Are you thirsty? Do you feel the desperate need for the Holy Spirit in your life and ministry? Do you want to learn how to lean on Him more?
“’If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.’” –John 7:38
Brother Yun told the story of his persecution as a church planter and evangelist in China in The Heavenly Man. He suffered brutal beatings, electrocution, malnourishment, and repeated imprisonments for the gospel, and he considered it all joy to join in the fellowship of Christ’s sufferings.
His new book Living Water is collected from his teachings, many of them given to Western churches. Some of the principles may seem basic to Western Christians with theological knowledge, but his challenging calls to obey the Bible’s teachings are anything but boring.
Brother Yun is the only Christian I know of today who is writing in a radical way about the necessity of persecution for Christians. Listen to these quotes and consider how they apply to your walk with the Lord, our fellowship as a whole.
“Do you want to follow God and do something great for His kingdom? If so, then good. But first you must realize that the pathway to bearing fruit for the Lord is strewn with much opposition, slander, criticism, false accusation, and pain. People will misunderstand you and doubt your motives, and Satan will throw many roadblocks in your path in a bid to thwart your progress. This has been my experience over the years, and it has been the experience of every person I have known who has been used by God, from the apostles to the present day.”
“The true gospel, when it is preached with power, always results in either revival or riot. Just read Paul’s experiences in the book of Acts.”
“Did you ever consider that Jesus sent His own followers on suicide missions? He knew His disciples would be killed as they attempted to take the gospel throughout the world.”
“We need to get our minds off man-made temples, churches and buildings and realize that God no longer dwells in structures made by human hands.”
“When I’m in the West, I see all the mighty church buildings and all the expensive equipment, plush carpets and state-of-the-art sound systems. I can assure the Western church with absolute certainty that you don’t need any more church buildings. Church buildings will never bring the revival you seek. The pursuit of more possession will also fail to bring revival.” Instead he says we need teachings that contain the “sharp truths” of Scripture, and obedience to those truths.
“In China we always teach five things that all disciples need to be ready to do at any time. We need to be ready to pray, regardless of circumstances. We must always be ready to share the gospel and always ready to suffer for the name of Jesus. We also teach every disciple in China that they must be ready to die for Jesus Christ, and finally they should be ready to escape for the gospel if the opportunity presents itself, for Jesus said, ‘When you are persecute in one place, flee to another’ (Matthew 10:23). There is great power when we suffer for the gospel.”
“I have found over the years that many of the most fruitful times of ministry for the Lord have come at the same time as great opposition and persecution. There seems to be direct correlation between effective work for God and intense opposition. We can grow to such a place in Christ where we laugh and rejoice when people slander us, because we know we are not of this world, and our security is in heaven. The more we are persecuted for His sake, the more reward we will receive in heaven.”
“China is not being transformed for Jesus because we sit around thinking and talking about God’s work. No! We invest all our energy, time, and resources in reaching the lost. The church prays hard and works hard for the Lord. Many thousands of Christians have willingly endured brutal treatment and imprisonment in order to see the vision of a redeemed China become a reality.”
“Have you ever felt you would die unless you shared the goodness of Jesus Christ with others? If not, it is time to kneel down and ask God to give you a fresh revelation of the joy and presence of the Lord.”
I still have a few chapters left to read so more quotations may be forthcoming. I do recommend the book for if you are willing to look past the “basic teachings” and question whether you are really following them. In other words, be forewarned: contains highly convicting material.