Over the years there has been a growing exodus from what has become known as the organized church. People have left for various reasons, some have been good and others maybe questionable. However, this article is not about the ins and the outs but rather the Church that Jesus is building. We are one Church under Christ the Head and He gives the orders and we follow Him.
Father and Family
In laying down ‘paid ministry’ and walking away from a system of doing house church some time ago we have realized over the years that this is only part of the process of change that Father wants to work into our lives. We are encouraged, for our own good to keep in step with the Spirit, allowing us to live and work in harmony with Father and His family.
In these days of preparation we are being set free from religious thinking and mind sets in order to pursue the adventure of following Him. The aim of this preparation is to be like Him, this is our calling in life as we are changed into His likeness and image. We do carry some concerns about Church and look to Jesus for a solution. I want to share this with you.
Tozer makes a very interesting comment about word and power in his book, Divine Conquest “…The degree of blessing enjoyed by any man will correspond exactly with the completeness of God’s victory over him.” In Thessalonians 1:5, …because our gospel came to you not simply with words, but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and deep conviction. …we need to consider where we find ourselves in this pilgrimage.
In Israel we discover that in spite of the power and manifest miracles of God the people still did not go into the land God had promised them. Why? It wasnot in their hearts!
Those simple words have sparked something of a fresh search in my own heart for anything that is unhelpful in the process of following God but also to ask myself the questions afresh. “What is in my own heart” Am I walking in the fullness of what is in my heart from the Lord?
Having the fresh, active and powerful word of the Lord in my heart will bring change as I act upon it. Let me illustrate by sharing something personal with you. I have been given a project from the Lord in the last year and initially was excited about it. I had done something similar before and felt confident that this project would be carried out fairly quickly. Some of you are smiling at this point because you will understand where I am going with this. It has taken me over a year and it is still not complete.
Father had to work something much deeper into my heart during this time before I was even ready to do anything about it. Now, something has happened in my heart and He is helping me to walk through this with Him. God said, “John, this thing is bigger than you!” I said, “Lord, I can’t do this!” He said, “I know, but that is why I have asked you to do it with Me!”
Don’t give up:
We can complain, as the Israelites did in their tents, as we do in our homes but unless we grasp the baton and learn to TRUST we are not going to experience Church as He wants it. Sub-standard church life prevails because no one wants to go beyond their experience level. It is scary but it is also worth it. Father God had prepared His people on a journey with miraculous signs, amazing provision and outstanding care and yet when the time came to go into the land, they said, ‘No!’
We are called to walk with Jesus:
Having ‘it’ in our hearts will sustain us through the journey of life. My family or husband or wife or children have little heart for the things of God. That is not the real issue. The giants in the land were not the real issue, but, rather was there a trust in God within the hearts of God’s people. We can have a heart like Joshua and Caleb! His grace has made provision for that! May there be many Lord.
Tozer says, “The experience of men who walked with God in olden times agree that the Lord cannot fully bless a man until He has first conquered him.” Ouch! In other words He will not renew what He has not yet conquered.
If we dare to break out of the routine of life and follow Jesus where ever He desires. That may not be a geographical move like the Israelites but a required heart change. If we have lost the capacity to be amazed then life is nothing more than routine and that is where religion sets in.
Let us rise up and move from this place and travel into the unknown holding His hand and simply trusting that He may put it into our hearts!