Inspiration from Dr. David White
The Kingdom Series – ‘Our Part in the Next Reformation’
“Perhaps the Lord will deal with us according to all His wonderful works that the king may go away from us” (Jeremiah 21:2b).
It has been 500 years since Martin Luther nailed his 95 thesis to the door of the church in Wittenberg, Germany. What Luther did was actually a protest and stance against the corruption and spiritual darkness of that day. His actions resulted in what became known as the Protestant Reformation.
One revolutionary act by one Christian soldier was key in multitudes of people being delivered from darkness and opened the door for generations to experience a reformation that has endured to this day. However the darkness in Luther’s did not just ‘go away’, someone had to rise up and boldly proclaim the truth that sets men and women free.
Our friend Roberts Liardon goes into greater detail on Luther’s act by explaining, “Expecting a great spiritual blessing, Luther traveled to Rome, which was then the seat of Christianity’s power. It was considered a holy city. He toured all the religious sites, including a staircase that was brought from Jerusalem, which Pontius Pilate had supposedly walked on when he gave Jesus His death sentence. Luther crawled up each step of this staircase on his knees, praying as he went. Quite suddenly something amazing happened. With each step he heard a voice thundering from heaven: “The just shall live by faith! The just shall live by faith! The just shall live by faith!”
Liardon continues, “Luther knew the voice did not come from man or from a deceiving spirit. He knew it came from God above. Luther didn’t know it then, but God had looked down on earth and had seen man’s desperation. God saw that people were dying and going to hell while thinking that they were going to heaven. They thought salvation came from the church. They hungered for a Savior and God responded to their heart’s cry, (by speaking to Luther). Luther kept hearing the kind words of the Lord, the kind of words that change nations and men: “The just shall live by faith!”—not by indulgences and penitence, but by simple faith in Jesus”. “By God’s leading, Luther wrote a thesis containing 95 complaints about the church and nailed them to the church’s door. In those days, that was the way people called for a discussion”.
“Finally in April of 1521 the church brought Luther before a council and told him his thesis was heresy and must be retracted. Luther answered: “I can’t take it back. My conscience is captured by the Word of God. Here I stand.”
“Whatever the church authorities said in those days the government obeyed. Yet Luther, one man alone, boldly said in essence: “What you’re telling me about how to live no longer controls my life. I’ve found truth in the Word of God and I’m justified by faith in Jesus Christ alone. I’ve lived my life according to your rules. I’ve done the best that I’ve known, but I’ve found no spiritual satisfaction following your man-made teachings and rituals. And now I’ve heard a voice from above saying to me that the just shall live by faith and that with faith we can live with Christ forever.” With Luther’s bold determination, a revolution began”! Roberts gives us a great view of the historical context of Luther’s actions. Yet there is more to the story. One that reaches into this our day.
The prophet Jeremiah agreed with those living under the threat of Babylonian captivity that God could deliver them from the approaching storm of political oppression. He said, “Perhaps the Lord will deal with us according to all His wonderful works that the king may go away from us” (Jer 21:2). However, instead of just hoping evil would just ‘go away’, Jeremiah challenged the king to rise up and, “Execute judgment (justice) in the morning (make it a priority), and deliver him who is plundered out of the hand of the oppressor…” In other words yes God can do anything anyway He wants. Nothing is impossible with Him. But God has already defeated spiritual darkness through His death and resurrection!
Just as God raised up Martin Luther and other reformers, now it’s our turn to believe in and even enforce what He has already done. Jesus said and would remind us today, “the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force” (Matt 11:12).
Political and spiritually dark storms again threaten multitudes of people and even entire nations in our day. Like the people of Jeremiah’s day, we could retreat from the battle front and declare that God will make it all go away, and He certainly could. However God has a better way today as was the case in Luther’s day.
The reformation that takes place in Isaiah 60 results in the glory of the Lord arising and being seen upon a people thus causing spiritual darkness to flee. Darkness does not just ‘go away’, but is driven away through a people who shine with God’s glory. Yet for this to happen a people must ‘arise’!
Both political and spiritual dark and ominous clouds are currently hanging over America and many other nations. The wicked are arising fully committed to do the will of their father, the devil. God could make it all just go away. But as He did in Luther’s day, God is raising up a people He will use to dispel the darkness of this day. The result will be another reformation again founded upon the truth that sets men and women and even entire nations free.
“Arise, shine; For Your light has come! And the glory of the Lord is risen upon you” (Isaiah 60:1).
David White Th.D.
David and his wife Shirley are the head pastors at the Gathering Church in Moravian Falls, NC. The Fresh Bread Blog is where Dr. David posts inspiration and messages he receives from the Lord for the church and missions.
The Gathering Church
976 West Meadows Parkway,
Moravian Falls, NC 28654