Many Christians today feel unfulfilled in their walk with God. But they have no idea it's because of little decisions they make each day that lead them into lives of compromise. That's why Ron Pratt—affectionately known as "Papa Bear Alaska"—wrote a new book called Navigate Your Faith: A Christian's Field Guide to Not Getting Lost, which I had the privilege to publish and highly recommend. Pratt's goal is to expose Satan's agenda to derail Christians' lives and slowly turn their hearts away from the Lord.
I had the chance to interview Pratt, who traveled all the way from Alaska to Florida, in our podcast studio recently. We talked about his new book. It teaches readers how to pursue spiritual correctness over political correctness, how to honor God in their engagement with the media, and, ultimately, how to make Jesus the center of their lives. It's a refreshing read in today's era, as it addresses the many pitfalls of our society's nominal Christians. Click here to listen to the podcast or scroll to the end of this article.
"We would probably be amazed at how many people who live or claim to have that banner of 'Christian' over their heads—how many are actually walking lost in their Christian walk," Pratt tells me. "God literally woke me up in the middle of the night ... and downloaded the entire storyline, the characters, the whole book. And I knew it was God because, frankly, I'm not that creative."
Pratt's wisdom comes from the Holy Spirit as well as from his many years in ministry. In fact, he got the first version of his nickname, "Papa Bear," when he started a youth ministry in the early 1980s in Southern California. In 1997, though, God told him to sell everything and get ready to move. Pratt didn't know at first that God would eventually move him to North Pole, Alaska. But after he settled there, he founded This Generation Ministries, which develops ministries and equips leaders in Alaska.
Throughout his time in ministry, Pratt has seen the devil's schemes over and over again. So how does Satan manage to lead believers away from Jesus? Pratt says he slowly erodes our passion for Jesus by getting us to prioritize our own pleasure, entertainment or career goals over our relationship with Christ. Before we know it, we're bored with our faith because it has become stale, but we don't realize we did it to ourselves.
"Often we make it so easy for the enemy to put us in a compromised situation," Pratt says. "And there's really no need for us to go through some of these falls that we go through as Christians if we're just divinely walking through some protocols that have already been set in stone in the Word of God. But we've gotten so far away from the Word of God, and we've gotten [to the point where] everything is subjective. The culture decides what's moral or immoral, when really we have a book called the Bible that makes that decision for us."
Culture seems to prove Pratt's point. Take a quick glance at the state of our culture today, and you'll see that people think they can simply choose what truth is. America has fallen for the lie that we can decide whether killing babies is actually murder and whether homosexuality is actually sexual immorality. I asked Pratt why he thinks this has happened in our culture.
"I think we as Christian leaders have allowed it," he says. "In Alaska, we've got some pretty rough roads. ... I've been on roads where after I drove over the road, it collapsed because there was undermining that happened. Undermining is something you don't see; it happens underground. And it happens slowly; it doesn't happen overnight. It happens where there's seepage, and there's a crack in the foundation. Water starts to wash out the foundation. Then eventually, all you have is the crust of the pavement, and it will cave through. I believe that we've allowed undermining to happen in our churches. We've allowed it to happen in our families. We've allowed it to happen in our individual lives, this slow deterioration of our foundation."
Pratt says it's even worse nowadays, as if Satan is giving one final effort to undermine God's church before Jesus returns.
"As you study Revelation, you see that it's going to get worse as we're in the last days," he says. "And now people are saying we're in the last of the last days. That might be correct, and so I think because we're in the last of the last days, the enemy is doing some overtime. I don't know if I can back that with theology, but it seems like he's doing that last-ditch effort to grab as many as he can because he knows he's running out of time."
Pratt believes this book will pave the way for many personal miracles in people's lives. He's praying the Holy Spirit will use this book to convict His people to seek Him with all their hearts again. That's why I want to do everything I can to get this book in as many people's hands as possible. Just visit amazon.com to order your own copy of Navigate Your Faith, and click on the podcast below to hear more spiritual insights from Pratt!
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