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More in Love with Jesus: Interview with Rolland Baker

 

PneumaReview.com: With reference to these values you have said, “Our values are not the outcome of research; they are the offspring of romance.” Please explain what you mean by this statement.

Baker: The mystery of ministry is a contagious, imparted love born of God and in total freedom that makes all the difference. “Do not awaken or arouse love until it so desires,” says the Song of Songs. We fall in love with God as we fall under the Spirit’s control. No one is blessed when their lover is straining to love them. God is not blessed by our strain. Nor does God feel loved if we do not enjoy Him, constantly and to overflowing. Our confidence in Him is reflected in our joy. We choose friends who enjoy us, and in whose company we find joy. In all of ministry we are to be the friend of God, making Him feel loved and thrilled to have made us. In return we are filled and thrilled. Our goal is not just to receive the love of God, but also to be in love with Him.

Human lovers fail, but to fall in love with a Perfect Lover who can keep us in that love eternally is our salvation.

We are not merely a ministry organization with job descriptions, strategies and goals. We do not “go to work every day and get things done.” We are not an ant hill, where each ant carries their load devoid of emotion. We work in the power of the Holy Spirit as creatures made in God’s image. We are a family filled with life. Relationships are all that matter. To obey God in love we need to be set free in the Holy Spirit simply to get happy and mushy! Life in Jesus means to experience in our hearts a perfect love affair with God, infinitely satisfying and eternal. Human lovers fail, but to fall in love with a Perfect Lover who can keep us in that love eternally is our salvation. We are to be utterly entangled with our God! The phenomenon of entanglement observed in quantum physics is perhaps the metaphor that in my experience most completely represents our goal: union with God.

PneumaReview.com: The church has sometimes disagreed about what the gospel message is. In your book you said that Jesus proclaimed a saving gospel, a social gospel, and a supernatural gospel. What does this mean for the ministry of the church today?

Iris Global celebrating Children’s Day, June 15, 2015.

Baker: The church should be proclaiming a perfect Savior who saves to the uttermost and delivers us from all the effects of sin. Our great enemies are sin and death, not just poverty or lack of education. Of course, in the love of God we want to alleviate as much as possible the horrors of poverty, disease, and ignorance. We must address suffering right down to the most immediate point of need, even a drink of water. But ultimately the human heart cries for the security, peace, love and joy that are contained in a perfect love affair with Jesus. Jesus must become the point of life, our destination, the content of the ministry of the church. In such a love affair, everything is supernatural and normal! The issues of life are found in the human heart, the very throne of God, and when God moves in, heaven begins! In this life we must still resist evil opposition, but Jesus Himself sustains us with massive down payments on our eternal love affair with Him!

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Category: Living the Faith, Spring 2016

About the Author: Rolland Baker, DMin, began Iris Global in 1980 with his wife Heidi, and has been a missionary for more than thirty years. Since 1995 they have seen a miraculous people movement spread across Mozambique, once one of the poorest and most war-torn countries in the world. Greatly influenced by his grandfather’s experience of revival among poor orphans in China, his ministry emphasizes immediate intimacy with Jesus, a life of utterly-needed miracles, concentration on the poor and lowly, willingness to suffer for love’s sake, and the unquenchable joy of the Lord. He combines a rich background in theological education with practical experience imparting the love of God and the joy of His Presence wherever he goes. Relationship with Jesus is at the heart of all the Bakers have experienced. Iris Global now has bases in countries around the world that carry its core values with power and simplicity. He is the author of Keeping The Fire: Sustaining Revival through Love: The Five Core Values of IRIS Global (River Publishing, 2015) and co-author with his wife, Heidi, of Reckless Devotion: 365 Days into the Heart of Radical Love (Chosen, 2014), Learning to Love: Passion, Compassion and the Essence of the Gospel (Chosen, 2013), Expecting Miracles: True Stories of God's Supernatural Power and How You Can Experience It (Chosen, 2007), and Always Enough: God's Miraculous Provision among the Poorest Children on Earth (Chosen, 2003).

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