Monday, July 27, 2009

The Emphasis on De-Emphasis

God loves us whether we feel Him or not! He is faithful whether we are aware of His faithfulness or not; but, how healthy is it for a church or ministry to overly emphasize our lack of encounter? This can be similar to making doctrine to justify a lack of healing in our midst. Is it fruitful for a congregation to regularly emphasize and dwell upon our weakness? (albeit somewhat true) To say that we don’t have to shout when we pray, be excited when we worship, or feel emotional about Jesus? Is it healthy to believe we may live our lives without feeling His presence, “as long as we believe we are faithful!”?

If we make it a practice to emphasize what we should not be doing, because certain forms or beliefs are deemed religious or insincere, we risk creating a counter-movement that is equally religious and insincere.

If we make doctrine (written or cultural) based on our lack of spiritual experience or breakthrough, we risk creating an atmosphere of false contentment, where the church is not contending for a greater manifestation of God in their midst.

I have a confession, I want to feel God! I want to be filled continually with His unspeakable joy! I want to weep when He weeps, laugh when he laughs. God is emotional, and so am I. I want to be continually spiritually discontent causing me to cry out for a greater breakthrough for my generation, all the while being completely content in Christ’s sufficiency for me. I will shout in worship, if my heart says shout!

Listen, there truly is a lot of flakey mess in the body of Christ! And I certainly believe churches should be taught to avoid certain practices and excesses. However, we must have an overriding emphasis on who we are in Christ, (the resurrected side of the cross) and help create an atmosphere of faith for greater breakthrough by raising the bar of our spiritual expectancy. As Paul stated, “earnestly desiring spiritual gifts…”

God doesn’t necessarily respond to those who have an excessive amount of self control, but those who have faith!

Yes, He likes us just as we are, and Yes He wants us to contend for more.

- Richy Clark

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