Follow Desire or Prophecy?

Abraham tried to figure out a way to make God’s promise/prophecy work. Every time we try to help God out, we are in danger of producing our own Ishmael. It wasn’t what God had in mind! Abraham was deceived.
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Abraham believed God’s promise, however the prophecy was taking a long time. Abraham wondered if there was something he was doing wrong. He asked questions like: ‘Is there something that I need to do to make the prophecy come to pass? Is God waiting on me to do something? Shouldn’t I be co-laboring with God? What am I missing?’
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Deception means: to look for something where it’s not. Webster’s dictionary defines it as: fraud, double dealing, or trickery.
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I personally went through an experience where I gathered all the prophecies I had received through the years, looked over them, and tried to imagine what the fulfillment of those would look like. Suddenly, I found myself putting 30k toward a business I knew nothing about, plus going into debt for the first time in my life, all while unemployed, because I thought that was how the prophecies would all align. I found myself at the Red Sea waiting for God to part the waters, but I was too afraid to co-labor with the plan/prophecies anymore because I didn’t have money to survive. I later forfeited; I called the company, called it fraud and got a full refund (thank God). In my favor, they let me keep the books, allowed me to keep a few business start up mentoring sessions, and I found a local real estate mentor (for life instead of 6 months) for 1/30th of the price. Through all this, I learned that perhaps following our desires is the better option, than looking to our prophecies as a roadmap for our life. After all God isn’t controlling, so when He prophesied that I would have a business, knowing right well that I did not desire a business, I should have held the horses. Hmm, He did prophesy to ‘throttle back’; guess I missed that one! God tells us in Phillipians 2:14 that, ‘God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.’ So if you’ve ever received a prophecy that didn’t line up with your current desires, then sleep on it for a while; it may be for the future.
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As I started to look into the topic of ‘desire’, I found these gems too:
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Phil. 2:13 – it is I who gave you those desires

Prov. 16:26 – a worker’s appetite works for him; his mouth urges him on

If I didn’t have a desire for a business, that’s what I should have listened to–not try to force a prophecy to its fulfillment. God chooses to use our desires to lead us into the fulfillment of His plan for our lives. That’s what freedom looks like. God will shape and form your desires, and it’s at that point that you can co-labor with Him. And of course we aren’t talking about the desires of the flesh (Rom.13:13-14) here… we are talking about the desires to do His good, pleasing, and perfect will, which unfold as we continue to follow the path of righteousness.
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Any normal person would follow their desires… *self jab. Any normal person is following their flesh desires… right into the flames of hell. Put me down for trying something different! Antonyms for normal: abnormal, different, irregular, rare, uncommon, untraditional, unusual, exceptional, extreme (amen!), eccentric, insane (to the flesh)…  extraordinary! I’ll keep that last one tucked away for later. *self protect
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quotes_confusedBack to Abraham, we should take note that his desire was for his wife. It was his wife who directed his efforts from his desire, onto seeing the prophecy fulfilled and onto sleeping with the servant girl. We should also note that God was still gracious to his confused efforts by blessing Ishmael. However, God didn’t allow Ishmael, or Abraham’s efforts, to replace His original purpose and perfect will.

Rom. 11:29 – for God’s gifts and his call are irrevocable

When God decides to give us something, He doesn’t change His mind, no matter what we do. In light of this scripture, I could’ve stood firm and rested in knowing that even if I hadn’t gotten back all the money I’d worked so hard to save, I could still believe God’s promise to me that: You won’t have to worry about finances; everything will be paid for; you’ll travel in state, out of state, and internationally, and live over seas for a time while being reimbursed like a job’. O, throttle back my heart, and wait for God to turn desire into fulfillment!

