AN OPEN LETTER OF EMPHASIS IN REGARD TO OUR TREASURED EXPERIENCES IN THE LORD
In that we are experiencing an outpouring of the presence of God at Heritage, I felt it would be important for me as your pastor to share with you a lesson I have learned through the years: “The God of the experience is more important than the experiences God gives us.” It may also be wise to add to this, “The work God is doing in us, is more important than the work God is doing through us.”
I have observed individuals along the way who have become navel gazers and without realizing it their influence for God was sadly minimized. A.B. Simpson wrote many years ago a preventive caution to the church, which still rings true today; “There is always a little danger of seeing our experience more than the source of that experience, the Person and work of the Lord Jesus.” There is and will be a greater necessity for what I refer to as “the moving parts of the church,” to become more pro-active in what we know are the last days. I want to address the great need of connection with the local fellowship that people identify with. The laymen’s work in the end time is of great importance. It is my belief that they serve as God chosen instrumentalities in this age. I would never discourage any ministry, but pastors are not called to support any and every ministry which shows up at the door. It is God’s intention to use all the resources of the church and we must be wise stewards of what God has allowed us to be a part of.
In past moves of God, there have been crisis that have arisen that most assuredly God is part of. The first is personal internal crisis, which happen because of God revealing Himself to men and women in a deeper manner. Most assuredly the crisis of Holiness and identity with the Lifestyle of Jesus brings about a conscientious need to change. This crisis becomes a more difficult struggle for some, more than others. It requires listening to the inner voice and the need to learn to be still. I can call this the puppy syndrome. Puppy’s love to run around, and it is hard to settle them down. They are not able to respond to the commands given to them, such as “STAY.” It is a process and a crisis all in one package. I have watched as these proverbial puppies have run around in circles chasing their own tail. They never can get traction in following God. They continue to miss the point. The point is, the source who we celebrate, not our own encounters.
In the past I have seen men far more talented than their peers. They started off like the Fire Works show we just watched on our 4th of July gathering. They had held great promise, they were packaged to sell, but they fizzled and burned out, only making a big show and a loud boom. I have watched as some of these did not even get off the ground.
I love what the Bible says regarding being fitly joined together:
From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplies, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, making increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love. - Ephesians 4:16 (AKJV)
When the body is fitly joined, it becomes one moving part, which cannot be broken down when the parts are all synchronized. It may be easier to comprehend what I am saying by reading another translation:
No prolonged infancies among us, please. We’ll not tolerate babes in the woods, small children who are easy prey for predators. God wants us to grow up, to know the whole truth and tell it in love—like Christ in everything. WE TAKE OUR LEAD FROM CHRIST, WHO IS THE SOURCE OF EVERYTHING WE DO. He keeps us in step with each other. His very breath and blood flow through us, nourishing us so that we will grow up healthy in God, robust in love. - Ephesians 4:14-16 (The Message Translation)
I BELIEVE IN YOU,