Mechanisms of the Spirit

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Especially for the Leaders and Pastors who Guide the Ministry of the Church:

 

“Unless the Lord builds a house,
 the work of the builders is wasted.
Unless the Lord protects a city,
guarding it with sentries will do no good.”

Psalm 127:1

O my son, give me your heart.
May your eyes take delight in following my ways.”

Proverbs 23:27

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The highest expression of the will of God in this age is the church which He purchased with His own blood.  To be scripturally valid any religious activity must be part of the church.  Let it be clearly stated that there can be no service acceptable to God in this age that does not center in and spring out of the church.  Bible schools, tract societies, Christian business men’s committees, seminaries and the many independent groups working at one or another phase of religion need to check themselves reverently and courageously, for they have no true spiritual significance outside of or apart from the church.” –A.W. Tozer

As believers we sometimes lose the sight of what is going on around us. We get attached to a structure or a mechanism and view it as why we are here. Ministries, churches, retreats, conventions, even websites (!): every “structure” and every effort of man— however good and noble is not the Church of Jesus Christ.

The Church is a fluid and dynamic thing. It supersedes anything we can do or plan. Our efforts are always secondary, and even at there best are minuscule. We are gifted so that we might serve others, that is true. But wisdom always realizes the “big picture” even while serving in a “para-church” context.

The Church is the bride of Christ himself. It really is the only authorized work of God in the world today. It is what the Spirit is doing in our midst. Our personal efforts (like this website) are not really the full expression of truth in this world. That privilege belongs to the body.

I’m not trying to demean your ministry or work for the Lord. I won’t advocate that we shut-down our separate efforts. But I do suggest we restore our focus on the Church of Jesus above anything we can do. Paul cared deeply for the churches; he labored, toiled, travelled, was persecuted and despised all for the Church. Paul saw Jesus as its head, and he saw it as “the bride of Christ.” No sacrifice was too high or hard for the Bride.

“Apart from such external things, there is the daily pressure on me of concern for all the churches.”

2 Corinthians 11:28, NASB

We are to be servants of the Church first. We dare not be side-tracked or led in a subtly different direction. Perhaps a good way to think of this subject is that there are

  • mechanisms, and
  • organisms.

Sometimes we’re somewhat mechanical and something living. I suggest that we restore to the living Church the honor and glory it deserves. Our individual ministries can be good— fruit may even be seen. But we dare not minimize the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ. She is his bride. She will rule and reign with him forever and ever.

“And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband.”

Revelation 21:2

It will not be brokenbelievers.com that “descends” from heaven, but the Church. As important as I think I am, this website will not be in that place. This privilege belongs to Christ’s own bride– the Church. Perhaps it is this fact that we who are in ministry should consider from time-to-time: Let the church be the Church.

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About Pastor Bryan Lowe

A repentant rascal with definite issues, but who is seeking to be authentic in his faith to Jesus Christ. An avid reader and a hopeful writer. Husband and father. A pastor and Bible teacher. A brain tumor survivor. Diagnosed with clinical depression, epilepsy, and now disabled. Enjoys life, such as it is, in Alaska.
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2 Responses to Mechanisms of the Spirit

  1. Pingback: Beautiful feet of those who announce the good news | From guestwriters

  2. This post is particularly appropriate today. Thank you. I, and my wife, are sort of “between churches” (btwn LOCAL chrchs that is) right now, in the process of moving from one community to another and my new job is more demanding than I thought it would be (partly because it’s new) and the split shift is challenging too because it gets in the way of some gatherings.

    For example, the church association I’m most closely connected with (the Alliance of Renewal Churches arcusa.org) is having its annual Midwest Gathering right now. If my work and life were “normal” I’d be at the gathering for most of the sessions. My work, however, takes up my weekdays M-F from 6a-8a and 3p-8p. and then on the weekends I’m living about an hour’s drive away — and since I drive transit bus for my work I just don’t want to spend my weekend driving back and forth. So I may end up being at the gathering only for a part of one day – today.

    This creates a big gap in my life and a break, in some ways, with the fellowship I need and in the relationships that are built and sustained through that fellowship. My work schedule has interfered also with a daily prayer phone call with sisters and brothers that are part of a church that my wife and I may become part of when we finally get our house sold and our lives entirely relocated to the Twin Cities.

    I appreciate the online church world because it allows me to keep somewhat connected even when we are in this “in between” spot and it’s hard to find a way to gather consistently with a local church.

    Thanks for listening.

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