Is ours still a prophetic church? That is the question we are considering in this message titled, The Spirit-Woke Church.
- Being prophetic is more than presenting Daniel and Revelation seminars. (Nobody does it better, but fewer ears are listening.)
- Being prophetic is more than vegetarianism (Now that Burger King and others have jumped on the plant-based meat substitute gravy train, we’re just not that special anymore!)
- Being prophetic is more than going to church on Saturday. (The Non-denominational church down the block probably has a parking lot that’s fuller than yours on Sabbath!)
Being prophetic means being “woke” – a colloquial term meaning “actively aware of systemic injustices and prejudices, especially those related to civil and human rights.” I want to appeal for a “Spirit-woke” church today. In light of the #MeToo, #TimesUp, and #Black Lives Matter movements, can we recognize that #Holy Spirit Matters? Do we realize that Time is nearly up on planet earth and we can’t play church anymore? Can we admit that it’s #Me too, O Lord, standing in the need of prayer?
It’s not that we’re not “Adventist enough.” It’s that we’re not Spirit-woke enough. We are more committed to institutionalism than we are to seeking “a revival of true godliness among us [that] is the greatest and most urgent of all our needs.” (1 SM, 121)
Awareness and acknowledging the problem is a start, but it’s not enough. There must be accountability and Action. A prophetic church is accountable for being filled with the Spirit of Prophecy. Not the books by that name, but the Author. Not Mrs. White, but the Holy Spirit who inspired her. The Holy Spirit was sent to bear testimony to Jesus (John 15:26). He brings the life of Jesus to us and that life is the light of men. Without that life all we have is beasts without blessing; vegans without victory, programs without power and commandments without the character of Christ.
Well should the Lord and the world rebuke us like the pagan captain said to Jonah, “How can you sleep? Get up and call on your God!” (Jonah 1:6) That’s the call to action! A prophetic church must be a praying church or it’s a pathetic church. If we are to use our collective (and prophetic) voice to influence society, we have to be talking with God first before we say anything to anybody else. Again, the prophet says, “A revival need be expected only in answer to prayer.” (1 SM, 121)
Is that too simple a solution? “Let me tell you that the Lord will work in this last work in a manner very much out of the common order of things, and in a way that will be contrary to any human planning . . . . God will use ways and means by which it will be seen that He is taking the reins in His own hands. The workers will be surprised by the simple means that He will use to bring about and perfect His work of righteousness.” –TM, p. 299
Christian pastor and author Ray Steadman once said, “When the church is doing what it is supposed to be doing, the world discovers what it is missing.” What it is missing is the united, Spirit-woke voice of a prophetic church. It’s time for the Spirit to take the wheel and for a prophetic church to reclaim the Spirit of prophecy.
Pastor Randy Maxwell