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The Bridal Gift

In Genesis 24, we find Abraham’s steward going out to find a wife for his son Issac. Derek Prince helps us understand the context of the story:

  1. In the middle east you always give a gift with a marriage proposal. If you accept the gift, you accept the marriage; if you turn down the gift, you refuse the marriage to the person.
  2. Camels can carry a lot of stuff, and the steward took 10 camels loaded down with gifts, for the bride he sought for his master. He said, ‘May the one who draws water for me, and offers to water my camels, be the one chosen to be bride.
  3. Camels drink 40 gallons of water each, and drawing water takes a lot of strength. On top of being in a hot desert area, Rebekah knew that it would take her most of the evening to water the camels, and she still offered it as a service of hospitality to the stranger.

Read the passage here, or skip it to continue commentary:

Genesis 24 – Abraham… said to the senior servant in his household, the one in charge of all that he had… “I want you to swear by the Lord, that you will get a wife for my son Isaac from my home territory… the servant left, taking with him ten of his master’s camels loaded with all kinds of good things from his master. He set out for Aram Naharaim and made his way to the town of Nahor and had the camels kneel down near the well outside the town; it was toward evening, the time the women go out to draw water. Then he prayed, “Lord, God of my master Abraham, make me successful today, and show kindness to my master Abraham. See, I am standing beside this spring, and the daughters of the townspeople are coming out to draw water. May it be that when I say to a young woman, ‘Please let down your jar that I may have a drink,’ and she says, ‘Drink, and I’ll water your camels too’—let her be the one you have chosen for your servant Isaac. By this I will know that you have shown kindness to my master.” Before he had finished praying, Rebekah came out with her jar on her shoulder… The woman was very beautiful, a virgin; no man had ever slept with her. She went down to the spring, filled her jar and came up again. The servant hurried to meet her and said, “Please give me a little water from your jar.” “Drink, my lord,” she said, and quickly lowered the jar to her hands and gave him a drink. After she had given him a drink, she said, “I’ll draw water for your camels too, until they have had enough to drink.” So she quickly emptied her jar into the trough, ran back to the well to draw more water, and drew enough for all his camels. 21Without saying a word, the man watched her closely to learn whether or not the Lord had made his journey successful. 22When the camels had finished drinking, the man took out a gold nose ring weighing a beka and two gold bracelets weighing ten shekels… Then the servant brought out gold and silver jewelry and articles of clothing and gave them to Rebekah; he also gave costly gifts to her brother and to her mother… So they sent their sister Rebekah on her way, along with her nurse and Abraham’s servant and his men… So the servant took Rebekah and left.

This is a story of faith in action, and a prophetic story pointing to a larger picture. Over, and over again, we see in the Bible that God (represented by Abraham) is looking for a bride (represented by Rebekah) for His son Jesus (represented by Issac).

Revelations 19:7-9 – For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear.” (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of God’s holy people.) Then the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!” And he added, “These are the true words of God.”

If Rebekah was given so many riches to become the bride of Issac, how much more richly will God bless us to become the bride of Christ? The Holy Spirit (represented by the unnamed steward), sent from God, is looking for the bride of Christ right now. The Spirit is the gift, and He brings many more gifts when He is welcomed. If we turn down the gift of the Spirit, we turn down the marriage to Jesus.

Our character is the key factor in receiving the gifts that the Spirit has to offer from God, much like Rebekah’s character was what made her stand out as the chosen bride. Whether tongues, encouragement, prophesy, administration, etc–Our character helps us receive and protect the gifts given through the Spirit of God. When we accept Christ, we receive His Spirit. The Spirit lives in us, much like a man joined to his bride in marriage. Since the Spirit is already inside of you, so are the gifts the Spirit possesses. However, gifts can lie dormant for years. It just depends on what you want to do with them. When will you bring your gifts out of storage and start putting them on display? Invest what you have so that you can gain even more. Grow the gifts inside of you.

Matt. 7:11 – If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!

The gifts are not to be feared, but cherished. They ARE God after all.

People seem so scared of the gift of tongues, or the gift of prophecy… but the gift of faith–that’s scary. That’s where you trust God to come through, faithful to His promises, even though everything in your life seems to be displaying the opposite. That’s when you do whatever He told you to, even though it seems to make the least amount of sense.

