Live like it.

This is going to be controversial. Ok, I warned you. Continue reading.

Today my friend Abi and I watched a lot of YouTube videos of a preacher in Miami. Apparently he’s the pastor of a mega-church called El Rey Jesus which is the largest Hispanic mega-church in the U.S. I had no idea who he was. Some people call him a false prophet, and some say his words flow with truth from the Holy Spirit. So, how do you know? In my history of judging mega-churches I have usually come to my own conclusion that they are false prophets. Why? Because they’re weird. People fall down and have crazy eyes. People seem to be miraculously healed. And I think, My church doesn’t look like that. It can’t be real.

What I realized today is that the Bible does look like that. Jesus only ministered for three years and we can assume that only a portion of his miracles were written down in the Bible, yet they were unbelievable! And John (Peter? someone…) said we would do even greater things in His name. God would will use us to do incredible things, more than all we could ask or imagine.

Supernatural things seem weird to me because I have grown up in a church where supernatural is really not natural. Recently I’ve been thinking about that… about why supernatural things seem so weird when they happen in our lives, but we pray for them and seek them and read about them in the Bible. Why would we pray for supernatural things from God and then fear his supernatural response? A friend of mine once said to me, “Every time we pray we must expect supernatural things because prayer is supernatural. There is nothing natural about speaking to God.”

So, back to this preacher guy. I’ve been thinking about what is right and what is wrong and if there is a clear line to distinguish the two; if these people are false prophets or if the less emphatic pastors are false prophets, or if they’re all somehow right and somehow wrong. Here’s what it comes down to: if you are a follower of Jesus Christ your life should look different than someone who is not a follower of Christ. That doesn’t mean that your activities on Sunday morning are different, it means that your whole life is different. It means that when someone walks into your church, they see something that is not like the world outside its doors. It means when they know you, they know someone who is distinguished from the world, someone who acts differently and lives differently.

If you go to church on Sundays and that’s where your faith ends (or struggles to stay afloat), I am going to question your faith. Yeah, that’s harsh. I know. It doesn’t mean I’m condemning you, because I cannot do that. It doesn’t mean I don’t love you or don’t like you, because I do. It simply means Christ shows us what it looks like to lose our lives for his sake and if you’re living life in your own way and haven’t actually lost it, I think it is kind of silly to go around saying that you have. I want to challenge you to really lose your life. To not be afraid to look different. To not be afraid of the supernatural, super-awesome, super-powerful God that we serve and love.

Some people have called me a radical or an extremist in my faith. At one time it bothered me and has made me cry and feel alienated. Before I was hurt by it, but I’m not anymore. I think that’s the point of being God-followers. We are to look so different that we don’t make sense to the world. If we look just like it, why would it matter if we are Christians or not? Who cares if you believe in God. Whatever. What matters is if your life is a reflection of him and if you love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength.

God charges us to look different from the world if we love him. Don’t diminish his glory shining in your life because you refuse to be different from the world. You are different. Now live like it.

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9 thoughts on “Live like it.

  1. There was and is only one Jesus, no man today can do what Jesus did. Yes we Christians are suppose be different from non-believers but can’t no man miraculously heal anyone one. If these pastors could heal, than that truth would come to light and many dieases and illness would be no more.

    We must be careful for there are many false prophets, that may explain why the world is in the shape it’s in. The devil knows his way around the church.

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    • You are right that no man can do what Jesus did, but I believe the same Spirit that was in Jesus is the same Spirit inside me and in all believers. The power is with God, not man. And God still has the power to do whatever he wants, whether he chooses to do that through man or not. Just because Jesus isn’t on the earth, doesn’t mean that God can’t work in the same miraculous ways. Nothing can diminish his power.

      Pastors can’t heal anyone. But the God they serve CAN. And God doesn’t always choose to heal. Sometimes he does, and sometimes it’s in his plan to take people home to heaven, or use their experience to bring others closer to God.

