A Little Understanding – Beyond the Entryway
…We all need more of God. With so many “how-to” books on becoming a better Christian and a better church, it’s not difficult to figure out why we fill the emptiness that was designed by God to be filled through His Spirit, with busyness… If the Christ follower applies the ideas of the “how-to” book without seeking more of God they will never get beyond the entryway…
Keeping the load bearing structural members in mind…
…space must be made in all floor plans for the rooms that cannot be excluded. Almost all buildings in western civilization have bathrooms. I know in the past they were not indoors and people still survived, but I think in this day and age we can call indoor bathing and waste dumping rooms (trying to be polite) a necessity rather than a luxury. With sleeping and eating also being necessary to continue living, a place to prepare food and a place to get some shuteye are both on the top of the list of things that need to be a part of the floor plan. Closets and cupboards, sitting areas and recreational spaces are also part of the layout in most homes. They may be on different floors or at different ends of the building depending on the design, but they are all needed.
The floor plan of a Christ follower and the collective of Christ followers…
…isn’t much different than the floor plan of a building. Always honouring the load bearing act of humble prayer essential to supporting everything we are in Christ, there are certain things that must be included in our lives. All spaces are important but not all spaces are used to the same extent by each Christ follower or each collective of Christ followers. There also may be more of one type of space than another. Just as floor plans for homes may have a den or office, a man cave or craft room, floor plans for each individual and each church will be different.
The floor plan of the individual and collective of Christ followers…
…must have the One that was promised by Jesus; the Holy Spirit. It is the indwelling of God’s Spirit that, if we accept we need more of God and continually seek Him, produces fruit. It is the gifts from this same Spirit given to each follower of Christ that enables us to achieve what talents and hard work on their own will never do.
Total submission to the guidance of the Holy Spirit dwelling in us produces fruit.
Total reliance on the power of God through the Holy Spirit equips each Christ follower to boldly execute their assigned part of His perfect plan.
Christ followers working together in submission to the Holy Spirit will produce fruit as a collective.
Each Christ follower using the gifts given them in partnership with other gifts in the collective of Christ followers will boldly execute the plan God has for their church.
A Little Understanding – What Every Floor Plan Needs
“…the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance [patience], kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control…” Galatians 5:22-23 (NIV)
The Bible is clear that the gifts of the Spirit are given as the Spirit deems them to be needed… When it comes to the fruit of the Spirit, there is no plural, no giving out of one fruit of the Spirit to one person and another to someone else. The fruit of the Spirit is not a gift and is not limited to the circumstances you will encounter or to the ministry you are called to. The more we seek God, the more His Spirit which dwells in all Christ followers, produces fruit. Christ followers or collectives of Christ followers that are not loving or full of joy, and lack peace, are like a house without a kitchen, there is always an empty feeling deep down inside.
An individual or a whole church that does not show patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness and/or gentleness, is like a house without bedrooms, there is no place to rest.
Christians and communities of faith that have no self-control, in other words let the sinful, self-serving human part dictate their way of living, are like a house with no bathrooms, there is a lot of, shall we say, smelly, disgusting waste that is a breeding ground for bacteria and disease that has nowhere to go.
“Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.” Galatians 5:24-26
Every building must have spaces dedicated to specific functions.
If we live a certain lifestyle we need rooms to make it work. A Christ follower and the collective of Christ followers are also called to live a certain lifestyle. We are to live by the Spirit, keeping in step with the Spirit. We no longer have a floor plan that suits our sinful, selfish wants of the flesh that produce conceited behaviour, full of envy and provoking each other. We have a floor plan that produces “love, joy, peace, forbearance [patience], kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control” by always seeking more of God. As much as this part of the layout never changes, it also is never fully completed. The fruit of the Spirit is always the same, but the quality of the fruit, its size, colour and sweetness should always be improving.
Stay tuned, part 6 of “A Little Understanding – The Floor Plan” will be posted next month
From time to time my blog will include abridged excerpts from my book “Blueprint.” Like any author/blogger, I find it difficult to leave the words I have written in my computer until a publisher can be found. Maybe it’s because someone somewhere needs to read these words now.
For more posts from my book Blueprint find the heading “Categories” on the right side of this page and click on “Blueprint (my book)”