Church Life is Just a Small Portion of God's Will for Us
It's not Just the Spiritual--But It's All Spiritual
God's will is not just about the spiritual life. God wants us to prosper in all aspects of life, spiritual and otherwise. Yet, spiritual or mundane, it's still all spiritual to God if you're deep in Christ. I used to think that God's will was what we did in church. What we did outside was not counted. Then, I had a revelation--God's will is mostly what we do outside, not inside. In fact, God really watches us when we're not doing anything "spiritual," as it were. God watches our lives when we're in the world--especially where no one knows we're Christians--and that's where he bases his rewards to us.
We often think that the way we worship and pray and study the bible in church is what counts. So we pour so much effort into these. Then come Monday, we leave God in church to do our jobs in the world as the world does them, and the 6 days we're absent in church make us "weak" and "injured" as we move about in the world and relate with unbelievers, and then we look forward excitedly to being in church on Sunday to "recharge" with God again. To many of us that's church life.
We Grow Stronger When in the World
Strong fighters and warriors are so, the longer they are exposed in battles and wars. You don't become an experienced and veteran warrior--strong and fit for action--by staying in the barracks all your life, just eating nutritious food and enjoying peace and quiet.
We're all drafted in the Lord's army so that we're counted on to always "wear the full armor of God" as expert fighters and experienced warriors. We have to be out there fighting battles and conquering territories with the Lord. We grow stronger when in the world than in church activities. A church escaping its strategic position in the world may have wonderful worship services and singing and music but is really powerless in the spirit. We have to get used to being in the midst of corruption and lies and intrigues and office politics and stealing and yet not be tainted in anyway but winning souls and territories for Christ.
There's no victory in comfortable and permanent retreat.
I don't believe in quitting your secular job and going full-time in ministry "unexposed to the world" so you'd be separate for the Lord. The right idea is to be in the midst of worldliness and yet be separate for the Lord. This way, you grow strong. I know what I'm talking about--I've been in tough situations in secular employment and yet be seen uncompromising, earning people's ire and respect at the same time.
We Have to be Out There in Every Possible Way
We have to make our presence felt in the world without meaning to. They have to see how the Kingdom works in their midst without them thinking that it's just another form of religion or another born again church. No, you don't have to shout slogans about how you're a born again Christian and how your denominational church is behind everything good that you're making happen in the world. Simply be there as a Kingdom representative and act and live Christ. Period.
Life and character are much more powerful than religious slogans or names or titles. You don't have to announce the good you're doing--just do it as Jesus just did it. If you must say something, simply say--"Repent! The Kingdom of God is near!" Or something like that, in modern language, of course. It's better to have people see the real Christ in you and get convicted and disturbed and confused as Herod was with Christ. He didn't understand what was happening--"John I beheaded, so who on earth is this?"
It's lots better to have people see something very different in you and come to you at night to ask about what's different in you. "We know you're a businessman from God (if you're in business) because these things seen in you cannot be possible unless God is with you." They see Christ's unique and radical life and character in you (though they don't know what it is yet) and they get rebuked and shamed by it without you saying a word against them.
There you are a businessman making good money, for instance, but you spend it all--no, not for your denominational church--but for the Kingdom, helping people without strings attached or without forcing or pestering them to attend your church--just as Jesus did it. You give and do not ask anything in return--not even their church attendance. Instead, they seek where you attend church to go with you there, but you tell them, "I don't go to any man's church. Foxes have holes and birds have nests, but my church has no building--for my body is God's temple"--or something like that.
But this won't happen if all we do is sing and pray inside church buildings and invite people to watch our performance there.
Think of the Will as a Mansion
We always think about church when we talk about ministry. But ministry is not just church or things we treat as "spiritual." It's like a mansion--didn't Jesus say the Father's house has many mansions? So, let's see God's will as a mansion.
Just because we discovered the toilet and bathroom in God's mansion, we say "this is ministry." So, we all set to construct toilets and bathrooms all our lives--because we say that's ministry. Whenever we say we want to serve God and do a church ministry, we build a toilet and bathroom. So, to date, the world is full of toilets and bathrooms in every street corner because we say we have to spread the gospel.
But we forfeit ourselves of the other areas in the mansion. We haven't gone to the anteroom, the living room, the dining room, kitchen, library, family room, the guestrooms, the courtyard, the garden, and the Throne Room on the rooftop, to name a few. All the church has known of the mansion is the toilet and bathroom area.
Toilet and bathroom are important, mind you. But they aren't all that the mansion is about. Now, a small number of folks managed to get a peek of the living room, dining, and kitchen in the past--and excitedly told others about them--but the others said, "Be careful about that place. It's not God's will. It's not biblical. It's worldly. It's demonic."
I've gone to the mansion's kitchen and dining room--aside from the Throne Room--and I tell you, there are more delectable food dishes to eat in the dining room than we're told by toilet and bathroom people. And the fun you get from cooking different dishes in the mansion's kitchen is something else! It's got ingredients galore and you can cook new recipes of your own which the mansion Owner is just too excited to sample! But some folks in the toilet and bathroom say it's dangerous to do that because it's really Satan's trick. They should know--they have the titles and degrees and church position.
Oh, and the mansion's gym--you should try it!
All Things to All Men
Take a hint--men of God had different professions. Adam was what--a farmer? Abraham was a traveling businessman. Jacob was first a farmer and then a businessman. Joseph was prime minister. Moses was first a government official, and then a shepherd, and then a foreign minister and statesman. Joshua was an army officer. Nehemiah was a bodyguard.
Paul, Aquila and Priscilla were tent-makers. Jesus was a carpenter, but he knew about farming, fishing, investments, and construction. Lydia of Thytira was a dealer in purple cloth. Cornelius was a soldier. And so on. They all did real and important kingdom and church ministries while in the world. They did secular jobs but it was all spiritual nonetheless.
The challenge is to be all things to all men. Why don't we explore what God has for us in the business sector, education, technology, in physical fitness, health and wellness, sales and marketing, PR, advertising, investments, and others? Even pastors should do this and not just confine themselves to church and denominational theologies and doctrines. We should stop limiting ourselves to "church" because God's plan is for the church to build His Kingdom on earth.
To build the "mansion," we should realize that it should have a garage, front and back yards, an anteroom perhaps leading to the living room and other areas, and so forth. I think we've built enough toilets and bathrooms. It's time for us to build the other parts of the mansion, so the world would see that the Father's house has indeed many mansions, not just toilet and bathroom facilities.
More by this Author
God shows you something in Scripture so crystal clear, and it’s so powerful. He tells you it’s yours in due time, so you wait in expectation. Then it never happens. Instead, you see other people have it, and...
Great things are for the great. However, God's delight is in simple folks who have hearts like little children whose only talents are marvel at his work and heavily rely on him.
I began understanding the plan of God in the latter part of 1998. I had already been pastoring a big church then, starting as an associate pastor in 1983, and then being the senior pastor later. But everything was...