WHERE ARE WE? & HOW’D WE GET HERE?
The dynamics in the church at the moment are a reaction to the show-business philosophy gone wild for a few years. Reality tends to set in sooner or later, no matter how strong the trend. In our case, after a rapid succession of trends over a long period of time, reality setting in can be a daunting, even terrifying prospect, but set in, it will. The Lord turns up the heat and starts to shake our comfort zones. That is only the beginning, though. Grab your hat and place all your bets on Jesus or you’ll be left holding an empty bag. BTW, I don’t think it’s going to take long. Of course, that is good news for those who have been completely dependent on Him all along. His promises are clear and absolutely true and His faithfulness is unbroken. He will take care of His own. That’s not just a sound-byte answer to a desperate scream for help. It is the steady, growing knowledge of the solid Rock we stand on and sure path He is leading us along.
We’ve got to be about His business. People’s lives depend on it. Deception is exploding in the world. Everything is upside down and inside out and put that way by committed powers and people with an agenda. If you stand at the church door after service on Sunday morning and ask the long-time attendees how they can know they will go to Heaven, you will get a crash course on how little Christians absorb from the Sunday morning show and how impregnated they have become with distorted perceptions of God and what it means to be a Christian. So much so that, some veteran saints have been forced to discard the label, “Christian,” and replaced it with “follower of Jesus,” a follow-up to the ‘60’s “Jesus Freak,” the only vocabulary that will begin to clearly convey our meaning. I, for one, am going to continue using the title, Christian, and use the confusion in the air as an opportunity to make crystal clear what I mean.
Why? Yes, we can blame the TV and the entertainment business. But we are the gatekeepers. We, the Body of Christ. Christians are vulnerable to the deception and not because we are not warned enough. We are vulnerable because we are not tending to their souls. We are not seeing to it that gathering with the Family of God is the most valuable association a human being can have. The deception has infected us enough that we have tried to add value to church by human means, forgetting that our only source of life, light and joy is the person of Jesus and to be hid with Him in God is our only sanity or safety. Human effort and ingenuity opens the door to dark spiritual forces whose determination is to take advantage of every opportunity to defame and blaspheme God. The most insidious way of accomplishing that is to dupe God‘s children into substituting human spirit for Holy Spirit.
We have reached the point of no return. The corruption has invaded too deep in the life and function of the Body of Christ and indeed the soul of America, for any attempt of man to save us. HALLELUYAH! We have discovered the most basic of all truth – Only God can save Man. The Good News is that He has already done it! He has come to us and given His life to us. It is once again time for us to come to Him and give Him the only gift that He doesn’t already have. Me! Us! Turn to Him now. Not in desperation, begging Him to come down and rescue us. Turn to Him, gratefully acknowledging the gift He is. Take Him. Take His life and His love for you and let it translate into holy love for those around you. Let His peace rule your heart. No matter what the world does, don’t let Him be displaced. For He is our breath, our strength, our sanity, our reality, our purpose, our home, our song – for eternity.
That is where we really are and we will be able to see that and grow in it if we will tolerate no substitutions! If you are in company with other Christians right now, or next time you are, look around. Actually look at the other people around you. You are looking at other members of the Body of Christ. Paul tells us that the Holy Spirit, the genuine Holy Spirit, has distributed different “gifts” among those members. I’m not talking about hereditary, natural proclivities, but gifts of His grace and love – love that heals. Then Peter calls us “living stones” and both he and Paul use the concept of being “fitly joined together.” We are the physical body of Jesus, walking on the earth today, carrying out our daily duties and responsibilities, separated geographically but connected by the Holy Spirit to form the living presence of Jesus on our street, in our home, at our job, our school. If we could see what God sees, we would see that this network, or more specifically, this organism covers the whole earth. He holds the earth in His physical hands, us, wooing it back to Him.
PS: Is the time of hearing the hearts of the people in your church relegated to the 2-minute “meet & greet” time or the “fellowship” time after service? Putting the coffee machine in was a good idea, but it is the open interaction of the hearts of the people, under compassionate and wise guidance, with the present Lord, in the congregation, that will be the opportunity for the Holy Spirit to make us consciously the part of the Body that we each are meant to be.