Today’s post is a somewhat severe sounding word that is really a message of grace and love. Jesus desires that we be conformed to His life rather than us running a charade where we pretend that our life is His. There’s a huge, revered paraphernalia of Christianity that has nothing to do with the Kingdom of God’s Son, even though it takes His name. Institutionalism both smothers the simplicity, freshness and authority of Christ and stultifies the new creation by coagulating it into things like praise and worship, sermons and a Christian bureaucracy.
Praise and worship in many places has become a thing and an industry where so called successful churches cater for the consumer mentality they have helped to nurture. In some respects the church looks like Mc Church. I cringe each time I see a so called ‘cutting-edge-happening church’ picture posted on Facebook by persons who could know better. We are not alive in spirit and life because we are in a large church, engaged in praise and worship or in a house meeting. We are alive when Christ is our life and we the expression of His being.
‘For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God’ Col 3.3 NIV.
Praise and worship is a life. The greatest worship is to allow Jesus to be who He is for us; to receive Him as our life so that we can be sons in spirit and in truth. Many whose arms flail about in praise and worship are Biblically illiterates, unaware of sound doctrine and have no real life in Jesus personally. They are clouds without rain when they are potentially rivers of living water.
‘When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory’ Col 3.4 NIV.
Please observe that I am not saying praise and worship is wrong. I am saying that institutionalism is the counterfeit of godliness. Jesus cast the merchandisers of religion out of the temple in favour of Himself and you. In an act that is beyond time and place Jesus expelled all religious humbug and false spirituality and replaced it with the simplicity of Himself in you and among us. This is who Jesus is, so we can expect to see this again soon. Rather than a punishment it is an act of His grace. Better to repent and seek Him as Himself and for Himself now rather than be plucked out like a tare with our clothes on fire and escaping only with our nude and scrawny bodies!
‘If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved--even though only as one escaping through the flames’ 1 Cor 3.15 NIV.
Many well intentioned people, including myself for a period of time imagined that the clue to the triumph of the Kingdom was to find some new and relevant iteration of the church. Not so. What is required is not some new configuration of assembling. We need a new life - a life that many have never had - a life that those who have had a whiff of Him need as the entirely of their existence and their living. As the saying goes, ‘If Jesus is not Lord of all, He is not Lord at all.’ This is not some ‘worksy’ stipulation. It means resting in agreement with the work achieved by the trinity and allowing them to be who they are in us in order that we can be who we have been reborn to be.
The mystery of Christ in you is both a mystery and a revelation. A mystery because this is of the Spirit, yet in our bodies and a revelation because we become the expression of our Father as we are sculptured into daughters and sons - not in name or piety but in the reality that is Christ. More than a revelation this is the new creation since the entire universe originally sprang forth from the hand of The Son. So too the new creation grows from the fact of Christ incarnated in us to become the church, the kingdom and the new creation that is the result of Christ’s emergence from the tomb to be resurrection and life in person.
Here is a prophetic word from Ron McGatlin on these issues.
Extraordinary Love and Power to Break Free By Ron McGatlin
God is now releasing extraordinary love and power into the hearts and lives of humble servants who are becoming sons for the extreme transformation of the world. I have never before heard God speak with such a tone of desperate pleading. God is not at all desperate within Himself, but the plight of His people is desperate. He is pleading for you and me to
BREAK FREE! Many if not most Christians have been limited in serious bondage within their own hearts and minds. Errant religious training and godless secular education have blocked their ability to hear and receive the current release of love and power to transform the world.
BREAKTHROUGH TO BREAK FREE IS NOW IMMINENT FOR MANY. The deep rumbling in the hearts of many who have felt sidelined and useless is a God given desire to arise in mature Sonship and demonstrate the awesome love and power of Christ Jesus. Even those who have been on the big platforms of ¡°miracle working¡± ministries are being touched with inner rumblings of dissatisfaction with the status quo. God is pleading for us to not only dispose of our old religious methods and ways but also the NEW religious ways and methods we may have formed in seeking to leave the old.
Serious adversity will prepare a portion of the masses of people to hear the reality of the kingdom of God. The reality of the kingdom will wipe away their religion and godless secular belief systems. The manifesting of Christ Jesus in His prepared people is the GREAT HOPE of the world. It is the end of all other belief systems and the beginning of the fullness of truth in love healing and filling the hearts of the people. (Col 1:27) (Joshua 2:2).
The dark night of failure of the nations will destroy the false hopes of religion and godless secularism. Many people will begin to receive ears to hear the glorious truth of love, power, and wisdom coming forth in the daybreak of the kingdom of God on earth. The fresh morning is already arising in the Spirit in the hearts of the maturing sons of God. It is already a new day in the hearts of the Spirit people who have broken free to soar in the heavenlies with God in the fresh morning of the season of the arising kingdom. The Father¡¯s plead is for His people to quickly throw off past religious and secular coverings and mindsets and to receive extraordinary LOVE and POWER to produce the reality of the works of Christ.
In moving out of our past into releasing the REAL love and power of Christ, we will see many people turn to God in Christ by the Holy Spirit. Preaching and teaching about the kingdom of God without the living demonstration of love and power will never convince people to turn from their past ways to the kingdom of God way.
Pray with the boldness of the faith of Christ that is within you and watch the reality of God demonstrating His extraordinary kingdom to the people around you. Many will be amazed at what God will do in those with ears to hear and hearts to receive the love and power of God to change the world in this day of the Lord. Demonstrating the miraculous love and power of God will change the entire world one person or one gathering at the time. Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father (John 14:12).