A giant of the faith has passed on to his reward, silently and without fanfair. Who will pick up the mantle that has been left behind? Why not you?
A man named Bobby Martz, a man you may have never heard of, has died. I consider Bobby part of the “old guard” of ministers who carried the flame of healing and evangelism for decades. Alongside his wife Ronda, he was a missionary, running crusades in the Philippines for many years, seeing countless thousands come to faith in Jesus and many more miraculously healed. He wasn’t alone, of course: there are many in our own movement who do the same, yet when a true elder such as Bobby leaves this earth, there is a shift. Men and women like Bobby and Ronda spend their lives like the apostle Paul did, willingly and joyously in response to the love of God. Most of them are never famous.
This article isn’t an obituary. Rather, it’s a challenge to each of us. There is something uniquely powerful about someone who spends their life in relative obscurity, staying true to Scripture, quietly obeying the leading of the Holy Spirit, remaining true to their marriage vows, not cheating on their taxes, growing in love and character. Along the way leading people to Jesus and holding fast to the belief that healing, signs, and wonders will confirm the preaching of the Gospel. Not seeking a platform, not hungry for fame or glory, but passionate to glorify the One and see the lost awakened to who He is.
This is the life to which you and I are called. This is what the earth needs in the coming season. You are, no doubt, hearing many prophetic words about what’s ahead. Know this: things will get better and worse at the same time. The Kingdom of God will relentlessly advance and those of us who love Jesus will face greater pressure from unseen forces. We know there will be greater persecution, a greater push for Jesus’ followers to make the tough decisions, yet the darker it seems, the brighter will Christ shine through us. The angrier the Enemy gets, the more we will be filled with the power and joy of the Holy Spirit.
God is raising up a generation of firebrands who will carry the torch of healing, evangelism, missionary work, purity, and love. A generation is everyone alive at a given moment, which means you are part of the new generation. If you will answer the call.
This is the challenge from the Holy Spirit today. Hear it. Feel it. Let it shake off complacency and deception. I call you to attention, saint. I challenge you in the name of Jesus to commit to radical purity, honesty, uprightness. Examine your life, ask the Holy Spirit to convict you of any place where you’re stretching the truth, any place where you’re making excuses, any place that you’re flirting with sin and temptation. This is not about guilt; it’s about allowing the goodness of God to transform every place in your life into a place of joy, peace, and satisfaction in Him. Make a fresh commitment today to believe that God will use you to lead others to Jesus and that the power of God will accompany His work through you. By faith, let the shaking that’s happening in the earth today be a shaking in your own life. Let it blow away all that is not of God.
When these women and men pass on to their reward, it’s like Elijah passing his mantle to Elisha. There is a mantle in the spirit now awaiting you, if you will reach out in faith and take it up. Or, if you prefer, a torch aflame is held aloft for each of us to grasp. But know that there is a cost! Your life, carrying this torch, will probably not look like Billy Graham’s life. Perhaps for you, it looks like raising a family that loves Jesus and knows the Bible like the back of their hand. Maybe it looks like coming up with a new business which demonstrates to the world how to take care of employees and generate wealth for the poor. Perhaps it means moving your family to a third-world country and planting churches. The model of walking in the anointing is one of dedication to the leading of the Lord, of a lifestyle of giving emotional pain to Jesus and receiving truth back from Him, of simultaneously submitting to His will and boldly taking risks. In our movement, it’s common to find people pursuing the platform, holding a dream that’s irrevocably tied to ministry fame. Resist that urge! Don’t let the glories of your exploits for the Kingdom become your calling card. Pursue, instead, whatever God puts in front of you to do.
Be not distracted by the murmurings of the world, by the political spirit of this age, nor by the fearmongers that crave your attention. Rather, hear the call of the Spirit to grow in character, to know Jesus more and to be better known by Him. To quietly and powerfully spread His love to the lost, never letting go of the truth that His power will accompany and verify the good news. In so doing, you honor the elders who have gone before, and you align yourself with the work which God has been doing since the days of Seth. “When Seth grew up, he had a son and named him Enosh. At that time people first began to worship the Lord by name.” — Genesis 4:26 That legacy, that anointing, that mantle is ready for the taking.
P.S. You can learn a little about Bobby and his wife Ronda’s ministry at hourofharvest.org.