Heb. 11:6 – Without faith it is impossible to please God

Faith is a gift of the Spirit & God says you can’t please Him without it. What then should we think of the other gifts of the Spirit?

1 Cor. 14:1 – Follow the way of love and eagerly desire gifts of the Spirit

God never said things wouldn’t appear scary:

Mark 6:49-51 – Shortly before dawn he went out to them, walking on the lake… when they saw him walking on the lake, they thought he was a ghost. They cried out, because they all saw him and were terrified. Immediately he spoke to them and said, “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” Then he climbed into the boat with them, and the wind died down. They were completely amazed

but He does say 150 times, ‘Fear Not.’

Is. 41:10 – do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you

And that’s the purpose of gifts. They are not given to scare us (though they may at times from our misunderstanding), but for our strengthening, encouraging and comfort (1Cor.14:3-4). The disciples were scared for a moment, but Jesus immediately said, ‘Take courage.’ He immediately comforted them from the fear of the waves, storm, and the way He came to them. So, don’t let it scare you if He comes to you through gifts, because when He comes it is to comfort you. If you are like the disciples, and have fear because you don’t understand a way in which the Lord operates, then search out the explanation in His word and ask Him to show you personally:

1 Cor. 12:1-11 – Now about the gifts of the Spirit, brothers and sisters, I do not want you to be uninformed. 2 You know that when you were pagans, somehow or other you were influenced and led astray to mute idols. 3 Therefore I want you to know that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, “Jesus be cursed,” and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit. 4 There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. 5 There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. 6 There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work. 7 Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. 8 To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10 to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. 11 All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.

John 4:24 – God is spirit

2 Cor. 3:17 – the Lord is the Spirit

Do not reject the gift of God Himself, and do not reject any gift that He sees fit to give you. Every gift is to help and prosper you.

Jer. 29:11 – For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.


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The Kingdom of God – 7 Mountains

The Seven Mind Molders of Culture
The Seven Mountains

– Rev. 17:9,14 – This calls for a mind with understanding: The seven heads of the beast represent the seven hills where the woman rules… They will wage war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will triumph over them because he is Lord of lords and King of kings—and with him will be his called, chosen and faithful followers.

The Kingdom of God - The 7 Mountains

1)Arts/Entertainment, 2)Government, 3)Media/News, 4)Education, 5)Religion, 6)Business, 7)Family

These 7 mountains make up the kingdom of God, but unfortunately the church has not claimed the kingdom yet. God is ruler of everything in heaven, and its our job to help lift Him up as king on earth. We need to disperse from our fortress on the religion mountain, and go take the others.


Peter casts the nets

As a whole, the church isn’t affecting cultural transformation like Jesus did. Why?

Jesus called us to make disciples of nations, but instead we are trying to make disciples of individuals. Our influence is severely limited through this method. If we, instead, went into the systems of the nations, we could win souls more abundantly. Jesus said, ‘follow me and I will make you fishers of men.’ Jesus didn’t teach Peter to fish with a rod, but with a net. Peter brought in fish by the boat load. As long as we continue our current method, with a rod with a one fish capacity, we will not be able to claim the Kingdom that Christ gave to us.

So, how do we operate in the full extent of the Kingdom? How do we make disciples of nations?


– 1 Sam. 9:16 – Anoint him ruler over my people Israel; he will deliver them from the hand of the Philistines

– 1 Sam. 10:1,5 – Then Samuel took a flask of olive oil and poured it on Saul’s head and kissed him, saying, “Has not the Lord anointed you ruler over his inheritance?… Afterward you will come to the hill of God where the Philistine garrison is

Saul was told to go to the mountain of God to save God’s people from the Philistines on the mountain. Why were Philistines on God’s mountain? That’s what we should be asking ourselves. Christ came to preach the coming of The Kingdom; He made us kings, told us to go out and proclaim the kingdom, but we aren’t! There are Philistine giants on the mountain of God. They are ruling the mountain of Arts, Family, Religion, Government, Education, Media, & Business. These mountains are rightfully ours for the taking, but we have to go into ALL the world and claim these realms. Where the church used to go into territories, we now need to go into systems. At the moment we are stuck in the system of religion, and allowing Philistines to rule all the others…

You are a Royal Priesthood

You are the royal priesthood. We go before God’s presence for the world. We invite them in to see His face.

