"This life therefore, is not godliness but the process of becoming godly, not health but getting well, not being but becoming, not rest but exercise. We are not now what we shall be, but we are on the way. The process is not yet finished, but it is actively going on. This is not the goal, but it is the right road. At present, everything does not gleam and sparkle, but everything is being cleansed." --Martin Luther

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


What is an established church? It is a church in which the people know God’s Word and they understand it and live it out. Not just one aspect of the Gospel of Jesus Christ but every aspect. Sounds like a pretty tall order does it not? It is what we as followers of Christ are commanded to do. No excuses!
That is has been our focus in the men’s Bible study I have been apart of for the last 25 weeks. We have gone through ACTS and now the Pauline Epistles using the BILD material. It is a very in-depth study and discussion. Our times together typically last hours and it is often hard to bring it to a close. Often we end up with more questions than answers, which I don’t think is a bad thing. For some though, not coming up with a definite conclusion can be hard to swallow. One main focus has been to determine what the normative guide lines for the church are. What we have found out is that there are not very many. We have created a lot more just like the Pharisees had back in Jesus’ day.
What I have noticed in observing discussions is people want a step by step plan on how to establish a church. What I see is you can have a step by step plan for people to gain knowledge-but not understanding. We have a fair amount of knowledge in our churches but we have little understanding. How can I say that? If we have understanding we would see application taking place. Instead what we see in our churches is just more of the world (its selfishness, entertainment, programs, shallowness, desirer for anything but GOD).

You want a step by step plan for establishing the church?
Step one: PRAY.
Step two: WAIT.
Step three: PRAY.
Step four: WAIT.
You get the idea. And as you are doing this, you READ AND STUDY THE WORD.

The focus is seeking the Lord and what HE desires. Is it easy? NO. We are get it done kind of people, so praying and waiting goes against our culture and our nature. GOD does not want us to do something just to do it- HE wants us to do what HE wants. If you do not ask HIM, how do you know what that is? There are some things laid out in Scripture i.e. take care of widows, orphans, the poor- just people in need.
I think another word could be used in place of established and that is surrendered. For the individual I am not talking about salvation. I am talking about Lordship. Surrendering your very life to anything and everything God has called you to- no matter what. That is becoming established and it has nothing to do with a degree or what you know. And for a church, are they surrendering to the Lordship of Christ? Are they devoted to prayer corporately? Are the answers to questions and problems and the direction of the church being derived from time in prayer? If not, how do you know where these answers came from? How do you know if this program or that procedure put in place is from GOD or just personal agendas?
If you want an established church, prayer has to be a MAJOR part of the church. And I am talking about actual prayer, not 95% singing and 5% praying. More like the other way around is what is needed. You want to have a relationship with someone? You need to talk and you need to listen. I love music and it adds to worship. But music and singing is not worship. If you think it is you are missing out on so much more! It is only one small part of worship. Worship is communion with the FATHER, SON, and HOLY SPIRIT. To exclude anyone of them would be wrong.
You can probably tell I have a tendency to get a little fired up about prayer. The reason is because I see it lacking in every church I see, including my own. And it makes me angry! JESUS said “My FATHER’S house is to be a house of prayer”. Most of the time it is anything but. We say we want more of GOD but we don’t seek HIM.
I some times feel the HOLY SPIRIT is crying out wanting to be set free to move in our churches and in our lives but we will not let HIM. Why? Because of fear. And that fear comes from satan. The last thing he wants is to see GOD at work. When and how do you see God at work? Through prayer! People asked us how do you know God called you to Africa? Answer: because HE told me. I asked HIM for confirmations and answers and HE gave them. I ask my FATHER and HE answers. Some wonder, so GOD talks to you? Answer: yes! HE is my FATHER and HE loves me, conversations go two ways. The HOLY SPIRIT lives inside of me! That is the very SPIRIT of GOD/CHRIST inside of me. I would sure hope to hear HIS voice, HIM being that close and all. If HE is talking and I don’t hear, I must really be trying hard to ignore HIM.

Well now I have gone and gotten off what I had planned on writing about and gotten on my soap box.

So to establish an individual and a church:
1). Learn about the FATHER, SON, & HOLY SPIRIT. (All 3)
2). Spend a lot of time in prayer!
3).allow the HOLY SPIRIT to do what HE wants.
4).Listen and OBEY!

Sound simple? Yes it does, but is it that easy? NO, it’s not. It requires time and work and desire. The cool thing-you can ask HIM for that too!

(written spring of 2008-still true today!)

No comments: