Today I want to remind us again of the importance of allowing God to work in our midst. If we copy things that God has done in the past we will end up with a copy in the present. A copy is not an original and a copy will likely carry flaws in being true to the original. When we create a copy of a copy and follow that progressive pattern, we eventually end up with something that is not true. The things that God did yesterday were not a copy of something that God did. They were the living reality of the thing that God was doing at the time. We must allow God to be involved in our lives today so that we will a true testimony of what God is doing today.
I believe that the Church, and every expression of the Church, is a spiritual letter being written by God in the hearts and minds of people who are called by Him for His glory and purpose in the earth. I believe that every believer is supposed to be a testimony of something that God is forming within his or her life. The apostle Paul wrote in regard to such truth.
2 Corinthians 3:1-6 Do we begin again to commend ourselves? Or do we need, as some others, epistles of commendation to you or letters of commendation from you? You are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read by all men; clearly you are an epistle of Christ, ministered by us, written not with ink but by the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of flesh, that is, of the heart. And we have such trust through Christ toward God. Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God, who also made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.
As leaders in the body of Christ we must keep this principle of truth in mind when leading those entrusted to us. We have been joined with others in life to reveal God’s glory in the earth. It is not the will of men, but the will of God among men that brings life to the world. Leaders must submit to the spiritual letter being written by the Holy Spirit in the Church. This includes submission to what the Holy Spirit is doing in the lives of those in their congregations or ministry. This is not just for the purpose of each individual in their care, but God’s corporate purpose for those He joins together in a congregation or ministry. I believe that this is a value to be embraced by leaders for every expression of the Church entrusted to them in the form of a congregation or some other expression of the ministry of Christ. The sufficiency of our ability to lead is in God and not in us. It is the ministry of the New Covenant. The New Covenant is based upon a personal relationship with God in the life of each one for purpose of the body of Christ.
To do this, we cannot merely teach Christian principles based upon a knowledge of right and wrong. We must lead to activate people in hearing and responding to God in their lives. That hearing is about intimacy with God. It is about being obedient to a person’s voice, not a religious system of beliefs. The voice is that of the person God in the life of each believer.
Mere principles of Christianity are only a shadow of what is meant to be relationship with God in Christ. When people walk in intimacy with God they walk in a way that agrees with the principles of truth found in Christ. It is not because they are following the rules. It is because they are intimate with God and their lives end up looking like the written testimony of His character, nature, way, power, and authority.
As leaders we must serve those we lead in a way that allows the Holy Spirit to build His Church. This is not to seek revival, but to be revived in a daily relationship with God. If we seek to build a church on the revival of the past we sometimes create a ‘remember when’ covenant. If we value the things of the past more than the writing of the Holy Spirit in the present, we can bind what God wants to do today. If we constantly long for God to do something in the future we can become dull and hardened to what God is doing today. We must always live in the moment and we must always embrace the unfolding and growing spiritual letter being written in our lives.
Food For Thought,
Ted J. Hanson