Dear brothers and sisters,
Why are we still writing about the Reformation? Because 500 years ago one took place and now everywhere it is being commemorated and celebrated? To be sure, we are grateful for it but we also know that it was neither the first nor the last one! The word reformation means reshape, transform, redesign.
If we look at this meaning we see that God himself was really the first reformer. (Of course he is much more than that because he can create something out of nothing.) He formed, gave shape and transformed as he created the world and mankind out of the midst of the tohuvavohu. It was a reformation with indescribable dimension encompassing everything – the heavens, the earth and all creatures. Sin brought separation between God and man and this reformation was stopped.
Jesus Christ came to the earth as a further reformer. He transformed, changed circumstances. He created and formed a path out of death, curse, damnation and separation from God – a path which is basically open to everyone.
Well, that’s fine, we think – and now what? What else is necessary? A reformation of our hearts and minds! Our heart (life) and thinking must be reshaped, transformed and redesigned. A reformation such as the one which Luther, Zwingli and Calvin and others disseminated and which caused deep and far-reaching changes in all areas of society is always the result of the transformation of individual (yours and mine) hearts. But I can’t do that myself,“ you may be thinking. Halleluya if you have reached this point. This realization is absolutely necessary. You cannot do it and you don’t have to do it. It is God’s responsibility and he is the greatest reformer of all time! What does HE say about it?
„I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh,. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws“ (Ezek. 36:26-27).
What sort of a reformation would be possible if we allowed ourselves be thus changed and transformed? This is a question of a decision. We must make a choice. It is the most important choice and decision of our life! God has long since chosen. In John 15:16 he says clearly, „I have chosen you!“ He chose you and me. Now it is up to us to make a decision. Will I allow HIM to change and renew my heart? Will I allow HIM to give me his Spirit? Will I allow, want and long for HIM to change me? He won’t just tinker and model a bit on me but if we say yes to HIM and his plans for us, He will make you and me into his dwelling.
Why is it so difficult for us to make this choice, this decision that his will may be done as in heaven, so also on earth – in and through my life? As I understand it, there is really only one reason for this, which then sets in motion all sorts of hindering mechanisms (fear, lukewarmness, lack of faith, self-will, rebellion etc.): We don’t really know HIM. For if we did, then each one of us would be so overwhelmed that we would call, like Isaiah, „Here I am, send me“ (Is. 6:9). We would then be joyfully ready to dedicate our whole lives. We would consecrate, dedicate and surrender our lives to HIM, simply out of deep love, gratitude and joy as a reaction to his love. HE JESUS is the pivot, the reference point, the central point of the world, the whole universe.Why not of our lives as well? Everything comes from HIM, is in HIM and goes to HIM. Why not you also?
Dear friends. We will once again experience a reformation! Do you want to be part of it? It will come because there is a remnant in the land which is ready to be changed and gifted, which has made a decision and a choice. God does not force us. HE lets us choose. But no one can avoid this decision. Not to decide means: No, I don’t want to! He knocks on our hearts’ doors. HE calls to his congregation,
„I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will go in and eat with him and he with ME“ (Rev. 3:20).
During our week of fasting for our country in February, we had a strong time of prayer in which we realized and felt that something was about to be born. And during this prophetic time of labor pains and birth the word „Reformation“ came to us. We live in a time of increasing birth pains which come in increasingly short intervals and are increasingly severe. Pressure increases, becomes more painful and is times we can hardly bear it. That is our condition. But when JESUS is allowed to enter we will bear the pressure, pass through it and overcome. We will even do this with peace and joy in our hearts because HE lives in us – where HE is, it is supernatural.
We see this with our persecuted brethren. Every 5 minutes a person is murdered because of his faith in Jesus Christ. In all of history there were never so many people who were hated, persecuted, imprisoned, tortured and murdered for their faith in Jesus Christ as TODAY. I have read testimonies from such brethren which brought tears to my eyes. They do not cease to proclaim Jesus. They lose family, work, housing, reputation, health and life. They do not retreat. Just like the early apostles they say and live, „We must obey God rather than men“ (Acts 5:29). What drives them to thus live, love and speak? They have reformed hearts because they have made a decision. They have made a choice. Jesus in them makes them (and us) capable of living this kind of dedication. They have recognized HIM and know who and how HE is. And you – what about you?
God sends out a call for a departure. Let us set out and first of all make the right choice, make a decision. We cannot avoid it. This is a personal matter between you and the Lord Jesus Christ. And then let us set out together, for example to pray in Aarau on August 1. Let us pray that we as transformed, reformed and renewed persons will carry our personal reformation out everywhere – to every public area of our country, that a further deep transformation may take place. Ultimately it is a matter of God’s kingdom and its King Jesus Christ!
W. + R. W.