The Body Has A Head And A Destiny
Paul did not teach that some day, by and by, the Church will eventually be a Head and a body. He proclaimed that to be the present make-up of the Church. (1Co 12:27; Eph 5:23) According to Paul, Jesus is the Head and believers are the body. That is God’s plan, not the plan of a committee. How or why would God attach His awesome Son/Head to a beleaguered, weary body that was seeking to avoid its destiny? In the physical human body, the impulses that tell the body what to do and enable it to do those things, come from the head. The head sends messages to the body so that the body can act it out. We can do anything in this earth that Jesus did: raise the dead, heal the sick, deliver the captive and affect nature. Many years ago I prophesied to small children concerning the purpose of God for their lives. Some of them are now bringing their babies to our meetings and asking me to prophesy over their babies like I did over them. Those young parents and their children can sense that there is a God-given purpose in them now. We have a destiny right here and right now.
Destiny Does Not Abandon
If we abandon creation physically and/or emotionally, who or what is left to answer its groaning? Who or what will meet the deep, expectant waiting of the creature? Rom 8:14, 19 shows us that it is the destiny of the Church to be the answer to that cry. 14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God… 19 For the EARNEST EXPECTATION of the creature WAITETH for the manifestation of the sons of God. If the world cannot experience the destiny of the Church, what good is its destiny? The Church’s destiny cannot be separated from the purpose of Jesus coming to earth. That purpose was redemptive. (Lk 19:10; 1Co 1:30) The Holy Spirit abiding in and working through the Church is the only hope this world has got. (Mt 4:13-14) “Manifestation” simply put means that we come to be and do and act like what we were born for.
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Destiny And Glory
When the Hebrew writer says “in bringing many sons to glory” (Heb 2:10) he is not talking about the ability of Jesus to get many people to heaven. The earth is groaning, not to get rid of the sons of God but that they might be manifest here in this earth. (Rom 8:19) The earth is expectantly waiting and creation is groaning, so in answer to that Jesus is leading many sons to glory, not to heaven. We glorify God when we walk and when we talk like Jesus. (Jn 15:8; 20:21) We are led to glory when we walk out the purpose for which we were born. I submit to you that glorifying God and the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ in this life, in the face of everything that opposes Him and His, is the destiny of the Church. The destiny of the church is not somewhere out there in the sweet by and by but is one that is lived out before men in the good ol’ here and now.
Destiny And Display
The destiny of the church is not to line up at the end of a service and shake the preacher’s hand so we can get to heaven. The destiny of the church is to rule with Christ in this life so that He is glorified in bringing many sons to the realization of why they were born (Heb2:10). 1Pe 2:9 “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a dedicated nation, [God’s] own purchased, special people, that you may set forth the wonderful deeds and DISPLAY the virtues and perfections of Him Who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.” (Amp) We were born to “show forth”, to “put on display,” to witness to powers and principalities (Eph 3:10) in this life. Our theme song is not “Swing Low Sweet Chariot” but it is “Shine, Jesus Shine!” The destiny of the Church is to rule in this life by the anointing and power of the Holy Spirit, covered by the blood of Jesus, walking in grace and imitating the life of Jesus.
Destiny And Identity
Often musings are vocalized as to the deep, mystical reason there are “so few young people in our churches.” Yet, in all honesty, one must wonder why young people, who have an eye to the future, would want to be around a bunch of people who regularly express misery, disappointment and desire for getting out of here. Many people express themselves as only having a hope to get to heaven. There is great faith to get to heaven but not much evidenced for anything prior to that desired place of dwelling. Churchmen have presented heaven as our goal (consider the goal of Rom8:29 & Gal4:19) and have tended to present Jesus as little more than a ticket to get there. Has religion inferred to a world rampant with hopelessness that the only answer is to get to heaven so everything will be OK? Is it possible that the underlying implication offered to a coming generation is that Jesus is powerful enough to get someone to heaven but He isn’t much good for anything else? The destiny of the Church is not heaven but displaying a living Christ now to the children who must be given identity and purpose. Perhaps then they will find their place in their generation and answer the longing of creation for the manifestation of the sons of God (Rom8:19), and become destiny on display.
Destiny And Calendar Thresholds
The viewpoint which is most readily accepted throughout the institutional Church is that the destiny of the Church is somewhere out there in an ideological future after all the prophecy teachers’ predictions have come to pass. There are some people who are waiting for a much-desired calendar date to come along so that they can finally be what they are not now. There are those who teach that a calendar date is the hope of the Church. Yet, the emphasis of Scripture is to show that JESUS is the hope of the Church and of all mankind. Jesus is our hope, not an event.(Col 1:27) I have talked with people who cannot wait for this present age to be over with so they no longer have to deal with disillusionment over economics, religion and politics. In organized religion, the answer has consistently been: you will no longer be disappointed or disillusioned or be the object of injustice once a certain calendar date arrives. (One very well financed individual has missed the date several times in recent months in spite of the plain language of Matt24:36.) We have been presented with a great desire and a goal to get through a calendar threshold and get on the other side where there is nothing of the negative sort to deal with. The goal presented is a state of bliss without confrontation or contradiction. Basically, Jesus and His glory manifested are left out of the equation for happiness, except as a usable means of arriving there. Yet, the destiny of the Church is to be NOW (Jn17:15,18) what Jesus was in His ministry.(Jn5:17) The destiny of the Church does not need a calendar threshold but the power of the Holy Spirit to be and to do (Acts 1:8). seecministries.org
Is the destiny of the Church present or future?
