What Must I Do to Do The Work of God
A Declaration of Dependence on Christ
Standing at the Parting of Ways
Walking with the Lord Together
Joshua 24:15 But if you refuse to serve the Lord, then choose today whom you will serve. Would you prefer the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates? Or will it be the gods of the Amorites in whose land you now live? But as for me and my family, we will serve the Lord.”
Why is it so difficult to experience a functioning church. In order for a church of Jesus Christ to truly function as a church of Jesus Christ it takes the vast majority to be completely dependent on the indwelling life of Jesus Christ. Not other gods or idols. Without the complete dependence on Jesus Christ His church, His body cannot express who it really is.
The opposite of dependence on Jesus Christ is dependence on something else aka `a god’. If I am not depending on the indwelling life of Jesus Christ expressed to me through the Holy Spirit then I am dependent on the thoughts and reasoning’s of independent temporal flesh.
Paul speaks about dependence on Christ in this way:
Phil 3:7-11 But everything that was a gain to me, I have considered to be a loss because of Christ. More than that, I also consider everything to be a loss in view of the surpassing value, of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. Because of Him I have suffered the loss of all things and consider them filth, so that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own from the law, but one that is through faith in Christ —the righteousness from God based on faith. [My goal] is to know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, assuming that I will somehow reach the resurrection from among the dead.
The church is a gathering of parts of Christ’s body that, if functioning orderly, are being directed by the head i.e. Jesus Christ. A body that is “out of order” consists of parts that are living by law and not the present indwelling voice of Jesus Christ.
If we look at Most traditional Church settings we recognize the fact that these are established on traditions and doctrines
The First Baptist Church; Pentecostal Church of God; Assemblies of God; Four Square Church – its all of them.
What guides the people when they gather? Is it the practice for each one to come with ear to hear the living voice of the indwelling Spirit or do they come to take part in a preordained order and tradition without ever engaging the Life within them? Only can each one answer for himself.
I know for myself when I went to Church I came to do my part . I taught Sunday School and had other duties but I can’t say I was never taught or encouraged to listen and respond to the Spirits voice and minister to my fellow brothers and sisters at that moment. I am not saying that it never happened because it did a few times. But over 20 years of being in an institutional setting it didn’t happen more than 20 times. Over all it was rare that we would ever really engage in actual Life.
When John wrote to the 7 churches in His Revelation of Jesus Christ – To each church he said: “Anyone who has an ear should listen to what the Spirit says to the churches”
As people who have the voice of the Spirit within them, I ask the question “do we listen to and allow ourselves to be instructed by the voice of the Spirit/ the Christ within us? Do we live our life dependent on the leading and guidance of that voice? Or do we just live a careless life of dependence on our temporal thoughts and feelings. Do we try and better ourselves by overcoming bad or harmful habits, addictions and other listed sins. Do we try to live righteous lives like the Pharisees did or like Peter do we declare – You Jesus, have the words of eternal life.
John 6:60-68 Therefore, when many of His disciples heard this, they said, “This teaching is hard! Who can accept it?” .…. “Does this offend you? ….. The Spirit is the One who gives life. The flesh doesn’t help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life. But there are some among you who don’t believe.” …..From that moment many of His disciples turned back and no longer accompanied Him. Therefore Jesus said to the Twelve, “You don’t want to go away too, do you?” Simon Peter answered, “Lord, who will we go to? You have the words of eternal life.
The church got really small this day. Jesus lost most of the 70 disciples that had been following Him. You see theses disciples believed He was the Messiah – the problem was, what they believed about Him more than they believed in Him. When His words did not match what they thought (in their fleshly mind) He should say or do – they no longer followed Him. The reality was they never really followed Him anyways – they were living out their doctrine and traditions of the Jewish Messiah. As long as He fit within their concepts they accepted Him but when He went outside of their understanding they were offended and left him behind. Jesus was not the Jewish Messiah they thought He was. Peter had no greater understanding than the disciples who left but Peter was unwilling to live in the old way. He was able to hear and see that Jesus had the WORDS of eternal life and although Peter did not understand Jesus he did not see anywhere else to go.
What could not be heard? Jn.6:28-59
Then some disciples asked – “What can we do to perform the works of God?” they asked.
Many today ask this question – why don’t we do like Jesus did – the miracles and such? Jesus answered them this way –
Jesus replied, “This is the work of God: that you believe in the One He has sent.”
Belief comes by hearing Him, accepting and having faith in Him and then doing. The work of God is not to believe in the teaching and examples of Jesus Christ. The `work’ we are to do is listen to the ever present indwelling voice of the Father, believe it and do it.
“What sign then are You going to do so we may see and believe You?” they asked. “What are You going to perform? Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, just as it is written: He gave them bread from heaven to eat. ” Jesus said to them, ” I assure you: Moses didn’t give you the bread from heaven, but My Father gives you the real bread from heaven. For the bread of God is the One who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”Then they said, “Sir, give us this bread always!”
“I am the bread of life,” Jesus told them. “No one who comes to Me will ever be hungry, and no one who believes in Me will ever be thirsty again. But as I told you, you’ve seen Me, and yet you do not believe.
Here He is asking them to “do the work of God” They want to perform miracles like Jesus had just done with the bread and fishes. How many of us today want to do the miracles that Jesus did? How often is the scripture Mark 16:17-18 (“These signs will accompany those who have believed: in My name they will cast out demons, they will speak with new tongues; they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”) This verse is often put forth as an example of doing the work of God.
Jesus goes on to say: For I have come down from heaven, not to do My will, but the will of Him who sent Me.
In other words – I am not asking you to do anything that I myself am not doing. I want you to believe and follow me the same way I believe and follow my Father – Don’t try and imitate the things I do – don’t try and be like me in the miracles I perform. Have a relationship with our Father! We are to listen to the Wonderful Counselor and walk with Him the same way Jesus walked with Him. He will help you do the things that you are to do – not the things that the Father had Jesus do.
Here is a verse in Proverbs we all should consider.
End Part 1
This entry was posted on May 11, 2009 by Eclectic Mind. It was filed under Church Life, Disciples of Jesus Christ, Friends, House Church, Jesus Christ, Organic Church, Pagan Christianity, Reimagining Church, Truth, Wise Sayings and was tagged with Disciples of Jesus, Following the Indwelling Spirit, Following your Bliss.