Until the “world” has been removed from you, you are no good to the Church or world. It is all about your proximity and not your prosperity! It is not what you have but rather where you are.
“Proximity,” definition: nearness in place, time, order, occurrence, or relation.
Life comes to us in seasons. It unfolds like a story. Until we move with the Spirit of God, according to our individual story and cooperate in the seasons he has ordained, we will be of little eternal use to God. Our proximity needs to change from running away from God, to drawing near to him. And, at times this may be what’s behind the difficult seasons you go through. Remember the story of Jonah? He could not out run God, and his running from God was making him awful company.
Sometimes “surviving” is an ordained season from the Lord. Sometimes he takes us, one by one into the wilderness to remove worldliness from us. While simply living at “survival mode” may not be our choice, it may indeed be the season the Lord has ordered. We should not look to be removed from the world, rather we should look to have the world removed from us. A trip through the Land-of-Not-Enough (survival) sometimes leads us to the Land-of-Worshiping-Him.
Why did God want his people to be set free from Egypt?
Was it so he could lead them into the promised land, flowing with milk and honey?
It was so His people may come to the wilderness to worship Him there!
Exodus 7:16 (New International Version)
“Then say to him, ‘The LORD, the God of the Hebrews, has sent me to say to you: Let my people go, so that they may worship me in the desert.”
God chose a unique people to show the world that he is a unique God. His first step was to bring his people into the desert. A land of just surviving, so that his people could learn to live in the Land-of-More-Than-Enough. The Land-of-Just-Surviving, trained his people not to forget Him, while they were to live in a land of worldly treasures. Since they so quickly refused God’s process of removing Egypt from them and the reproach of a “slave mentality,” God allowed his people to linger for a generation in the Land-of-Not-Enough, living at a basic survival mode with God as their sole (soul) provider.
Stop using the methods of the world to transform his people. We are not meant to be a “subculture” but a counterculture. We think we need to resemble the world in order to reach the world? God forbid!
We have got to maintain our worship of God. Our only hope in doing so, is to get the world out of us. You cannot use the same tools the world uses for worldliness and expect to be transformed into a spiritual people.
2 Corinthians 10 (New Living Translation)
“We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments. We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God.”
1 Peter 2:11 (New Living Translation)
“Dear friends, I warn you as “temporary residents and foreigners” to keep away from worldly desires that wage war against your very souls.”
Unauthorized acts of Righteousness
I would caution you to be careful of what you parrot when reading books of men, and mimicking the ways of “rock stars.” There are many worldly ministers and authors who are too accustomed to worldly ways to be of any spiritual good. It may seem good here on earth and may produce results, but will it be recognized in heaven and will the “results” be eternal?
It’s not the ministry outcome, which should be measured, but rather it’s method. If it is a worldly method, no matter what the result or outcome, it is lawlessness and an abomination to the Lord. The definition of “lawlessness,” is unauthorized acts. In the biblical sense it means “unauthorized acts of righteousness.”
Wow! How can righteousness be considered evil acts? Let’s take a look…
Matthew 7: 21-23 (ESV):
I Never Knew You
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’
You see, your proximity is far more important than your prosperity, far more important than your talent, your “bling-power” or your religious glittering image. Proximity has to do with the nearness of your relationship with God. Not your talent, not your “anointing,” and not your wealth!
It’s not “what you do” as a Christian or minister of the Gospel; it’s not how many demon butts you kick, how many prophetic words you speak or how fluent your prayer language is. It’s not how many show up for your concerts or sermons; how many people make a decision for the Lord because of your fine singing, powerful preaching, or earth-shattering-mighty-works of God. If it is not done in accordance with the will of our Father in heaven, it is unauthorized acts of righteousness and it stinks to high-heaven. Only those who do the will of the Father, are those who know and are known by the Father in heaven. You can’t practice righteousness apart from intimately knowing God as “Father!” No matter how warm and fuzzy it makes you, and your audience feel.
You are so lost…
Lost in yourself, lost in your ministry and lost in your “so-called good works.” How lost are you? Worse yet, how lost are your disciples? Those you’ve taught, those who follow your every move and ministry trick. It may not be the stage of life you learn of your errors, but the throne of God, at Judgment Day. Repent of your lawlessness. It’s not about just doing it right, but by knowing God as Father and then doing His will, His way.
Which is better, a Worldly Church or a Churchy World? Get the world out of the Church and you will have a Church which will change the world. Our value to the Church is our clean hands from worldliness. A corrupt pastor can only corrupt, no matter how pretty and charismatic he may be, underneath and behind the scenes, he may be falling apart, but before the Church he’s Johnny-on-the-spot.
It has been too long since Christianity has produced authentic saints of God. Men and women who’ve not bowed to Baal (worldliness), nor kissed his feet, that is to tolerate sin within and without. You become what you worship, and you’ll eventually act out what is within your heart. It is far better to confess to a brother in this life now, rather than it being exposed in the Halls of Heaven and at the Throne of God.
If seasons of survival, living in the Land-of-Not-Enough, are the surest way towards righteousness and clean hands, then let us all travel there for a season of change. It is our part to wash our robes.
Revelation 22:14 (The Message)
“How blessed are those who wash their robes! The Tree of Life is theirs for good, and they’ll walk through the gates to the City. But outside for good are the filthy curs: sorcerers, fornicators, murderers, idolaters—all who love and live lies.”
Job 17:9 (New Living Translation)
“The righteous keep moving forward,
and those with clean hands become stronger and stronger.”
Jonah 2:8 (New International Version)
“Those who cling to worthless idols
forfeit the grace that could be theirs.”
Mark 8:36 (New International Version)
“What good is it for a man to gain the whole world,
yet forfeit his soul?”
Where in the Heaven are you?
Find a trusted friend and let him know where you truly are, so that you may find the needed rest for your weary soul.
Jeremiah 6:16 (TLB)
“Yet the Lord pleads with you still: Ask where the good road is, the godly paths you used to walk in, in the days of long ago. Travel there, and you will find rest for your souls. But you reply, “No, that is not the road we want!”
Yes, it is the road you want. It only takes twenty seconds to do the right thing.
Become so heavenly-minded that you’ll do earthly good. Maybe you’ll be recognized in heaven!