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  2. I agree that “Sunday only” faith is lacking and borders on spiritual starvation. I tried it for too long. In order to accurately discern the difference between the flesh and the spirit I believe you need to go to the source daily. Getting spiritual food daily by reading the bible may seem boring to some. Actually it IS boring to the Old Man. But to the New Creation it is life. It is pure joy to the disciple who is “in love” with the Savior.
    The FBI studies real bills constantly to tell the counterfeit ones at a glance. In the same way we need to be rooted in the Word daily to discern the flesh at a glance. We need to seek not answers in the bible but to know the One who is Truth. The truth will set us free from our emotions and the flesh that we might walk in the Spirit.

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    • It is very true that we need to be rooted in the Word, but even just doing that is not enough. So many people get caught up in religion: going to church, being involved in church, doing a devotional every day. While those are very good things, there is nothing that compares to raw, real love for the Savior… knowing his voice, communing with him, being attentive to him in our lives. I don’t always do that. Many times I am just as religious as the next guy. But I think it is foolish of us to jump from one religious duty to the next without seeing the fruit in our lives change. It’s so different to know about God and to really know God.

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  3. One of my favorite quotes has always been “It is much better to live a holy life than to talk about it. Lighthouses do not ring bells and fire cannons to call attention to their shining, they just shine.” My problem with megachurches is that they are all over the bells and cannons. I can’t think of a single place (and I could be wrong, so now I have to read all four gospels to see, gee thanks:) ) where Jesus makes a spectacle of his miracles. There’s no CHECK THIS OUUUUT element to him. It’s not a show to him, its just his regular thing, like how I chew on pens. In fact, it seems like most of his miracles he doesn’t set out to do, they kind of come across his path and he deals with them.

    Megachurches don’t make me cringe because people are falling down or speaking in tongues or getting healed, its just because the last place I feel like seeing a show is when I go to church.

    You always make me think, Hannah!

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    • I love your thoughts, Christina! You always make me think too!

      And I agree with what you’re saying about megachurches. They give me an uneasy feeling. But I feel like there must be a line between megachurches and the kind of church I grew up in where the power of the Holy Spirit was never realized. Though Jesus didn’t make a spectacle of his miracles, he did do them! We need to believe that God is the same now as he was then. He is still just as powerful and we can expect great things from him.

      Ayyy so many good thoughts!

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      • Wow! I don’t know where to begin already in tears “tears of Joy” let’s pray, Dear LORD thank You for hearts after Your Heart, for young People who will stand up and say they belong to You. LORD thank you for the work You are doing in our lives in our families and our cities. LORD Your will be done and Your Kingdom come. In JESUS Name Amen.
        I’ve been read your posts all night, like reading your mail, but from what I read it looks like you have been reading my mail. God is at work in your lives and more importantly in your hearts. God does supernatural things all the time, just not always the way we think it should be. Please be encouraged to continue to fight the good fight of Faith. It is a fight and it will get harder, but press it to that heart that loves God the way The Father Loves The Son. It’s a Life and it will cost you your life.

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  4. Google Guillermo Maldonado false prophet.
    1. Dude teaches from his books and not the bible.
    2. False doctrine. All supernatural mumbo jumbo$ No jesus and no salvation is covered.
    3. Speaking in tongues in public and vomit buckets being slain in the spirit is not biblibal.
    4. Dude bought his “degree” online.
    5. Compared God to a prostitute (youtube).

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  5. I’ve also taken an interest in the Maldonado’s teaching. I use to work across the street from his church and heard mixed reviews. Now my wife is interested in him and I’m a little concerned. Todd Bentley comes to mind. Anyone who focuses more on what God has said to them and miracles they’ve experienced, than explaining the Bible is not helping the church as a pastor (or ‘apostle’) in my opinion.

    John Piper has a good explanation about the greater works of John 14:12. The verse clearly says it is something that every believer does because he was going to the Father. And Jesus elsewhere said that all his works, miraculous or not, were meant to point to the Father. Then with respect to John 20:21-23, the sense of greater can be seen in how Christians today are to bear witness to the objective and historical work of redemption at Calvary. Something which Christ could only pointed to in the future, but now has actually and wonderfully taken place. I believe this is the greater thing. Greater than any miracle of God in our daily lives.

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