JESUS IS LORD?
Col.1: 15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:
17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.
18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.
Again, it continues to come down to this: Without Jesus as the ONLY Lord and Supreme Master we are living a lie and the church is just another religion similar to the Mayan temples or the Islamic Mosques or Druid gatherings. And the “Jesus is Lord” mantra cannot be imprisoned within our self serving doctrinal statements. His Lordship must permeate every area of our lives and that permeation must exhibit sacrifice, self denial, and it must be strikingly observable to this fallen world.
Can a light be lit in an underground tunnel and not be seen? Can a car’s high beams be pointed at your eyes without you knowing it? Can a bond fire be raging in the middle of the night and it blends into the darkness? These are the kinds of questions which should stir our souls and spiritually motivate us to re-examine what the Scriptures teach and what that means for those who desire to follow Jesus. But how can professing believers be extricated from the comfort zone in which they now dwell?
Without repentance nothing will change. And without a dramatic commitment to prayer everything will be little more than an interesting discussion. And if and when someone decides to repent (change their minds) about what Jesus taught and how it should impact our lives, and when that someone begins to seek the face of the Master, he or she must come to the startling realization that something is very wrong in their own lives and in the teachings and practices of the evangelical church. And I believe you cannot help but see that the western church as it “operates” now is an obstruction to a deeper and more Scriptural Christian life. But even if we come to that conclusion that is only the beginning of a journey which will be painful, emotional, full of questions and persecution, but which will experience a spiritual glory which most will never know.
Our doctrines and theology say “Jesus is Lord” but our lives serve any number of masters. And the church has become such a slave to the culture and our own desires that it has long ago given up on any fasting and prayer designed to bring an awakening repentance and a painful alteration in the way we think. And being adverse to any re-evaluation because of the implications that may arise, the church continues its redundant display of church. Claiming to be the light, the darkness marches forward without revealing the light we contend we give off. So shouting a bit at the darkness soothes our conscience because sinners these days are so bad and much worse than are we. And that kind of thinking imprisons the church within thick walls of self affirmation and allows us to enjoy a tepid spiritual existence as well as much fallen fruit from the surrounding culture.
This is the treadmill upon which the western evangelical church walks and yet she claims to be making spiritual progress while going nowhere. In fact this treadmill is empowered by the fallen spirits that have formed the culture and which lead us toward the darkness and not the light. It is bad enough to be living with a corpse, and it is worse yet to be chained to that corpse, but to allow that same corpse to lead you is an horrific display. The situation is desperate and yet the church shows no sign of desperation concerning its own spiritual condition or the plight of the lost.
Fasting is for diets; tears are for dead dogs; late nights are overtime football games; humility is for the weak; studying for hours is for some earthly test; and repentance is for gays. Where oh where Dear Lord is the mirror we so desperately need which can clearly show us the distance between what the New Testament teaches and what we have come to embrace? Why are we so content with such a mindless and comfortable religious practice which bears so little Scriptural truth? Where did the ax head fall and how can it be retrieved and how do we ever get the desire to have it reclaimed?
Why can a small handful (like us) get revved up for a season only to return to the convenient place we now know is not where Jesus is? Are we not the most indictable since we have peeked over the wall of hedonism and nationalism and we have seen the grapes of Eschol and yet we still remain behind that wall? The Spirit has graciously and miraculously opened our hearts and allowed us to see that there is so much ground yet unclaimed and yet the power of the fallen world and the lethargy which dwells within us has convinced us that blogs like this are enough. In essence it is enough to see the ecclesiastical ills without entering a personal and sweeping revolution ourselves. That is pitiful for all of us.
And in that light I am going to post some things very shortly which will call us to some practical and difficult steps. I am a nobody and I receive no salary from any ecclesiastical organization. But I have come to realize that there are many like me who have a lingering thirst for much more but who like me need some guideposts and some specific exhortations. I hope that I can be used of the Spirit in some people’s lives and most of all be more like Jesus and have my life reflect His Words. That is a daunting challenge if you consider where we all are and the amazing number of carnal parasites we have allowed to attach themselves to our hearts and lives.
But if you are legitimately disgruntled and discontented with your own spiritual life as it now stands then perhaps this is a call to you. And I mean all of us, preachers and missionaries and mature believers. All of us. So I exhort us all first of all to break up the fallow ground by a strong and unwavering commitment to prayer. Maybe getting up earlier or staying up later or sacrificially carving out some substantive time to get alone with God and beseech Him to change your heart. I will still write about a variety of things, but I feel led of the Spirit to call out to any who hear and begin together a tangible journey to seek His face and allow the Spirit to little by little, but dramatically as well, change us into His image and have His light grow stronger and stronger within and without us.
After all, isn’t that what we have been saying for the last several years and isn’t that what the Spirit desires in and through us? Jesus is Lord? If so then let us be broken again and reformed into an image which lives an observable revelation of the Lord Jesus Himself. In fact, let us be a broken vessel in which Jesus lives through us as we crucify ourselves for His sake. And in the end and every day let our lives be the fresco upon which the Spirit paints the truth “ that in all things he might have the preeminence”.