March 1, 2019
WHY IS THIS SO? I ASK
Through Christ we have a New and Living Way (He. 10:20). The New and Living way is much more than salvation, doing good works, being baptized and knowing the Bible. It is living in the resurrection life and power of Christ, “In whom we live, move and have our being” (Acts 17:28). The more abundant life that is ours in Christreveals His power, love and authority of His Kingdom on earth as it is in heaven. Knowing this, the questions I often ask myself are:
Why do we summon the Holy Spirit to come, when He has never left? Jesus said the Spirit of truth, whom the Father will send would abide with you forever, “ You know Him for He dwells with you and shall be with you” (Jn. 14:16-17). God has never retracted the Holy Spirit; we thus need to know the Holy Spirit better.
Why are we expounding the Scripture just to convey knowledge; doctrine that appeals to the intellect, when the Holy Spirit’s purpose is to reveal Christ to our heart? The Spirit of Revelation is given to enlightened our hearts in the knowledge of Christ, that we may KNOW Him, HEAR His voice, EXPERIENCE His love, and TO KNOW the greatness of His power (Eph. 1:17-19). Are we revealing our doctrine and theological beliefs, or the person of Jesus Christ, the Word of God?
Why do we ask people to open their hearts to “receive and believe” when the people are so thirsty to hear the living Word? Jesus said those who drink the water that He gives, shall never thirst and they shall be like a spring of living water (John 4:14). Jesus said the Words He speaks, they are Spirit and they are LIFE (John 6:63). Could it be that our words lack His voice that speak to the heart of others in Spirit that reveals His truth (Eph. 4:21) that they may drink the life of His presence?
Why do we quote “It is not by might nor by power but by My Spirit” (Zec. 4:6)just to lean upon our religious methods and formulas and repetitious prayers? Have we not received power from on high (Acts 1:8)? Has not God made us able ministers of the Spirit, not of the letter, for the Spirit gives life (2 Cor. 3:6)?
Jesus said He spoke the Words He heard the Father speaking and He did the works He saw the Father doing (Jn. 14:10-12). Our call is to do the same. As we hear His voice, the Holy Spirit will anoint our words and in doing so, our speech will minister in the power and demonstration of the Spirit. The apostle Paul walked in this who said,
Myspeech and preaching was not with enticing of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and power, so that your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God (1 Cor. 2:4-5).
Why do we look for a future outpouring of God’s glory, when His desire is that we reveal His glory? Jesus is present TODAY as the I Am. The call of every believer is to rise and shine with the light of His glory (Is. 60:1). Jesus is ever present; we just need to be present with Him “For it is Christ in you the hope of glory” (Col. 1:27).
Why do we ask God to bless someone or something, when we are called to render a blessing knowing that in Christ, we are called to inherit a blessing (1 Peter 3:9)? We have the authority to bless others as a blessed people of God. Our words have power “For life and death is in the power of the tongue” (Proverbs 18:21).
Why do we measure success by the growth of our congregation when the people are not equipped to minister in their spiritual gifting (Eph. 4: 11)? True success is measured by how much closer we are walking with God, hearing His voice, while functioning in our gifts as God has set each one in Christ body. As each person is “fitly framed together” in Christ who is our head, the Church becomes a habitation for the Spirit of the living God (1 Cor. 12:18, Eph. 4:16). His manifest presence promotes true growth of the Kingdom and His people.
Why is Church life our main means of fellowship and spiritual life? It is written as we walk in the light, as God is light, we have fellowship with Him, and from the place of His presence, fellowship one with another (1 John 1:7). It is by walking in His presence that fills us with the life of His Spirit, His peace, truth and love with fullness of joy! The New and Living way is not about Church life, but Kingdom life. From the place of fellowship and intimacy with God, should we not rather go to Church filled with His Spirit as manifest children of the Kingdom?
Why do we unite around a common denomination and fellowship, excluding all that do not agree with our beliefs, religious expectations and theology, when the church is called the family of God, a people of the Household of faith? It is the Spirit of the living God that unites us in Christ for in His presence we are one. (John 17:22, 1 John 1:3) “For he that is joined to the Lord is one Spirit” (1 Cor. 6:17).
And why do we wear titles such as Apostle and Prophet, when we fall far short of the Biblical representation such as the apostles who “With great power the apostles gave witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus and great grace fell upon them all” (Acts 4:33)? It is not about titles, but how we are called to function. While the gifts of the Spirit are given to every believer, the apostle, prophet, evangelist pastor and teacher are mantles of Christ given to men as a gift to the people (Eph. 4:10-16).
Why do we exert authority upon others when Jesus warned His disciples not do so, telling them “Whosever will be great among you, let him be your minister, and whosever will be chief among you, let him be your servant. Even as the son of man came not to be ministered to, but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many (See Mathew 20: 25-28). Christ modeled humility, the heart of a servant, when he washed the disciples feet, exhorting His disciples to do so one for another.
I wonder, are we really embracing the more abundant life that is our inheritance in Christ, the New and Living way that reveals the authority, power, love and nature of the Father and the Kingdom of heaven that Jesus taught and demonstrated, or our religion, belief system, denomination and ministry affiliation?
With great joy Roy