ARE MEGA CHURCHES NOW A DISTRACTION TO REVIVAL?

Do you believe current church trends  will rescue our nation?  My guess is you don’t.  If you don’t, you are not alone.  A growing number of believers—many of whom will not say it out loud—question the value of attraction churches.

One day, I sat with some “hot names” in church growth in southern California.  We had talked a lot about styles of worship, preaching and marketing.  Being older than most of them, I felt a little bold.  I asked them: “Can any of you give me the name of a mega church in Los Angeles in 1906? “

Not one of them could come up with a name.  Then I said, “but you all remember the Azusa Street Revival, right?  Why is that?”  Because history remembers revivals and forgets mega churches.”  The reason is simple; revivals make history by reforming society.

Those who praise the glories of mega churches never mention how they have no impact on cultural sin.  In this golden age of mega churches, society is experiencing its greatest moral landslide.   On their watch, the number of people who claim to be atheists has doubled.  More anti-God legislation has been enacted than any other time in our history.

But do churches bear any responsibility for the moral landslide of a nation?  Charles G. Finney sure thought so!   He said, “If Satan rules in our halls of legislation, the pulpit is responsible for it. If our politics become so corrupt that the very foundations of our government are about to fall away, the pulpit is responsible.”

Some will say it is not fair to ask mega churches to reverse national destruction.   But you also can’t have it both ways.  You can’t go around extolling the wonders of these mammoth ministry centers and then say they can’t fix the nation.  If they can’t fix the only thing that needs fixing, what is the point?

But people point out, “They produce musicals as good as Broadway” Or, “They give the average person hope” These achievements ring hollow.  In a simpler time, they would be impressive.  Not today.

This is no time for entertainment.  This is no time for mild cures. Society’s condition has forced rule changes.  A demon possessed culture needs a church with power to cast out devils.  A culture reeling with unimaginable addictions needs a church were the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and the fire of God is plainly presented.

Are these churches a distraction to revival?  Let me offer this parable about distraction.  A college football team is losing their homecoming game. Badly.  Halftime is a welcome break.  The people are relieved when the marching band takes the field.

The band leader sees how much the people are enjoying the distraction.  He decides “we don’t need a second half; it is a good thing to just keep the show going.”

The lyrics of American Pie put it this way, “Now the half-time air was sweet perfume
While sergeants played a marching tune We all got up to dance Oh, but we never got the chance ‘Cause the players tried to take the field, the marching band refused to yield
Do you recall what was revealed The day the music died?”

You, dear leader of a mega church, must ask yourself, is my church the band that refuses to yield.  Is my mega ministry a distracting substitute for revival?  Am I keeping the church from starting the second half?

The Bible asks painful questions about times.  Elisha’s servant Gehazi secretly took money and clothes from General Naaman after Naaman was healed of leprosy.  Elisha asked Gehazi, “Did not my heart go with you when the man turned back from his chariot to meet you? Is it time to receive money and to receive clothing, olive groves and vineyards, sheep and oxen, male and female servants?”-2 Kings 5:26,26

In a time of mass murder, mass suicide, of hurricanes floods, and fire, is it time for pastors to parade wealth, and grant mild cures?

Haggai asked another painful question: “Is it time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses, and this temple to lie in ruins?” -Haggai 1:4  The modern application for this is simple:  Pastor, are you building a personal empire, or the Kingdom of God?  Will you allow a nation to go down in flames while you live in a bubble of false victory? 

If we can truly confess that babble has replaced the Bible—that self-enhancement has replaced self-denial –that marketing has replaced miracles—and unconditionally surrender to the Holy Spirit, God will turn our churches into fire-breathing, nation-changing powerhouses.

AMERICAN CHURCHES STILL THINK THIS IS A GAME

 

Soul-sucking disaster upon disaster, and yet America does not pray. But, I get why. The word of God says, “the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God…”1 Corinthians 2: 14.   What I don’t get is how the American church can still think this is a game.

The world is on fire.   Because of man, and nature—Earth is ready to explode.   Meanwhile the church—like a party on the deck of the Titanic—pats herself on the back for her “big events.”

Nothing has stopped—or even slowed down—America’s depravity.   We have spent more money, time, and talent than ever—yet the church never asks, why we keep doing things that don’t work?

When the church

-Feeds a sick nation, a sick gospel, that does not deliver from evil, and worse, makes the already converted weaker, we must think it is a game.

-Our kid preachers today aspire to preach in T-shirts with bulging biceps, live in a mansion, strut like a rooster, and be adored as a celebrity life coach. They must think it is a game.

