Before we begin, let’s agree on one thing about “The Church”. “The Church” as a whole is the body of Christ. The body of Christ contains many churches, or body parts, not just arms or legs, or in some cases an arm or a leg singular. I am sadden so many times as we come through different towns/cities and visit churches. Everywhere we go it seems like there is always a struggle for churches to realize that they are not the way the truth and the life. The only way to the Father is not just through them and their church. There is such a resistance for churches to network together for the Kingdom. This I do not understand. We are all part of the same team. We have the same coach. We have the same mascot. We have the same colors. We also have the same opposition, and guess what folks…its not each other.
Unfortunately and sadly that is not what we experience. Instead of a united force to be reckoned with, we are segregated, divided and distracted. We act as though we are, our own team. We are distracted from the main objective which is to be united. To be a representation of who God chose to be at His side. God’s objective, from the very beginning was relationship, not winning. It was intimacy not strategy. Now…yes, we do have to be strategic because of the world we are in now but we are supposed to be joined together…on the same team…the same Bride. We all have the same enemy.
We are distracted as a church. Many times we see this with the business of church. That is not, essentially, a unity builder. Businesses are in constant competition for a customer base. There is this underlying message that what “WE” have is what is really needed and what you really want. Then you have to maintain your numbers, programs, events etc to keep your customers happy. Keep convincing them that your product is the best and the “only” thing they need. I do understand there is a level of business going on. The churches have a lot of cost involved with buildings, utilities, supplies and staffing. While understanding that it does not change the fact that it is still a distraction from what the church was supposed to be. Just because we have chosen to be a slave to debt and/or a business mindset does not mean we are justified in acting as though other churches are out to “steal” our customers, or that we have to protect ourselves from other believers. This, to me, is heartbreaking.
Now, I am not trying to shame The Church/God’s Bride/God’s team. I am hoping to pose a question, or checkpoint for our hearts. Invite God in and ask Him to search and know your hearts individually and then as a church. Ask Him,
Are we functioning in fear, or freedom? Do we REALLY trust you?”
“Are we choosing to fall the way Eve did and question your very heart toward us and take control of our surroundings and wall ourselves off from the community and the rest of Your Bride?”
“Is our motivation what Jesus asked us to do…Love God and love people? If not God, help us know what that would that look like.”
“Are we operating in and do we truly believe that we all have the same enemy and it is not each other? If not God, what would that look like?”
“How are we, as a church, helping you prepare and build up Your Bride/body of Christ in house and beyond our doors?”
Lastly we need to ask “As a Bride, are we loving you well as our Groom? If not God, help us know what that would that look like.
Let’s get leadership and our congregations together for meetings over these questions and agendas. Let’s spend some time problem solving the answers to these questions.
We forget that it was the Church, His Bride that hung Him on the cross. He hung there and still chose to be married to us. He still chose to lay His life down for us. He still chose to believe that we were not His enemy “Forgive them Father, they know not what they have done.” This speaks volumes to me. It means He is saying, “I still choose to lay my life down for them/her/My Bride. I choose to not fight with flesh and blood but against the powers of our enemy.”
This has been something that has bothered me since I was a kid. The older I got and the more I understand about God’s heart and why He chose what He did to be written in the bible, it bothers me even more. I spend time praying for “Her/Us…His Bride.” I hope you will too.