God is love. This means that everything that is alive comes from His heart and will multiply the life of God in some way. The life of God is not an abstraction. It is spirit, it is personal and always life-giving. Heart-based things connect people, comfort them and enlarge their humanity in some way. On the other hand things that are merely abstractions alienate people and rob them of life.
Anything that is alive is personal but not just humanly so. A living work place or church draws life from the actual Person of Jesus who is present by the Holy Spirit. He is the focus and He is the Presence that pervades all that is done. The Presence is not an ‘it’ but a person – the Holy Spirit represents Jesus and multiplies Him in people.
Since Jesus was the Son of Man and remains so and since He is God and always will be, He joins us to God and to each other. Jesus, being love itself, joins hearts together. This is not some mushy thing but the creation of empathy between people who are often quite different. Many human communities are based on some point of similarity but Kingdom communities are based on a living connection that is Christ in us.
I worked with a colleague once who could describe every nut and bolt in his sphere of education. But Merv had no idea what the machine looked like. He lived out of parts and was oblivious of the whole. A sincere person, Merv (not his real name) was alienated from himself and therefore alienated from the ideal of what a life-giving school could be.
Such a lack of perception can be so in the natural and even more so in the spiritual. There are Merv’s who have little intimacy with Jesus. Their comfort is formulae and method. As managers they plant structures and institutions. But not the Kingdom of God or the church that Jesus is building. To participate with Jesus we must plant Him. Then we will reap sons and daughters for God.
A ministry that draws its strength from length of service, status or institutional ‘weight’ does not necessarily represent God or speak for Him. God is no respecter of persons other than those who respect and worship Him. I mean those who worship Him in humility and heart union.
Jesus chose His disciples from those who were less encumbered with religious assumptions. Paul alone came from the religious establishment and was, so to speak, a brand plucked from the burning. It was the Saul who became Paul, the legalist who bound others and had them executed, who became the great apostle of the free spirit. Such are the amazing ways of God.
Jesus will invite anyone to represent Him with authority and power – but let it be known that it is the meek who inherit the earth, the poor in spirit who have been accorded ownership of the Kingdom of Heaven and the pure in heart – those whose motive is not to accumulate status for themselves, who will see God and make Him known.
The Kingdom of God does not grow out of structure. It grows out of a Person. It grows out of Jesus and it grows from the joining of hearts. Its’ authenticity and endorsement comes from heaven and not from earth. This is why Christ’s pastors, teachers, evangelists and apostles are not authenticated by a taxonomy. They are appointed by God from among those who have a heart relationship with Jesus and the humility to serve Him in the capacity of being themselves.
These ministers of God are not fascinated with themselves or bent over in false humility. They have a life in Jesus who makes them who they are. Content to be themselves and who Jesus has made them, they joyfully multiply His life and facilitate others into their inheritance as priests and kings to reign on the earth.
‘I care very little if I am judged by you or by any human court; indeed, I do not even judge myself’ 1 Cor 4.3 NIV.
‘I can do nothing on my own. I judge as God tells me. Therefore, my judgment is just, because I carry out the will of the one who sent me, not my own will’ John 5.30 NLT.