-When the enemy is no longer the works of Satan, but the unsuccessful life—we are playing a game.   We must return to the Bible.  The Bible needs to set fire to our sermons.

Many of my Spirit-filled acquaintances are also playing games.  Facebook is like a Petri dish for Pentecostals.  In one compressed medium, you witness the banal bacteria that excites Charismatics today. Witness the games:

-Titles like Prophet and Apostle are flung around indiscriminately.  Every garish emotional experience is hawked as being from God.  One “prophet” says he went back in time and visited Moses.  Who of us has not scratched our heads at preachers, in ill-fitting jeans, live-streaming from a near-empty church, that they are the vessel of the hour?

– “Prophetic” conferences promise that you will get “a word of knowledge” as if the Holy Spirit was On Demand.  Or they offer formulas to “activate” gifts of the Spirit.  This is New Age philosophy.  God is not a force to manipulate—He is an awesome person to be adored and obeyed.  Gift arrive, as the Spirit wills, to hearts broken—emptied of self—for the lost, the poor, and the forsaken.

-Everything seems based on angelic visitations, dreams, visions and trips to heaven.  Most of our time is spent on these “experiences” and not on rock-solid instruction from the Word of God.

I believe in dreams, prophecy, healing, angels and visions.   But if they are from God they will drive us to the front line of the culture and not into emotional safe zones.   “The weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty to the tearing down of strongholds.” -2 Corinthians 10:4    We are nowhere near strongholds because we think it’s a game.

Beloved, this is not a game.  Christians toying with materialism, celebrity, alcohol, compromise and carnality spell doom for America.   Google, Facebook, Apple, YouTube and the rest of Silicon Valley threaten to pull the plug on churches.  Every day they inch closer to censorship.  Will your zany videos matter if no one can see them?

Our preaching ricochets off a culture careening into indescribable debauchery.  Soon it will illegal to preach the doctrines you are now ignoring.  What a horror!  Pastor you wake up one day with remorse over the truths you ignored—but now they’re banned.

Mario is there any hope?  My hope in God’s fierce love for America.  He will not let this nation go without a fierce fight.  My hope is in some of the last people you’d expect.

My hope is in the discouraged preacher.  Honest-to-God preachers who feel like fools when they see the runaway success of compromise.  Psalm 73:12 says, “Behold, these are the ungodly, who are always at ease; They increase in riches. 13 Surely, I have cleansed my heart in vain, and washed my hands in innocence. 14 For all day long I have been plagued, and chastened every morning.”

My hope is in those who chose to fail honestly rather than succeed artificially.

Are you struggling with decreasing numbers and falling finances, even as you present a Christ-centered, Bible based pulpit?   God sees you! Hold on just a little longer.  Fire is coming that will cause a stampede and you won’t know where to put the crowds.

My hope is in the Christian nobodies.  Have you failed?  Did man take away your pulpit?  Get ready…your brokenness is a key to the fire of God in this hour.  A nationwide hunger for reality is about to make shallowness obsolete.

Are you a teacher, business person, police officer or stay at home mom?  Do you burn with a passion for your community?  Get ready for vision and anointing right where you live!

The hour is so dangerous that God must bring down religious empires and promote others to great power and influence.  Satan is also playing games.  I believe that God—through the last people we expect—is about to teach Satan what war really looks like.

IS GOD DOING A SECRET WORK IN YOU?

Mario Murillo says, “Many Christians are fed up with the world system—especially the way it operates in the church.  They leave church thinking, ‘this is not it, there’s something bad wrong here.’  They can’t stomach the glitzy entertainment centers anymore…”

IS GOD DOING A SECRET WORK IN YOU?

by Mario Murillo

Many Christians are fed up with the world system—especially the way it operates in the church.  They leave church thinking, “this is not it, there’s something bad wrong here.”  They can’t stomach the glitzy entertainment centers anymore.

They are angry at ego-centric pastors with grandiose, expense and carnal visions.  They accuse them of being distracted—even derailed from their first love.   Disciples are abandoning attraction churches—something revolutionary is happening inside them.  God has started a secret work in them.

Many honest Pastors are also in divine turmoil.  The enemy condemned them for having a smaller church.   After years of blood sweat and tears their churches were battered, broken and diminished because they can’t compete with mega-mania.

And why can’t they compete? It’s because they keep their integrity!   When they see large crowds and big money pour effortlessly into churches that either hide or pervert the Gospel…it’s easy to feel like a fool for staying true.  The Bible says, “Surely I have cleansed my heart in vain, And washed my hands in innocence. For all day long I have been plagued, and chastened every morning.” Psalm 73:13,14.

