Do you remember when you first gave your life to the Lord? What was the first thing you wanted to do? You wanted to tell someone right. You had a burning desire to tell someone….anyone…about Jesus. The spirit of the Lord within you created a deep longing to be a witness to the truth of the death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. You were willing to tell anyone who would stand still long enough to listen weren’t you?.
Then, if you were like most people, you were told that the first thing you needed to do was to get into a good church. So, off you went like a good little sheep to that good church. In that church you met other saved people, friendly people, people like you who had found Jesus. You probably got involved in the choir, or perhaps you volunteered to hand out programs on Sunday morning. Maybe you were an usher. Some were even tapped by the pastor to teach a Sunday school class. Soon you found yourself busy with the work of the Lord. And slowly, over a period of time that good church with all its programs and man made traditions took your desire….that desire to tell someone about Jesus…that desire implanted in you by the Holy Spirit…they took that desire and crushed it right out of you.
Eventually you were conditioned to believe that being involved in the church was the same as being a disciple of Christ. Over time you began to understand that the role of the Christian was to attend church once or twice a week, pay your tithes and offerings, maybe volunteer to help with the Sunday night pot luck supper and leave the real work of the ministry to the professionals.
My God in heaven how did we ever come to this?
And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Eph 4;11-12
The church as God established it has been perverted beyond recognition. Few people see this because the church in its present form is all they’ve ever known.
Her priests have violated my law, and have profaned mine holy things: they have put no difference between the holy and profane, neither have they shewed difference between the unclean and the clean, and have hid their eyes from my sabbaths, and I am profaned among them. Ez 22:26
How can a blind man comprehend the majesty of millions of stars shining in the night? How can one describe the beauty of a forested mountain range without ever having seen it? How can one know the power and might of the true Body of Christ in the earth when all they’ve ever known is this weak, frail, sickly man made imitation that claims the name but denies the power of that name.
I must admit that I have never physically seen the true church. I have only had glimpses of it in the spirit. I’ve only known the barest outline of its form as contained in scripture. But the Most High God has stirred something in my spirit. I have a longing, a yearning to see the true church formed in the earth. I desire with all my heart to witness the construction of the true Temple</PLACETYPE /> of God</PLACENAME /></PLACE />. A building not made with hands. A building made not of dead bricks and mortar but a building of living stones, each one formed by the hand of God himself and perfectly fitted. A living breathing entity moving in perfect harmony upon the earth, showing forth the power and might of the God of the universe.
Every born again believer is a minister of the gospel. Every person who is filled with the Holy Spirit is called a king and a priest upon the earth. You have a place. You have a position within the Temple</PLACETYPE /> of God</PLACENAME /></PLACE />. You are called not to go to church but to be the church.
You are not called to serve your pastor. He is called to serve you. It is his job to prepare you, to make you fit for service in the kingdom. It is the job of the apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor and teacher to make believers ready and able to be witnesses to the death burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. All the teaching, preaching, exhortation, and prophecy should be for the express purpose of finding your ministry gift and honing that gift to perfection.
When we come together as a body it should never be just to listen to one man hold forth. All should be encouraged to share. All should be encouraged to bring a song, a teaching, a testimony of what God is doing in their lives. When we pray it should be both corporately and individually. Every believer has the power of God to lay hands on the sick. Every one should be able to pray the prayer of faith and expect God to answer.
When we go out to our daily lives in the world it should be for the sole purpose of glorifying the Lord Jesus Christ. Every day we should seek opportunities to be a witness to a dying world. Every day we should ask God to open doors, to bring people across our path, that we might show forth the power of God in our own lives. We should learn to speak as an oracle of God in every situation, in every place.
Do you have a burning desire to be a minister of the gospel? What are you waiting for? Don’t sit around, living for yourself, expecting the professionals to do the work of the ministry. You do it.
Do have a desire to help the needy? What are you waiting for? Make some sandwiches or buy a sack full of hamburgers, get some bottled water and go find someone who is hungry. Take some groceries to a needy family. Buy some inexpensive blankets and give them away to people living on the streets.
Go to a hospital and ask God to direct you to people who need and will accept prayer. Visit a nursing home in your area and ask people if they’d like for you to pray for them. Be the church. Don’t expect someone else to do it. Ask God to open doors for you. Ask him to show you your ministry. Allow Christ in you to come forth and do the works he has always done, heal the sick, bring sight to the blind, set the captives free!
Since it is obvious none of this is ever going to be done by the religious establishment, God is doing it himself. He is searching for his sheep. He is making them ready and sending them forth in the world. He himself is building his temple. Will you be a part of it? Will you say not my will Lord but thy will be done. Will you say send me oh Lord, send me?
For thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I, even I, will both search my sheep, and seek them out. As a shepherd seeketh out his flock in the day that he is among his sheep that are scattered; so will I seek out my sheep, and will deliver them out of all places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day. And I will bring them out from the people, and gather them from the countries, and will bring them to their own land, and feed them upon the mountains of Israel</PLACE /></COUNTRY-REGION /> by the rivers, and in all the inhabited places of the country. I will feed them in a good pasture, and upon the high mountains of Israel</COUNTRY-REGION /> shall their fold be: there shall they lie in a good fold, and in a fat pasture shall they feed upon the mountains of Israel</PLACE /></COUNTRY-REGION />. I will feed my flock, and I will cause them to lie down, saith the Lord GOD. I will seek that which was lost, and bring again that which was driven away, and will bind up that which was broken, and will strengthen that which was sick: but I will destroy the fat and the strong; I will feed them with judgment. Ez 34:11-16
Steve Lumbley 2006 www.apostasywatch.com
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