How much of your time, as a follower of Jesus, do you spend in the Word and on your face, crying out to the Lord for mercy, speaking light and truth, love and true identity, into the Church (as a whole)? How much of your time is spent in critical thinking, speaking anger, bitterness and judgment, and flinging mud at the Bride of Christ? I realize that sounds harsh, but it is a reality. I find myself being incredibly humbled in this time that we are in. I have been on my face before the Lord, becoming even more painfully aware of my own weaknesses, and reaching out for the wisdom, purity, and righteousness of God. I see the issues and problems as well as the judgment and wounds we inflict on each other, all in the name of righteousness… but who’s?
Democracy in our nation, in any nation, only works when the self-governing people of that nation operate in the righteousness of God (i.e. God’s justice and mercy).(National Monument to the Forefathers (The Foundation of Democracy) His righteousness sets up a parameter that protects us from selfish ambition, man’s logic, jealousy, anger, hurt, and all range of thoughts and emotions that most often take control and cause division, imprisonment and pain.
It is the same for Church government. We were designed to function as a democracy; more accurately, as a family who humbly submit to one another (Ephesians 5:15-21). If we, as leaders and as the body of Christ, do not seek the good fruit of the righteousness of God, we become driven by our own ideas and logic, weakened, divided, and self-destructive. Our righteousness takes the place of God’s causing us to misinterpret His Word and ignore His Spirit. We lose sight of what actually is right and wrong. Ultimately, we lose sight of LOVE (John 15, 1 Corinthians 13, 1 John 3).
“Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.” (James 3:13-18)
As a nation and as the Church, we must come to the place of true humility. Sounds impossible, right? With man, it is, but with God, all things are possible! Which is why as followers of Christ, it is for our good and His glory, for us to humble ourselves before Him, be healed of our wounds and bitterness, and seek His good and perfect will; to let His perfect love cast out all fear, that our faith be strengthened in truth and in power by the Holy Spirit! As sons and daughters of the living God, it is our call and passion to pray for one another, to speak light and truth into each other, to confront sin, in love, with the righteousness of God.
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” (Romans 12:1-2)
“But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth. Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him, where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all. Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” (Colossians 3:8-17)
I recently looked up the definition, in Greek, of the word “peacemaker” found in Matthew 5:9. “Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the sons of God.” The word peacemaker means to “bravely declare God’s terms which makes someone WHOLE.” I had this sudden, simple revelation that when we humble ourselves (not just in a moment, but a lifestyle of humility) and seek His righteousness, it opens the floodgates to peace and ultimately, UNITY! How do we become peacemakers? Praying, singing, speaking, declaring and prophesying the Word of the Lord! Being a peacemaker requires being poor in spirit (humility), mourning, meekness (controlled strength), desperation for righteousness, extending mercy, and purity (Matthew 5:3-10, Sermon on the Mount). Loving our enemies while not compromising the Truth. Speaking life and light, prophesying the truth of God’s Word over the Body, the Bride of Christ, regardless of her weaknesses, iniquities, and sins. GOD LOVES HIS CHURCH! And so should we. It is our testimony to the world that Jesus IS who He says He is!
“I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me. Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world. O righteous Father! The world has not known You, but I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me. And I have declared to them Your name, and will declare it, that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them.” (Jesus’ prayer for us, John 17:20-26)
Scripture says that judgment will first come to the house of God and then to all nations (1 Peter 4:17-19). My prayer is for judgment to first come to my own heart. How can I possibly dare to judge the entire Bride of Christ before looking into my own self-righteous soul? I want to know Him and be found in Him, carrying His righteousness and His love. I will pray and prophesy light and truth into the Church. I will cry out for mercy! I will pray that all believers will humble themselves before the Lord, will be found in His Word and on their faces, seeking His good and perfect will. It is His desire to lead us down the path of righteousness, the path of life. He wants us to know His heart and His will! We can know which way to go, how to vote, how to move forward…all we need to is ASK, SEEK, KNOCK and the DOOR WILL BE OPENED.
“But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.” (Philippians 3:7-11)
“He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.” (Psalm 23:3)
“Thus says the Lord who made it, the Lord who formed it to establish it (the Lord is His name): ‘Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.’” (Jeremiah 33:2-3)
I pray, not just for this election or for this time, but for the future. For those who have yet to be born, I am willing to lay down my life, my agenda, my entitlements, my self-righteousness for the Greater Love (John 15:3). I want to be one who is willing to give my life for those I love and for my enemies. Jesus did. He is my all in all, and my life is His. Let us all seek to be peacemakers, to be true sons of God. Give us the mind of Christ, I pray. Father, let is be so, I ask, in the name of Jesus.
“Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.” (Philippians 2:1-4)