Church: It’s About Our Heart Condition – Part Two
To read part one click here.
The Lord showed me our heart transformation has to start with each of us individually and as a church family. We need to deal with our own heart condition (inward), not just go outward to the world. He said, many churches are getting this backward and the results are many people are not coming to know Him or are being “technically” saved but not becoming disciples and rooted in Christ, thus often falling away.
Why? Too often those of us who are church leaders have not wanted to, or not known how to, deal with our own congregation’s or groups (inward) heart issues (starting with us and the leaders), which is how God works (Psalm 133). Instead, many of us have sadly turned away from admitting, facing and dealing with these issues and bringing them to the Lord to help them. Our congregation and groups often end up focusing on going outward, by doing “the great commission” command (found here in Mark 16:15-16) but not dealing with the inward.
The Lord revealed that many of us may feel “good” about ourselves for doing this command, but we are essentially ignoring the other command He gave, which is meant to go hand and hand with the great commission and also serve as a sustainable rooting witness of Him.
In John 13:34-35 Jesus says, A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” (emphasis mine)
So when we go out into the world to “do” the “great commission” and make disciples how will they know we are of Jesus and want to become disciples? What will differentiate us from all other offers, making Jesus attractive? According to Jesus, By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” Do you see it? They go together!
Our Jerusalem Analogy
One analogy the Lord showed was this: Jerusalem represents us and our family which is the church (family of God – inward). We begin here, then we spread into the communities and into the region, then into the world, (outward). But, it starts FIRST with us and our own (inward) family, which is the family of God (1 Peter 4:17).
He said many are more willing to go outward rather than deal with the inward. While going out is good and also what we are called to do, it is not the fullness of what God wants, it’s not as powerful or sustaining. Are we thinking we somehow we have the ability to presume one commandment over the other? Do we have the love command down well? Just some healthy questions to ponder and pray on.
I would submit to you that God is after an inward heart work and that is what is sustaining. We must not forget that according to the bible, we love because He first loved us.(1 John 4:19) It is scriptural, if we forget this, according to scripture, we will not love, at least not in His love, which is the only kind of love capable of true inward change. It is His love that He commands us to walk in with each other as a witness when we go out in to the world. He would not have commanded us to do it unless it mattered.
What do you think?
Does this resonate with you? Has this been a struggle that you have with yourself or in church? Would love to hear your thoughts below. To read part one of this series please click here.
God bless you, in His Love,