What is God’s purpose for the Church? Are we really judging our “right-standing” with Father correctly? Do we really understand His nature and desires? I think that we need to look at these questions with honesty and reality in this age. Whatever brand of Christianity we find ourselves in, it might be good to rethink our position. I tend to be what I call a Bapti-costal, a man of the Word, Going, walking in power! I encounter leaders, congregations and gatherings of people around the world who either walk in His commands and purpose without intimacy and power or those who have His presence and power in their meetings but do not understand nor fulfill His purpose.
The first thing we need to look at is this: God’s goal for us is not to get us to heaven, but to restore us to intimacy with Father – John 17:3. Eternal life is to “know” the Father and His Son Jesus. Heaven is a bi-product of His purpose. God is Love and His nature is to reveal that to mankind. He created us to walk with Him and to know Him. His desire is for us to “go into all the world”… WITH HIM and bring others to Him, revealing the truth, destroying the works of the enemy. Mt.28:18-20. (Luke 19:10, 1John 3:8b)
Many today look back at the Israelites and what they had in the wilderness with God and wonder what it would be like to see; His glory day and night (a pillar of fire at night and a cloud by day), spiritual food fall every day to eat, all the gold and silver of the richest country in the world in your midst, your shoes never wear out, no one sick amongst them, a Rock that gave them water, etc. If we follow the Israelites through scripture we find they had all these things plus God’s guidance and protection for 40 years. Most of us Christians want the same today. We live in a “better covenant” so we think we should at least have what they had. We tend to think that if we have those manifestations amongst us (that the Israelites had in the wilderness), they prove we are in right-standing with God and that this manifestation of His presence will bring others into our buildings to find God.
When you look at the book of Hebrews chapter 3-4 we find an interesting thing,– these people we envy, DIED IN THE WILDERNESS NEVER INHERITIING THE PROMISE! They did not know the nature of God. We are told not to be like them.
Though the Israelites had all of these manifestations of God with them, which proves Him to be a good Father who cares for His kids, even when they are in disobedience. They lacked one thing, a willingness to DO God’s purpose, to trust Him and to GO TAKE THE LAND He had promised them. (God gave the Promised Land to Israel, but they had to go, take it, and possess it.) Look at Hebrews 3:7-17. They never got to enter the promised land of God because they rebelled and refused to “GO”, face the giants and take the land.
Both “Promised Lands, Israel’s physical one and our spiritual one, have been given to us by the Lord. BUT, both have to be taken to be received! Look at Ch.4:11, entering His rest takes “obedience” to His desire, not ours. The resurrection commands found in the 4 gospels make it clear what His desire is for the Church —“Go”, make disciples, give His presence and miracles to others to walk in, witness with power from on High, sent just like Him.
We need to realize today that having all of His promises amongst us does not prove we are in right-standing with Him! The only proof of that is our trusting obedience to go do His will in the world. Our “Promised Land” is the people of the world who are lost and hurting. We are also told to “go”, face the giants and take the land!
My question, Will we die in the wilderness with God’s presence, provision, protection and Glory also – not inheriting the promise? Our judgment of what it takes to be in right-standing might need to be looked at afresh.
Inclusive – Exclusive
God has always been inclusive and not exclusive. From the very foundation of the earth and people He is about “all”. He told Adam and Eve to be fruitful and multiply, fill the earth with their descendants. That purpose has never changed; clear to the book of revelation God is about the world knowing Him. Every move of God, through the bible, is about making Himself known to all. The problem lies in the “fall of man” and the nature of satan which is exclusiveness and selfishness. Father has never hated people, He hates sin or what separates man and God. His goal is to have all people experience Him and know Him. He is inclusive! Satan has always countered that plan. He hates anything that God loves. He hates man as God chose man instead of him. He is always about bringing man to the destruction of himself through selfishness. Our enemy hates anything that spreads the true knowledge of God’s nature, His Love and His authority. Because of the fall of man, even those called by God seem to always end up creating communities of exclusiveness (pride and selfishness in nature) especially when it comes to sharing God’s presence or promises with the world. Though God has always been about showing the World His goodness, love, and His hatred of evil, those of us who have His presence tend to “protect it” and hold onto it with exclusive types of behavior rather than share it (not intentionally but by being deceived).