The answer will determine the Church’s posture and its motivation. Is the destiny of the Church to be a congregation (which means “to gather”) or is the destiny of the church to be a congress (a legislative assembly)? Will the Church’s action be congregational or congressional? The Church’s destiny is not in some ethereal future nestled in some farflung region but right here and right now. Jesus didn’t find Himself in hot water until those observing Him began to realize that His purpose wasn’t merely to gather with others and quote the Pentateuch but to bring the authority of Jehovah into the earth. Jesus legislated (legislate: to bring into effect) justice into injustice, life into death, deliverance into captivity, healing into brokenness, sightedness into blindness (Lk 4:18). Rather than pointing a finger at the sky and saying, “Someday,” He pointed a finger at the need and spoke the solution in the present circumstances. “As you sent me into the world, I also have sent them into the world (Jn 17:8). (also 1Jn 4:17)
Removing Mountains Within (by Kathy Gabler)
As I considered the prayer of David in Ps139:23, I noticed the definition of “wicked” even included: “a grievous pang of body.” Many people are distracted or diverted from their destiny by physical distress. I believe this prayer could be the catalyst for change in our physical bodies as well. I pray, “Lord, reveal any sorrow or offense that is the root of disease or dysfunction in my body. Don’t let me hold to any issue or belief that hinders my soul or body. Let neither soul nor body distract me or defeat me as I follow your lead in the ordained path you have for me. I am confident that with your answer will come the grace to make any changes necessary and remove mountains WITHIN in 2012.” Amen.
Don’t Let The Mountain Block The View (by Kathy Gabler)
As he prayed “Search me, O God, and know my heart,” (Ps 139:23) David wasn’t just praying for an examination and a test score. He was positioned to repent. He submitted to God knowing God’s answer or instructions would bring change in his thinking and his opinions, perhaps in his relationships and daily lifestyle. David knew he must release fear or grief or offense as God pointed them out so that those things would not block his view of God.
May we be like David as he prayed for the mountains within himself to be revealed in Psalms 139:23,24. Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my anxieties; And see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. (NKJ) A paraphrased word study reveals this in his prayer: “O God, examine me and reveal my mind, my knowledge, my thinking, my memories, my inclinations, my determinations, my conscience, my moral character, my appetites, my emotions and my passions. Scrutinize me and reveal my disturbing thoughts and opinions.” When David asked God to search him for wicked ways he was NOT on a guilt-driven search for evil and moral decay in himself. The word translated “wicked” here is used only two other times in the Old Testament and both times it was translated “sorrow.” So David was asking God to see if there were any high places of idolatry in him that had been built on wounds or offense or sorrow or hardship or bitter memories. He was asking God to see if there was any experience or threat bigger or more important to him than God. David knew those things could distort God’s counsel and instructions and even block him from God’s presence. Every soulish mountain-stronghold becomes a blind spot that blocks us from seeing God’s truth and purpose, thereby keeping us from God’s presence and plans in some part of our life.
Liberty, Adversaries and Cost
In 1776 the Founding Fathers signed the Declaration of Independence. There was much sacrifice in reaching that momentous date forever etched in history. The colonists came dangerously close to losing on more than one occasion. There was a lack of weapons, training and basic supplies. The soldiers were up against disease as well as the well-trained British army and their desperate generals. George Washington not only had to be on alert against British tactics but also on alert for self-seeking traitors in his own army.
In spite of the seeming unbalance in the two opposing forces, what could only be called “the hand of God,” not only brought the scales back into balance but took them over in favor of the colonials. Just one example among others is that when Washington marched against Boston, the soldiers dug trenches with the help of a clear night. The next morning a British engineering officer reported that the progress of the colonials must have required 15,000 to 20,000 men, more than double the size of the present colonial army. Just as the battle was beginning the weather suddenly changed and a storm set in by noon with hail, sleet and a wind that “blew almost a hurricane.” General Howe decided not to attack and retreated from Boston. Washington and others gave the glory to God’s hand at work.
Although it has been noted that Washington was not a brilliant strategist and had shown indecisiveness at crucial moments, one writer said, “Washington never forgot what was at stake and never gave up.” George Washington credited the blessing of God as the reason he was able to endure. “He only is my rock and my salvation: He is my defense; I shall not be moved” (Ps 62:6)
Many Americans sense the threat against the liberties those Founding Fathers faithfully fought for. But we will not continue to realize them simply through political efforts. Without the intervening Hand of Almighty God and our desperate seeking of His precepts, those liberties remain eminently threatened. “I will walk at liberty and at ease, for I have sought and inquired for and desperately required Your precepts.” (Ps 119:45) I pray the Lord God will give us determination, not only to guard our civil liberties, but to seek His precepts so that we have a value system that will prompt us to, at least, basic stewardship (such as voting) in the preserving of what He gave us in this great nation. (Ref.: americanvision.org)
Bulldozing Mountains (by Kathy Gabler)
The Word of God is our antidote. The Word is our bulldozer. The Word has the power to displace the emotional residue pushed ashore by the tide or even by a tidal wave of circumstances. So our part of the process is to clear out the blockages within self by agreeing with the Word and by speaking the Word and telling every contrary force to be removed! (Mt 17:20) And the truth is that if stress, anxiety, fear, anger, frustration, guilt and confusion are removed and God’s Peace is in the house, what’s going on outside does not hold the same threat.