However, our friend in Psalm 73 came to a great conclusion. After being bull-dozed by the success of the wicked he took action “16 When I thought how to understand this, It was too painful for me—17 Until I went into the sanctuary of God; Then I understood their end.”  Many pastor’s  hearts are crying out for more—for a miracle they can’t even describe.

When he entered the sanctuary exhausted and discouraged, the greatness of God began to overtake him.  He saw that there is no version of this battle where Satan wins.  This is a part of the secret work God is doing in pastors!

A growing number of hungry hearts agree—with all its money and crowds—the compromised church did nothing to rebuke America’s sin.  The seeker model was a house of cards against the onslaught on the unborn and marriage.  While men slept, we had millions of abortions and marriage was destroyed.  The last 10 years we have lost battle after battle in government, education and the media.  We are a hopelessly divided nation—to a large extent the pulpit is to blame.

Charles Finney said, “If there is a decay of conscience, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the public press lacks moral discernment, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the church is degenerate and worldly, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the world loses its interest in Christianity, the pulpit is responsible for it. If Satan rules in our halls of legislation, the pulpit is responsible for it. If our politics become so corrupt that the very foundations of our government are ready to fall away, the pulpit is responsible for it.”

Deep, deep in my soul where the real knowing happens—I know God is doing something new.  Every atom of my being tells me that God is doing a secret work in His people.  God is finished with hirelings.  He is drawing a remnant out of corruption and into a special, supernatural nearness to Him.  They will empty themselves of everything, every ambition will be burned out but one…to love and please Christ.

Is God doing a secret work in you?  Has God closed you in and stripped you of all enjoyment of lesser things?  Are you in divine frustration because you are going to be a part of something only God can do?

What if millions of Americans get so miserable that they cry out to God in total desperation?  What if their cry is too deep and their hunger is too great to ever be happy in a lukewarm church?  This is why the Holy Spirit is recruiting a new breed…a breed that can be trusted in an awakening.

God is doing a secret work!  He is pulling a remnant to Himself.  He is taking the prophetic core and communing with them—training them—empowering them—preparing them for one last mighty blast of power.  The Holy Spirit sees that our nation hangs by a thread.  The death-rattle is in America’s throat.   Before God allows destruction—He is going to do one last massive miracle.  What will that look like?

-People no one’s ever heard of will come to the forefront.  They will arrive with awesome power and piercing messages.  Not all of them will be regular ministers.  In fact, the majority will not leave their secular careers as God is using them.  Some will be children!

-Strange locations will house massive outpourings.  Churches that have been small for years will become ground zero of God’s presence.   People will flock in from everywhere to these centers of fire and glory.  Stunning signs and wonders will rock entire communities.  These churches will be forced to stay open 24 hours a day.

God is doing a secret work in you.  He is making you miserable to make you into a miracle.  

A.C. Valdez was a child at Azusa Street who later became an evangelist.  God showed him the future and here is what he said:  “All the electrifying adjectives in the dictionary shaken together, pressed down and running over will not begin to describe the soon-to-come, greatest outpouring of the Holy Spirit of all times-what the Bible calls “the latter rain.”  You are going to see lay members carry out an amazing ministry through gifts of the Holy Spirit.  There will be wholesale cures of “incurable” conditions, healings of the blind, deaf, dumb, and handicapped, and creative miracles that will strain the imagination.  For those born without eyes ears, fingers arms or legs-or those who have lost them through disease or accidents- God will make new ones. Many astonishing miracle swill happen to bring on an international Christian breakthrough.”  I believe A.C. Valdez is not talking about a time far off in the future.. he is talking about now because, my friend it is now or never.

At some point, we must offend.

There are reasons the original 12 were so bold.  There are reasons they preached letting the chips fall where they may.  They understood that at some point, they must offend.  They disregarded their personal safety—and for good reasons.  Those reasons escape today’s motivational-speaker-preachers who live not to offend.  They just don’t get it.

At some point, we must offend

By Mario Murillo

There are reasons the original 12 were so bold.  There are reasons they preached letting the chips fall where they may.  They understood that at some point, they must offend.  They disregarded their personal safety—and for good reasons.  Those reasons escape today’s motivational-speaker-preachers who live not to offend.  They just don’t get it.  Here is how A.W. Tozer described the true preacher, “they serve God and mankind from motives too high to be understood by the rank and file of religious retainers who today shuttle in and out of the sanctuary.”

