waves or a waterfall. Oh the joy of hearing the worship of the gathered saints. The simple pleasure of holding your loved ones hands, holding your baby in your arms, a kiss, a warm embrace from your husband or wife, the gentle touch of your lover(your husband or your wife) To taste and smell the wonderful food that we have. Oh how a smell is so powerful in evoking memories from long ago. The simple and wholesome pleasures of all the senses are a delight and the list of these delights is endless, for we worship a creator God.

Suddenly my senses are being assaulted by this young Pastor. He started of loud and only got louder. He was a white man, but he preached like a black man. I had seen the style many times before, it had meter and there was breathing and also after any good point (and there was quite a few good points) there was a blast from the “organ.” Before he had stopped preaching, my head was pounding. So much noise. The young preacher was exhausted and sweating profusely. He put everything he had into his performance. This was not a lazy young man. He gave a report of how many backpacks they had handed out in the last week to area children who could not otherwise afford supplies. Surely a great work. He talked about upcoming events and they had a full calendar. This is all good stuff and is highly commendable. Can manufactured passion have an impact on today’s society. How is it that with all of this activity, the unchurched people in America remained unchurched? Charitable works go on, perhaps more than ever. The music in the church is more professional and “better sounding,” that it has ever probably been in the history of the church. And yet, almost zero impact on the unchurched, those without a church background.

Imagine a cross section through your body, a plan view, looking down. Across the chest is the five senses, arched in front. Directly behind the five senses is the soul, and behind the soul is the spirit. The soul naturally looks out to the five senses. The senses excite the soul and the soul empowers the senses. Depending on your level of dysfunction(we are all dysfunctional) will determine the level of activity. For instance, a person in emotional pain, will compensate by overeating, the soul will anesthetize its pain by energizing the eyes, the taste and the smell when it comes to food. That is why this is a problem for one person and not for another. Perhaps the soul will anesthetize itself by sex. It will over stimulate the eye’s and the touch. These are tow examples amongst countless millions. We all grow up in unique circumstances and the uniqueness of the sins that so easily beset us are without number. No one can tell, with any accuracy, how a person will turn out. Now there are basic principals. If you beat a child constantly as he grows up, then no one will be surprised by a violent result. We are all different obviously and five children can all grow up in the exact same house with the exact same circumstances but all turn out completely differently. The x factor being our unique personalities. If someone, for instance, is more sensitive than another, then the circumstances will impact that person more violently that it would for say his brother or sister.

So, how does this play into what is going on in the church today and the dilemma of the younger generation raised on acquire the fire and pump it up messages. This generation dwell almost entirely in the realm of the soul. Silence would terrify them. They have been raised to think that a heightened awareness of their senses is “the presence of God.” What a tragedy, not just for them, but for the unchurched world. If you were a unchurched person, you would get the same heightened feeling at any rock concert, and of course, most times the world does this better. Their concerts are their church. Just go to one, one time and you will see these people “worshipping,” corporately.

And so, the eye of the soul must be turned inwards. The younger generation, the vast majority of which know nothing of the “presence of God,” need to turn inwards and find God within, not without. We all know that God dwells on the throne of our hearts. He has taken up residence in the very center of us. That is where they will have to look if they hope to discover the true presence of God. The presence of God is always totally fulfilling, there is nothing beyond the presence of God. Have you heard the much used phrase in the church now”There must be more.?” There is nothing more than the presence of God. That is why God does not have to entertain us to draw us to Him. The churches will find that they will have to become more and more like the world to draw people and keep people. And even then it will fail. There is no such pressure in the presence of God. There is no more than Him. People who have turned the eye of their soul inward know that and know that if they want to come here then they have to humble themselves and die to themselves, that is the path, that is the journey. People who do not know that and whose eye of their soul is turned outward, towards their five senses, will never be satisfied. They will always need more. How sad to hear that phrase spiritualized now. There is no satisfaction in the flesh, it will be pleasurable for a season, but the flesh demands satisfaction and complete mastery over the soul. The passions of the flesh will ultimately destroy. The passion of the Spirit will cause us to die to ourselves and become more like Jesus.

1Ki 18:26 And they took the bull which was given them, and they dressed, and called on the name of Baal from morning even until noon, saying, O Baal, hear us. But there was no voice, nor any who answered. And they leaped on the altar which was made.

Choose you this day young people, will you serve your flesh or will you serve the Living God? One can jump up and down all day long but it will not bring down fire from heaven.

15 Responses to “What fire, has the younger generation acquired?”

  1. timbob said

    Good evening. The comment from the lady is heartbreaking in that we rarely find such environments today. Instead what you witnessed in Florida is the norm these days. One thing that I’ve pondered about the current generation; both professing christians and those who make no such claim. There seems to be a need for continuous stimulation; be it comedy, music, pseudo news, (“pseudo, because the real news, few could handle) and continuous fabricated storylines. Folks have cell phones and are in contact with others constantly. Being still and allowing the Holy Spirit speak to us would almost seem to be a thing of the past, although we know that it’s not.