Though in the legacy Church we do reach out with “evangelistic campaigns” and witnessing endeavors in some communities, for the most part the church sits in meetings coveting more of God’s presence.
It is a known fact that 3-7% of the church does 90% of all that is done in the world of missions or “going to the lost” today. This means that 93% of those called Christian are not being whom we are called to be. (this brings up a whole other subject about leadership we will not go into here)
Every person or people group since Adam, whom God comes to and courts or who have His favor, ends up holding on to His promises and presence for themselves, instead of sharing it. Abraham was told he would be the “father of many nations”. He was to show the world God’s presence and nature. Moses and the children of Israel are also to be seen as God’s people to the entire world. God does not operate in meanness or with a spirit of greed or hatred. He is not about destroying people, but of saving mankind from the very nature of His enemy. Father says of the Israelites that they did not know His nature. Their hearts were far from Him. He loved them and led them out of captivity, showed His power to them, destroyed their enemies, healed them, gave them manna from heaven, water that flowed from a rock, had them living in the midst of His Glory day and night, but they never understood Him or knew His nature. They loved His provision and His presence. They were all about His miracles and if they did not experience what they wanted and expected they whined to Moses about it. “Why did you bring us out here, we had it better in Egypt”! Every time life with God required trust and obedience and was not easy for them they complained. They did not want hardship of any kind nor did they want to share His presence with others.
They only lacked one thing; they did not know His nature. That generation chose God’s presence and being exclusively His people over fulfilling God’s desire and purpose.
Let’s look at the Church of today. God’s presence came in the form of a man (Jesus) and redeemed us from the nature of God’s enemy – exclusiveness. He brought inclusiveness into reality. The Sadducees and Pharisees were always making rules of exclusiveness, which Jesus hated, and He mocked them for being so distant from the nature of God.
All nations, tribes and peoples now have access to God’s provision, nature and love! We are all redeemed from the Law of exclusion and separation from God. All can experience God’s true nature. In Matthew 28:18-20 God’s purpose shows up again; “Go into all the world and make disciples …” He never changes, and is always about bringing the world to know Him and His true nature!
In the Church we have all that any people of God before us have had and more, a better covenant! The Church has God’s presence, healing, miracles, provision, manna (food from heaven, revelations) and His Glory in our midst or at least the promise and the availability of these things. We like these gifts, His power and His presence in our midst and we pray for more of a manifestation of them in our meetings constantly. We gather to celebrate these attributes of God and to witness the miraculous of His presence. We generally seem to be about more of His glory and presence for us to prove we are in the right place with Him. We tend to want it inside our buildings or meetings, exclusively for us. If the world wants some of these promises of God in their midst, they must come to us, on our terms to receive what “WE” have.
Do you realize that we are just like the Israelites, coveting His promises and presence for us, on our terms? We do not regard His desire or purpose as a mandate to experience them. We want things our way! It is about us.
Remember, The Israelites had everything that we the church desire and think proves we are in the “right place” with God; His glory, healings, miracles, provision, protection and guidance in their midst. Though they had these promises manifest amongst them, THEY DIED IN THEIR SIN.
Unless you are doing God’s purpose of GOING; making disciples, seeking and saving the Lost and destroying the works of the devil, you are NOT in the right place or in right standing with God our Father according to His word. Our love of God can be measured in our compulsive obedience to His commands, (Jn14:15 and 15:14)! If people are not being changed, communities not being reached, and the enemy’s works destroyed we need to realize the truth, we are not doing the desire of Father’s heart nor demonstrating our love for Him that we say we have. (1 Jn.4:20-21.)!
Tribulation is coming to the Church because we refuse to judge ourselves with reality. Our Father, God has not changed! We fool only ourselves if we think He has. Doing His purpose, knowing His nature, taking the land is the plumb line of “right standing”… not His glory amongst us because He loves us.
The greatest prophet or leader in the New Testament is not the one who see more, but the one who has caused more to see!
We need to bring back the Authentic and the Authorized to our midst. Leadership needs character, integrity and accountability to be like Jesus and then be an example of going and doing Father’s desire in the world.
In Father’s hand,