Before some lazy reader jumps to a wrong conclusion let me say—we are not to try to offend.  We are not to give offense.  My point is that leaving truth out to avoid offending is a disaster—when it is wildly successful, it is an even greater disaster.  Spurgeon said, “It is a very ill omen to hear a wicked world clap its hands and shout ‘Well done’ to a Christian man.”

It is a great evil when congregations reward you, yea enrich you, and raise you to superstar status because you keep God’s rightful demands off them.

When you take aim at a vastly successful far-flung enterprise, you are easily rejected because how can you deny its effectiveness?  How can you keep from sounding petty and jealous?

The reason it is hard to see why it is valid to criticize attraction churches is because we don’t know what might have been.  We don’t know how America would look like today had we obeyed the Holy Spirit instead of the laws of marketing.

They did not offend and they also did not stop the moral avalanche.  On their watch, we lost marriage—we lost millions of unborn—we lost so much that we cannot even recognize America.  And most ironically, after all the efforts to avoid offending, the public hates the church more than ever.

Here are the reasons we must offend:

Preaching the entire Gospel releases power. 1 Corinthians 1:18 “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”

Romans 1: 16 “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes…”

Why is the phrase power of God in two verses that deal with the offense of the Gospel?  Why would Paul even use the qualifier “I am not ashamed?”  Because, as a top-flight intellectual, he was keenly aware of the parts of the Gospel that tweak the human brain, and offend “proper society.”  He welcomes the tweak because it releases great power.

The American Church has a day of reckoning with American culture.  The clash is inevitable because our society has become an open sewer, a bastion of banality where madness has the microphone.  We have the one message that should not be hidden or redacted.

When the suffering soul tastes peace that passes understanding, and joy unspeakable—when marriages are healed—when suicidal teenagers are filled with a will to live—when the lame walk, the blind see, cancers vanish and addictions break in one-step instead of 12, then the Cross, the Blood, and repentance become—what they truly are: the best thing humanity has ever heard.   We must offend in order to heal.

LET ME TALK TO YOU ABOUT RENO, NV

On September 11, 2014 Mechelle and I moved to Reno.   We’ve often been asked why we moved here.  We never could answer that question.  We came in raw obedience to the leading of the Holy Spirit.
Now it is has become clear why we are here.  The answer is something unique.  I am going to preach about it as part of a message I believe God has ordered me to share on Sunday night May 21st.
My message encompasses far more than just Reno, or even Nevada.  We need a word from God.   I can tell you this in advance:  A big part of my message is that it is time.  It is time!  Everything in me tells me so.  David said, “It is time for you to act, O Lord, for they have regarded Your Word as void.”-Psalm 119:126.
I am inviting you to join me Sunday night May 21st at 6 PM to hear this urgent message.  However, this will not only be a night of preaching—but living proof.   Way more than a regular meeting—this is a night of signs and wonders—a time of deliverance over the power of Satan—a night for lost souls to be saved by the power of the Gospel, and for fire to fall on the people of God.
No one needs to tell you how desperately we need this!  America’s morals are crumbling fast.  We are almost hopelessly divided.  It has been so long since revival that an entire generation has grown up without a Christian foundation.
The weight of this coming event has driven me to prayer.  I want to pray for your healing and for those you love who also need healing.  I have a way to do that.
All I need is your first name and the miracle you need—or the first name of someone you are bringing and their need for healing, deliverance, or to be born again.
All you do is call or text me at 1775 238 3473.  You can also email it to me at info@mariomurillo.org.   Every name and need will be prayed over.   All I ask is that you agree to come and bring those who are being prayed for.
Matthew 18:19 says, “If any two of you shall agree as touching anything on earth, it will be done.”  Let’s agree for miracles and salvations.
You can imagine how many services I have seen in my lifetime.  I know when a night will be extra powerful. That is exactly how I feel about this night.

When:  Sunday May 21st at 6PM

Where:  Spirit Filled Church 3175 Goldy Way, Sparks, NV 89434.

Call: 1 775 238 3473 

AN INCONVENIENT FIRE

Bad news for the lukewarm church, fake preachers, and left-wing God haters.  In this moment of depravity and despair a single shaft of light has pierced the darkness and started an inconvenient fire.

AN INCONVENIENT FIRE

By Mario Murillo

What is this fire doing?  It is spreading an insatiable hunger to know God—just God.  A growing number of believers want to know God Himself—they want just Him.  They are not thinking about anything He can do for them.  They must know Him—more than oxygen, food and water—they must have God!

