So often we grow weary in the battle but the war rages on. As the intensity rises, we have been taught to retreat at times and regroup in order to spare ourselves from the pain of casualties. I want to submit to you today that gospel itself was birthed by the very casualties suffered by the early church. American Christianity is a lot like a fast food resturaunt. We want what we want and we want it now. Impatience is often the motivation of our intercession. We seek the Lord when it is convenient or of neccesity of circumstance. The move of God that is taking place is one where we seek Him for His purposes and not our own. Instead of retreating we will run into the battle regaurdless of consequence. I saw this in a vision while Pastor Jeff was preaching years ago. I was running towards this tree line and I could hear the war raging within. As I was about to enter the woods I saw a soldiers helmet come flying out of the woods and it landed in front of me spinning. My instinct was to run the opposite way, so i turned and saw some commoflage netting strewn between to trees. I ran to it but something stopped me from running straight into it. As I peeled back the netting there were spears sticking out; it was a trap. I heard a voice say," run to into the battle, those who save their life will loose it, and those who are willing to loose their life will find it."
I think that one of the worst things to happen in christian history was when a pegan emperior by the name of Constantine, embrased Christianity and made it the official religion of his empire. He was a sun worshiper who supposedly saw the sign of the cross in the sun and a message that said," in this sign you will be victorious." It was then that , I believe, christianity became a religion of convenience and it spread a new type of gospel. Its no coincidence that the dark ages followed. If you think about it, most of the worlds oppinions concerning the church come from this erra. This movement unified the church under an umberella that was not of Christ but of the methodologies and rituals of men. The very theme of the message preached in the book of Hebrews. Out of this came the reformation that on the outward liberated us from these methods but instituded the creation of new exceptible means of worship. The debate over this has cost many people their lives over the centeries at the hands of "christians". Out of the reformation came denominations and factions of believers who subscribe to certain methods of worship which leads us to what we have today, a busted up, broken and confused church who finds herself not satisfied with our relationship with God. Atleast those who are truly born again feel this way. The battle is not the world, that Gods to fight. The battle is shedding this self imposed form of godliness that denies the power there of and putting on Christ once again. Then we may truely see the Gospel alive in Gods people. The persecutions may come, then we may once again have the choice to live or to die, to run into the battle or to retreat in order to preserve this life.