    There’s so much commotion, noise, voices, and nonsense filling the ambience that few know what it’s like to literally be in awe of the living God who sits upon the circle of the earth. As for the church, we think we can (oh no, I shouldn’t really go here; it caused trouble on an early post) make a schedule and place God into that schedule. “OK it’s worship time, Lord meet with us. OK now it’s offering time, and now, time for a soft message. Suddenly it’s over and we’re out. Fascinating; the Lord is always finished at the same time each week. Where are we going for dinner?”

    I don’t mean to sound mean, but when I look up into the heavens at night and the stars seem to stretch into eternity, it’s so telling of a wonderful Creator who inhabits all of eternity that the superfiscial stuff just doesn’t have anything to contribute. An hour in the presence of Jesus; our Savior and Lord who stepped out of eternity to redeem us with his blood, is far greater than a thousand lifetimes. An awesome God who has no beginning and no ending; yet gave his only begotten Son so that we could be with him throughout the ages to come.

    Well I was actually planning to finish reading the previous post, but this caught my attention; especially the comment from the dear sister who knows what the authentic presence of the Lord is like and hungers for that which is real. Thanks for another post that highlights the lateness of the hour. Have a blessed evening in Jesus.

    timbob

  2. appolus said

    Hey brother Timbob…….you did not seem mean at all, perhaps passionate for the presence and majesty of God, but not mean. I just left my church of eight years and that was part of the reason, our church is a lot like the one in Florida, only our Pastor was a good preacher. Yet, just so much noise, I totally agree. There is such a need amongst “worship leaders,” (whatever that means nowadays) to be trendy and different and always new. I wrote a post a few months ago called “Faith is in the silence.” Seems like this generation, young and old, are terrified of silence. The next time I get a chance to share anything from any pulpit(who knows when that would be) I can see myself just standing there and saying nothing. Then, after about 30 seconds, the people start to get restless, then after 2 minutes there would be extreme discomfort. People have been raised with constant stimulation. It goes along side an indulgent people who have to be continually gratified, at least at the five senses level, which is where I think the problem lies. A good brother that I respect, suggested that the end time harvest has begun, the seperation of the wheat from the tares, right under our noses. If I could find a Pentecostal , Spirit filled, sold out to the Word , not afraid of silence, waiting on God, crying at the alter at our condition church, that is where I would be. Right now I will settle for Biblically sound. God bless you brother, I belive that we both have passion for His glory and His majesty and the vastness of who He is………….Frank

    • Sue said

      You said: If I could find a Pentecostal , Spirit filled, sold out to the Word , not afraid of silence, waiting on God, crying at the alter at our condition church, that is where I would be.

      I want to share a link with you of a church like that. Its in Marion Iowa and is called Believers in Grace Fellowship. http://www.believersingrace.com

      I pray it blesses you as it does me. I live no where near there but am able to listen to the sermon archives online.

  3. Paul West said

    Hey brother, about a year ago I started a thread on SermonIndex entitled, “Acquire the Fire. Acquire What Fire?” and in the course of a few hours I recieved over 100 comments, huge fights breaking out, and a few people ended up getting dismissed. You can find it in the sermonindex archives, it’s a locked thread now. Your article reminded me of it. Keep writing, brother. You write the truth, and with fearless passion. You are unique in that you are not a loveless, fire-breathing zealot; you write the words that angry zealots often echo, but your spirit is that of humility, patience and genuine charity. Dear brother, I commend you.

    Brother Paul

  4. appolus said

    Hi brother Paul, your comments brought tears to my eyes and were much needed and appreciated. Thanks man. I know in my head that the Lord was dumb before his accusers, because He knew that they had no real interest in the truth, their minds were made up. I am very slowly learning not to defend myself or attack accusers, people who accuse your motives. It is a knee jerk reaction, especially for men, for we are wired to defend and attack. To stand bold when you know that the Lord has given you something, and to remain in love when it is rejected, is a sore lesson. One things for sure, when we miss the mark we often lose the point and Satan gives a wry smile……….Frank

  5. Merle said

    Brother Frank,

    This is a most excellent work on the subject at hand. I shall use it as a reference in the days ahead.

    Merle

  6. appolus said

    Hi Merle…thank you for your kind words. I have a passion for the presence of God.It has ruined me for this life. The thought that I will spend eternity in His presence is more than my mind can accomodate………….brother Frank

  7. […] McEleny presents What fire, has the younger generation acquired? « Scottish Warriors For Christ posted at Scottish Warriors For Christ, saying, “Is there a whole generation, or generations, […]

  8. Annette said

    hmm…found you through Christian Carnival…good read. thanks. I think I’ll be back.

  9. rani said

    This was an interesting article. I found it in the Christian Carnival ii.

    • appolus said

      Hi Rani…thanks for dropping by and for your kind comment. The presence of God is a passion for me and the stste of the Church………….Frank

  10. […] In my e-mail box this past week, I received an e-mail from Diane over at Crossroads that had a link to this excellent article about how the younger “Christian’ generation seems to have an aversion to […]

  11. […] meeting?   Woe unto the Pastors for the church is dead   Seeking after Signs and Wonders   What fire has the younger generation acquired?   The church that sits on sinking sand   Digging holes in the Valley (Waiting on the rain)   […]

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