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.Ephesians 4 v11-12
This often seems to me to be like a five cylindered engine, where the operation of all cylinders are necessary for proper functioning.
Like a faulty engine, the Church misfires when it tries to operate from only a few cylinders. Spluttering and smoking, we may get somewhere, inefficiently. While the going is good.
But what happens when the road begins to rise, into the foothills and then the mountains? Where the church has to go. A steep traverse, hairpin bends. That requires a fully functional engine, all cylinders operational and working together, supporting the whole. That is what we have to be in the times to come, the times right here – right in front of us.
Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.John 14 v12
That’s the Bible. The words of Jesus. The words of the Word, that will never pass away. Painfully difficult to read, because we so often fall so far short of them.
Where are these works in the church? You will do greater things than these! And so, what is it that we are doing?
Come to the foot of the cross. There is no other place. Repentance, abandonment, surrender. Emptying of self, of striving, of any ambition. Faith and trust, and most importantly love. None of these gifts are in our power, but only in Him.
Gone will be the time of “going to Church”, coming with be one of two things – being the Church – following our Lord on the Golgotha road, endued with power in the midst of powerlessness. Or mating with the dark nation, that turns its back in finality and walks away, a journey that ends in outer darkness.
This is the choice that lies before us, and this is His anguished cry, calling into the shadowlands for a people after His own heart, that will bear both His power and His stripes. Shining His love in a time of hate, bringing the Glory and beauty of the true Body of Christ.