Jesus Christ is Lord of All

Sunday, October 9, 2011

The Church et al

God has shown me some things and I must share them with you, my dear family, under the Head of Christ. May He give me grace and mercy to put these things in words that may be clearly understood by us all. Surely, there are volumes that could be written concerning the things which follow:

The Church et al

      In the past several years I viewed New Life Church as "my church" and I have prayed to God for her so earnestly at times. I was continuously burdened by her weaknesses (and I do not undermine her in the least sense, but rather acknowledge that every church has its weaknesses). It was my desire for her to be perfect in every sense: in training of the Word and righteousness, in worship, in outreach, in ministry. I prayed for revival and growth, maturity and passion to arise within her. It was during the midst of these prayers that I realized one thing that released me from my burden: New Life Church is not the church, not even to be viewed as an individual entity (of course God wants us all to bring our tithes and offerings to her though). But rather, God was doing His work in the True Church, a small part of which resides in the remnant of New Life Church. All of the workings and dynamics of New Life Church were not to be the objects of my labor. But rather God wanted to open my eyes to His church, frail and weak at times, but humbly serving her God. When I look out into the sanctuary, there are many whom I know are of the true church, those of you on my mailing list (and many more whom I ought to acquire email addresses from). God moved my heart's struggle and the labor of my prayer away from New Life Church and towards His own precious Bride. Those who are of His Bride are those who have known Him in prayer, in the receiving of forgiveness, in the struggle with sin, in the war against the enemy in the world around them, in His deliverance from trials and troubles. Their citizenship is in heaven and they eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform their earthly bodies to become like His heavenly Body. She is growing and changing. She may stumble and succumb to evil momentarily, but God is transforming her into His likeness with ever increasing glory which comes from the Lord who is the Spirit. 

And though my human heart is tempted to fear what I will describe next, I must do so: there are many goats amidst the sheep. Much of the slander of Christianity and the blaspheming of the Name of God among the present day society is due to the misconduct of the goats who live and dwell among us. Indeed this is the state of the church in America. Truly God is building up His church, but in a way we have been blinded to. There are goats among us who profess His Name, are in positions of influence, who are involved in ministry, but they have not known Him.

Only in the last couple weeks God is showing me the implications of this. When I think of "my church", I think of you whom I have fellowshiped with, those from whom I have heard your Spiritual burden, those who are being sanctified steadily day-by-day, those whose hearts are broken for the lost, those who are not seeking the good of themselves, but the good of the Kingdom and Glory of their God. So many times I have looked to God and said, "Where is she? Where is she? Why am I unable to see her clearly?"

This perspective is not just one we should consider for the sake of mental enlightment. This is the way it is. [And there is no way I imagine that these concepts could be said in public]. We are tremendously weakened and perplexed in our Christianity because of the goats among us who resort to earthly means of expanding [their view of] the Kingdom of God. Surely the Kingdom of God is among and within the hearts of His people! We address congregations as though they are all mature believers, and yet many of them have never been convicted of their sins, or those who are have not learned to fully receive the forgiveness of Christ. 


      Much of my life as a Christian, I was wary of emotion. Our teachers at New Life Academy warned us not to fall into "Emotional highs" that youth experience on mission trips and during Spiritual emphasis events at school. Their advice seemed wise considering that I saw so many around me who cried and shared their struggles at mission trips only to fall deeper and deeper into sin and finally turn away completely. But God has shown me that "zeal for His house should consume us". We cannot be Christians who do not show emotion. God told us to love Him with all of our hearts, soul, mind, and strength. Everything we sing, everything we say, without deep love, joy, hope, longing, peace...of Christ controlling our hearts is insincere. We just cannot be polite and refined, as I have shared before, we are practically sending people to hell, my dear family. If we are not possessed with His zeal, we need to examine ourselves and see if we are in the faith. That passive bored-looking man on the other end of your row, forget asking him how you can pray for him...he may not be saved and would not even know his true need to tell you. That girl in your Sunday School class who tells you that she loves Jesus, she may have never had a true encounter with Him in her life. They may not saved. Many of them around us may not be saved. By our fruit they will know us. And I am no judge, but so many of us simply bear no fruit. I had satisfied myself before thinking that perhaps those around me who did not bear fruit were so infantile in their faith that I should not expect anything yet. But there is a clear cut-off: Jesus said that if anyone comes to Him they must hate their own lives, be willing to give up everything to come to Him. Surely, my dear Christian family, you may stumble and struggle, but in your soul (your new soul that He has given you) you are willing to give it all away for Him. It is your heart's desire to lay down your life, whether living or dying for Him. He has put this in you. It is not of your own emotional solidity, it is His gracious heart-molding power. You do not hold on to anything. I may struggle in my immoral longings for human love, but I have given them over to Him for complete destruction. These sins are going-going-gone from my life. I have seen Him completely deliver me from many sins, and I am confident that He will rescue me from every evil attack and bring me safely to His heavenly Kingdom. I am longing to see His face, to know Him in His glory. Nothing can compare to Him. Have we truly given Him our all. It is so simple and child-like to put your complete faith in Him, but have we done so? Have those among us done so? Broad is the path that many take, but this path leads only to destruction. 

