Word of the Month- September 2011
At the beginning of last year the Lord began to speak to me about the start of a reformation that was coming to the Body of Christ through a crazy and ecstatic movement of believers that would embrace the wild things of His Kingdom. We released the word on our website entitling it, “Where the Wild Things Are”. I immediately began to share this message in many of the places I was ministering, knowing that what was coming was going to be severely misunderstood by many and cause some division and offense. I felt that it would be a great mistake to lash out at some of the attacks that were to come and far better to continue in love and allow the fruit to speak for its self.
Over the past year we have seen much change as many are catching ahold of their identity, union, and the power of the indwelling of Christ. There is not a day that goes by that I don’t meet a person who is so drunk on this message that it spills out of them like a flood. Especially new believers that have given their lives to Jesus over the past few years and this message has become their daily drink and for this I am truly grateful, since so many long time believers still haven’t gotten ahold of, “it is finished”. With this message comes greater boldness to declare and demonstrate the power of the gospel and many are beginning to understand that it is not them, but Christ in them demonstrating the power. So with great joy they are releasing the power of Christ without effort all over the world. We are truly living in awesome days and I am excited to see what is ahead for our generation. We have gone so far out that we can’t go back. A fresh reformation is upon us and the way we position and posture ourselves will determine the lasting impact we have on the body of Christ in the days ahead.
The Cloud is Touching Down
With that being said I want to share with you an encounter that I had a few weeks ago that really tilted my grid and shifted my paradigm for what I believe God is asking from us in this hour. During a time of prayer I was taken into a trance and suddenly a flash of light streaked into the living room where I was sitting. Thinking this was an angel coming to bring me a message, I was shocked to see a man standing before me who looked to be from the 1500s. Staring at him in astonishment I immediately asked, “Who are you!” He responded with, “My name is John Huss.” We stared at each other only about a minute or so and he was gone.
Coming out of this encounter I was rather taken back by this meeting having no idea who this man was. I had never heard his name before, only that he had come to introduce himself to me. I sat there in shock wondering who he was and why God had sent him. I needed to get ready for a meeting that night, but I just couldn’t let it go so I began to call several people and ask if they had ever heard of this man. No one seemed to know who he was. The next day I took some time to research him and to my amazement I discovered he was born 1369 and martyred July 6 1415. I believe that God sent this man out of the cloud of witnesses that Paul refers to in Hebrews 12, and had him simply tell me his name because his life was the message he was to bring to me.
John was known as a Pre-Reformer and Father of many that would follow in the great reformations such as Martin Luther, Jerome of Prague, and John Wesley. Early on in his life, Martin Luther, rummaging through the stacks of papers in a library, stumbled upon a book of sermons by John Huss. Luther would later write, “I was overwhelmed with amazement, I could not understand for what reason they had burnt so great a man, who explained the Scriptures with so much gravity and skill." To say that John Huss had an impact on Martin Luther’s life would be a gross understatement.
John Huss condemned various church abuses in his sermons, and directed his thoughts to the faulty disciplines and practices of the Church. He discarded the practice of giving only the bread to the laity, but reserving the chalice of wine for the priest during Holy Communion. He whole-heartedly accepted the practice of worshipping in the common man’s language, rather than in Latin. He argued that the lay man also had an important role to play in the administration and leadership of the Church and that Christ was the true head of the Church, not the Pope. His argument that Church officials should exercise spiritual authority, instead of being earthly governors, contributed to the cause of his excommunication, for insubordination, in 1412. The Council of Constance was convened in 1414, and he was summoned before it to answer to the charges brought against him. He was promised the safe conduct, or passport from the Emperor, but the Emperor lied, and the council was determined to condemn him. He was declared a heretic, given the opportunity to recant and sentenced to be burned at the stake.
Huss was burned at the stake in 1415, with Wycliffe’s manuscript Bibles used as kindling for the fire. His last words were that, “in 100 years, God will raise up a man whose calls for reform cannot be suppressed.” Almost exactly 100 years later, in 1517, Martin Luther nailed his famous 95 Theses of Contention into the church door at Wittenberg. John Huss gave up his life to release a message that he himself knew he would not see come to pass in its fullness in his generation. He recognized that the reformation that he was bringing to the Body of Christ would, in a hundred years, cause a revolution that could in no way be stopped. In the Library at Prague there is displayed a trio of medals dated 1572. The first contains the figure of Wycliffe striking sparks from a stone, the second Huss kindling a fire from the sparks, the third Luther holding high a flaming torch. These metals symbolize a reformation that was passed from one generation to the next.
I believe that we are at a very critical time in our generation as revelation is being released from heaven on us and many of these reformers and revivalists are coming out of the cloud of witnesses to release their portion to this generation. If there is one thing we can learn from the life and ministry of a man like John Huss it is this, a true reformation takes time and doesn’t come without a price. You must be willing to give everything despite the outcome in the end. What we must understand is the weight of our words and our decisions will determine the legacy that we leave behind for those to follow. The truth is our actions affect so many people more than we realize and the way that we go about causing change within the Body of Christ must not be taken lightly if we truly want to effect generations to come with the message that God has entrusted us with. So often when truth comes that brings freedom we think that people will embrace it whole heartily and change immediately, but it almost never happens that way. People say they love change, but the truth of the matter is they only like it when it fits into their understanding and structures they’ve created. When something comes along that literally undoes teachings that have been set in place for 100s of years we can’t expect everyone to embrace it immediately, but understand that time is on our side.
John Huss opposed the church on several issues, but was willing to try to work and explain his positions to the leadership within the church at the cost of his reputation and life. We must be willing to do the same. So many times the easiest thing to do is leave; start our own thing, criticize, and then lash out at church leaders when they fail to understand the truth that we can so easily see. The true test of a reformer is when you are willing to put your life on the line for what you believe and stand and take the reproach in front of the council. Reformation is defined as the action or process of reforming an institution or practice. Everything that Christ paid for comes without a “process”, but reformation still has one and if we really love Christ and His Church we will be willing to take the journey that so many other reformers did even if that means we will get burned in the end. I believe that God is calling us to reformation from the inside out, not the other way around. And we must be willing to work with those that may, at times, misunderstand us even persecute us if we want to see this message reach beyond a small stream of people and go to the ends of the earth. I am willing to take the chance despite the cost. Will you?