There is a great deal of talk about renewal, revival, transformation, and mission these days. I don’t see that any lasting change will come from focusing on any of these good things. Primarily, because I think there is something that is better.
I don’t see a return to “mission” and having a big pep rally for Jesus within pop-culture Christianity is the answer. Maybe the Lord doesn’t want a pep-rally. I tend to believe He is tired of all the things we DO in his name and would like us to sit down, be still, and listen.
And yes… even “organic church” can become a substitute for the Lord Himself.
I see all of this as more evidence that many people are still looking for fulfillment outside of knowing the Person of Christ in simple community. They do not see that every good thing comes out of this one thing: being built together as living stones into the centrality and supremacy of Christ.
The Lord moves forward and brings His Kingdom in this way.
This takes time and it calls for us to deny our insistent desire to “do something” for the Lord. It calls for us to wait. And that isn’t something many of us like to do. Especially in this day and age.
We finally come upon the Lord in a new way… and before we know what we really have… before we’ve allowed time for some learning of the Lord’s Person and work… we’re rushing out to convert everyone to a new way of church and trying to convince them to join the “movement.”
Movements can be good for a time, but movements eventually come to an end. Revolutions, on the other hand, permanently change the landscape of the world.
Revolutions are bigger than a few men spearheading a tour that celebrates a new way to do church. A “spiritual” revolution is led by the Spirit and moves in the Lord’s own way and time. And this way seems foolish at first.
Spiritual revolutions are not due to the organizing of men or even to the publication of a few books. They largely move forward underground by a Power quietly working inside the hearts of unknown revolutionaries who are drawing the attention of heaven instead of men.
These revolutionaries recognize that the invitation is open to others, but it is not a revolution that uses coercion. When folks are touching Jesus… He will bring them in to His glorious work in His time.
Outreach is the Lord’s doing by us first doing our in-reach… touching the Lord’s Spirit with our own. When we are doing this… what follows will look much different than the organizing and “evangelizing” of man.
It’s not man’s revolution. It’s the Lord’s reign and rule upon the earth. The Lord’s revolution and His renewing of creation will come by patient endurance in the face of much opposition… letting the Lord have HIS way with folks.
A spiritual revolution doesn’t need the approval of the established institutions. It moves forward with the approval of the Lord and cares not for the observations of the religious.
I see the Lord leading a mighty revolution. But this revolution runs deeper than the surface hype and momentum of man’s organizing and endless scheming for Jesus.
The Lord’s revolutionaries are not distracted by the hype of movements. They are concerned for the Lord’s work in the world, but they see this as first living peaceably with their own community of saints. They know, in time, the Lord will reach out and build his Body in due season.
For those who see the need for spiritual revolution instead of religious reformation… my prayer in 2010 is that you will join the quite revolution and find satisfaction in being discipled by Jesus in a local expression of God’s Kingdom on the earth.
January 22nd, 2010 at 1:29 am
Right now I am reading Watchman Nee’s book Sit,Walk Stand. What you are saying seems to echo the same thing mentioned in his book. Nee makes the statement that you must learn to sit before you can walk or stand. He also states that so many of us want to do things out of order. We begin by walking and standing first before learing to rest. I am not sure if you have read this tiny little book. Sit refers to our position in Christ, Walking-our life in the world and Standing- our attitude towards the enemy. With statements like “Christianity begins not with a big DO, but with a big DONE” and “We only advance in the Christian life when we learn to rest(sit) or the idea that God works when we rest. We are confused at to our starting point. So many, including myself, want walk first. I am only beginning to understand what it means to rest. It seems that people want to make the organic church thing a walking thing when in reality it is a sitting thing. I think that is why it is so confusing to people. It goes against all that we are taught in the IC. I agree with you about this spiritual revolution that is happening. I think it will be quiet in its progress for a time. Nee also mentions the parable of the 10 virgins. He likens the 5 virgins with enough oil as the first fruits and the other 5 having oil but not enough as the harvest. All virgins are in Christ so the difference is in thier time of ripeness. Nee states that is it not a matter of who has done better but of who has done well at an earlier hour. I just find that interesting and wondering if that is what we are seeing now, do not know, just a thought? I would have to think about it some more. I also enjoyed how Nee sumed it up “He Himself is revealed as the answer in us to all that God demands.” Thanks for your post.
