Just a Christian (May 23, 2008)
Twenty years ago my life changed by faith (confidently acting on the promises of God) and the the infilling of the Holy Ghost that comes with faith. Since then I'm always hoping to catch myself, or someone else, in the act. You see faith is like voting. Not much changes just being registered. G.K. Chesterton, the somewhat cranky English writer, was right when he said "Christianity is the greatest thing that ever happened to the world. Too bad it's never been tried."
I'm always looking for someone doing something, anything, based on God's promises or commands. I hear folks say "God helps those who help themselves." But God never said that! I'm talking about folks who might be caught doing something different, or being someone different, like a peacemaker or healer amid anger and strife. Not just appear different, but be different because of the promise "Blessed are the peacemakers, they shall be called sons [daughters] of God."
These moments of faith action are all too rare. I know they exist in theory, but they are hard to find (like an inexpensive version of your favorite coffee). But while rare, they are important, because they call down the anointing of God that makes one a Christian. A Christian doesn't just have beliefs that recall their first declaration-act of faith. No, a christian has an anointing with God's Spirit that remains by continuous acts of faith- likewise the very root of the word "Christian" means an anointed one. The more acts of faith (which could be as simple as loving your neighbor as yourself!) the more "Christian" you become.
In terms of the beloved, but recently daparted L.A. based, world wide short-wave radio and old time UHF tele-evangelist Gene Scott, an anointed one is a "faither," one who acts on the promises again and again. He, or she, remains, and grows in anointing by just these faith moments-acts, again and again.
These moments are as small as a healthy thought and as big as breaking an evil principality in the spirit realm, but they have have tremendous power to change our lives for the better on both the individual and collective level. Just think if we had folks making peace in the supermarket rather than racing to the one cashier with less people. Or making peace by letting a mere pedestrian cross Williston Road. Or forgiving innocent and guilty Muslim Arabs for their sins, as they forgive us our sins.
I think the apostle Paul had in mind these faith moments when he admonished us not to rush about making the world safe for Jesus. He knew full well that if the so-called "anointed" ones were just as rude and pushy, just as herky jerky, as non-Christians, it would not be very good for our mission.
The biggest moment and milestone of my faith walk, the day the anointing of heaven not only came down but also seemed real normal, was about ten years after I was first "saved" (yes you can be "saved" but as even the faithless notice, not very anointed).
This came when a friend if mine shared her story of forgiving someone close to her who had hurt her deeply. Her testimony was sure, loving and wise- like the good mother she was. It wasn't just about her external compliance with a command of God ("if you forgive others, God will forgive you" Mt. 6,14). It was an anointed story about a faith choice that showed me the unmistakable will of God for my life. She had just done it, and so could I. Her example, so basic and clear, challenged and broke my self rightous, ten year claim, to the title "Christian."
Oh in the past I had made all the "right" decisions to forgive, and "to work on this or that." But in all those faithless moments I felt like the cornered "bad boy" guest on Dr. Phil. I think many "Christians" feel this way- coerced to say and do things to get people or "God" off our back. What was different that day was the kingdom had come to me. The Christ anointing through her was so strong that I just did what she had done, I forgave- everyone for everything. How? Well as she talked I wanted the freedom she had to love anybody and everybody. So I just did it. No grudges, ever again, sounds like a Christian to me- someone anointed from the inside out.
Forgiveness and faith were no more just a head trip-an imposition, a weight, or trying hard to get the right answer to pass a religious quiz. None of that faith had really changed me much. But choosing peace, and becoming a son of God, as I forgave, really did change me. I experienced for the first time the essence of Christianity which is the mercy of forgiveness and the anointing that comes from that.
Oh I probably had my token to heaven before that day, but since then I have the blessings of the kingdom of God. What are some of those blessings? A heart that was a mountain of pride, is now a human heart, capable of being moved. A human heart- what a blessing, no more Tin Man. Also I have a new found freedom to love people in better ways. A new wisdom not to look upon God's laws as impositions, but constructs and principles for giving more life, spirit realm realities fixed by God, that will bless me.
Most folks have heard the "Our Father" prayer. It says at the end "thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven." When we forgive, or do any other heavenly willed acts in faith, the kingdom of heaven comes to us as it did the day I forgave. Yes faith here on earth turns the key of the kingdom's door. So why wait for heaven when by faith we can experience at least some of it now?
Sam Peak is a great and anointed teacher of the principles of Judaism (www.universalTorah.com) taught me to get back to the root and essence of faith. He won't call himself "Rabbi" or "Teacher" or a "messianic Jew" or anything else that doesn't let you decide about him and God. He says "I'm just a Jew. That's enough for me."
Twenty years later-and after forgiving and a few other acts of faith along the way- I see his point. Now I realize that I'm just a Christian. That's enough for me. I'm just a Christian, and that matters, more and more. And faithing matters, again and again it matters. Peace Out Brothers and Sisters
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Tobin Hitt is the founder of the Zion Pentecost Mission. He is open to gospel partnership with all, and identifies with Paul's description of our mission as ambassadors for our king, Jesus, urging all to reconcile with God (2Cor.20-21). He resides in Cheshire, Connecticut.read more...