RT Kendall is a mentor and a dear friend. Twice each year, he writes an open letter to his friends and supporters, once on New Year’s Day and once on his birthday. I read his recent letter when he turned 81 and it’s packed with sound wisdom. So I’ve asked for permission to reproduce it. Hope it blesses you as it did me. I’ve edited a little of his personal travel schedule out but kept the bits of wisdom. Enjoy!
“Today, I’m 81. I often think of the funny line, ‘If I knew I’d have lived this long, I’d have taken better care of myself!’ But it’s true in my case. And yet God graciously gave me a wake-up call shortly after we retired – when I was 67. The late John Paul Jackson (I still grieve with tears when I try to cope with his death) said to me out of the blue one evening, ‘RT, you’ll live to a ripe old age, but if you don’t get in shape physically, you won’t be around to enjoy it.’ I took him seriously. I began the next day with exercises Steve Strang taught me; and my son TR bought me a book called ‘The Abs Diet’ which I pretty much followed and still do; I began walking on the treadmill a mile a day in 20 minutes; I’ve a trainer who comes to me once or twice a week (making me lift weights).
“I used to think that the phrase ‘bodily exercise profits little’ was a put-down of exercising. It was my mentor Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones who said this was not a put-down on physical exercise but it meant that by comparison, godliness is more important. Modern versions are helpful: ‘Physical training is of some value’ (NIV); ‘bodily training is of some value’ (ESV). I never dreamed at the age of 81 I’d be traveling the world as I do. I give God all the praise for this.
“My book ‘Pigeon Religion’ came out in April of this year. It seeks to show the difference between the authentic (the dove) and counterfeit (the pigeon) Holy Spirit. Many have told me they think it’s my best book. My book on the ‘Midnight Cry’ (which the publisher chose to call ‘Is Your Heart Ready for the Midnight Cry?’) comes out Nov 1.
People ask me all the time, ‘What’s God doing in the world today?’ My reply, ‘Not a lot’ (in my opinion). There are exceptions. God is using Alpha in the UK. He’s using people like Rolland and Heidi Baker in Mozambique (where I visited in June). But by and large, the most apt description of the Church today, speaking generally, is asleep. This includes high profile leaders who espouse everything from open theism to hyper-grace, annihilationism to universalism. This is what my book on the ‘Midnight Cry’ is partly about. I’d like my forthcoming book to be a mini wake-up call before the Big One comes – when it’ll be too late for the foolish virgins to enjoy the next great move of God, as Jesus put it in Matt 25:1-13.
“May I insert this question: ‘Which to you is more important – getting more of God or getting more from God?’ Please think about that. It’s to me a litmus test as to where one is in his or her spiritual relationship with God. Sadly the number is increasing in those who only want more from God, that is, how to get Him to do things for us, versus getting more of Him – that we might know Him and His ways (Exo 33:13; Phil 3:10). Please think about this. Do you see the difference? You and I know that the world situation is worsening with every passing day. A year ago we’d not have thought it could be this bad. I can tell you, it’ll be even worse a year from now. The only hope in my view – the Midnight Cry. Please read this book, ‘Are You Ready for the Midnight Cry?’ when it comes out and pray for its wide distribution.
“Thank you for your prayers for a greater anointing of the Holy Spirit on me – and for my continued good health, clear thinking, stamina and mobility – and the same for all our family. Grandchild number three is coming in October.”
(Adapted from Letter by RT Kendall. Used with permission.)