By Francis Frangipane
The last, great move of the Holy Spirit will be distinguished by men and women who have been prepared by God for God.
We have given ourselves in prayer for revival; we have studied and discovered the Lord's heart for the lost. Without compromising the gospel's basic truths, grace has taught us to make Christ's message relative to our times and needs. For all our preparation, though, we have yet to prepare our hearts for God Himself.
We long to be sent by the Almighty for the sake of some great task---a miracle that turns a city to repentance or some significant act of service. However, the greatest task awaiting the church is not to be sent by God but to actually come to Him.
Indeed, we have assumed a strange role: We think we are the Lord's bodyguards. Armed with the doctrines of our faith, we are set to defend Christ against blasphemy, heresy, or misinformation. Yet in seeking to face and confront the heretics of our age, we have positioned ourselves with our backs toward the Almighty. If we would but turn and glance toward Him, we would see He does not need us to protect Him from man, nor has man ever been a threat to the Most High. Indeed, if we would cease striving, even for a moment, we would find His gaze has never left us. He awaits our undivided love.
As much as our desires for revival and spiritual awakening have come to us from God, these passions are but the beginning of a renewed mind, not the end. At the end of the age, the season of preparation is not for the sake of the harvest, as important as the harvest is; our preparation is for the Lord. The turning of our hearts toward Him must transcend momentary times of need and even our scheduled hour of prayer. It is time to enter the place of undistracted devotion. For it is the constant gaze of the church that draws God's highest pleasure and releases the greatest harvest.
A Simplified Focus
"For I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy; for I betrothed you to one husband, so that to Christ I might present you as a pure virgin. But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ" (2 Cor. 11:2-3).
Over the years we have developed a host of programs, outreaches and ministries all designed to bring people into church and make them better Christians. A number of these efforts the Lord has blessed; some He has accommodated and used; while still others, in truth, He has simply ignored.
However, the closer we draw to the end of the age, the less the church will be able to depend upon anything other than Christ Himself. Even now, the anointing upon our myriad activities and programs is quietly diminishing. In spite of the multiplicity of our ideas, before Jesus returns the church will know simply and unequivocally: there is no substitute for God.
It will soon become evident that we do not need volumes of books and manuals; what we need is passion for Immanuel.
As the day of the Lord approaches, the Holy Spirit will increasingly refine our focus and lift our attention to our greatest purpose: the revelation of Christ within us. It is here, synchronized with the manifestation of Christ through the church, that the great harvest at the end of the age is timed.