By Arnie Cole
Have you ever felt absolutely sure of something that needs to be done—that it is clearly from the Lord? You’ve got His peace and a determination that keeps brimming over to keep going no matter how hard the task gets?
That’s how researching our spiritual lives as Christ Followers has been for me over the last 15 years. It has been the most fulfilling work I’ve ever done, but it has also been the hardest. There have been huge walls blocking the way. And Christian leaders can be some of the most difficult people to convince that change may be needed when they are experiencing success right where they are – even if they’re just measuring it by marketing standards, rather than the spiritual fitness of their flock.
Today’s jaw-dropping trends of turning from Jesus and leaving the faith began with my grandparent’s generation—hard to notice and slow at the start. But it has relentlessly gained momentum to what we all see today. COVID only leap-frogged them ahead.
I have never been one to need outside validation. The Lord has used me as an innovative disruptor for years and in many situations as an advocate for people who don’t know how to help themselves. Disruptors are used to point out difficult facts that need dealing with. He has equipped me with this “special talent” and I am thankful to serve Him.
Lately, the Lord keeps bringing me back to this Scripture:
But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons (Galatians 4:4-5).
God wasn’t wasting time during those long years before Jesus came into our world. Instead, He was waiting until all of the right pieces were in place politically and culturally. Then the solution of sending His only Son would make the greatest impact on the world’s hurt and sickness. People in that time were abused by political power, trapped by their economy, and held captive by evil that sin brings. They were looking for someone to lead and save them.
The fullness of time also included change that other cultures brought to God’s people. The Greeks ushered in a new common trade language that was spoken worldwide. Meanwhile, the Romans built roads throughout their empire making travel much easier. The combination of these things made a huge impact on communication in that day, allowing the news about Jesus to spread to all parts of the world!
All of these factors, from hardships to new developments ushered in the perfect opportunity for God’s redeeming power to shine.
So, what about now? I’ve already shared the statistics with you. But rather than give up, isn’t this another opportunity of God’s perfect timing for us to share the light of Jesus?
As advocates for those who struggle spiritually, I believe it is and He is calling each of us! We are perfectly placed for this exact time and the needs people are facing.
I see this by a growing number of you agreeing and adding your support. You are working to figure out how to get into the spiritual battle for people’s souls. You are praying and asking God how to open doors into lives to bring them the grace and mercy of Jesus.
Are you surprised that the movement is growing? None of us should expect to see reports of a “grassroots movement for those who struggle spiritually” splashed on the nightly news.
Yet, it is happening person-to-person and completely counter to what the culture is blaring in our faces every day. I hear from some of you each week, but this is the time to encourage others with your stories and opportunities. Please share how God is using you so we can add our prayers and praises. Your success becomes fuel for some to keep going, or the courage others need to join this spiritual battle.
I want to add this for your prayer support and praise. There are 7 significant opportunities on my schedule to help other ministries through spiritual life research and impact reporting. You would know them if I had permission to share names. They touch millions of people each month through broadcasts, apps or devotionals. Seeing how sin and the culture is winning, they want to learn how to be more effective in delivering the Bible and its teaching for the spiritual needs in people’s lives.
Take up the challenge. God has you and me here for what is needed in this exact time. Grow spiritually fit and strong through the power of God’s Word. And then do all you can to build this grassroots movement for those who struggle spiritually. We need you!
PS: Be sure to check out all of the great Bible teaching content at www.backtothebible.org or, from your mobile device, click this link GOtandem from the App Store or Google Play and download our Daily Spiritual Fitness App.