This fire awakens an ancient hunger—the hunger that possessed saints of old.  A.W. Tozer said, “Come near to the holy men and women of the past and you will soon feel the heat of their desire after God. They mourned for Him, they prayed and wrestled and sought for Him day and night, in season and out, and when they had found Him the finding was all the sweeter for the long seeking.”

And those who already know Him want to know Him better.  Tozer continues: “Moses used the fact that he knew God as an argument for knowing Him better. “Now, therefore, I pray thee, if I have found grace in thy sight, show me now thy way, that I may know thee, that I may find grace in thy sight”; and from there he rose to make the daring request, “I beseech thee, show me thy glory.” God was frankly pleased by this display of ardor, and the next day called Moses into the mount, and there in solemn procession made all His glory pass before him.”

But why would this be the worst nightmare to masked Antifa thugs, tepid seeker churches or false ministers?   Isn’t this fire pulling saints off the front lines into a full-time pursuit of God?   How can this be a threat?  It is the greatest threat!   NOTHING TERRIFIES SATAN MORE THAN A WIDESPREAD HUNGER TO KNOW GOD:

-It puts them into the place and condition that Jesus has yearned for His church.  They are in God’s presence devoid of ideas, agendas, or blueprints.   Their intercession is no longer contaminated.  Prayer is no longer a booster rocket for pet projects.  They are self-emptying to see God in His beauty.

God has triumphed over their dead works.  By doing this He kills the source of their anxiety, cares and inadequacy.   David Wilkerson said, “I had more ideas than any preacher in America. Ideas on how to evangelize. How to organize New Testament programs. The programs and ideas were successful enough to entrap me and keep me on the treadmill of busy-ness.

But all along my heart yearned for more. I knew the blessing was not in building. Not in some well-planned scheme to reach the lost. Not in bigness, and not in activity. I discovered the hard way, that the glory of God, the peace and joy of the Spirit, was in being stripped down, emptied, and made totally weak.”

-They are suddenly alive the real horror—their own flesh.  The issue is no longer the depravity of the culture but their personal carnality.  This inconvenient fire struck Isaiah with such agony he tossed his prayer for influence and power aside.  All he can cry is; “Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips, And I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; For my eyes have seen the King, The Lord of hosts.”-Isaiah 6:5.   Isaiah is unmade to be remade.

In the towering glory, you see the indescribable.   You see how victorious God is.  How inevitable is His victory!  You see Satan’s utter defeat.  You are transfixed by the wisdom available—the resources at Gods’ disposal—the tactics He can use.  His mighty plan makes our plans microscopically puny.

God will declare to you what He said to Isaiah: “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord.  “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.” -Isaiah”- 55: 8,9.

-Here’s what makes this fire so inconvenient:  It was simply not in the plan.

-It was not in the plan for the lukewarm convenient church to level off and be overruled by inconvenient fire.  Attraction based churches fold when God Himself becomes the attraction.

-It was not in the plan for fake ministers to ever stop lying, prospering, or fooling the masses.  The light and heat of this fire will expose and topple them.

-It was not in the plan for left-wing God haters to see their plan to eradicate Christianity from America neutralized by inconvenient fire.

This spreading flame—and the powerful vessels it creates—was simply not in the plan.   So emerges a new vessel—a designed weapon.  An inconvenient person appears on the American stage.  They will own a passion you cannot stop—words you cannot gainsay—and miracles you cannot deny.

HEAVEN IN THE HALLWAY

When God closes one door He opens another but it can be hell in the hallway.   What good is failure and frustration?  Why has God closed every door to you?   Why has the Lord devised this divine interruption?  It can seem cruel and everything in you can rail against it.

HEAVEN IN THE HALLWAY

By Mario Murillo

When God closes one door He opens another but it can be hell in the hallway.   You are stuck in the hallway! What are you doing here?  What good is failure and frustration?  Why has God closed every door to you?   Why has the Lord devised this divine interruption?  It can seem cruel and everything in you can rail against it.

God will trap you in the hallway.  Jeremiah screamed, “He has hedged me in so that I cannot get out; He has made my chain heavy.” -Lamentations 3: 7

Hannah’s hell looked like this: “And her rival also provoked her severely, to make her miserable, because the Lord had closed her womb”- 1 Samuel 1: 6. Why would a loving God intensify her shame and pain by closing her womb?

Elijah was sent to the wilderness only to have God cut off his water supply: “And it happened after a while that the brook dried up, because there had been no rain in the land.” – 1 Kings 17:7 How does any of this make sense?

