A Continuing Reformation
Protestants around the world count the reformation under Martin Luther as “THE” reformation. Some see this great revival as a particular period of time in which those who hungered and thirsted after righteousness threw off the shackles of Catholic dogma and returned to the pure word of God.
I invite you to consider what reformation really is and to perhaps consider that, from God’s viewpoint anyway, reformation may be unfolding to this very day. In fact, I challenge you to contemplate that you may be living in the midst of a continuing reformation.
Could reformation be not simply a point in time but an ongoing process? Could this processes have been taking place even before Martin Luther read, “the just shall live by faith?” We all know that a seed spends time in the ground before it begins to show itself to the world. Likewise, people like Jan Hus, one hundred years before the 99 thesis, were beginning to reform God’s church and liberate His people through preaching salvation by faith. Even after Martin Luther others came and added to the restored truth that He gave us.
If we think of reformation as a ongoing process that has been unfolding throughout the centuries God’s grand design begins to come into focus. Rather than being a single event, it is a process that is recreating God’s people, through His Holy Spirit, back into His image and likeness. Historically, we can start with the reformation who’s main focus was the restoration of salvation by faith. Next we can look to the Anabaptist who realized that baptism was by immersion. Still later we can see the holiness movement before the ninetieth century and the subsequent pouring out of the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in other tongues. Later, in the 1940’s there was the latter rain movement that featured prophecy and healing. One of the latest manifestations of this reforming process is the Christian Mystic Movement that started recently in Wales that is exploring even greater manifestations of our Father’s Spirit.
Reformation demands change. It means that believers are being rebuilt into something more, something greater than they presently are. I say greater only in the sense that as we allow God to live through us in a greater way as we become one with Him. As we hold His Spirit in our earthen vessels we become one with our Creator and though we are nothing He is everything.
When you reform something you remake it back into what it once was. The image that was broken in the Garden of Eden when Adam fell is being recast back into the image and likeness of the last Adam, Jesus Christ. As we mature into the fulness and stature of Christ we, as fallen men, are reformed into the likeness of our Father.
This is revelation, this is manna, and this is the Present Testament that God is writing upon the hearts of all men who have ears to hear what He is saying to this generation. What we must seek is not just experience but also revelation borne of those experiences. When I hear people talk about the wonderful things God is doing I also listen to hear if their experiences have also brought a deeper, personal understanding of our Lord. This is the tell tail sign to know whether or not what people are testifying about is real or simply a form of fanaticism. Truly, experiencing the presence of God brings both experience and understanding. You cannot walk with God and be devoid of His Spirit or His word.
In conclusion, it is my belief that we are, presently, in a reformation if you know where to look for it and how to recognize it. Perhaps it is not world wide like some of the bigger surges of the past but it is available for anyone who dares to believe God and be led by His Spirit. Here is a truth,
“Moves of God often times start with a single spark of brilliance borne out of the fire of the Spirit that has caught someones soul on fire.”
Have courage to approach God and look into the fire that infolds itself within His throne. Then testify to us of what you know as well as where you have been.