WILLS POINT, TX – KP Yohannan, founder of Gospel for Asia (GFA World), whose heart to love and help the poor has inspired numerous charities like Gospel for Asia Canada, and Metropolitan of Believers Eastern Church—shares on the ‘spiritual midlife crisis’, the very real danger of self-dependence, and the need to live an authentic Christ-filled life.
What are some of the obstacles that keep us from coming to God and being honest before Him so that we can seek to live a real and authentic Christ-filled life?
We can start out humble, realizing desperately how much we need God to help us, but then as time goes by we begin to think we’ve got the hang of it. Slowly, we come to Him less and less and we begin to depend on ourselves. It is a mystery to me, but it seems that scenario happens often around 40 years of age. The one who appears to be spiritual, burdened for the world and serving God without concern for money or esteem—becomes unbroken, independent, stiff-necked and proud in the secret world of his inner life. I’ve seen the cycle often repeat itself.
That person is like a little caterpillar that finally breaks free of the cocoon and comes out with all its true colors. When it happens, the secret world of our hearts come to light in a kind of midlife crisis in the spiritual realm. Until this time, we were able to control our outward behavior by copying humility in others, but the true nature that was sleeping inside wakes up.
This seems to be how it is:
- When someone is first called into the ministry, his attitude is, “I don’t have the ability or skill. I am a nobody, and I don’t know why God chose me to serve Him.” His ministry is powerful and his life bears witness to the mercy and goodness of God.
- In the second phase of his ministry, often because of his humility, he is put into a leadership position. By then, he may have gotten an education and developed the skills that the Lord gave him. He is able to accomplish much for the kingdom because God honors a person who is broken and humble before Him.
- In the third phase of his ministry, he is amazed at what he can do on behalf of the Lord. “Wow! I can’t believe it. I prayed and this couple got a child after 14 years! This man was dying of cancer, but I prayed and he got up! I preached, and I can’t believe that 300 people wept and came forward to receive the Lord! The Bible study group barely had 100 people, but now we have 400!”
- By the fourth phase, this individual draws confidence from himself and begins to boast in all that his life has accomplished. He begins to think he is really something and soon becomes a hindrance to the ministry.
On the outside it may appear that nothing has changed and that everything is good. He still preaches, he still prays and people still come to Christ, because God does not take back the gifting He gives. The individual deceives himself and thinks, “See, I prayed for that sick man who was dying and he got up. God is with me.”
But in reality when this happens to us, we actually become a stumbling block, keeping others from understanding God’s grace. No longer are we pointing people to Jesus; instead, we are gathering disciples around ourselves.
If we do not repent and turn back in dependence on the Lord, the final phase is deep regret. If we want to live a real and authentic Christ-filled life, we must stop. Then, take an inventory of your life. Have you slipped into depending on yourself? Has your dependence shifted away from the Lord, from whom you received everything, and onto yourself? Don’t let yourself be destroyed. Take the time to be honest with yourself and before God.
Read this press release regarding the round table video discussion with KP Yohannan, Francis Chan and Hank Hannegraaff, urging the church toward greater humility.
Keep encouraged and get your regular dose of challenge through other articles on Patheos by KP Yohannan Metropolitan, or on his blog at kpyohannan.org.
You can learn more about K.P. Yohannan Metropolitan by clicking here.
KP Yohannan, founder and director GFA World (Gospel for Asia) and Metropolitan of Believers Eastern Church, has written more than 250 books, including Revolution in World Missions, an international bestseller with more than 4 million copies in print. He and his wife, Gisela, have two grown children, Daniel and Sarah, who both serve the Lord with their families.
Gospel for Asia is a Christian-based charity serving the “least of these” in Asia since its beginning in 1979, often in places where no one else is serving. Gospel for Asia workers serve on the field as the hands and feet of Christ by ministering to people’s needs so they can understand the love of God for them for the first time. Gospel for Asia helps provide funds for dozens of projects, such as caring for poor children, slum dwellers and widows and orphans; providing clean water by funding wells; supporting medical missions; and meeting the needs of those in leprosy colonies.
Find out more about Gospel for Asia in the video “A Year in Review with K.P. Yohannan.”
Learn more about KP Yohannan, Founder of GFA World, and Metropolitan of the Believers Eastern Church: Facebook | Radio | Twitter | Amazon | Sermon Index | Goodreads | OnePlace | About | Integrity | Lawsuit Update | 5 Distinctives | 6 Remarkable Facts | Book | Wikipedia | Francis Chan | Lawsuit Response |
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