7 Characteristics of a Perfect Church Series, Part 2 Why Me? What If?

faith 

When I was a little girl, my family traveled together to Mexico City. I remember vividly our crossing the border into and out of the country. We were told we had to get out of our car and walk across a shallow pool of disinfectant. Then we had to take our car across a pool, as well. Apparently, they were dealing with hoof and mouth disease and needed to take every precaution to avoid anyone carrying the sickness in or out of the country.

And now, I feel as if I need to pass through some kind of super cleansing, soul searching and courage producing process before I share with you what I consider to be the seven characteristic of a perfect church. Why? Because I want more than anything to be cleansed of any stray “germs” that might confuse you. And I want to speak God’s truth, unhindered by my own fears and/or opinions.

And yet, I balk. So I stated my case to God. “Why me, God? Who am I to bear this responsibility? I’m a consummate people pleaser. And I’d rather not disrupt the hen house or ruffle any feathers. Besides, this is much too profound a subject for a simple person like me to address sufficiently. I’ve not earned any prestigious degrees. I didn’t attend a Bible college or a seminary. My IQ is average at best. My body has aged and my mind is slipping.”

The excuses I lay before God are all true. And yet, I know what God is poring into my heart. And I know that time is of the essence. It may not be running out for the church. But it is running out for me.

I suppose that answers the “Why, me?” question. Now, for the “What if?”

One of the things God has poured into my heart is a burden for His church. The role the church plays in our society is continually subject to change. Change in methods can be a good thing. But unfortunately, many churches have given in to the pressures and demands of the culture. And to fit in, they’ve begun to indoctrinate, placate and unknowingly vacate the real reason God’s church exists.

God’s purpose for His church always has been and always will be to restore men and women to a right relationship with their Creator, on His terms. And to pass on the good news of the life-changing gospel to the world.

Sadly, many of our Bible-believing churches are missing the mark, as well. God’s church today looks nothing like the early church when Christians were on fire for God, willing to die for the cause if they had to.

No, the reason for the difference isn’t the culture or changing times. I strongly believe today’s church is walking in a wilderness we’ve created by ignoring the one and only way to understand how to draw upon God’s power to live out His purpose for us as a shining beacon in a very dark world.

Of course, everyone knows there is no perfect church. Or perfect people for that matter. But what if? I hope you’ll join me for the next few weeks as we reflect on what the church would look like if it were perfect. After all, anything is possible with God. As we will see in the next post.

And that, my friend, is why I’m writing this series. Based on what God has taught me from His Word and through life experiences, I believe the number one most important characteristic of the perfect church is that:

1. God’s people understand and apply the ministry of the Holy Spirit in our moment-by-moment everyday lives.

In my next post, I’ll address the “how-to’s” of walking in the Spirit. But before that, I want to explain to you why I’m committed to helping people learn how to live their lives in the power of the Holy Spirit. The answer is simple.

Christ on the throne

I first heard about the ministry of the Holy Spirit through the teaching of Dr. Bill Bright, founder of Campus Crusade for Christ (now known as Cru). Learning how to apply the ministry of the Holy Spirit has transformed my life and sustained my faith for almost 50 years. Understanding the Spirit-led life also enabled my husband and me to lay a foundation for living out our faith before our five girls while they were growing up. As a result, in spite of our mistakes and weaknesses, God has passionately captured the hearts of our children and grandchildren.

I wish you could join us for one of our Christmas family devotions when all 19 of us are there. We give each one time to talk about what God has been doing in our lives. At some point, a box of tissues appears and we pass it around as we each share our struggles, as well as our victories. We laugh a lot but it’s our tears that seal the bond between us. We give all the glory to God. We are God’s family and a part of God’s church.

family picture Christmas 2013

The proof is in the power and the power comes from God!

Feel free to share any thoughts or suggestions you would like to add to the conversation.

(Note: I’ve already discovered it’s going to require a lot of prayer and study to write this series. My goal is to post once a week. But if a week goes by and you don’t hear from me, I hope you’ll stay with me. I’ll either be studying or taking a break. So by God’s grace, I’ll be back and we’ll get through this together.)

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Comments
8 Responses to “7 Characteristics of a Perfect Church Series, Part 2 Why Me? What If?”
  1. Sherlee Fragel says:

    Thanks Liz, You are such an encouraging writer. Keep it up. shirlee

    _____

  2. Millie Welsh says:

    BRING IT, Mom!!! I’m very excited you’ve taken this on and can’t wait to glean from your honesty and wisdom! Love you!

    • Thanks again. I feel somewhat like the OT prophets must have felt. Fearful to speak at all but then driven by God to speak the truth He’s given me. However, scaredy cat that I am, I’m hoping to bypass persecution.

  3. Millie Welsh says:

    FANTASTIC, Mom!!!! I eagerly await this series — will pray for you, too! I find myself hating the process of writing some of our blogs — but I’m having to trust the Lord for sure! Got your back!

    Millie Welsh milldub@gmail.com

    • Thanks, sweet encouraging daughter! Yours is the first comment I’ve read. I’m praying that if my words were any way offensive to anyone, that people will be able to read my heart. I’ll be praying for you as I read your blogs, as well. One day I sat down and looked through all the blogs. For most of them, I could tell it was you by the first sentence!! I guess I know you that well. 🙂
      Love you, Mom

  4. Lisa Tyler says:

    Press on Mama!! Can’t wait to read the follow ups! So grateful for your discerning heart for Christ to share what He is teaching you! Love you!

    • Another encouraging comment from another precious daughter. How could I be more blessed? Just keep praying that I listen to God’s discernment and all that He has to teach me, regardless of how challenging it can be to obediently pass it on. Love you, Mama

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