The call of the Lord?
Who are we, where are we and what do we seek? Maybe I am not who I should be, maybe I am not where I should be spiritually, and maybe I seek the wrong things or right things with wrong motives.
For the most part, I do not ask these questions of myself, I skirt them with practiced perfection. I ignore any signs that might reveal any “God” queries directed at me by Holy Spirit that could cause discomfort to my heart. It is so easy simply to look at the field of green around me and ignore the brown spots easily discernible within my parameter of vision. They will go away with a little water and fertilizer is what i tell myself. Oops, there is that one that may be a blight which could kill the whole field if left to itself. Ah but it is such a small spot, definitely controllable, no need to eradicate it, simply manage it and make sure it does not spread. No one will notice and if they do, I can say “I am working on that” with a knowing smile and direct people who might see this spot’s attention elsewhere. After all, the rest of the field is a nice green color.
I think we believers might need a “check-up from the neck up” as we may suffer from “stinking thinking”! It is the little things left “untouched” that destroy God’s plans and purpose for our lives. A bit of self-righteousness, bitterness, unforgiveness or any such thing left untouched, will stop the body of Christ in it’s tracks as it will end up becoming a cancer that impedes God’s heart for us as a whole.
We as people tend to think that my sin only affects me so others need not be concerned. This belief is not true. Our sin affects the body of Christ. One cancer cell can destroy the whole body or cripple it under the right conditions. I believe that in actuality God wants to deal with our sins more because of how it affects others than how it affects us… Bear with me a minute here. God is my Father, so He will love me no matter what.. That is who He is.. the God of love. but, if you read the history of Israel and the church you see people’s sins being confronted because of the effect it has on the body. I really believe when we think our sin only affects us we are simply being blind to the truth. My small disobediences affect others walk and the body of Christ as a whole. If i am not willing to obey the voice of The Lord, i will affect the future and God’s kingdom and plan.. my actions are not in-significant whether in obedience or dis-obedience each of us and our actions matter. How can we get this across? What must The Lord do to cause us to see the importance of hearing and obeying each day in all things. God is crying over the death of the wicked, they are lost, we have our lamps covered with a basket and are not shining.
Here is a letter received by a friend of mine here in Aussie land who embraces the intimacy/discipleship scriptures and focus found in the Word from a pastor friend of his:
So what’s God been saying to you?
For a long time he’s been telling me relationships are the way to go – So obviously intimacy with him is basic. Why am I so busy worshipping and planning? I’ve got no time to be intimate. Why do I fear him with all my short comings and believe everyone else does it so much better, I always end up left behind!!! Who’d have thought that the Church was about intimacy with God the Father through his Son – Amazing!!! Why have I/we made it about everything else but that.
I loved hearing Neil’s wrestle, waiting 17years. Sounded a lot like the apostle Paul’s story to me. Even to the point of being unknown. Wow.
I loved hearing Neil say that our meetings should begin with; Who can we touch, then what do You want us to do, all out of an Intimate relationship with the Father through the Son, empowered by the Holy Spirit.
It struck me as interesting that I once heard, with the split of East and West over the Gospel creed, that it would lead to the West down playing the Holy Spirit. Which is what we’ve done – we don’t have intimacy so we have to have ritual.
I’d love to do something, just not sure. I get the feeling it would be good to string it out to allow people time to pray, think, listen. We’re so conditioned to our way of doing things.
Let’s ask God and see if we come up with the same answer. I don’t say this to doubt God, just me getting in the road with my agenda.
What do you think. (name withheld)
Interesting letter don’t you think? I made a few spelling corrections and added a couple of words for clarity of thought. His struggle is apparent. I think it is the same struggle many have.
I am not sure I would string out the change he is feeling he needs to make because most people do not like drawn out change. If we are to change, let’s make a decision, and go. Prolonging the process leads to confusion and will cause many to simply lose hope. I was really moved by this letter as it is the church that is at stake, not just this one leader.
For the most part it is the same everywhere, people tend to want to believe the lie found in tradition rather than change and walk in the truth. Why is that? Why is it easier to walk in the traditions that keep us from experiencing what we are hungry for in Christ than to change and walk in the truth?
We have seen several miracles on this trip but i find the most profound thing we have seen is a fresh willingness to see. There seems to be a new recognition that change is inevitable and with the coming change, we must become more like Jesus.
The shift toward community from “church” is growing and we have run into several families that are moving with the Spirit to create places of refuge or gatherings for Christ followers in the times upon us. There are several properties purchased and in the process of becoming “base camps or Way stations” for believers to congregate at and work together to survive in hard times. Many are setting aside food and emergency supplies to weather the coming storm. Individuals are spending their money to prepare a place for others to be fed, housed and equipped and sent out from, back into a dieing world. Discipleship is catching on and the reality of “no excuses” being acceptable for disobeying the voice of The Lord seems to be settling into hearts. With this is a renewed hope in the reality of what scripture says about who we are and what Jesus will do through us.
Hearing the voice of The Lord is becoming more of a way of life and praying prayers that are founded in hearing from Father first is changing people and causing them to recognize that they are significant. No word from God is without purpose and therefore is not insignificant in nature. As people recognize that what they hear is of value, they gain boldness to share and be a part instead of sitting back and feeling of no importance to the body.
We have done a lot of teaching on removing the stigma of “insignificance”. When people feel that what they have to offer is of no value in a group of christians gathered together, then they will also feel that their obedience will be of no value either, therefore they sit instead of going. Can anyone in the body of Christ be of less value than another? Each cell is important to the function and health of the entire body, therefore we need to elevate and esteem those who seem to be unseen and get them to recognize that without what they have to offer we will not make it to where we are to go. Being told that what they hear is not God or relevant to what God wants to do relieves people of the need to obey Father’s voice in everyday life. The results is that the world does not get to see the Jesus they need to see through us. How sad.
This trip has stirred in me an anger at what the enemy had done with so little effort, bringing the body of Christ to a place of non-importance, insignificance and irrelevance— in their own eyes. Many have been blinded to the purpose of Father and gather to have gold dust or jewels rain on them. They like living in God’s glory and provision and feel that proves their “right-standing” with Him. The Israelites had this glory and provision for 40 years and died in their sins never inheriting His Promise and peace. The only gold dust referenced in the bible is when the golden calf idol was ground into powder….interesting.
I wonder what would happen if we simple admitted we do not have the anointing we should have and repented for making the gospel about us, then went back and simply obeyed what is written, listen, hear, and go; make disciples, preach the Gospel to the world, edify and equip the church, walk like Jesus and make no excuses for our disobedience to His voice.
In Father’s Hand, neil