– Matt. 10:7 – And proclaim as you go, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’

– Rev. 5:10 – And you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth

– 1 Peter 2:9 – you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation

We are God’s children and He gives us His authority to reign on the earth. We are royals, with His power, to go forth and claim the mountains of His kingdom. He gave us dominion. He gave us the gifts, abilities, wisdom of His Spirit (who is God Himself) to do so.

– Zech. 14:9 – And the Lord will be king over all the earth

– 1 Cor. 10:26 – The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it

– Rev. 4:10 – They lay their crowns before the throne and say:You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being.”

The Earth is the Lords, and everything in it

Everything here belongs to our God, and He has made us kings. We are to take these 7 mountains and occupy them, giving God our crowns, our power, and allowing Him to lead what is rightfully His. We can only do this by allowing the Holy Spirit to guide us. As long as we reject the gifts of the Holy Spirit, we have no power to take the kingdom. A King puts forth the power to claim His own kingdom. The Spirit of God lives in every believer, but we have to yield to the power of it to see God move on the earth.

– Luke 19:12-13 (MSG&KJV) – There was once a man descended from a royal housewent to a distant country to receive a kingdom for himself, and then returnBut first he called ten servants together, gave them each a sum of money, and instructed them, ‘Occupy until I return.’

Jesus went to heaven to receive the kingdom. He left us in charge and told us to occupy the mountains until His return.


Christians haven’t left the ‘Religion’ mountain to go into all the world, and so Christians haven’t affected the world. Homosexuality, however, has successfully transcended in America because it took all 7 mountains. They put the right characters on tv, and in the arts to entertain us. Government leaders have now tailored their speeches around the topic to gain votes. They saturated the other mountains so heavily, that even some Christians, on the religion mountain, are succumbing to the gay agenda. Same sex advocates have discipled a nation in the same 20 years that Christians were seeking revival. They succeeded because they didn’t aim only at the church. We haven’t succeeded, but even Islam has discipled 7+ nations in the past 50 years. Muslims and Buddhist are modeling nations based on religion. America thankfully has separation of church and state, but we still need to do our part to help our nation. The church will never see revival unless they leave the church…

David plays harp as tending sheep

Many of us are not called to stay in the mountain of religion. Yes, believe in Christ and don’t ‘leave’ your church, but go into all the world! Jesus gave you gifts and talents to use to bring glory to Him. Your gifts are meant for all people, not just the church. It’s the sick that need a doctor, right?

Let’s look at David. He believed in God, but we also saw him in the:
– business mountain – managing sheep
– arts mountain – playing the harp for a king
– business mountain – as he took on Goliath
– media mountain – as his fame spread, and people glorified his expertise
– government mountain – as he became king
– arts mountain – using the arts to advance on the mountain of education

David was successful, because he understood the kingdom of God. He climbed the religion mountain, but he didn’t camp out there; he took God to the other mountains. If we want to be successful, we should learn from him. We need to figure out our purpose, and which mountain God has called us to. We need to climb to the top of that mountain and proclaim him. We can trust Him to get us to the top.


Marketing to the target audience (the unbeliever):
1.
 Nations instead of souls (souls come with nations)
2. Now instead of eternity
3. Natural (secular) instead of the spiritual
4. Teaching (covertly) instead of preaching (overtly)

This is the gospel of the kingdom as opposed to the gospel of only salvation. If you want to penetrate world systems, don’t advertise prematurely what your agenda is, because you have enough challenges without waving a red flag that makes people twice as upset with you about where you’re going. You need to establish preeminence in your field and then you can unveil your theology.

Well, ‘I am not ashamed of the gospel’! Yes, but it is also written: ‘What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived’ — the things God has prepared for those who love him (1Cor.2:9).’ 

