Have you ever heard of the 3 R’s? The 3 R’s have quickly become a thing of the past, however, anytime we hear a story about how poorly students are doing in school or how bad test scores have become, people pull out the phrase, “We need to get back to the 3 R’s…Reading, Writing, and ‘Rithmatic”.
People look to the 3 R’s as the cornerstone of the educational system. Back in the day before kids had a bajillion extra-curriculars and before sports ruled the school, students learned the three main things they need to grow…how to read, how to write, and how to add. These three basic skills are necessary for any student to graduate and go on to live productive successful lives.
Did you know the Christian walk has its own version of the 3 R’s, or three things that are basic for God’s men to learn if they are to become all God wants them to be? Like the 3 R’s in our schools, these three things are quickly being pushed aside. As we strive to not offend anyone, we have slowly begun to move away from 3 main staples of the Christian faith. As a result, we teeter on the brink of raising up a generation of weak, worldly, compromising believers who are getting their butts kicked by a defeated enemy on a regular basis.
Just like those who use the rallying cry of the three R’s as a means to get refocused on what is important, I offer you this rallying cry…We need to get back to the 3 H’s in the lives of believers. What are the 3 H’s?
1. Hunger for God
One thing I have noticed lately is an attitude whelming up that says, “I have to go to church” or “I have to read the Bible”, or “I have to pray”.
Have too??? What happened to the hunger inside of us that we first felt when we got saved? We have allowed a complacency to set into our Christian lives!
We need to return to the place we were when we first came to God. Remember when you first got saved?
Do you remember the sense of peace and fulfillment and happiness you felt when you discovered that not only would God forgive you of your sins, but He longed to develop a personal walk with you?
Do you remember how excited you were when you first started reading the Bible?
Do you remember the joy of spending time in prayer, pouring your heart out to God and telling Him everything?
Do you recall the prayer sessions when you prayed so big to God and you really believed He would answer your prayer?
That is where we need to get back to in our own lives and the church as a whole. We need to get back to the place where we so hunger for God that we can’t wait to get back to His house of worship to learn and grow. We must return to the place where church is where we wanted to be, not the place we HAVE to go to save face. Complacency and an attitude that church isn’t cool or relevant has placed a strangle hold over the modern day church. We need to get back to the 1st H of having an endless hunger for God.
Yes, I went there! When did holiness become a dirty word among God’s children? We need to get back to a place as believers where we strive to live a holy life before God, a life where we come out from the world and live a sanctified life.
I am not saying we need to cut ourselves off from the unsaved or act like we are better than they are. Jesus never did that! He always made time for the publicans and sinners. However, JESUS NEVER WENT DOWN TO THEIR LEVEL, HE ALWAYS RAISED THEM UP TO HIS LEVEL!
One of the things that concerns me the most in today’s modern church is this new doctrine of needing to be practical and relevant. Now, I get the general sentiment behind it, we have to reach the world where they are at and bring them to Christ. However, Practical + Relevant Cannot = Compromise.
We have become a generation of believers who excuse sin way too much. We are becoming way too worldly and compromising our beliefs way too much under the guise of reaching the lost. Jesus never operated that way. He reached the world, but He maintained a pure lifestyle before both the world and His Father.
When He reached out to the world, He always did it in a way of bringing them to God. He never left them where they were. He sought to raise them up to a higher calling. He sought to bring them out of their sinful life and start them on a new path of righteousness.
We need to get back to a place of holiness. God is looking for a spotless bride, but unfortunately, we are picking up spots and blemishes as we compromise and try and live as close to the world as possible without totally falling away from God. Any time someone says something is wrong, they are labeled legalistic.
The person who says “Drinking is wrong for a Christian” is told they are legalistic.
The man who says, “Christians shouldn’t be playing poker or gambling” are labeled as out of touch or fanatical.
The person who says, “Your shouldn’t be watching tv or movies with sexual content or demonic themes” is told they are a radical.
The man who says, “This conversation or these jokes are inappropriate and you need to stop” is labeled a Prude.
You know what I call them? People Pursuing a Holy Life.
You know what the Apostle Peter calls them? People like God (1 Peter 1:14-16 As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. 15 But just as He Who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; 16 for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy. )
You know what Paul calls them? Obedient children of God (1 Thes. 4:7 For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life )
You know what the author of Hebrews calls them? The people who will be in Heaven (Hebrews 12:14 …without holiness no one will see the Lord.)
That last one is a scary verse! The Bible clearly says that if we aren’t pursuing holiness or sanctification, or more plainly, becoming less like the world and becoming more like Jesus, we won’t make it to Heaven.
The 2nd H of Holiness is a vital teaching we need to get back to in today’s church. Holiness is not a dirty word. Sin needs to be called sin, compromise needs to be called compromise, and a pursuit of a godly lifestyle needs to become our rallying cry as we live in a perverted world who is longing for people to say, “I am holding myself to a higher standard. I am living for God and trying to become more like His Son Jesus.”
3. The Holy Spirit
One of the greatest concerns I see in today is a shying away from the works and action of the Holy Spirit. On one level, I get it. Speaking in tongues and prophetic words in tongues look crazy to the average onlooker. In reality, it weirds out a lot of believers as well. But it shouldn’t.
The greatest gift God gave us besides sending His Son to provide for our salvations is the Holy Spirit. God knew we couldn’t make it in the world after Jesus returned to Heaven without His Holy Spirit to guide us. He knew we needed it. So why has the church backed away from accepting God’s gift to us?
We need to return to a place where we lead Spirit led lives. What does this mean?
It means we allow the Holy Spirit to do His work of conviction. One reason we have abandoned the 2nd H of holiness is because we have suppressed the 3rd H of the Holy Spirit. Sanctification and the ability to develop a holy life is only possible through the power of the Holy Spirit. He convicts us of areas of sin and compromise in our lives. He shows us areas that need to become less like the world and more like Jesus. Then He shows us how to make changes and how to live a different life going forward. The Holy spirit inside of us is what allows us to live holy lives.
Suppressing the 3rd H of the Holy Spirit is also leading to the cause of the lack of our 1st H, a hunger for God. When we don’t allow the Holy Spirit to bring the Bible to life in our lives, it just becomes a good book that we have to read. But when we let the Holy Spirit shine His light on areas of our lives as we read the Bible, it becomes alive in our lives and we will hunger and long to get back to the Bible daily to see what God has for us in His Word today.
Backing away from the working of the Holy Spirit also weakens our prayer lives. Speaking in tongues allows us to pray in a Heavenly language. Romans 8:26-27 says “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. 27 And He Who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.”
This verse says the Holy Spirit helps us pray. If we are not allowing the Holy Spirit to influence our lives, it will affect our prayer lives.
We have such a tremendous power in our lives when we live a Spirit led lifestyle. Throughout history, the darkest periods of time spiritually are when the Holy Spirit and His power are downplayed and suppressed. However, the greatest times of revival and works of God happen when believers allow the Spirit to live, operate, and flow through them and use them to do the will of God. I don’t know about you, but I think the one thing the world needs more than anything else is a mighty move of God. However, the only way this can happen is to return to the 3 H’s.
We need to become men who are filled with the Hoy Spirit. We need to allow Him to work in us and through us. We need to allow Him to stir a hunger inside of us for more of God and His Presence. We need Him to shine His light of conviction on our lives so that we put off sin and compromise and put on the Holiness of God.
We need to get back to the three H’s. Only then can a new wave of revival break out. Only then can we become all that God created it us to be. Let’s get back to Hunger for God, Holiness, and a Holy Spirit led life.