Friday, October 16, 2015

Indecent Exposure

(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.

1 comment:

  1. Can I just say 'AMEN'? I don't want to disparage the church but I sat for years learning doctrine (which is good) but an utterly powerless gospel. Powerless to change me or anyone else, we all still struggled with the things that dogged us while we were fed propositional truth and "principles" we could "work" at applying to our lives, etc. The real gospel, that powerful stuff that's written about in the Bible well, it was for 'them', or 'back then'...or even 'Jesus took care of Satan so we don't have to'...or attitudes of 'pray to God to help us bear up under the enemy or to get him to leave us alone'. The combo of this left me (and others, I know) feeling like God is just not in it, and like we have nothing to do while we're here but try to hang on til Jesus comes back. Fast forward many years later and I'm now finally learning about this stuff (though I still feel ill-prepared a lot more than I would like to); I have wonderful men and women of the faith who understand the reality of warfare and will TEACH it. One of them says, "we want God to give us a handout and a classroom exercise in this stuff, but really he sends us out with live ammo to train us". And a few weeks ago my pastor made a comment about us ushering in the kingdom SO THAT Jesus has it here to come back to. I am probably paraphrasing this badly, but it was basically don't sit on your hands until he comes back, bring His kingdom more and more and then He will come back. I wondered at the time if this isn't why scripture asked "would he find any faith" when he returned. Well, I really appreciate this word and would love for it to infiltrate the Methodists, Presbyterians, Baptists, etc. and mainstream Christianity that just IGNORES a whole dimension of living in a world at war. Satan is still waging war in the time he has left, and the final battle has NOT played out yet. Yeah we know Jesus WINS that battle, but we have not seen it happen, so in the meantime we are supposed to stand and fight against the Prince of This World in the name of the King of Kings to whom we and all of creation now rightfully belong. Jesus will come back and issue final judgment on Satan and his angels, but his followers were meant to advance His kingdom, not their own and not the devil's (but standing by and doing nothing). We live in a world at war and we just can't afford to keep living like that's not true. I certainly don't want to go out of my way lifting up rocks to see if I can find a devil underneath it, but I see people walking around under entrenched spirits of despair, passiveness, diminishment, abandonment, rejection, hatred, fear, etc. and know that Jesus came, taught and died for their FREEDOM from all that.