You are probably NOT going to like this. It does NOT go along with the popular Christian thinking of today. Yet it is biblical and observable. Let me share my observations, backed up by God's Word and my experience over the past three decades of traveling and speaking around the world.
As I share with you the progression of moving from group 1 to group 2 and hopefully onto group 3, please ask the Holy Spirit to speak to your heart and mind. Evaluate yourself. Which group do you belong to? Perhaps you may be an amalgamation of two groups? Wherever you may find yourself, rest assured God is calling you and making provision for each one of us to be fully and completely joined to Him.
first group, we have no choice. We are all born into it and it draws on us like a magnet. It wants to own us, rule us and it bombards all five of our senses - daily. We are in it but are ever being called out of it. It is not in harmony with anything but itself. It offers us everything and ends up delivering us emptiness, powerlessness, and vanity. It owns the majority, demands and compells their allegiance. It is simply referred to as, "The World." Some call it the flesh. It represents approximately 50% of the population. Does it own you or any part of you? Have you seen through its camouflage? If so there is a still small voice calling you out of it, to a better way of life!
The second group is referred to as, "The Church." I voluntarily joined on when I was 30 years old. They promised me a better life than the world. A life governed by Godly principles with the gift of eternal life at the end. I signed up. Became very active and convinced others of the principles and the reward. They made me a leader. I became a board member, Bible teacher, outreach coordinator, and speaker. But I made a mistake. I didn't PLATEAU as almost all the rest do. I started asking more questions and going deeper. I couldn't help but notice that the leaders and member's lives didn't dovetail with their profession and the Godly men and women I read about in the Word of God. I studied more. I studied deeper and tried to bring to their attention that we were only on second base and were not advancing to third base or home plate. I was sure our Lord was calling us higher - higher still. This was met with disdain and subtle smearing.
Certainly, if our Jesus lived such a life and calls us to such a life, all His followers would concede to come higher still. Wouldn't they? I ran into such a resistance that it was then that I noticed much of the same spirit in the church as I experienced in the world. This spirit permeated leadership and members alike. It made me question whether the whole thing was a front and a fraud? I retreated, studied and implemented, studied and implemented. As I did I discovered that the enemy had infiltrated the churches and was blindsiding the members that they had arrived, when in fact they hadn't. Members thought themselves better than the world yet the world still had its tentacles in and working through them. They felt superior to the world, yet carried in them the same disease of Self's Rule. They were in fact still infected with Lucifer's original problem - they were still ultimately the, "One in Charge."
Group 2 represents approximately 45% of the population. For the most part they are what the Bible calls the lukewarm and the foolish virgins. They are content and do not want to be disturbed. They form into little cliques and feel quite satisfied they are not like the world. Some even involve themselves in boy scout and girl scout deeds, but few have ever won anyone into Jesus Christ. Jesus still stands at their door and knocks, for He does not have full and complete access to every door in their life.
A holy discontent was growing in me that culminated in bringing me into the third group. A much smaller group that I will call, "The Restless Ones." Those words don't seem to go together do they? Let me explain. This group, which only represents approximately 5% of the population are very disdained by the world and restless within the body of what's referred to as the church. The hypocrisy, indifference and lack of power in the church to live as the Master lived appalls them and compels them higher. They are loath to live like their brethren. They seek to awaken a sleeping church, mired in the comfort of remaining on second base and are stunned by the absence of the Spirit in any manifest way. They see the light of the American church flickering, nearly extinguished having allowed the influence of the world to creep into their lives and churches.
Thus, they are compelled to go higher to a life of complete surrender and total dependence in which God's Spirit and His Word have the preeminence in their everyday life. Unlike the first group, which have both arms wrapped around the world and in contrast to the second group, which has one arm around the world and the other arm supposedly around Calvary. The third group; are fully and completely wrapping both arms around and are daily embracing the Cross. The Holy Spirit with the lightest whisper can move their soul. Their lives give testimony to the fruit of the Spirit and the Word of God. They often feel rejected by the churches and are quite lonely. They find their solace in the fact that Jesus was not accepted in His own church. In fact, it was His church that not only rejected Him but crucified Him. Yet group three persevered. They live a life that demonstrates the power of Christ in and through them daily. They proclaim all that God's Word has done for them and testify that it is the only safe course. They also warn groups one and two of what's coming. All this is done in opposition from not only their own brethren but the world as well. They count it a joy to suffer for the love of their Jesus and the principles of His Word.
God smiles and Seals them for they are forever His. The journey is over! The demonstration is complete. They enter their rest and God is glorified in the life of His saints.
Will You be one of them?
Jim & Sally
Thought texts for groups 1 & 2;
Revelation 18:4, 2 Corinthians 6:17, Matthew 22:14, Matthew 25:3, 11, Revelation 3:16
Thought texts for group 3;
John 4: 23, 24, Revelation 14:1-5, Ephesians 1:13, Matthew 7:14, Romans 9:27, Revelation 14:12 Revelation 12:10