     Do we truly treasure Him more than anything? Do the emotions of our hearts reflect this? Do we really really know Him? My family, do any of these lost really know Him? Do you see the joy of the Lord as their strength? Do you see the peace that surpasses understanding in their faces? Do you see unfailing forgiving love in them for their families and others? Do you see the Gospel being poured out of their lives, the Words of God on their lips, the ZEAL for His house consuming them? God says that a curse is on all who are lax in doing God's work. God says that He hates the lukewarm. Are we not all lukewarm? Lord, spare my soul from hell! Lord, spare my soul from hell in your mercy! Fan into flame Your gift in us...or else we perish.

Lingering in His Presence

     Mrs. Wiens wrote me a very encouraging email in response to my last post about prayer and introduced me to this phrase, "lingering in prayer". We may say that we pray and we do not feel anything. We ask but we do not receive. We tell Him to lead and guide us, but then we use our own methods, because we receive no hand of specific guidance. I have observed myself, many of you, and my parents pray and it became clear that the problem is that we do not linger in prayer, but rather put forth our own confused hearts and minds (we truly are confused whether we realize this or not) before our Father and leave Him before hearing anything or being changed in any way. 

     My dear family, it can take minutes or even longer, to surrender yourself to God when you start praying. Until God has taken all of the "me" and "my thoughts" and "my feelings" out of the way, we do not reach down into the recesses of true fellowship with God in Jesus Christ. This is exactly why God tells us to "Be still and know that He is God, that He is exalted in the heavens and the earth". This time is a time of suffocation, and this is why so many of us never go here is that we cannot bear this feeling of Spiritual suffocation and flee from it. But would you trust Him, you my Spiritual fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters? Would you trust that He will bring you though. He will slay you, that is, He will slay your earthly obsessions daily and this will cause pain and anguish, but He will quickly restore you and mend you together and fill you with a joy and hope and peace that you never could have imagined. This is the work of the Spirit in you. When He has done this work, you will have a great boldness and confidence in His Name, a great delight and acknowledgement that you are His child. This is the state of Spiritual wellness and Life that you read about in the New Testament, old Puritan writings, Spurgeon, Mueller, Lighter, Ravehill....which brings me to the next section

Ancient Paths

This is what the LORD says:
   “Stand at the crossroads and look;
   ask for the ancient paths,
ask where the good way is, and walk in it,
   and you will find rest for your souls.
   But you said, ‘We will not walk in it.’ Jer 6:16

     I am unsure how to elaborate, but I in the Spirit know for sure that among us in America, our love has grown cold, immorality has risen greatly, everything beautiful and refined, everything sincere and honest has perished. Truth has been thrown to the ground. The remnant within churches is starving as goats mingle and rule among them. God is calling His Bride now more than every before to go back to His ancient ways. I respect Amish and Mennonite people and even the culture and dress of Christians from the Victorian era so very much. If we look to any modern day devices or books to advance ourselves Spiritually, we will rarely find anything of worth. The only way that we can keep ourselves in the faith is to stay in the Word and go back to the writings and life stories of our Spiritual forefathers. "Going back to the Ancient Ways" is what God told me to speak about at the Awana Girls Sleepover this year. 


     God never told me that a revival would never happen in my lifetime. To say so would be straight lie from the abyss. I used to pray for revival as a child and teen and nothing ever happened. So I stopped praying for seemed like too much effort and emotional stress to pray for one when one never came (at least not a lasting one.) But God has shown me in the past couple weeks that a revival is occurring in America, a revival that mainstream Christian media and mega-churches are unaware of.  This is a revival of many who are returning to the Word of God and the Holy Spirit as the source of their teaching "No one one will teach another saying 'know the Lord' for they will all know Me, from the least to the greatest". This revival is prevalent among many who are starting to read century-old Christian writings and comprehend and proclaim the True Gospel of Christ. It is here. It is here. I can hardly believe my own words, but I say them because my Father has told me that the revival that He ordained for us is here. Will you return to His Words, to His ancient paths, to the True Gospel of Jesus Christ, His death and resurrection for the forgiveness of your sins through the faith and repentance that He brings to you? Will you be revived? 

