5 : Governing Principles for the Church's Actions

 

The first thing that is required is the adoption of a corporate mindset: We are the Church of Jesus Christ in Massachusetts, expressing itself concretely in smaller bodies all over the state. We must regain our corporate outlook and begin to plan, strategize and act corporately. We must find the basis for unified action. The Spirit will only act through a united Church, not through isolated corpuscles. We must come together and begin to explore the bases for concerted action over a long period of time. This unity must not seek to be so encompassing that it pretends to embrace all the churches in this state. It must be founded on spiritual harmony and biblical orthodoxy. Ironically, it will clearly demarcate spiritual boundaries and accentuate already existent divisions in the Church. Nevertheless, it is required that people of like mind and spirit come together to hear from God and begin to act in faith to reclaim this nation for Christ.

Secondly, we must stop being reactive and let the enemy dictate the time, terrain and methodology of our actions. The Church must come together to fashion an agenda as it hears from God. We must corporately discern the heart of God for this time and establish a detailed strategy accordingly. We must conceive a great vision of what we want to see happen in this region, visualize it in detail without being too concerned about present obstacles, past failures or limitations of money, infrastructure or human resources. All of these will be resolved as we begin to move by faith. As the priests carry the Ark in front and the various “tribes” of the Church send their representatives and they all begin to move in faith, the Jordan will open before them and they will cross it dry (Joshua 3:11-13). No obstacle will prevail against the proactive initiatives of God’s people.

Here it must be emphasized that specificity is of the utmost importance. God wants us to declare what we want to see happen in various areas of the life of this state, and He will honor our declarations. God has given us the favor, the power and the authority. The specific details are up to us. That will be a mark of this revival. It will not be some sovereign, unilateral move on the part of God. It will be designed, initiated and carried out by the Church, under the Spirit’s guidance and empowerment. This initiative will require a strategic, systemic outlook, sober thinking and a spiritually lucid intelligence. Things must be planned, written out and specified in a spirit of submission and humility before God. God’s part will be to bless and prosper all that we undertake.

With respect to this second point, it must also be emphasized that we need to be ambitious and encompassing in the plans that we conceive. Isaiah 54 seems to be another paradigm for the action of the Church in Massachusetts at this time. Verses 2 and 3 seem to be particularly applicable: We must not be timid. We must dream great dreams and ask God for things that now seem impossible to attain. The “place” of the tent (vs. 2), the curtains, cords and stakes all point to the structural, systemic nature of this revival. The promise of expanding “to the right and to the left” point to the expansive nature of our reach. This is not a time for timid, modest visions, governed by fear and past shame (vs. 4), but rather for ambitions, optimistic initiatives made possible by the understanding that this is a new time, and that we now move with God’s benevolent wind on our back!

Thirdly, we must stop obsessing about homosexuality and gay marriage. These have only been the initial stimuli God has used to get our attention. They are purely symptomatic. They are not the disease. The spiritual roots of the present condition go much deeper. They extend to the Church’s present state of spiritual decrepitude, our lack of spiritual vision and passion. It is our inaction, timidity and spiritual complacency that has given way to the present state of affairs. Satan has not wrested anything from us. We have relinquished it passively. We have not tilled the soil and nature has merely asserted itself by default, filling the void we have allowed with spiritual weeds.

We have not been diligent or discerning enough to systematically penetrate the various areas of the collective life of this nation—media, government, the arts, the corporate sector, the intellectual disciplines, the philanthropic and social service sectors, and have allowed them to become saturated with a godless secular outlook. We must now proceed systematically to penetrate and reconquer these areas, identifying appropriate strategies for each, and pursuing these strategies with a long-term outlook. This is precisely what the homosexual sector has done for the past thirty-five years. The results speak for themselves! We must consider the following: If human beings energized by mere intellect and will power following a godless agenda have been able to achieve so much in such a brief period of time, how much more, and more quickly, will the Church of Jesus Christ be able to achieve if it undertakes a concerted strategy, energized and illuminated by the Holy Spirit! “With him is an arm of flesh; but with us is the Lord our God, to help us and to fight our battles.” (2 Chro. 32:8). This principle is applicable for all times, but is particularly appropriate in a season where God is prophetically telling us that His favor is specifically and actively resting on any systematic initiatives we undertake in this region.

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