Exhortation. Encouragement. Motivation. I have seen these gifts in operation. I have seen what they can do… Let me back up.
I detest writing.
Writing for me is to intimately feel and express pain, and joy and fire and love. Who can contain such things? Fire is great for many purposes… but does that mean one wants to hold it? Perhaps… far enough away… on a stick, where it may be viewed and discussed and pondered without ever having to feel it. And so it often is with the issues that are on Heavenly-Dad’s heart.
Having said all that, I shall write a couple of things I have seen and felt.
I have seen first hand how a mob can be rallied to storm the homes of the innocent. I have watched in sands of time past how a nation will hearken unto the cry of a lone voice and step foot on foreign soil in the name of “….” I have seen babies taken from mother’s arms, and parents torn from their childrens’ desperate clinging grip; the nail scrapes around the back of the father’s neck evidence that the incident did not go without contention. Some of the most atrocious acts in history, and what scripture tells us is still yet to come, have and will continue to be done under the “guiding leadership” of motivation and exhortation by those who would lead us. I have also seen what happens when His Bride is motivated to crusades and bigger gatherings, and programs and… things.
I have seen…
All under the banner of motivation, exhortation and comfort.
Any gift(s) used outside the heart, mind and will of the Father is a gift perverted. It is fine to rally to something… only if that rally is birthed from the kingdom of God. This is of course true, only if viewed from the spiritual mindset that we are seeking the kingdom of God and not… anything else.
“Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the Lord your God,” Joel 2:13
“No, a person is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a person’s praise is not from other people, but from God.” Rom 2:29
I can do nothing but listen when my Redeemer is speaking. Here are some things He is asking His bride.
Who is motivating His church?
What is His church being motivated toward?
And so, I must ask us to consider: what we do or do not do, when we gather “in His name.” We are gathering, perhaps… but are we gathered to seek Him? If we are, how much of it is compromised because we are being exhorted, motivated or encouraged not to simply seek Him, but to seek an emotional feeling, or …. anything else?
Every one of these questions cited below will elicit a response. That response either comes from the heart and mind of Christ alone… or from the traditions of man and carnal minded thinking.
What do light shows in fellowship have to do with Christ?
What does a drummer and three guitarists have to do with worship?
Why does a worship team face us and we face them?
Why is there a screen so we can look at the person “leading” worship?
Why is emotionally stirring music played when a spiritual commitment is supposedly asked for during an “altar call”?
Why do we use titles?
Why do we refer to only some as anointed when the Word says all NT believers have an anointing?
Why do we invite non-believers into the holiness of a Believers Fellowship- and yet hold water baptisms, which is the sign of our public profession, inside a building, and not on a public lake or beach or park?
“I have the right to do anything,” you say–but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”–but not everything is constructive.” 1 Cor 10:23
Who, or what, began motivating us to do these things? From whence did they come? What changed? Why are we doing the things we are doing? We are a spirit, we possess a soul, and we live in a temple of flesh. But what is governing our walk… or compromising it? Is the Holy Spirit sharing His throne with our soulish desires?
The Word says to judge actions and not each other. But… what I am sharing here is actually not an act of either.
They are questions our Lord is asking us. Who will answer them in the deepest part of their inner being? Who will enter into the Holy of Holies that churns inside us and discuss these things with Him face to Face? Who will spend time with the One who died for us and dare to hash out the issues that are on His heart?
Please hear the heart of our Father here.
It is not where we gather… it is what we are gathering toward.
What is our “fellowship” motivating us toward? How long ago did we commit to Christ? How many of us… all these years later, know their giftings and function in them daily? When was the last time we held someone who tearfully committed their life to Christ? When did we last pray for a stranger we just met in a supermarket, gym, or gas station? The bible explains in great detail that we are all to walk in the vast ways the Holy Spirit desires. All of us. The Word gives great detail into how corporate gathering will evolve as we seek Christ alone. The Word also tells us how they will devolve once we begin to drift from seeking Him alone. How long have you been in church fellowship and how many times have you used your giftings?
Brothers and sisters there is something out of sync with the church body in America in regard to the heart of our Dad.
“Well, David. You are just causing division. You are in rebellion. You are looking to divide.”
Let’s examine that religious statement against the Word of God.
“For I have come to turn “‘a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law, a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.’ Matt 10:34
“Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division.” Luke 12:51
“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 2 Tim 2:5
The Word of God divides. Truth divides. He divides that which is worldy from that which is of His heart, mind and kingdom. Speaking a challenging word does not divide people… it divides and exposes the motive, and the motivations of men in light of the gospel.
“For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” Heb 4:12
We are called to rightly divide. The Word of God is an all consuming Fire. Fire is Love. The Word of God will always divide. It will always do this. Always.
He loves you. His joy is beyond measure at the thought of His church gathering in order to glorify and seek Him and Him alone. Without compromise. It is the ultimate expression of His gift of free will given back to Him. He is Communion. Communion is Love personified. If this discussion prompts one to feel shame, anger, or the need to defend a person or cause, it reveals we are not walking in the Mind of Christ and do not understand who we are as a child of God to the depth we are meant to walk in. This is not about pastors, or elders or home fellowships, or church buildings, or how uncomfortable it can be to sit on my old couch during prayer when we gather. This is not about any thing or anyone else who will not be standing with you when you appear before your Judge one day and He asks with tearful eyes,
“David. Did you seek to know Me, and Me alone? I have waited a long time. Let us begin… finally… now.”
Dare to challenge the status quo of our traditions and manner of corporate “fellowship.” I assure you. The colors of any light show cannot compare to the colors of His eyes staring into yours. The beat of high-end, amplified worship music cannot in any way compare to the love that beats within the spirit and soul of a child of God who has had intimate encounters with our Lord. This is our calling. This is our destiny. He is calling His Church to Himself. Who will answer the call of His heart? There is no condemnation in His calling. There is only Fire in it. Let Him build that Fire within you. Allow Him to make it all consuming… so that nothing else matters. Not what is popular or comfortable or easy or convenient. Or lukewarm. Only Fire. The fire of His heart beating to have all of yours…beating one with yours.
I love writing.
What a dreadfully wonderful way to express His pain and joy and fire and love. Who can contain such things? Fire is great for many purposes… most of all it divides.
So that we may all be one In Him.
“Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you.” Psalm 73:25
We say this. We all… say this….
Humbly… and imperfectly,