If one were to gauge the condition of the Church today purely by what is presented through the existing church system, there would be great reason for one to be disheartened. But the Holy Spirit revealed a long time ago that man’s perspective about things and man’s ways of doing things are not the proper measuring tools for determining the status of God’s works or the condition of His purposes in His People.
So, the traditional standards of, “how many attended today”, “how big was the offering”, “how powerful was the pastor’s sermon” or “how good was the worship” simply no longer suffice to provide a true measurement of how Father’s business is doing in the earth today.
In all honesty, such benchmarks never were, nor will they ever be able to provide an accurate assessment of the true condition of Father’s interests in the earth. The failure in using such carnal measurements stems from the fact that they are indubitably laced with an idolatrous spirit and are unwise because we simply compare ourselves amongst ourselves. And, what is even worse is that it actually entangles “church” to the world’s standards of success. Jesus answered such rubbish very plainly, “My Kingdom is not of this world.”
Perhaps, on another day, we will talk about ‘repentance’ and the part it plays in delivering us from our religious church mentality so that we might enter the function of the Kingdom. You can click on this picture and listen to a teaching on the subject if you’d like……but wait until you finish reading this post, please!
Spiritual maturity requires a lifestyle of repentance and coming to understand what the Church is in God’s mind and measuring it according to His system of measurement!
It’s pretty plain, isn’t it? Man doesn’t build the way that God builds. All you have to do is study Man’s geometry and linear way of building as opposed to the Creator’s fractal geometry in nature to see that we are extremely limited in understanding Father’s ways and experiencing His ways. Man is fairly accomplished in figuring out ways to do things that make sense to us, like building on a linear scale, and then developing entire systems (like geometry) to support our assumptions. We even do it religiously through the church systems we’ve built. So, the answer is to live a lifestyle of repentance……continually relinquish our thoughts, in order that we might obtain His thoughts and learn His ways. (Isaiah 55) (If you have no idea what I am talking about regarding fractals in nature, visit Fractal Video. Beware….the Scientists leave God out of the picture due to their evolutionary positions but we understand Romans 1:20)
We must embrace the imperative of seeing and grasping what the Church is in God’s mind and not just resign ourselves to accept what we find in the church as we have always known it. As we set our hearts to contemplate God’s mind about the Church in its wholeness and purpose, the letters to the Church of Ephesus and Colossae contain perhaps the greatest revelation.
While there is an incredible variety of revelations to peruse in these transcendent writings of the Apostle Paul, I simply want to focus on the standard by which God’s Growth is measured.
In Ephesians 4, we find the following:
until we all come……..to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.
we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ,
from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love
In revealing Christ, Paul explains to the Colossians that Christ is the firstborn of all creation and is supreme over all that has been created. All things were created through him and for him, and the universe is sustained by him. God had chosen for his complete being to dwell in Christ. Christ is not only the master of all angelic forces but is also the head of the church.
holding fast to the head, from whom the entire body, being supplied and held together by the joints and ligaments, grows with a growth which is from God.
Here, we find that the true measurement for the Church, in God’s mind, is Christ. Not only is Christ intended to be the Ruler of All Things, He also is the Head of the Church and the ruler………..you know, the measuring kind. Christ is the standard by which the Church is to be measured. If you don’t believe me, just flip over to Revelations and review the conversations Jesus Christ had with the seven churches in Asia. He is measuring them according to Himself.
There are two concepts concerning growth or increase relating to the Church in scripture. “Auxesis” is growth caused by factors originating from outside yourself or by the element of life placed there by God. The second, “propkopto” is defined as advancing through one’s own conscious efforts or self-exertion.
God’s growth is focused on “quality” (how do you love?) while man’s growth focuses on “quantity”. (How many attended? Offering? Locations? etc.)
The times in which we live no longer permits us to view success through the standards of a worldly system that dictates “the bigger – the better”. All of the religious self-exertion that we can muster will not promote God’s purpose in the earth no matter the amount of people it accrues. If the increase of the Body is not propagated by the life of God, then it will prove to be of no consequence. Though it might appear to be successful to the natural eye, it will not be able to serve God’s purpose because it will not measure up to God’s standards. Anything that stems from man’s self-efforts will not produce growth capable of bearing underneath the weight of God’s expression.
If you will permit me, I would like to encourage you a little bit. If you choose to pursue Father’s mind regarding His thoughts of what Church is and how it should be measured, you will begin to view things differently. Your eyes will be opened and you will begin to see that the representation of the Church that is being portrayed by the existing church system is not the only expression. Father is doing something with His People in the earth and it is glorious. Christ is being formed, He is being connected and expressed. Do not be discouraged or troubled! Father will have His People in the earth that measure up to the expression of His Christ!
Keep your peace!