The Great Wilderness Exodus is coming for the Fellowship Weary
For years, there has been a large group of devout Christians wandering in the wilderness, disenfranchised and frustrated while in search for true fellowship. These believers wander from fellowship to fellowship in discontentment—their numbers ever increase as local fellowships everywhere slide further into the apostasy of churchianity (most fellowships are engulfed by an end-time Babylonian culture).
Totally disheartened and turned off by the backslid condition of organized Christianity, the nomad Christian gives up seeking a church home and wanders into no-man’s land, finding fellowship here and there with other disillusioned wanderers.
Most do not attend church on a regular basis, receiving spiritual food from scripture and a sincere prayer life. Some find insight and encouragement from older Christian literature and obscure ministries on the Internet. While a few may find a healthy fellowship here or there but find that they have to uproot and move to attend regularly. Many visit church after church ending up attending the least corrupt as they bite their lower lip to keep from disrupting meetings in outrage over the shallow Gospel message. Moreover, most recognize the warning signs concerning America’s moral downfall and approaching judgment that will include God’s people.
These non-conforming believers are fed up with false national leaders and the many local leaders who go along with damning messages of an easy road gospel, riding waves of popularity associated with the doctrines of men and demons. (1 Timothy 4:1-5, 2 Timothy 3:1-9, 4:3-4).
These are Not Revolving Door Church Hoppers
Do not confuse these precious saints with the consumer Christian who roves continuously looking for the best deal in fellowship amenities. The church hopper is a very different breed of believer—that is to say the church hopper looks to leadership and church staff as their tireless servants who are to provide gripping, entertaining, and never ceasing performances. These revolving door believers roam from fellowship to fellowship looking for the next fad teaching, the next carnally led revival, or the next higher-level power-leader. The church hopper thrives on the continuous search for that perfect dose of spiritual Prozac that makes all their emotional and mental anguish disappear.
To the nomad Christian, the church hopper is another by-product of churchianity, adding credence to their stand against marketing the Gospel to the undiscerning and immature. However, the nomad Christian is also at great risk of deception as they strive to know Christ in the wilderness while avoiding churchianity.
Misled in the Wilderness
The nomad Christian complains of the spiritual abuse in most fellowships they visit or attend, not realizing that they themselves suffer from their own carnal motives of heart. It is easy to find fault in carnal and wayward churches, however, in the nomad Christian’s mind their brand of fault finding is to them discernment and being led by the Holy Spirit.
In their seeing the faults they either take on each wayward fellowship they encounter or slide into anonymity, coming out of hiding now and again to check things out. This condition allows Satan to mislead and hinder a nomad Christian from becoming incorporated into a true last days ministry or a fellowship that the Lord is in the process of raising up. Many a nomad Christian is blinded by the devil in recognizing a true fellowship that is under God’s discipline, training, and sanctifying work.
As Satan misleads many sincere yet gullible Christians through popular false leaders and movements in these last days (as Christ warned in Matthew 24:4-5,) so too, these disconcerted wilderness Christians are highly prone to their own brand of deception.
For the carnally driven saint, the wilderness becomes one of the devil’s better beguiling opportunities. As these dear saints wake up to the false everywhere, in their seeing they become puffed up. Indeed, they have a true call upon their lives and yearn to become prepared to work in the Lord’s army and be ready on the day that God acts—however, they are stubbornly in gross denial of their own carnal motives of heart.
This condition of denial is similar to Peter’s, and in this condition Satan has a right to sift as many nomad Christians as possible. The Lord attempts to build up the nomad Christian’s faith in the wilderness that their faith might not fail when Satan comes to sift. (But this faith strengthening is hampered by lack of sound teachings of the work of the cross in the believer’s life and recovery from wounds to the spirit and damaged emotions).
The sifting by the devil catches them in their pride of knowing the truth and their cocky self-reliance, causing them to be led astray by a counterfeiting voice, often accompanied by false miracles. The initial Holy Spirit work of awakening them to the truth becomes a snare. At first, the Lord reveals and awakens them by revelation, with answered prayer, or some personal signs and wonders, or even with occasional prophetic dreams, yet when the Holy Spirit speaks to their own carnal issues, wounds, and self-reliance, they turn a deaf ear.
Insecurity, self-pity, and the need to prove their own validity drives most nomad Christians to withdraw, hide and bemoan the terrible condition of God’s people. Often they have been battered and torn by other Christians who are engrossed and trapped in churchianity, or ripped by hirelings and wolves in leadership. Thus, they give up trying to minister or speak out and turn to a wilderness existence similar to a John the Baptist form of reclusiveness. Then, in the power of a John the Baptist faith personal trials eventually cause that type of carnal faith to wane and then the sifting begins, causing many to backslide and even renounce Christ.
Some do find a healthy fellowship that is in the character growing process, but their ultra-sensitivity to the carnality in others becomes a challenge to their perfectionistic and grace-less expectations. In this case most allow their own insecurities and lack of grace and understanding to stir up distrust and bitter expectations that project trouble—then the trouble does come and off they go—back into the wilderness.
I would be remiss by not offering a remedy and the Lord’s ultimate goal for his wounded and disenfranchised wilderness saint. Therefore, the next installment of this article addresses how a nomad Christian can truly walk in the fullness of Christ and become part of God’s end of the age work.
To be continued in Part 2
Copyright © 2015 Charles Pretlow All rights reserved