The Purpose of Men

     I know that I am not a man, but I have been very involved in the Spiritual affairs of my Christian brothers and fathers. I have had many experiences with men telling me their purposes of heart in the last few months. This coincided with my perspective of purity changing yet again (and I pray that God perfects my perspective). After listening and praying, there is one thing on my heart for all of you men of God (whether you live like one and feel like one, in Christ, if you are His child, you ARE a man of God). What is your purpose? Truly you can proclaim the Gospel and speak into the hearts and souls of men, seemingly pour out your life on behalf of others, but God sees whose honor you seek. Do you seek His honor? Or do you seek your honor? I am certain that almost every man seeks his own honor. Even the best Christian men I know, they seek God's honor but also their own honor alongside. God in His grace will still use them, but He is calling you to be a man of Truth and seek His honor ALONE. Why do you do what you do? Why do you say what you say? And I know that even as a woman, seeking honor is a temptation, but I would say that seeking love is more of a temptation. 

Biblical Manhood and Womanhood

     As I have spoken of the scarcity of Truth, I also confer that there is no where I  can go, no one I can find to show me how to be a woman of God. I have learned a good many morsels of Biblical womanhood from the Godly women in our church and elsewhere: Mom, Joyce, Peggy, Judy, Renee, Elizabeth Elliot, Mrs. Edwards, Mrs. Wiens, Jill, Cheryl, Chona, ...and all the rest , you know who you are :). But I realize with deep gratitude that God has given me a spirit of Spiritual femininity that I had not had for most of my life. It was not taught to me from a book or a class or a person. God imprints traits of femininity on my soul. He is still teaching me so much. A Spiritually feminine woman has the peace of Christ ruling her heart. This peace gives her a quiet and rested attitude to bear with the trials of this world. God gives her humility, this humility is a shield against impurity and the wiles of the devil. She loves and comforts the needy endlessly. She respects her husband and her Lord with all her being. She is busy graciously and lovingly providing physical help to others. Even as I write these things I know how much I need God's transforming help in my life. The main truth I want to get across is that yes, Biblical manhood, the life of a man of God filled with Spiritual warfare, Spiritual zeal, passionate love, authoritative leadership...and Biblical womanhood, the life of a woman of God filled with peace and comfort, service and humility, beauty and compassion....these states cannot be taught to us from a book. We must be taught them directly from the Holy Spirit. And indeed the men and women of God fulfill the essence of manhood and womanhood to the highest degree. That is, the Godliest man is the manliest man. The Godliest woman is the most feminine woman.

Spiritual Authority

     God is also teaching me that there is an authority of Christ given to all believers. A few years ago, one of the women whom I respected greatly in our church was leaving and in my heart I felt a deep moral conviction against her leaving and I wrote a letter to the elders and pastors explaining why she should be asked to stay ( I did not explain that quite right, but I am just trying to explain something else). At that time, I had not yet learned about manhood and womanhood and the fact that I was a woman (probably sort of a girl physically at that time) or that I was much younger than the people that I was writing the letter to was not at all something I considered. I wrote the letter with complete faith in God and with the belief that I must not tolerate what I considered injustice. My conscience was clear in doing this. But when I look back now, I understand things differently, and I am much more aware of the fact that I am a woman, and I am not entirely certain that I did the right thing or had the right perspective (it is clear now that God had a different better plan for her). May God forgive me. But in the process of reflecting upon this, God has shown me that there is a type of authority that we have as His children when we are living for Christ and handing out His Word of Life with no ulterior motives. How can I explain this? It is sort of like a preacher, a man of God, a pastor. All the people, young and old, rich or poor, popular or unnoticed, man or woman...they all seek his teaching, his favor, his blessing, his prayers. This man of God may not be handsome, he may not be rich, he may not be skilled in earthly work, he may not be socially adept, but nevertheless his flock does not lay upon him these standards. They see that he has given himself over to a life of faith in Christ and that is all that they see. Consider a situation where moral authority is absent (there are no Christians around): a gathering of rich and poor. The rich may judge the poor thinking that they are superior, or judge the poor man as lazy or unwise with his money. For this reason the rich men may speak condescendingly to the poor men. But consider a similar gathering with Christians present. Perhaps these Christians are poor. They are proclaiming the Words of Life, salvation, love, and repentance in Christ. They are no longer judged according to their social status, but rather a Spiritual authority has been bestowed upon them. They may be loved for it as people accept the Word of salvation. They may be hated for it as people reject Christ and choose to remain in darkness. Think of Jesus... When people consider Christians, Christians may not be the richest, the most skilled at the job, the most beautiful, the most talented, etc., but they are the ones who loved people, the faithful ones, the joyful ones, the peaceful ones...those who have an inheritance in Jesus Christ, the richest people on the face of the earth. Spiritual wealth is not a figure of speech. Spiritual wealth is the only wealth that there truly is...Will you share? There are those with nothing all around us. Will you let you light shine? 

I have much more to say as you can imagine...this sermon below is very much worth hearing and describes with the authority that the men of God have some of the things that I shared and many other things:

I love you, dear family!
Your Daughter/Sister In Christ
Under the Head of Christ

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...