The Man Who Brought Light To The Dark Ages
By: Roberts Liardon
You and I are alive at a specific time in history. We were not born by accident or by mere physical choice. We were born in this generation because God decided that this is our time to live and to do a specific work in the earth.
Martin Luther came into this world at an appointed season and in due time. Born on November 10, 1483 in Germany, Luther was mandated by God to bring forth not just a revival but a revolution of spiritual truth called the Protestant Reformation.
When Martin Luther was born there was little spiritual Light. The church had blended into society and no longer stood out as a beacon of hope and faith. Preachers couldn’t preach freely—they practiced only a formal religion dictated by men. There was no faith in the heart of men because the Word of God was not relayed in the language of the people. The Bible was considered too holy for the common man, so how could man find faith in God? How could man connect with the Savior? There was no moving of the Spirit of God. Religious demons from the dark heavens controlled the church. Thus, the name “Dark Ages’ was rightly given to those times.
People who called themselves Christians lived by very strict rules, giving the impression that God was a mean God. It was even thought that when there was a thunderstorm, the lightning was the wrath of God coming down from Heaven. When this type of ignorance rules, the devil has full reign to destroy men’s faith. Luther’s destiny was to bring forth revelation—a divine revolution of truth—in order to destroy the spiritual ignorance that kept men bound.
Luther didn’t know his destiny and neither did his parents so they wanted him to be a lawyer. Luther enrolled in law school to please them. Nonetheless, God’s perfect plan for his life would be fulfilled.
One day, when Luther was walking outside there was a great thunderstorm, and the lightning and the thunder crashed loudly around him. Remembering that lightning in those days meant the wrath of God, Luther called to Heaven to help. He not only sought God for His protection, but he began to earnestly seek God’s will for his life. “Whatever you ask of me, Father, I will obey,” was his heart’s cry for surrender.
This act of faith led Martin Luther to join a monastery. That was all he knew to do to follow God. And God always honors the best that you do. It may not be the right thing, but God sees the motive of your heart and He will reach down from Heaven to meet you where you are. His mercy will cover ignorance and mistakes and He will guide you to where He wants you.
Slowly, as best as he knew how, Martin Luther began to follow the will of God. He studied avidly in the monastery, becoming the most devout of all monks. It was said that he wearied the priests because he went to confession so often. He said many prayers and faithfully preformed all of the church’s rituals. It was not Luther’s religiosity, but rather his great commitment and consistency that enabled him to be used of God to change the world.
Expecting a great spiritual blessing, Luther traveled to Rome, which was then the seat of Christianity’s power. It was considered a holy city. He toured all the religious sites, including a staircase that was brought from Jerusalem, which Pontius Pilate had supposedly walked on when he gave Jesus His death sentence.
Luther crawled up each step of this staircase on his knees, praying as he went. Quite suddenly something amazing happened. With each step he heard a voice thundering from heaven: “The just shall live by faith! The just shall live by faith! The just shall live by faith!”
Luther knew the voice did not come from man or from a deceiving spirit. He knew it came from God above. Luther didn’t know it then, but God had looked down on earth and had seen man’s desperation. God saw that people were dying and going to hell while thinking that they were going to heaven. They thought salvation came from the church. They hungered for a Savior and God responded to their heart’s cry.
Luther kept hearing the kind words of the Lord, the kind words that change nations and men: “The just shall live by faith!”—not by indulgences and penitence, but by simple faith in Jesus.
By God’s leading Luther wrote a thesis containing 95 complaints about the church and nailed them to the church’s door. In those days, that was the way people called for a discussion. As I picture Luther nailing his thesis to the church’s door, I hear the sound of his hammering echoing in three worlds: In Luther’s own spirit…in the dark heavenlies over the nations of the time…and in heaven where God said, “I’ve found a man to accomplish My will.”
Luther’s thesis was read and the common man loved it. The religious leaders quickly voiced their disapproval. The Pope declared that the man who wrote the thesis must be drunk and when he’s sober, he’ll withdraw what he said. But he didn’t know Luther’s determination.
Finally in April of 1521 the church brought Luther before a council and told him his thesis was heresy and must be retracted. Luther answered: “I can’t take it back. My conscience is captured by the Word of God. Here I stand.”
When Martin Luther stood up to all the religious minds and powers of the day, the church was controlled the government. Whatever the church authorities said, the government obeyed. Yet Luther, one man alone, boldly said in essence: “What you’re telling me about how to live no longer controls my life. I’ve found truth in the Word of God and I’m justified by faith in Jesus Christ alone. I’ve lived my life according to your rules. I’ve done the best that I’ve known, but I’ve found no spiritual satisfaction following your man-made teachings and rituals. And now I’ve heard a voice from above saying to me that the just shall live by faith and that with faith we can live with Christ forever.” With Luther’s bold determination, a revolution began!
What a turbulent time it was in the Vatican, as well as for all the people of Germany. The revolution even impacted the social and cultural realms of the society because when the Bible is revealed to people, it makes changes in their lives. The great Protestant Reformation was born and the whole earth began to change!
God always seeks for a man or a woman to do His will and help change the heart of man. Reformers like Luther do not just prick the heart; they birth a brand new heart inside a person. They bring about a revolution of spiritual energy and faith.
How committed are you? Are you willing to go where God leads? Are you willing to make less money to bring a revolution of spiritual truth to America, or to the world? Are you willing to move from where you live? God wants to speak to your heart the way He did to Martin Luther’s and say, “Will you work for me? I have a job for you.”
Martin Luther obeyed the unction and direction of the Spirit of God for his time, thereby birthing dramatic changes in the church and in the nations of the world. He was not distracted from fulfilling God’s will even when he faced fierce opposition from the ruling authorities of his day. You have to believe in what God is telling you to do and stand on God’s Word and not be swayed from it as you move forward in God’s plan.
The way Luther had to bring light to his generation we must establish truth today for the times we live in. God wants to use us to confront the error that tries to seduce the minds of men. We’ve got an important work to do and we’re going to need every power that God has released in the earth since the beginning of time to come forth strong upon us, to reap the harvest and to bring maturity to the church before His great coming.
You are a reforming generation. You won’t just bring revival to your territories; you’ll bring divine revolution to the church and the world as Luther did. As a child of God, you too are called to bring light into this dark age.