WONDERS OF WORSHIP
VISION AND DIVINE ORDER
The true church of Jesus Christ is a mystery not hidden from us but preserved for us. This unified body of believers is birthed from a holy vision of the Almighty and as with every spiritual truth there is always a general lack of understanding and that unfortunately brings consequences. “My people are destroyed for the lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.” (Hosea 4:6)
Of course each child of God is a member of the universal church but I want to focus on the corporate institution or visible, local, organized gathering of believers. When it comes to spiritual authority of course we acknowledge Christ as the head of the church and must always, ultimately submit to God in all things. And we will say with our mouth that we respect whom God has placed to lead the flock but our thoughts and actions sometimes prove something else. Most Christians agree that each truly called pastor is given a vision, direction and responsibility directly from the throne of heaven for a particular location and congregation. While there may be some truth in the idea that the desires of the “people” establish the style within the assembly that gives its own unique personality, the government within the church is based on a holy order not made with hands. Others may think the elders, evangelist, teachers, apostles, prophets or even the worship leaders are the actual visionaries and spiritual authority. What does all this have to do with worship? Maybe more than you think.
If you ask each Christian what they would like to see in the area of worship or church ministries you would find there are many different opinions and ideas to make the church better and more efficient. The problems come when the wound of dissatisfaction becomes a painful infection of discouragement. This leads to private discussions that are intended to help but usually just grow into more sadness and misery. People have sincere intentions to see God meet the needs of the people but do not realize the enemy can use negative gossip and critical attitudes to start an avalanche of fear and hopelessness. This is a snare trap that Satan can use to steal our joy and enthusiasm for service, bring lukewarmness to our soul, decrease the anointing in our worship services and hinder the encouragement and edification to those who need ministry. How can we serve on the worship team if we cannot trust the leadership? What can we do when the dark clouds of restlessness and complaining flood into the church? Lots of prayer! We must first know this is where God wants us, and then realize that if the leaders are wrong God will deal with them – but bless our obedience to HIS divine authority. We must also make sure that we stand strong with biblical truth in our conversations and not compromise what God has revealed to us. He is depending on us to share His truth and will anoint the messenger that chooses to deliver His message in love.
Our corporate worship with our spiritual family is a holy celebration, an outward proclamation of unity, love and faith and is equally as important but yet separate from our personal “closet” quiet time with God to adore and express our love to Him. In corporate worship and church membership we are identifying with Christ, representing His Kingdom and submitting under His perfect Word of justice and truth. I’m not saying the under-Shepard is perfect because they are far from it but that is not the point – none of us are. What I am saying is that with all of the problems and warfare you can imagine they are called and “selected” to be the receiver, the amplifier and the speaker to the people; that includes following God’s specific instructions. This kind of responsibility is a pressure cooker because of the worries that come from trying to please God plus the overload of advice from every “arm chair quarterback” that wants to help steer the ship. What the Lord is trying to teach His saints is not only the reverential fear of His presence but also to respect the direct line of authority in the office of pastor. I am not talking about a general idea of religious structure I am referring to a personal “revelation” of respect for God’s systematical decree. The Father wants His people to trust and follow His voice but He also wants us to acknowledge and respect the pastor as the one who brings God’s appointed word of healing and ministry – in God’s perfect time – and who is the visionary of the worship and glory of God’s presence.
There are true stories of church members in Kentucky who have brought guns to business meetings. We may laugh but this is an extreme example of an infected attitude of rebellion against a holy established order of spiritual headship. We would agree this is a dangerous state of mind and a blind spiritual condition but when people murmur and complain against the leadership of the pastor is it not the same spirit? We remember that Jesus was anointed to preach the gospel and lead the people in a heavenly direction but was challenged and rejected by those He was trying to save. Many had their own visions of what the Kingdom should look like and sound like while the Alpha and Omega was standing right in front of them. How can we trust the sincerity of a pastor if we do not love him? How can we worship God and cry for His presence if we do not love and obey His divine order? If the church is not going the way we think it should, we have two options; get planted where God wants us to be or pray harder that God will open our eyes. Translation: adjust your attitude or your location? God does not want to “prune” the rebellious ones from the assembly unless they refuse to seek His face and allow the spirit of control to damage what God is trying to build. It is dangerous to continue in this destructive attitude as God will correct it.
Just because many assemblies do not function correctly does not mean that God has not created a perfect blueprint for vision and order within His church. Our commitment and loyalty must first be to Christ, then to our Pastor, and next to our brothers and sisters in the body of Christ. Establishing these priorities are a strong foundation of commitment and a crucial part of a healthy Christian life. When we receive the divine revelation of God’s principals we progress and develop in spiritual maturity. But when we increase in pride from religious information without God’s holy enlightenment we become a hindrance and destined for failure. The refusal to follow this holy pattern could be why many have not advanced in their ministry.
This word is a hard word for all of us and we all have lots of problems and issues that we need to deal with. It must be studied from a spiritual, biblical perspective without any “coaching” from our emotions. Let us rest in the peace in knowing that God is not trying to rule us with an iron fist or torture us with an evil agenda that receives pleasure from our pain. He wants us to realize we are standing on Holy ground in His presence and He wants us to understand; the vision and order of God’s church is perfect and just as strong and pure as it has ever been. Jesus is trying to do a deep work in all of us so we can handle the next level of power and anointing that He is ready to pour out through us. May we examine our hearts, repent, renew our mind and complete our victorious mission!