Something very powerful is going on in the world today. God is doing a hidden, quiet work, something so supernatural that it is beyond human comprehension. He is preparing a small but powerful army that is going to be the most dedicated on the face of the earth. The Lord is going to close out the ages with a pure, devoted, fearless remnant.
All my life I heard stories of our godly forebears, men and women who spent hours, even days, in fasting and prayer. They knew God’s voice and they had the power to successfully stand up against evil in their day.
These godly forefathers have passed on but God is in the process of raising up another army. This new army will be composed of believers both young and old — ordinary Christians who lay hold of God. A whole new realm of ministry is about to come forth!
The denominational church system appears to be in the throes of death, possessing almost no influence in the secular world, no mighty power of Christ. Growing numbers of ministers are falling, and worldliness continues to creep into the church of Jesus Christ. The devil is claiming victory, as more and more pastor’s race down the road of compromise and corruption.
Yet the Bible says we are not to fret! God has a plan and it is being manifested. He is hearing the cries of his children who have given themselves totally to him. People will run to find them, crying, “I know you are someone who touches God . . . and I need God to touch me!”
Beloved, God wants to make you a part of his hidden army! He wants to give you a ministry to others who come to you with their burdens and trials. When you spend time with him, you will be able to stand up with spiritual authority and say, “Thus says the Lord!” because you have been listening to his voice.
“I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them” (1 Corinthians 9:19). In this verse we see that Paul is beginning to understand his mission in life — winning souls for Jesus Christ! In verse 16 he says, “Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel!”
What a transformation had taken place in Paul’s life! In Acts 9 we see him on the road to Damascus, going full-speed to persecute as many Christians as he could. What a horrific history he had. We know he was part of the martyrdom of Stephen (see Acts 7:55-60) and many historians believe he was involved in the death of more believers as well. But when Jesus miraculously appeared to him, he was stricken with fear and fell to the ground. Thus began his pursuit of God and his profound ministry.
Paul is saying in verse 16 that this woe, this calling to preach the gospel, was by necessity laid upon him. It was necessary for Jesus to work in his life the exact way that he worked in order to bring forth the things that he brought forth in Paul.
Without knowing it, Paul had been pursuing God without seeking the Savior. He had a call on his life but he did not know the correct path to follow in order to fulfill it. You also have this exact call. Jesus came to you, sought you out, found you where you were and rescued you. He always comes to those whose hearts are seeking after him.
When Jesus appeared to Paul, he was born again and a few days later he was filled with the Holy Spirit. But much more happened — he received a clear call on his life. He knew he had to preach the gospel and win souls.
Jesus came to save you, but he also came to call you! You are a chosen instrument to carry his name to the unsaved.
The world today no longer accepts a belief system rooted in tradition and complacency, that is, “doing church” the way we’ve always done it. The next generation will either see the power of God working in their lives in real, tangible ways, or they’ll have no use for our message and no interest in following our Savior.
The days of stale denominations filled with lukewarm believers are over. The ones that aren’t already dead and buried soon will be. I feel sorry that they will never experience the joy of reaching the world for Jesus and seeing what he could do through and in them as a church body if they would only open up and allow him.
But I’m not discouraged, because I’ve seen the future of the body of Christ, and it’s an exciting one. God is doing a work today in the hearts of young people that is as real and dynamic as any revival in recorded history. Every day my ministry takes me into the lives of inner-city kids, the most unreachable souls in our society. These kids are as hard and angry and lost as any group on earth. Yet our message is getting through to them. The walls are coming down. They are coming to Christ in great numbers, and when they do, their newfound faith is genuine and life-changing.
Many of these kids become our most powerful and effective evangelists. The Holy Spirit burns within them like a furnace, a raging holy fire in their souls, just waiting to explode upon the world. God is loosing his Spirit on these kids in magnificent ways and they’re turning their worlds upside down.
What would happen if every believer in this country caught that kind of passion and vision? What if we allowed God’s Spirit to release his power in our lives as he has in the lives of these kids? If we did so, the world would never be the same!
Nicky Cruz, internationally known evangelist and prolific author, turned to Jesus Christ from a life of violence and crime after meeting David Wilkerson in New York City in 1958. The story of his dramatic conversion was told first in The Cross and the Switchblade by David Wilkerson and then later in his own best-selling book Run, Baby, Run.
If you think you are too ordinary to be used by God, listen carefully: God is not going to do his last-days work through big-name evangelists or pastors. They alone will not be able to handle the great moving of his Spirit. God is going to need every homemaker, teenager, elderly person and all who love him to carry out his mighty work.
This end-time army is going to be made up of Christians who have been weaned from “bread alone.” God said through Moses, “Man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord” (Deuteronomy 8:3).
Bread stands for all natural, material things necessary for this life: food, shelter, clothes, labor, wages. In other words, those earthly things we need that are not evil in themselves.
Multitudes of Christians live only for the things of this life. Their lives are wrapped up in their job, their house, paying the bills. All their prayers are focused only on their needs — they are living on bread alone.
God is raising up a people who are focused on his will for this midnight hour! They want to be ready and prepared in heart because God is poised to release his great, final outpouring!
John the Baptist went forth “to make ready a people prepared for the Lord” (Luke 1:17). Paul spoke of being “prepared for every good work” (2 Timothy 2:21). And Samuel told Israel that God would do a new thing for them if they would “prepare [their] hearts for the Lord, and serve Him only” (1 Samuel 7:3).
When God pours out his Holy Spirit on the world, people who do not know him will be desperate to find someone to help them. When God sees you are ready, he will bring great opportunities your way and you will see his glory come alive in you in this final hour!
A man once told me, “After I give ten percent of my income to God, I do whatever I please with the rest. And I expect God to bless me as he promised — because I tithed.”
My experience has shown that if a person is grudging with his giving, he will also be grudging with his time, his energy and his work for the Lord. But I want to tell you, if you are stingy with God, he will be stingy with you. By that, I mean that you are cutting yourself off from God’s blessing by your actions and your attitude.
Our attitude should be, “How much of myself can I give to my Lord?” Our joy should be in how much we can give, not in how much we can keep for ourselves.
We read in the Word, “There is one who scatters, yet increases more; and there is one who withholds more than is right, but it leads to poverty. The generous soul will be made rich” (Proverbs 11:24-25). The fact is, the more strength and energy you spend for God, the more he will pour back into you.
The apostle Paul experienced every emotion and trial that we experience, yet through it all he had a revelation of the resources available to him. When he was overwhelmed, his faith laid hold of all he needed to bring him through with victory! He drew on the resources of his heavenly Father and rebounded again and again with new faith and new strength to go on.
In making the commitment to give yourself wholeheartedly to the work of God, you are putting yourself in a position of being blessed. If you are thinking about giving up, I encourage you to stay in the battle, for it is in the heat of warfare that God comes to you generously, showering you with his resources and strength. Only those who are involved in the battle receive his great provision!