Back to the Basics: A Time to Simplify
by Bishop Robert Stearns
If you have read the news headlines as of late, you probably sense as I do that we are in a time of great shaking in the earth, during which there is much concern over the volatility of nations, the unstable global economy, and the uncertain times that are ahead. While the church at large all too often gives way to distraction from its true calling, the enemy of our souls is working over-time. He is earnestly vying for control in our regions, cities, and families.
Though we face difficulty and uncertainty in this hour, if we will hear the cry of the Spirit, we will know that it is for this time that we have been called – that this is a divine opportunity from the Lord to release the strength of the Kingdom to hungry hearts all around us.
In order to do this, to be effective tools in the hand of the Lord, we must learn to simplify… to get back to the basics, to live streamlined lives focused on the Kingdom of God, uncluttered by the distractions of this world. The times we are living in demand a renewed focus and purpose, so that we may stand firm in the light of God amid increasing darkness and confusion. As we simplify, there are three points that the Lord has been highlighting to my spirit for us at this crucial time:
1. Sustained Prayer
The first and most important aspect of this call I have sensed is a re-awakening to sustained prayer. And when I say a prayer, I mean PRAYER… a lifestyle and not just merely an activity, an awakening, and not just a temporary event. This is not just for the few intercessors who especially feel led to pray… this is for all believers! As never before, our ears must be sensitized through prayer to the voice of the Holy Spirit if we are to be effective in our calling as servants of God. Our men must lead as priests in our homes, our women must rise up in renewed strength and courage, and our children must be introduced to the reality of the Holy Spirit moving through their lives.
2. Effective Discipleship
Secondly, we must be intentional to the utmost in training the next generation. Scripture says, “One generation will commend Your works to another” (Ps. 145:4, NIV), and this cannot happen solely on Sunday morning, but rather in the context of committed relationships in which the youth learn from the older generation, and vice versa. Through intentional mentoring, we must transmit a lifestyle of Kingdom values to the coming generation so that they will stand strong in the calling in these days that are now upon us.
3. Heart for Israel
In this hour, it is even more vital that we stand with Israel and the Jewish people, and that we arise as “watchmen on the wall” on their behalf (Is. 62:6-7, Ps. 122:6-7). We must live to declare God’s covenant promises over Israel, which He has declared He will keep to a thousand generations (Ps. 105:8-10).
The time is now… and we are the people of God! May we hear the call from His Spirit to trim away anything that holds us back from pursuing His call… and may He empower all of us to persevere in prayer, to find one or two younger believers to pour ourselves into, and to live our lives for the peace of Jerusalem. As we simplify our lives to pursue Him, may He use us powerfully to be salt and light to the world around us!