Oh, how I write as if I know everything. You know I don't. I just want you to know that I know you know it.
So I have this thought today regarding church growth. That growth, by the way, may be in the form or increased numbers, decreased numbers, individual maturity, and/or the simple escalation of faith in God.
I experienced a matter as a preacher that I wonder if others did or do. I speak of the fear of believing.
We tend to look upon Jesus surfacely. Nice. Obedient. Effective. Faithful. Saviorilistic.
The church tends to stress these traits plus another; balance. Let there be balance between law and grace, faith and action, etc. In general the church spells balance s-a-f-e-t-y. The question is not regarding whether a move is of God; but rather is undermined by the bigger question of Will I come out all right in this?
My earlier doctrine was said (by me) to be from the Word. In honesty, it was what the large voices of the brotherhood said I was to believe; what I better believe. Being me, I gladly obeyed for my goal was balance spelled s-a-f-e-t-y.
However, Jesus believed and did many things not balanced; not safe. He stood up to the church leaders of the day who believed they owned Truth. He defied their threats. He was executed because he refused to abide by the rule-of-thumb balance which is really spelled s-a-f-e-t-y.
Being a die-hard people-pleaser, it was a major gulf for me to dare to stand for grace when the church bullies yelled foul from their courts of law. It was an incredible mountain to climb to say the Holy Spirit absolutely, Word-approved, works in our lives. Neither was it safe to say, regarding our doctrine against instrumental music, that we made it up.
Look, our land is suffering for lack of the breath of God. We have a choice. He is willing to let us damn up the works or let us allow free flow. We will not promote the kingdom of God, ever, in the name of balance and safety. It will take gulping courage to believe God over believing what cowardly man tells us to believe.
Dare...if you can...to try to lean upon Him. I must do a better job myself.