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There’s Life In You Yet

I can be too calculating. I want to know the odds before I place my bets. When I give hugs, they tend to be side hugs. I had an urban pastor-friend who called that approach to life “half-steppin.” He rebuked the tentative faith he saw in white people by saying, “Don’t be half-steppin’ towa…
By Seth Barnes

I can be too calculating. I want to know the odds before I place my bets. When I give hugs, they tend to be side hugs.

I had an urban pastor-friend who called that approach to life “half-steppin.” He rebuked the tentative faith he saw in white people by saying, “Don’t be half-steppin’ toward me.” When he would see me, he wanted a full-on hug. 

In America, we grow up choosing not to even try something if failure might result. Rather than take a full step in faith, we half-step, playing it safe. We want formulas, metrics by which we can measure the kingdom of heaven.

Can you relate to this? Miracles are possible, but you’ll never measure your way to a miracle

A full step out of the wheelchair

I’ve learned this the hard way. In 1995, while ministering in Cuba, after I had preached at a church in Madruga, I saw a lady in a wheelchair in the audience. I told the Lord, “It sure would be great if you’d heal that lady.” I was half-stepping toward a miracle. The Lord replied, “Then go pray for her.”

So I went and prayed for the lady, “Lord, please heal this woman and help her to walk.” My prayer was tepid and faithless. 

The pastor could see I was struggling and came over to help his poor Anglo, half-stepping brother. He sternly rebuked anything evil that might be afflicting the woman, declared her healed, and told her to get up out of her wheelchair and walk.

In my ever-calculating mind, I thought, “That’s terrible, what if she’s not healed and falls down?”

Instead, the woman got out of her wheelchair and walked.

I may have been measuring my way toward her miracle, but she definitely was not. The lesson I learned: If you’re needing a miracle, don’t half-step your way toward it. Commit to the shadow of things to come.

This isn’t theory. Jesus feels strongly about a half-stepping disciple and a half-stepping church. In Revelations 3, he writes a letter to them and to us:

“I see right through your work. You have a reputation for vigor and zest, but you’re dead, stone-dead. Up on your feet! Take a deep breath! Maybe there’s life in you yet.”

Helping people die

I serve a ministry that is in the business of helping people die so they can discover that there is life in them yet. We bring them to places of pain where Jesus resides. We take them to garbage dumps, both internal and external.

We show them the least of these.

We have learned how to celebrate pain. We live for people coming to Jesus after they’ve seen that their lesser gods are bankrupt.

Recognizing that he is the way, the truth and the life, I want the freedom and life that he brings if they will only embrace him as the truth.

It is not a sexy ministry. People don’t typically give money and accolades to those whose calling is to administer pain and lead others to hard places.But it is the ministry that we walk in. It’s discipleship.

He calls those applying to his ministry to come to him and die. To pride. To comfort. To small living. And then he calls them to give that same awesome opportunity to others.There is no better ministry than that of helping others come to Jesus.

Jesus calls us to live lives that are tuned to a transitional frequency. He calls us to change and to be open to change. In fact, isn’t that what discipleship is about? We lead others through a process of change that leaves them looking more like Jesus. Discipleship can’t happen without change!

A generation is asking these questions

I think there’s a whole generation that’s struggling with these issues. So many of them sense a lack of authenticity in Christians and are running as fast as they can in the opposite direction.

Let’s introduce people to THAT Jesus. They are dying to meet him. They sense that there must be more, but they don’t know where to find it. 

Those of us who are older have the amazing privilege of taking young people on a walk with that Jesus for a year and then continuing on in relationship so that they become solid in their identity and call. What a privilege.

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