January 22nd, 2010 at 12:31 pm
Good stuff, Carrie. Thanks for the word.
January 24th, 2010 at 5:28 pm
Great post, great exhortation, David. I just read something along the same lines but developing a different strand on Milt Rodriguez’s blog. I see you have him linked, so maybe you’ve already seen it. God is so great and so good and so patient with us. He’s willing to take the time necessary to produce the masterpiece He desires.
I think we often stress ourselves out trying to be at a stage that we’re not at. We’ve been taught the only season for the church is a season of action, but in fact sitting and staring into the eyes of our Lord is the most important, wonderful, amazing thing we can ever do.
January 24th, 2010 at 5:36 pm
Right on, Cindy! The church goes through many seasons, but the Lord always brings us back to sitting. Have you read my post, “Living Room Faith: The Couch of Completion.” It’s a lot like what you have articulated. Let me know what you think.
Yes, Milt and I are friends. He is a wonderful brother in the Lord.
January 24th, 2010 at 7:47 pm
I will check it out, David. We’re, well not exactly snowed in, but kind of blizzarded in. Not a lot of snow, but it seems to all be in the air at once. We didn’t get to meet with the rest of the church today, all of whom live in town. So it’s been a blogging day. I’ll check out your other post in a few minutes.
Milt and Gary Welter are coming out here the last weekend of February to do a conference for us. We’re all really excited about that. I can’t wait to see how God works. I see this message about the oneness of God, the oneness of His people, and our oneness with Him to be like a chest of beautiful sparkling jewels. It just seems such an inestimable treasure to me. Hard to put into words.
January 24th, 2010 at 7:52 pm
Cindy, you put it into words very well. You will be blessed by Milt and Gary. Press on, sister!
January 28th, 2010 at 8:02 am
I think too often we try to look for `big and loud solutions to all the world’s problems” to do with missions stuff which will get `things noticed’. But I think Tom Sine is right when he says that often what is the most effective are the mustard seed sorts of small things -eg incremental stuff of quiet serving of others which often goes unnoticed by our wider community. That is where the real missional revolution – the real turning around of hearts occurs – not on `pop culture’ stages, however `loud’ their claims of missional success are – but in small `inconspicuous’ pockets of mission where God is calling Christians to do `a small thing’ in maybe one-to-one kindness toward another where the `rubber hits the road’ in terms of people’s real situations. IE a quiet, but highly important and life-changing mustard seed sort of revolution of mission through dignity engendering relationships of compassion, sacrificial and generous service – the stuff of agape love toward the other, our neighbour whether Christian or otherwise.
January 29th, 2010 at 5:52 am
David , this is really an awesome post. God is with you David.
February 2nd, 2010 at 7:01 pm
Hi David, loved the blog………youre speakin my heart! (I enjoy your writing……not wordy or flowery……as so many are…….) Blessings on your work!
February 2nd, 2010 at 7:09 pm
Thanks, Pam! I appreciate your friendship.
February 4th, 2010 at 12:37 am
Thanks, David. Great post. God builds His church and His kingdom. It is our honor if He uses us in the process, and only testifies to His grace. God bless you!
February 21st, 2010 at 12:36 am
I very much appreciate this post. I’ve been hearing and reading so much about movements and so little about Christ and our place in Him. It’s sad that so many feel as if they’re being lazy or not serving God when He has them in a place of sitting in Him. Christ and His plan and timing are so beautiful. Speaking as a somewhat impatient person, God has given so much grace in this journey. He’s the way, both the path AND the method, the church needs a deeper revelation of this truth.
April 10th, 2010 at 9:54 pm
Preach it brother – thanks for sharing.
April 13th, 2010 at 6:51 am
Thanks for reading, Becky. 🙂