The song ‘if we are the body’ keeps ringing through my mind as I write this.
Over the past 20 years I have been a part of 10 different churches. Usually on the praise and worship teams. I have found most churches preach and teach the basics of Jesus – repent, be saved, do good works. Others exercised what Jesus said to do – lay hands on the sick. And then there is what I believe through the scriptures – lay hands on the sick, cast out demons and preach the gospel to the poor and equip others to do the same.
So it seems, in my experience that the majority of Christians leave out 2/3 of what Jesus called us to do. It seems many teach the born-again part (some even barely) but then going out to do good works – not preach the gospel, lay hands on the sick or cast out demons.
This is not a criticism this is what is going on in the Body of Christ. We do not teach and preach about walking in the spirit or what it means to walk in our calling of God or the gifts of the Spirit.
This is a charge to those that want to listen to what the Lord is saying to His Church. If we are born of God (who is spirit (John 4:24 “God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth”)) and we are to walk in the spirit (Gal 5:16 “But I say, walk by the Spirit and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.”) and not in the flesh (Rom 8:4 “so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.”) then why are we teaching people to walk better in the flesh? Why are we saying ‘you must do this’, ‘you must do that’ or ‘don’t do this’ or ‘don’t do that’.
Why are we not teaching people what it means to be born-again and how to walk in the Spirit, utilize the gifts of the Spirit and fulfill the calling of God on our lives?
Yes, many Christians have problems. We all go through bumps in the road. However, many times people go over the bumps, back over, then try to go forward over the same bumps again without dealing with the underlying issues.
In the Gospels many people had issues that they brought to the Lord. The woman caught in adultery for instance. Though the religious people wanted to do what the Law said – to stone her – the underlying issue was love, compassion and sin. Jesus said (John 8:10) “Woman, where are they? Did no one condemn you” She said, “No one, Lord”. And Jesus said, “I do not condemn you, either. Go, from now on sin no more”. He dealt with the issue not the physical, fleshly things that were going on. Jesus did not stand in front of her to shield her from the stoning. He didn’t tell the Pharisees to stop and get lost. No, He addressed the issues. The Pharisees sinned and were testing Jesus, the woman was jumping from relationship to relationship and was caught. She felt condemned and in danger of losing her life because of her sin.
In Mark 5 did Jesus try to reason with the demon possessed man? Did He try to clothe him first and just say ‘there, there, it will be ok, just do this or this…’? No. Jesus cast out the demons and then the man was clothed and in his right mind. This is a powerful account of the authority of Jesus, but that is another post. Jesus addressed the issues – the legion of demons.
How many times did Jesus address the flesh – never. How many times did Jesus retaliate to those that were testing Him – never.
Luke 11:17 “But He knew their thoughts and said to them…”
Matthew 9:4 “And Jesus knowing their thoughts said…”
Matthew 12:25 “And knowing their thoughts Jesus said to them…”
When I gave my life to the Lord, and many will get tired of me saying this, I asked the Lord why did I do the things that kept me from Him. There had to be a logical reason why I couldn’t stop the drugs, drinking or smoking. Then when I did give my life to the Lord He instantly removed all the physical addictions, but I still needed answers. I knew the people I hung around with had the same issues and I also knew that because God delivered me He can deliver others.
So after some time of studying the scriptures the Lord showed me why I did these things and why people have a hard time over coming addictions; no one deals with the underlying issues.
What does this have to do with walking in the spirit and teaching people to walk in the spirit you may ask?
God is all knowing, correct? The gifts of the Spirit are words of knowledge, words of wisdom, faith, healing, effecting miracles, prophecy, discernment of spirits, tongues and interpretation of tongues (1 Cor 12:4-11). Are we not filled with the same Holy Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead? Are we not to walk as Jesus walked on this earth? What did Jesus do and what did He command us to do?
Mark 16:17-18 “These signs will accompany those who have believed in My name, they will cast out demons, the will speak with new tongues they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick and they will recover”.
What if we stop being complacent, stop looking at the flesh and circumstances and walk as Jesus walked on this earth. We know that we live in a world with turmoil, decay and sin. However, we are to be lights in a dark place, to be the hands and feet of God. What if we walk in the (dunamis) power of the Holy Spirit, authority (taking our right to do what God has called us to do) in the Name of Jesus and the love of the Father? How will lives be changed, souls delivered, bodies healed and people equipped to do the same! Glory to God!
We live in a spiritual world and in a spiritual battle. Let’s go to war over the darkness that is keeping us in bondage so we can free others that are enslaved to satan and his demons!
We must learn to use the gifts of the Spirit and address the underlying issues that we battle. Then we can be free to be all about the Fathers work even more! Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty!
What if we did the works of the Father? What if we walked as Jesus walked on this earth?