Saturday, November 10, 2018

Call to Maturity in the Church

I had a dream where the Lord revealed several things about the condition of the church and where He wants to bring us to. There were several different scenes all related to what was going on in a particular church.

First, there was a scene where two people were engaged in adulterous sex. I was in the room, in a separate bed but they didn't seem to mind that I was there. In fact, it almost seemed as if they wanted me to participate with them. At one point, the male subject quietly said something about losing his faith, so I began talking to him. I was surprised to hear that he attended this church. It surprised me to think that there are people in the church that are quite involved in sin.

Lord, we pray that the church loses her desire to participate in sin. Has the desire to be the holy bride she is called to be. That we desire a holy relationship with You in Jesus' Name.

In the next scene, I was in a room with some people, I made a statement and a woman said, "Oh, you must be catholic." I knew that she meant that I must still have a lot of guilt feeling. I said, "I was raised catholic." Then I wondered if I was carrying a feeling of guilt that I shouldn't. I wondered if I needed a greater understanding of the work of Jesus Christ to free me from sin and guilt.

Is there still a sense of guilt in the church that needs to be replaced with the knowledge of all that Jesus did for us? Was the church "raised" with a sense of guilt which needs to be replaced with the knowledge of holiness? Lord, I pray that Your church learn the reality of Your finished work on the cross and all that You did to free us from sin and the guilt of sin. Help us to understand the reality of being a new creation in You.

Then I was talking with an accountant-type person. We talked from time to time and I began to think that he must be pretty high up in the church organization--maybe on the church board. But I didn't want to ask him what his position was yet because I just wanted to hear what he had to say. It seemed like if I knew his position then that might change things. Towards the end of the dream I asked him what his position was. He said he was the treasurer. I understood that there was more than one treasurer and he wasn't the "top" treasurer, but I thought, wow, he has a lot of responsibility.

I seemed to know that I could have become impressed with who he was so I was intentionally trying to avoid finding out who he was so that wouldn't distract me from what he was saying. I needed to discern what he was saying not because he was "important" but because he was speaking truth. Lord, I pray that any vying for position that is going on in Your church, or people who might be trying to impress others for the purpose of recognition or promotion be exposed. Those who are "rubbing elbows" with the leaders for unholy purposes. Awaken Your people to any of this that is going on within their own heart. Instill a desire within us to hear what all of Your people have to say, not just those who appear to be an "important' person. 

It seems that as some groups get large, and certain people gain respect because of their anointing, there is a danger of falling into this political, worldly type spirit. This may be why the Lord likes smaller groups because there is not so much temptation to fall into pride because of recognition or selfish ambition. Lord, expose this in Your people, if there is any of this going on. Wake us up to it. Let the love of God and humility rise up in Your people so we are not led astray by pride or arrogance.

The Lord told Abram that He would make his name great (Genesis 12). However, this is something the Lord does. We shouldn't "promote" people because of their outward appearance, worldly status, or elegant speaking, but because they are called by the Lord. Oftentimes, people weren't recognized for their greatness until after they died. It's not important to strive for recognition or greatness now, but to follow the Lord and what He's called us to do. He's the one who will call attention to it if and when it needs to be done. 

Peter told the people not to look at them as if their own power or their own holiness caused the man at the Gate Beautiful to be healed. He directed their attention to the Lord who did it (Acts 3:12). This could be not only for the people's benefit, but for theirs, desiring to stay humble and resist all forms of pride.

Jesus said, whoever will be great among you let him be servant of all (Mark 10:43).

In the next scene of my dream some people were talking about money and they said there was something like $70,000 that came in to the church that year. I thought that seemed quite low for a big church/ministry like this one. I was comparing it to the income of our church and I knew they had a lot more people than we did. It didn't seem right. I thought there must be a lot of people not tithing, and not giving. Are there a lot of poor people in this church? No I don't believe so.

I asked if people weren't tithing. Some of them made it seem like it was immature to tithe. They didn't believe it was something they were obligated to do. I said that I was going to continue to tithe, and another lady there said she was too. I thought if everyone were to tithe, imagine how much money the church would have. I said that if they didn't want to call it tithing they could at least give a big offering. 

