I’m writing this so that none need be bound in institutionalism. Institutionalism is a manifestation of ‘the letter.’ It’s a subtle version of the law and it derives from this body of death – the dead body that is the result of our separation from God in Adam. None of us need be bound in Adam when we have Christ to live in. This is why Paul talks of Christ our life, rather than going on about all the things that Christians might be expected to do.
SIMPLE AND PROFOUND
Worshiping God in spirit and in truth is profoundly simple. It is the Spirit of Jesus in us manifesting as us – us as individuals and the community of Believing Sons. The incarnation means that God is in you – Father, Son and Holy Spirit have made their home in you. But they not like marbles rattling around in your barrel of a body. The trinity is interwoven into your being. As such we are the manifestation of our Father the sons of God. All the result of Christ come in our flesh. Translation: A the real trinity has come to live in our real body, soul and spirit.
A conference speaker made much of the fact that we as Believers should seek to be the habitation of God – as though this is something we should reach out and discipline ourselves to do. But we don’t have to. He already lives in us. This is the chief fact of the new testament age. Christ has drawn us in and made us part of His life in the Holy Family of the Trinity. We will do better by living in our inheritance and not religiously striving to achieve what we already have. Don’t burocratise and institutionalize what you already possess in the Spirit. Live from that position of union with God that is yours and ignite everything you touch with spirit and life.
Praise and worship as we know it can be more a function of institutionalism than a channel of life. Our channel of life is Jesus. It’s more than a channel. It’s a pool of life that surrounds you and is in you called the Spirit of Sonship.
Praising God is big in heaven and big in the hearts of those who love Jesus and live from His life. But this does not mean that it has to be a thing people do when they assemble in institutions. Dr Stephen Crosby has written about praise and worship in the contemporary church, insisting that the fuller meaning of praise and worship is a life in Jesus. Not in any old testament assumptions based on the tabernacle of David. Firstly, there is no separation from God in this new testament age. So no need to work up a ‘presence’ so you can prophesy.
The presence of God was in David's Tabernacle because the ark was there. Not because the praise and dance of the psalmists and musicians lured Him in. Today this ark is you. You can prophesy anywhere and release rivers of life everywhere because you are in God and He is in you. In this respect the tent of praise was a prophetic picture of life in the new covenant age where God would dwell in and be with His people continuously.
'Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in your midst?' 1 Cor 3.16 NIV.
Recently I read an article in The Age in which it was stated that ‘Women do not exist for the benefit of men.’ Of course. They live to rejoice as their best selves as do we all. I hope you are getting the idea that you do not exist for the church. You are not a construct of institutionalism. You exist to be who you are in God. Such people are the church Jesus builds without human hands. They are sons rather than ciphers and apostolic people rather than consumers of packaged religion.
Today God dwells in the praises of His people because His people dwell in Jesus. This is real praise and your development in Jesus is your real glory.
He's in you so that you can be authentically you and minister life from your uniqueness and the joy of your purpose in being.
Wherever we are today, God is in us and with us. In a manner of speaking we are all portable arks since we are all living temples of the Son of God. The way to release the presence is to intentionally live in a 'Christ My Life Reality.' If God is anything, He is relational. There is a joy, peace and continual healing from deep wounds and the abrasions of living when we walk in intimacy with Jesus.
‘Intimacy.’ Yes. You don’t have to earn it. It’s not the result of pieties and devotions. It’s yours already. Jesus has drawn you into the Family of God.
Dr Crosby observes that the pattern of today's worship is not found in David's Tabernacle or the way things were done there. Today's worship is a life and the praise and worship that we do when together should be sourced in Jesus and the reality of our union with Him.
Jesus spent little time in the temple and walked around streets and villages most of His life, releasing His life. He was in His Father and Father was in Him. More than this, He and Father were one. This relationship is now your relationship and your life. In Jesus you can take the initiative as a life-giver who waters situations with spirit and life.
The community of Christ is not owned by anyone – other than Jesus. You are not obliged to support any apparatus of institutionalism that sets itself up to intimate that you have some obligation to subject yourself to it or maintain it. We benefit by living in the community of those for whom Jesus is life. But those who tell you the church is life – have no regard for them. They see through a glass darkly and belong to the company of money changers that Jesus cast out many years ago.
'For God wanted them to know that the riches and glory of Christ are for you Gentiles, too. And this is the secret: Christ lives in you. This gives you assurance of sharing his glory' Col 1.22 NIV.