(Note to reader: This article uses a graphic metaphor. It is not my intention to write for shock value. My only intention is to share what I believe the Lord asked of me. Please read what follows with that it mind.)
Many years ago, I was a police officer. One of the tools I worked with was the California Penal Code. This code of laws contained the various violations of law from the simplest to the most gruesome. Our ability to arrest and detain was found within the pages of that code of law.
This morning, I rolled over in bed to check the time. The lighted digital clock read, “3:14” indicating a time in the very early morning hours, but immediately I heard in my spirit, “Indecent Exposure.” As soon as I heard those words the Lord began to speak to me using the California Penal Code designation for a lewd act as a metaphor for what He was about to reveal. I tried to get back to sleep, but rose shortly thereafter still carrying the following word.
Our culture stands at a significant crossroad in its history. How the Church displays itself before the culture at this crossroad will be critical in our ability to affect change in the coming years. For several decades, some within the Western Church have left behind the magnificent history of their supernatural birth and picked up a form of godliness that, by its comfortable expression, denies the power of God. While there are some positive aspects to the current model, it has become an indecent exposure of the Church to a world in desperate need to see the power of God.
Years ago, a man familiar with the intricacies of the Greek language said to me when Paul wrote to the Corinthians telling them that all things must be done in “decency and order”, he was not making a prudish appeal for an orderly church service. The words in the original language actually mean to do what is appropriate to the working of the Spirit in the moment – that is what Paul meant by decency and order. Paul’s writing was not a restriction of the Spirit’s manifestation in our times of worship, but a release. Paul’s words were not written as an appeal to not offend a seeker. Paul wrote to ensure that we never get to a place where a powerless presentation of the Gospel is displayed on the streets of our cities or within the walls of our church facility.
As I processed what I was hearing, I realized if we continue to reveal a powerless model of the Church to our culture we will be found guilty of indecent exposure. This is not the vile violation of a criminal code, but the exposure of a model of life and ministry that gives no one the tools needed to confront the darkness that has settled over our land.
We have been called to stand with confidence before demons and all the powers of darkness with the supernatural weapons of God’s Kingdom. We are assigned to confront the darkness that prowls our culture freely attacking and consuming the lives of innocent people. Most of those who attend our churches come away from that experience not knowing this kind of power exists because they have not been exposed to its reality. That is indecent. The decent and biblical exposure of the fullness of God’s love and power is the most powerful weapon we possess. This is a time in our history to display that power once again without fear or reservation. That is the most decent thing we can do.