I know I need to post a personal blog here sometime soon, but there’s a lot going on. My hope is soon to talk about a question a friend asked me a week and a half ago (Why are house churches apostolic?), to talk a little about the deep fire of the Holy Spirit, and a little more about Brother Yun and Living Waters. Stay tuned.
I have to continue to say that Living Water by Bruther Yun is amazing. I’ve been stunned as I’ve been reading it what substance he has in the Lord. There have been several times that I have been reading the book and felt as if Brother Yun was quoting scripture and instead it turned out to be Brother Yun himself speaking with such authority that the words seemed apostolic in their very nature. Figure that one out, huh?
One of the things that has struck me as I’ve been reading the book has been the way the Chinese church encourages each other to remain faithful to Jesus. Brother Yun seems to be always talking about it from one perspective or another. It seems crucial to the life of their churches that they would gather and exhort and encourage one another to remain faithful to Jesus.
One story he told was about a pastor who was imprisoned for his faith. This pastor was miraculously delivered from jail, but as soon as he was freed, he felt remorse because he could no longer encourage his fellow cell-mate (also a believer) to stay true to Jesus. So what does he do? What ever any other healthy, faith filled believer would do-break back into jail by the power of the Holy Spirit to encourage the cell mate to stay true to Jesus. This pastor left the prison after encouraging the cell mate, but what a story!
Now here’s the tricky part. We need to be encouraged and exhorted to remain true to Jesus in the exact same way as the Chinese church, only we have to be encouraged to remain true to Jesus in our comforts. They have to encourage each other to remain true to Jesus in their pain. But the need is the same. If you’re reading this and you’re a believer in Jesus, make plans now to find another believer and encourage them. Don’t just tell them how cool they are, but admonish, exhort, and encourage them to remain true to Jesus despite the comforts or persecutions that are coming their way. Encourage them not to give into money or comfort or threats or persecution. Tell them to love Jesus for His sake regardless of the outcome. The results will have eternal consequenses.
“Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching,” Hebrews 10:23-25, ESV.
Sometimes we pick really good books to read and sometimes it seems God picks them for us because He knows what we need. The latest book that I’m reading is not only incredibly good but it also comes at a time where I desperately needed to hear the content inside. Living Water is written by Bruther Yun, a former leader of part of the Chinese House Church Movement and now a leading voice for the Back to Jerusalem movement. Brother Yun is probably most famous for writing the book the Heavenly Man which is his biography detailing the sufferings and miracles he experienced as an apostolic leader in China. I also count him as one of my 50,000 coaches.
This new book is a collection of Brother Yun’s teachings and they’ve been stirring my heart in a real way. I would highly recommend this book to anyone, and with 28 short chapters it would make a great daily devotional. My hope is to post some quotes as I read to both stir our hearts and to record what the Lord has been speaking to me through the book.
Today I was reading Chapter Five, “Pregnancy of the Holy Spirit” where Brother Yun compares a Christian with a vision from God with Mary (the Mother of Jesus) when she was pregnant by the Holy Spirit. Yun challenges believers to give birth to that vision that God by the Holy Spirit has placed in our hearts. He uses the story of Mary from Luke 1 to teach us how to do that. This is the part that really stuck out to me. Speaking of how Mary went to visit Elizabeth when she was pregnant, he says:
“If you become pregnant by the Holy Spirit, it’s very important that you go and visit someone else who is also pregnant by the Holy Spirit. Only people who are also going through this experience can provide encouragement and comfort when others are attacking you. I miss the close fellowship I used to have with such brothers in China. We who were pregnant with the Holy Spirit would often come together for days or prayer and worship, and we would leave greatly strengthened in Christ and able to withstand the dangers and attacks of the world,” (p. 55, Living Waters).
This is amazing advice from an apostolic father. I know that in seasons of discouragement, visiting others who are “pregnant” is always encouraging, but I’ve never seen that taught like this anywhere. Are you pregnant with the Holy Spirit? Who are those that you visit when you are? How has that helped sustain you in times of weakness?