Esther

1. God had a plan first. He prepared. No one saw, heard, or had the idea of it. He later revealed these things to those who fell in love with Him.

2. ‘Don’t throw your pearls to pigs! They will trample the pearls, then turn and attack you. (Matt.7:6)’ No wise person reveals the depth of themselves to their enemies. If the enemy attacks your victories, they will definitely mock your failures. We are meant to reveal ourselves to those who we are in relationships with. It’s good to have friends in all walks of life. We don’t have to talk, strictly, only to Christians. Jesus talked to sinners, and to those that accepted Him, He shared with them who He was and taught them His ways.

3. Esther didn’t reveal herself too soon. She was not ashamed, but she had a goal. She did not reveal her goal to her enemy. She revealed the thing at the moment that it would help the most people, and she revealed to the one who loved her (her husband, King Xerxes).

4. Duck Dynasty, the tv show, said they weren’t going to get religious on the show until they had a big following. They understand this principle. Love is most important–Love is God. After someone loves you, they begin to respect you. It is inside of respectful relationships that we start to unveil who we are.

5. Daniel didn’t ask Nebuchadnezzar to be circumcised or worship the jewish God. Daniel simply followed God, and Nebuchadnezzar followed suite. Neb pushed his nation to learn about this God, after Daniels God had proven himself true. Neb said, ‘There is no other god who can rescue like this! (Dan.3:29)’ 

6. Joseph was at the top of the family mountain, but he fell. His experience on the mountain of religion, and education, brought him up in the business & government mountains. Joseph helped Pharaoh first, then Pharaoh wanted to know more about his family. Because Joseph had spread out over all the mountains, when the family mountain fell, he was able to concentrate his efforts on the other mountains with God given success. Likewise, we don’t invest in just one thing, but many things, in case one fails. God never fails, but sometimes the church(religion) does.

Power In The Holy Spirit

Joseph was a prime example that: When you have established your credibility, people will start coming to you for wisdom. We don’t have to put a giant christian label on everything. We need to be strategic about how we can get to the unbeliever. A dog can be a loving creature, but once its stuck in a barbed wire fence it will be fierocous. You cannot approach a wounded animal head on or it will attack. The better option is to come up from behind it and gently break it free from the death trap. Our goal is to bring life, but they don’t yet trust us, so we need to be strategic about this interaction.

Joseph was doing dream interpretation, for scenario planning in an economic forecast, for a government. He wasn’t in the church interpreting peoples dreams. Get out of the church and go into all the world to use your gifts, which are given to you so you can walk in your God ordained destiny.


Covert: not openly acknowledged or displayed
Overt: done or shown openly; plainly or readily apparent, not secret or hidden

Many successful Bible people were on a covert operation. We need people in the music and arts who don’t slap a christian label on everything. We need them to use the arts to teach biblical principles covertly; and show people who God is once they start digging in to see who the musician/artist truly are. We reveal more about ourselves as people grow into a more intimate position.

– Mal. 3:10 – “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.

We should be brainstorming together as a community of believers. We should be funding covert operations, for the unbeliever, with tithes. To get the increase, we have to invest in those who are not already in the church.


For more on the 7 mountains, listen to Dr. Lance Wallnau’s powerful teaching

Here are some covert musicians:
Firework, by Katy Perry (turned down by the Christian music industry)
Re-Bel, by Head (former lead singer of Korn turned Christian)
Bring Me To Life, by Evanescence 