It seemed as if the people wanted to make it appear as if they were spiritual and didn't have to tithe. But in reality it was just an excuse to try and cover their stinginess. Making the evil (stinginess) appear good and good appear evil (Isaiah 5:20).

Then there were some people drinking beer and wine. I noticed it and recognized they felt the freedom to do that in this church. I turned around and saw a guy getting some out of a refrigerator and offering it to others. I realized the church stocked alcohol there and made it available to everyone. I said that my husband and I did that for a while. We took advantage of our "freedom in Christ" to drink alcohol, but then it got to where we were doing it all the time and we decided it was more of a hindrance and we stopped.

Lord, I pray that the church's desire for the Spirit of God increases more than the spirit of the world. I pray that even though You have given us freedom, we don't abuse that. I pray for wisdom, that we are led by Your Spirit, that we desire what You desire in our heart. That we come to a place of knowing what to stay away from and what we are to engage in. That we are not deceived, not under the influence of wrong spirits, but that we stay true to Your Spirit and walk in the holiness and righteousness You've provided for us and called us to.

Then the leader of this church and ministry--which is a worldwide ministry--was speaking and talking about not doing so many conferences and events. He wanted to focus on the church services and building relationships. It seemed that he had noticed people weren't building relationships with each other and wanted to remedy that. I thought he's getting things in order for when he passes away and the leadership passes on to someone else.

Once again, smaller groups. If the opportunity is not there for us to look for recognition and huge crowds to lead, or to get close to the leadership out of a sense of pride, then we will be able to build closer relationships and work together with others we know and care for. Instead of looking to take their place or be like them, or desire their call and anointing, we will be encouraged to fulfill our place and call. This is also the attitude we should pass on to new leaders. 

1 Timothy 3:1-7 speaks of not putting a new convert into position of an overseer in the church so will not become conceited and fall into the devil's trap. It's interesting that this passage of Scripture also mentions being "the husband of one wife...not addicted to from the love of money" among other things. These are also things addressed in this dream.

At the end of the dream, we were in a meeting room. I spoke up and said something to the whole room. I felt like I got some strange looks and was not real well received. I wondered if I should have said anything, but I also felt as if I needed to say what I did and not hide my feelings.

This dream seems to indicate a need for balance between having freedom in Christ and being bound by guilt. Yes we have freedom and yes we have discipline, and we need to walk in balance with both as the Lord desires us to.

Lord, bring an awareness to the church so they can respond to You, repent where needed, and grow up. Instill within us a desire to grow and mature in You. We want Your heart. Bring this revelation to Your people along with a desire to turn to You. 

When we see the Lord for who He is, and realize how we compare, it can ignite a desire to grow to be more like Him. We don't want to just tickle the ears of others, but we don't want to point fingers and condemn the church either. We want to reveal the beauty and holiness of Jesus. Shine His light so our own hearts are revealed in comparison to Him. Glorify the Lord. Magnify Him. Shine His light in our hearts so we can turn away from all darkness and respond to the Light. The pure in heart will desire Him. The pure in heart will see God (Matthew 5:8).

Those who are His will be drawn to the Light. Those who are not will be repelled by the Light. Just like His fragrance gives life to the living and death to the dying.

Release Your fragrance Lord! Smelling Him brings discernment to our heart so we can see truth. We breathe in His Spirit and become more like Him. We also are a fragrance of Christ to both those who are perishing and to the saved. The fragrance of Christ that we give off is death to those dying, and life to those who are saved (2 Corinthians 2:14-16).

Bring us into a place of maturity in You. (1 Corinthians 3:1-4).

We release Your fragrance and Your light into the community and into the church, to call Your people into a greater holiness. So they breathe in Your fragrance, are filled with Your Spirit to a greater degree, and are changed into the image of Jesus Christ. All of this so their heart's desires are the same as Yours. Bring Your church into maturity! Wake us up. Wake up all of our spiritual senses. We cooperate with You in Jesus' Name. Amen!

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