Paul had doors slammed in his face by the Holy Spirit: Acts 16: 6 “Now when they had gone through Phrygia and the region of Galatia, they were forbidden by the Holy Spirit to preach the word in Asia. 7 After they had come to Mysia, they tried to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit did not permit them.”

Not only this, Paul was put in prison at the very moment his physical presence in the churches was desperately needed. What gives?

The hallway seems like hell but if you calm your raging spirit and quell your fears and worries you can turn it into heaven.

The hallway is trying to save you.  Paul indeed had doors closed but then this happened in his hallway:  Acts 16: 8 So passing by Mysia, they came down to Troas. 9 And a vision appeared to Paul in the night. A man of Macedonia stood and pleaded with him, saying, ‘Come over to Macedonia and help us.’ 10 Now after he had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go to Macedonia, concluding that the Lord had called us to preach the gospel to them.”

You have gotten good at doing things you are not supposed to be doing.  You are off course.  The hallway is waking you up to the fact that you are busy but not effective. The hallway is where you end the tyranny of unimportant things.

The hallway is trying to teach you once and for all that God is your source: 1 Kings 17:8 Then the word of the Lord came to him, saying, 9 ‘Arise, go to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and dwell there. See, I have commanded a widow there to provide for you.’”

Elijah’s welfare was never in doubt.  Even in drought and famine he was safe.  God was trying to show him that whether it is brooks, ravens, or starving widows, God will take care of you.

This forced interruption serves to slay your deepest fears.  The world did not end. The bills got paid.  No threat prospered against you.  The hallway shows you God is your only source.  Outward sources of provision are mirages.  Your heart is fixed trusting in the Lord.

The Hallway deepens right desires and kills selfish motives.  God closes Hannah’s womb to deepen her desire for children.  In the hallway, she became willing to offer her first child to God.  That child became Samuel the prophet.  He saved Israel and is considered second only to Moses in Judaism.   But it gets way better: God remembered Hannah:  1 Samuel 2: 21 says, “And the Lord visited Hannah, so that she conceived and bore three sons and two daughters. Meanwhile the child Samuel grew before the Lord.”  What an amazing outcome!  Not only does she get 5 more children—a prophet comes to save a nation.

The Hallway is a slingshot to unimagined momentum.  You seem immobilized and even like you are going backwards.  You are going backwards…for good reason!  Mighty elastic bands are being stretched to blast you forward.

Paul learned this lesson from his jail cell:  Philippians 1: 12 “But I want you to know, brethren, that the things which happened to me have actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel, 13 so that it has become evident to the whole palace guard, and to all the rest, that my chains are in Christ; 14 and most of the brethren in the Lord, having become confident by my chains, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.”

He writes triumphantly to Timothy from the hallway: “for which I suffer trouble as an evildoer, even to the point of chains; but the word of God is not chained. -2 Timothy 2:9

The Hallway is where you find out that just knowing God is everything.  I have—for reasons I will never know till I get to heaven—been privileged to know some of the most honored Christians in our lifetime.  At first, I notice the massive ministries they built.  Soon that fades and all you see is their intimate relationship with Jesus—their practical dependency on the Holy Spirit, and their passion to obey.

Jesus said, “John 15: 7 “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.”  That is it!  These giants abide in Christ and everything else is secondary.  Until God frustrates your life and pulls the plug on your charade, you can’t know that.   Whatever you need to do will be done if you abide in Christ and His words abide in you.

These last days are horrible.  Within the church we have false doctrine, carnal leaders and a divided church.  Without, we have a world that is complicated and anti-Christian…it is a world that can blow up at any moment.  Don’t look for crisis to end but for God to work in you to make crisis lose its power to terrorize you.

The temptation to take matters into our own hands—to be obsessed with self-preservation and self-promotion—is greater than ever.  That is why there are hallways.

Daniel 11: 32 describes end time people.  It says, “Those who do wickedly against the covenant he shall corrupt with flattery; but the people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits.”   Why are they strong?  Why do they do great exploits?  Because they know God.

Knowing God in the hallway—losing all your fear—being completely overtaken by Him can not only bring heaven in the hallway…you may not want to leave.

I leave you with these words from the book God Calling: “The world has always seen service for me to be activity.  Only those near to me have seen that a life apart, of prayer, may, and does so often, accomplish more that all of the service man can offer me. If man lived apart with Me and only went out to serve at My direct command My Spirit could operate more and accomplish truly mighty things.”