WEIRDNESS IN THE HOUSE OF GOD
by Pam Clark (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Sunday after Sunday, somewhere it happens. Something strange goes on in the house of God. Sometimes it is God, and sometimes it is not!
It can be a challenge at times to even understand how to process it, especially in a place where you really want people to know the freedoms and liberties and even love that they have in Christ. But none the less, there should be order, and as much as is possible, it should be gracious.
One of the biggest problems in the Church is that people are not really equipped for THEIR ministry. Some are equipped and even satisfied in the church's ministry, and when that is compatible, it's a super great thing! God does call communities together to make a difference and even to be a difference in the areas where they live.
But many more than we currently see are called to the Lord's ministry, and they are not being properly equipped. And as a nation in a time of spiritual crisis, this is a big deal. When the call to go to war is here and to make stands that we need to make, then are we able and equipped to defend our faith?
All children, Christian or otherwise, will try their wings. And any adult who has seen a young child jump off of a couch playing superman in their attempts to fly, enjoy watching their zeal as they face the reality that their little bodies really cannot fly without additional help. So we are going to see this in the churches.
Ignorance and the lack of equipping are a big issue that we must work through. In Hosea 4:6, God speaks through the Scriptures that "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge."
Many a God-called minister will tell you that they thought they were just going through life seemingly okay when they were divinely interrupted by heavenly words, a vision, a dream or experience that changed their life. For many, the testimony of that vision or word is what they are called to share. But for some it is much more than that; it is a change of lifestyle through the demand and unction of doing a ministry.
And "what is to happen next" is also often not understood. Some are in places where they realize that they need to go to a ministry school of some sort for training. Some can learn in the local church. Some begin their work right away in doing the best response they know how to do in an act of obedience. But I would say for probably all of them, or at least 80%, they went through "a fire" of their world being turned upside down. This makes them jealous for their ministry, and it's not a bad thing.
Probably the ones most grounded are those who were raised in ministry families, because there the expectation and what to do about it had somewhat of a prerequisite of understanding what to do. But even then, history does not define God's work and words for today - in the sense that God is doing the same things over and over - because He is not!
This is a different generation, and a different people, with different dynamics, than has ever lived here before! And if God's mercies can be new every morning, then most likely so can be His ministry and we must learn to flow with that.
Not every experience and revelation is a Bible-based, Holy Spirit-backed revelation of God. It's a painful thing to realize we can be deceived, but the truth is, we all can be. When we realize that early on, we usually work to get wise to the ways of the enemy, even if we don't word it in those terms. We get our guard up.
Some people's deceptions will turn them to the Word of God. It can be the best thing that ever happened to them if they get that in the right order.
The Bible is a spiritual book. The Holy Spirit has to reveal to us a lot of its meaning. We can't just jump here there and yonder in it and take a few parts and come out with a solid and complete understanding. It's a strange book until we understand the foundation, but even just parts of it can be very comforting when we need the breath of God on our lives.
Some people take God for granted like some people take having water around for granted. It is so strange to us when we realize others don't have such an advantage. We just go to the tap in almost any location, where in other places people will walk for miles just to get one bucket full. But for us a system has been set in place that allows that to happen.
We need to learn the things that make for life and learn the different orders that can function. The small, sometimes very different units, do make up a whole called the Body of Christ and God does have a plan for getting them all together, even when it is a mystery to us. This is why we need to learn the right foundations of His Plan.
To understand the ministry of God, we need to be like Jesus and ask to hear in our inner man, "What is the Father doing?" Many times He will speak an understanding to us, and then we need to grow and mature in it. Not only does God have what we call a five fold ministry (Ephesians 4:11-12), but He has many other diverse ministries as well, all of which serve His good purposes.
There are MANY things that God wants us to understand because He really does want a high-level in-depth response from us that will stimulate others and cause us to be able to stand for our faith. We DO need to be equipped for our ministries, big or small.
To the natural world, the ways of God can seem strange. Even as we go through our learning, we can be strange not only to others but even to ourselves! But there is a comfort zone for growing and learning and we really need that as our best way of reaching and equipping people. When that way is hindered, we have a problem.
Just as we want to rule our own homes, and have that respect, we need to honor that respect in other places of habitations, whether it be work or church or school or other activity. Most habitations do have a system of order that have allowed it to be. And when we want the benefits and per chance see the flaws, we do not have the right to come in and do a take-over thing just because we have "a revelation" that may not be proven or understood. It's not our place to take over, but there should be expression and most likely is!
All of life is an adventure, but the purpose of the local church is to raise up and equip people in their callings in their life in God. ALL of us are called to be productive and by a LONG stretch, not every church is the same. They can be very different and some even might be on the wrong foundation, but our job is to do the ministry God has called us to do the right way.
There are many who want to confront the wrong with a lot of drama, but that may not be God's way of doing it. God does call prophets to speak His revelations and corrections but is the point to prove someone wrong, or to get a good job done? I hope the answer to that is obvious to you.
"In your face" attitudes do not always win souls or productive change. Sometimes it can turn away that which God is trying to bring in. The purpose of a church or ministry gathering is to bring people into a greater understanding and revelation of God for them as individuals so that they can go and be the salt and light of the world.
God is not boring by a long shot if you have a correct understanding. But when people try to make themselves the focal point, it can be like Martha in the story wanting to run the show instead of letting Jesus do it.
God does not want to squash zeal at all, but one of the fruit of the Holy Spirit's evidence is self control. (Galatians 5:23)
In Luke 10 we read:
38 Now it happened as they went that He entered a certain village; and a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house.Jesus graciously answered her that while she meant well, she did not have the correct understanding of priorities. Without even realizing it, Martha was competing with the ministry of Jesus, making herself more important. Now we have all seen things out of order, but if our foundation is God, at least we have the hope of getting things in the right order!
The Lord did not shoot Martha down, He kindly spoke to her. He showed her that the greater reward was putting the ministry of God first! She probably sincerely thought she was doing the right thing, but she wasn't, and she had to be corrected to the order that Jesus and the Father wanted her to have. There was a protocol.
We need the gifts and talents and wholesome drives of the Martha's who have that awesome and beautiful gift of hospitality. Even later when Jesus and the disciples took their family breaks, Jesus went to Martha's house and hung out with her sister Mary and her brother Lazarus too, all singles. But if Martha had not been teachable, she could have lost the presence of the Lord.
There is an honor of the house or habitation that must be there, and when even those places want to change, they will, if they have been presented well with the right way to do it.