by winston davenport, february 9 2014
The church I led worship at for many years may not have always been doctrinally correct on every issue, but they were open to the Holy Spirit, something far more commendable. I would much rather attend an immature church that possesses and appetite for spiritual growth than a church I agree with on every issue, that fails to demonstrate a willingness to move past the current level of revelation.
The reason for this is simple: The true Church is a kinetic entity. In other words, the Holy Spirit, in His task of bringing us into perfect alignment with God, is always advancing. He is always doing something new (see Malachi 3:6; Isaiah 43:19). "His intention was the perfecting and the full equipping of the saints (His consecrated people), [that they should do] the work of ministering toward building up Christ's body (the church)" (Ephesians 4:12 AMP).
Many congregations are content to stay fixed at the revelation where their denomination has dropped the anchor. Because of this, many churches are stuck in stagnant waters. The place of expectation where they stopped was probably a powerful location at one time. But when the ship departed the next day, headed for the next destination, they somehow failed to board. This has caused so much confusion and disunity in the Church because the denominations that were once on the cutting edge of what the Holy Spirit was doing at the time have relegated God's entire work to their single experience.
Most of the mainstream Protestant denominations were birthed out of some type of revival or renewal. At one time, they were alive and powerful because they were congruent to the current move of God. But for some reason, each of them has assumed that their move of God is the only move of God. Every time God enacts a restoration movement, there is always a crowd that resists the transformation.
Martin Luther began the Lutheran Church, a once revolutionary assembly of believers who walked in a robust sense of grace and faith. But there they remain. They got comfortable in the present and lost their vision for the future. Their eyes became fixed on what God had done rather than on what He was doing. Thus, when the Spirit moved to the next item on the agenda of "the full equipping of the saints," they stayed behind at an incomplete---good, yes, but only partial---revelation. What once were the fresh flowing waters of the Spirit is now stagnant and useless.
And so it has gone with many such moves of the Spirit. Methodists, Baptists, Pentecostals---you name it. Bishop T. D. Jakes says, "Denomonations don't tell you who you are, they tell you what truth you stopped at." That doesn't mean it's too late for those folks to catch up, or that every church body within these denominations is outdated. The necessary transformation will require an undignified abandonment of comfort and convenience in exchange for a real and vibrant spiritual experience. It can happen. This is one of the passions of my calling: waking up a sleeping Church to the fullness that God has planned.
God even provided spiritual gifts to the body so "[That it might develop] until we all attain oneness in the faith and in the comprehension of the [full and accurate] knowledge of the Son of God, that [we might arrive] at really mature manhood (the completeness of personality which is nothing less than the standard height of Christ's own perfection), the measure of the stature of the fullness of the Christ and the completeness found in Him" (Ephesians 4:13). As a body, we are being built up, from the foundation to the capstone.
However, sometimes these gifts don't look like we think they should look. This is a clever method God uses to weed out the mere intellectual Christians from those who are genuinely hungry for something real. To those who know God personally, these sometimes out-of-the-ordinary manifestations are welcome. True heart-believers recognize what is genuinely heavenly and what is not.
But to those who only know about God, learning Christianity on a mere cerebral plane, the manifestation of the Holy Spirit is simply foolish. Their established and unyielding expectations of how a meeting should look become easily violated, leading them to offense. This is unfortunate, but nonetheless necessary.
Jesus conducted His earthly ministry in precisely this same manner. Everything He said and did was crafted in such a way as to deliberately bypass the intellectual grasp of the Pharisees while apprehending an entire generation of those who were spiritually hungry. Those who recognized their need for a spiritual awakening were the first to embrace everything Jesus said, did, and taught. The religiously established of that day hated Him with a vengeance. in fact, they killed Him.
Jesus said, "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 5:3 NKJV). In doing this, He made it clear that the current move of God was not available to those who were firmly rooted in their religious paradigms. It was to the hungry---those willing to risk their dignity and comfort---that Jesus made His appeal. Remember, the Kingdom of God isn't stationary; it's advancing, increasing (see Isaiah 9:7).
Next week, we will talk more about the kinetic Church, the Church on the move. We will discuss some of the peculiar signs and wonders that occur in the Body of Christ and discuss whether or not they are acceptable.
by winston davenport, february 9 2014