Remember who you are

Prayer: Lord, some have taken the mountains and fallen away. Don’t let them give up on you; bring Katy Perry back. Cause people who already sit on the mountain to see your power and turn to you; raise up more people like Head. Raise up Daniels, Josephs, and Esthers in government to take the kingdom. Raise up people willing to take the truth into news and media. Raise up journalist to seek out truth and fight to make it public. Give them the money needed to take truth to the nations. Cause the sinners wealth to pass to the godly. Release the gifts of the Spirit and bring words of wisdom (1Cor.12), words of knowledge, and strategic business plans to them. Give us wisdom beyond ourselves through the Spirit, the very mind of God. The same mind that created the universe lives inside of us. Activate new solutions, ideas, creativity, entertainment that brings you glory and shows all the world who you are. Position creatives in the movie industry to reach specific groups. Raise up people with a strategy to infiltrate the porn industry, bars, and gangs. Help Alabama come up with solutions to take down anger, immorality, and murder. Thank you for local farmer markets and grocery stores returning to natural, unadulterated foods. Cause more companies like TOMS to find creative solutions to help those in need. Make these companies the head and not the tail. Convert these mega companies who exploit. Cause justice and righteousness to rise. Cause people to get sick of the condition of their relationships and turn back to you and your ways. Set the family mountain in order again. Open the eyes of Christians to help us see the true you and tear down anything in the church that opposes you. Cause the body to rise up and take its rightful place again.

Simba takes his rightful place as king

Go into all the Bars (World)

Give a drunk person 10 minutes and you’ll know more about his life than anyone else.

Jesus wasn’t scared to go anywhere. He said go into all the world to proclaim the gospel.

I met one of my best friends at a bar. Through our interactions he gave his life to Christ. Be intentional with your actions and words. You don’t have to go to the bar with the intention to drink. You can go with the intention to minister.

Those of you who prophesy, should be there prophesying. Call those people up. Encourage them, and call out their destiny. Its a great practice ground. If you are too scared to talk directly with them, then write the prophecy as a poem and hand it to them. Everyone loves entertainment and compliments. It doesn’t have to say ‘thus says the Lord’ and be spoken in king James.

Take another Christian with you for accountability, and find a different missionfield if alcohol is an addiction you struggle with. But to those who are not tempted, or out of control, go into all the bars (world) to proclaim the gospel. The Bible said Jesus drank and celebrated, but He never sinned. He would’ve been there winning souls too.

Matt. 11:18-19 – For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon.’ The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’ But wisdom is proved right by her deeds.”

– Mark 16:15 – And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.

– Eph. 5:15-18 – Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise. Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days. Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do. Don’t be drunk with wine, which leads to reckless actions. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit

– 1 Cor. 12:7 – Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good

– 1 Cor. 14:1,3 – Follow the way of love and eagerly desire gifts of the Spirit, especially prophecy… the one who prophesies speaks to people for their strengthening, encouraging and comfort 

There are enough people called to the mission field of the church body. We need people going out to the world and taking the Kingdom of God. He will rule the whole earth. Let’s make Him king.

Metaphors of the Church

Jesus gives us several metaphors to help us understand what the church should be like. The ‘church’ is not a religious building, or a specific denomination. The church is every person who accepts Jesus as their savior. Here are five metaphors to help us understand His plan for the church:


God is the master architect

God is the master architect

1. The Church is like a Building
This means: We need support.

If you are in the ‘church’, you are a part of the building, and helping build the building. If you are a pillar, then you need someone who is concrete to support you; you need someone as a roof, for you to hold up. We need people to support us, and people who we can support. A building is not made of only one kind of material. We need each other; we cannot do it by ourselves.

– Eph. 2:19-22 – Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.

– 1 Cor. 3:9-10,16 – You are God’s building. Because of God’s grace to me, I have laid the foundation (Jesus) like an expert builder. Now others are building on it… Don’t you realize that all of you together are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God lives in you?


We are the body of Christ

We are the body of Christ

2. The Church is like a Body
This means: We need to grow.

When a body is healthy, it grows and develops. It needs many parts to be able to function. If you plucked out the eye, it couldn’t do its job. It still holds the potential to do it’s job, but it is worthless unless it is attached to the body. Parts must be connected to use their potential, help, and grow. Your potential cannot be realized by you. You need others to bring out your full potential. When we are separated from the body, we die.

– Rom. 12:4-6 – For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us.

– Eph. 4:16 – From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.

– Eph. 4:11-12 – So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.

