It's astonishing how human nature conspires to work against us - how even the best of humans (with the greatest intellect and the most developed reason) can often behave in a manner that is nothing short of a perilous anathema to their own good. Have you never noticed how we even come loathe the things that we set into place for our own benefit?
Consider the calorie counter. Those of use who must watch what we eat (lest we succumb to obesity) know all too well the sting of staring down that delicious item for which we desperately yearn - all the while glaring daggers at the calorie counter that we've employed to help us reach our goal. Do we not (most of the time) charge ahead regardless? Is this not where we learn (the hard way) that the body doesn't respond to negotiations, and that calories consumed will always result in the dreaded weight-gain despite our assurances of compensations in some other area? Alas, an hour on an elliptical does not a donut slay.
Consider the alarm clock. Of all "necessary evils" this one surely reigns as king. We buy the best clocks we can find and even go to the extra length of creating contingencies to prevent its failure - and yet, do we not hate its bleating guts when it chimes to arouse us in the still of the morning? It doesn't care if we've slept well or if we've had quite enough. We haven't given the clock that latitude because we know (as it never could) that our jobs depend on being forced out of bed whether we like it or not. Does the clock deserve hatred for doing the very thing for which it was designed and employed? Of course not - but do we not hate it all the same and loose upon it our vitriol when faced with it's faithful summons?
This has been the unfortunate position of prophets and watchmen in the spiritual realm since the fall of man. The first man to serve in the unenviable role was righteous Able - who as a prophet served for his brother just such a warning. As such, it was Cain who was the first to ignore the alarm that was clanging loudly in his spirit as he yielded to bitterness and inaugurated murder's bloody tenure among us. Since then history has been littered with one tragic example upon another as those for whom limits were set failed to obey the alarms that were given as warnings for their own good.
A few decades ago a witty invention was added to the dreaded alarm clock, though it has since been widely debated whether it actually serves our greater good. We call it the "snooze button", and it is a wily device that can all but render an alarm clock ineffective if utilized in the wrong way. This little marvel is our absolute best friend on a cold winter morning when the chill of the room forewarns of discomforts that abound beyond the tender embrace of comfy blankets too deliciously warm to abscond. If you are anything like me (for I have never been a morning person), you've lain in bed regarding the clock, hating its guts and considering all that must be done to prepare for work. After a moment's bleary-eyed contemplation, you render a judgment in favor of hitting the snooze button for a little extra sleep.
I cannot quantify how much grief this has caused me over the years...
Fast forward half an hour - now I'm in a howling rage at myself for indulging the extra snooze when my alarm clock performed its faithful duties. When my wits were dimmed by the siren of slumber, I had hated my alarm clock with a fiery passion. Now it is the snooze button that I loathe, vowing never to indulge it again as I rush out the door hoping against all hope that I can somehow make it to work on time. Even as I am doing this - am I not secretly conceding that I've no intention of deactivating my alarm clock's snooze feature? Will I not do it all over again tomorrow?
Brothers and Sisters - this is where we are in history, and such is the task for those who have been called to be prophets and watchmen for the Body of Christ in this perilous season. For despite the size and scope of the Body today, believe me when I tell you - all but (roughly) 20% of the Church is lounging in their spiritual beds cursing alarm clocks as they hammer the snooze buttons that they've erected in their hearts.
Don't let our numbers deceive you. So many of our "mega churches" are built upon slick programming and greasy grace as pastors tickle the ears of parishioners and reap the bounty of their equivocation and duplicity. I don't mean to impugn all such churches - there are many good ones. But Yeshua has made it clear (through prophetic declaration) that nearly 80% of the Body of Christ is either fast asleep or is lost in a groggy fist-fight with the alarm clocks that are bleating loudly beside their bed at The Lord's behest. Recent polls have proven that (when people are honest) the amount of sin being indulged from within the church is perilously similar to what we are likely to see among the heathen. So many are the Christians who are saturated with "their own lives" that examples of actual devotion to Christ (beyond feeble lip-service) has become a rare commodity indeed.
Meanwhile, those among us who are truly committed to Yeshua are all too often impugned and maligned as "bible thumpers", "radicals", and "the intolerant sanctimonious". All too often the elderly and "wise" among us cast upon those who are burning for Christ twisted little condescending grins and utter things like, "they'll calm down and get their bearings". Sadly, this is all too often proven true as disappointments and carnal-minded roadblocks wear Abba's little ones down and snuff the light of their former fire.
On the surface we appear fat and contented - unbelievably successful. In truth we are emaciated and riddled with terminal illness. We suffer with the cancer of political correctness, with racial division and strife, and (most grievously) with overt worldliness and wickedness from within our ranks as more and more are poisoned by doctrines of demons that were forewarned by the Apostle Paul. Eternal security is one such doctrine - relegating our Savior's grace to a casual "pick-me-up" in the wake of chronic moral compromise. Hell is so rarely mentioned in these churches that many have either ceased to believe in its existence, or have come to doubt that they were ever in danger of going there.
But math is a funny thing - equations are absolute. 2+2 will always equal 4 no matter how much you might wish it to be otherwise.
So try this one on for size: if I am mistaken and everything is hunky-dory in the Body of Christ, then surely (by extension) we should be seeing a proportionate decline in wickedness (and sin) as our numbers continue to swell in big churches across the globe. If an increasing number of Christians are truly working and living as they should be (in the power of a Spirit-filled life), should we not also be witnessing a decrease in evil across the globe? If this were so, we would be seeing a greater influence for Godly behavior, more righteous legislation, a stiff drop in corruption, and everything produced in Hollywood would be trending toward a G rating. The porn industry would be abating at long last, prisons would have major vacancies, strip clubs would be closing everywhere, and the abominations of prostitution and the sex slave industry would be a thing of the past.
Are any of these things happening? Anywhere? You do the math - and then answer your own heart when it asks, "where is the power of God Almighty among His children?" In what do these churches glory aside from the magnificence of their own buildings, the bloat of their own programs, and the enrichment of those who run them? The problem isn't with Jesus. He is God Almighty - the same yesterday, today, and forever. To truly know Him is to know transformation and re-birth. The problem, dear ones, is us.
We need to wake up. We need to listen to the alarm clocks that are heralding the coming judgment that will surely befall The Body of Christ if it fails to respond to His call. Time is running out.
This blog has been commissioned as one such alarm clock - we welcome you. I hope you have the intestinal fortitude and the burning hunger to receive what we are given so that The Lord's message can billow forth and result in meaningful change throughout the cultures that swirl around us. Either way, there is no fear here - we will say, write, and do whatever Yeshua wishes with neither equivocation, compromise, nor concern of general acceptance.
Undiluted truth - anything less is unacceptable.
Wake up, Church - it is long-past time for Abba's children to rise and shine.
Your brother and servant in Christ Jesus our Lord,
Mark Scott Grimmett