This morning, the words “Left Behind” came to my mind. When I heard those words, I knew the Lord was speaking. Being left behind is not in reference to a movie bearing that title or a particular school of thought regarding the end of time. It had to do with remaining stuck in a narrow understanding of reality and not moving forward to a new place where fresh revelation awaits.
For the average outsider, most Christianity can seem boring and unappealing. It appears like a nit-picking party over obscure biblical interpretations or political posturing. It can appear severe, not gracious. For those who have yet to meet the Lord, a supernatural God experienced and testified by His followers is what will draw them to faith. It was the biblical model used with great success, and it continues to be the model used in Muslim nations where Jesus is appearing to people in their dreams and hundreds of thousands are being saved.
Testifying of such experiences in some churches would cause eyes to roll. The eye-rollers are the poster children of those who will be left behind, not as someone unsaved, but as someone who did not embrace the reality of a supernatural God who reveals Himself in supernatural ways, a God not isolated in a historic text, but frequently experienced in real-time in the present.
When Paul was speaking to people who rejected his apostolic authority. He gave a detailed report of his painful experiences for the cause of Christ, finally saying to his detractors, “…but I will go on to visions and revelations of the Lord” (II Corinthians 12”1). He wasn’t throwing people away. He was simply saying he refused to remain in the static, acidic arguments fueled by competition and unbelief. He was moving on to the kind of supernatural experiences that once encountered and verified could not be denied except by those completely blinded by their pride and stubbornness.
The only way we will not be left behind when God is moving in power within His Church and culture is to cut our restricting ties with a religious spirit and its supporting institutions that can be dressed up in charismatic clothing, academic achievement, or a history they reference, but no longer practice. Once we come to that decision, we will be free to follow the Lord to experience things so profound Paul described them as “inexpressible.”