– Phil. 1:6 – For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.


Christ is the shepherd of the flock

Christ is the shepherd of the flock

3. The Church is like a Flock
This means: We need protection.

The church is meant to protect you and for you to protect those in it. You are not meant to be alone. You can be around a lot of people, but if you aren’t being truthful, and transparent, you will feel utterly alone. You are meant to be able to share your life with others and let them speak into you. You need others to teach you, help you spot enemies, and help you trample the enemies. The enemies plan is to find those who are separated from the flock, and those who are weak. You cannot stay safe on your own.

– Acts 20:28-29 – Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood. I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock.

-Acts 17:26-27 – he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us.

– 1 Peter 5:2 – Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care

– Jer. 3:15 – I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will lead you with knowledge and understanding.

– Luke 12:31-33 – But seek His kingdom, and these things will be added to you. “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has chosen gladly to give you the kingdom. “Sell your possessions and give to charity; make yourselves money belts which do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven


We are the family of God

We are the family of God

4. The Church is like a Family
This means: We need to be loved unconditionally

God loves us unconditionally. We are saved by His grace, not by works. Have you had a family member you didn’t get along with? We might not get along, but we aren’t supposed to kick each other out of the family. We need to be able to see others through our Fathers heart. The more we understand God’s heart, the more we will be able to show His love to others. We are adopted by God, into His family, and joined together by the blood of Jesus. A lot of times, your church family sticks closer to you than your physical family. These people know the struggle and have wisdom from God to share with you. We need more spiritual sons, daughters, mothers, and fathers. Mentors rise up!

– Eph. 2:19 – you are no longer foreigners and strangersbut fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household

– Prov. 18:24 – … there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

– Eph. 1:5 – he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will

– Rom. 8:14,29 – For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God… For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.

– Gal. 3:26 – So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith

– 1 John 4:20-21 – If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen. And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.


We are the bride of Christ

We are the bride of Christ

5. The Church is like a Bride
This means: We need to be One with Christ.

We need to leave everything to be joined to Christ, our husband. We need to get rid of every hinderance, and lay down every weight. We can be honest to our husband, because He loves us unconditionally. He takes His vow seriously, and He does not believe in divorce. In Jewish culture they would actually slaughter a bull and the couple getting married would walk between the parts and say, ‘may I be like this bull if I do not keep my vow.’ Christ walked through the parts for us (Gen.15:9-18). We are in a covenant relationship with Him and He will never leave us or forsake us (Deut.31:6).

– Gen. 2:24 –  a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.

– Eph. 5:31-32 – “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” This is a profound mysterybut I am talking about Christ and the church.

– 1 Cor. 6:17 – But the one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him.

– Rom. 8:9 – You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ

– Ruth 1:15-16 – Then she said, “Behold, your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and her gods; return after your sister-in-law.” But Ruth said, “Do not urge me to leave you or turn back from following you; for where you go, I will go, and where you lodge, I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God, my God.

– Matt. 19:29 – And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life.


Worship: Brother, by NeedToBreathe

Brother let me be your shelter
I’ll never leave you all alone
I can be the one you call
When you’re feelin’ low
Brother let me be your fortress
When the night winds are driving on
Be the one to light the way
Bring you home

Prayer: Lord, join your body together, so we can be the holy temple of God. Make your bride spotless, and show your people how to live unified in love. Keep our eyes set on your return, for you left for Spirit as a wedding pledge to us. Let us keep showing off this great gift of your Spirit, as one would a wedding ring. Let us stay about your work awaiting your return to take us to the home you have prepared for us in your Father’s kingdom. May your people (family) be our people; teach us to love them. May we build up the your people (building) with words of encouragement. May we protect your people (flock) and share the truth about our sufferings, trials, and victories. Help us grow, develop, and reach our full potential. Bring a new level of unity and love to us in Jesus name, Amen.


For more on this topic you can listen to Pastor Chris Hodges:
Be Transparent – How to Live Through A Bad Day – Highlands Series

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