GOD’S PLUMB LINE
In all things we are brought back to the plumb-line. God is our plumb-line. Theheart and manner of Jesus is our standard. Like any builder we string a line and add a weight to determine the accuracy of our structure and to align our building with what is true.
Within the Kingdom of God our building is the hearts and minds of people. We must ask ourselves, are we aligned with the King of Kings and do we know the standard of the King? In regards to this standard we must look to the place that the King himself is looking. Consider:
“The Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” Samuel 16:7
WHAT I AM SEEING
As a prayer minister I am privileged to observe the softening of hearts, the deep realizations of a soul, the healing of harms and trauma, the giving over of idolatrous power, the laying down of false belief systems, and most of all, I am privileged to watch as lives change, as compassions increase, as patience takes root, as peace filters deep, as actions take on new holiness, and so much more.
The following outline (the material is part of our CCIM College One-Year Course Curriculum) is a product of my experience with my own years of inner healing and transformation, asking for instance, “How did the Lord move me from selfishness and into compassion?”
It is also taken from my years of being a practitioner of healing prayer with many others. Week after week I am privileged to witness how the Lord leads people from their own flesh and ego-state into Godliness, observing, “How did the Lord move him into greater humility?”
I am also drawing from being alongside many overseas pastors, of being at many churches and witnessing the common attitudes that keep people bound and with shortened influence, compared to those that move with greater freedom in the Lord.
WHAT IS MISSING
On ministry trips I rarely ever hear about the spiritual tenor of a congregation, I am not told about the current emotional or spiritual needs of a group of people, there is no mention of the struggles at this time or what the Spirit is currently teaching. Rather, when I ask, “Tell me about this next church we will be with?” I hear about the building that needs a new roof or the latest project or program requiring investment from the west. It seems that church, in many areas, has been solely equated with buildings and programs and events.
Add to this, both overseas and in the west, that we have become settled in a religion of morality where the goal is to keep face and to make pretty, the strongholds keeping people from transformation are profound. It is why I often say that bringing Christians to the cross is one of the hardest things to do; by our moral strength and good habits we think we have found the freedom of the cross.
WHY DOES IT MATTER?
Jesus did not die on a cross, bearing the sins of an entire world, so that we could attend church on sundays, create groups of people like some fancy country-club, make programs and build buildings, or even become moral people.
The plan is so much bigger than this. The Kingdom of God come to earth is about the effects of sin and death being usurped by the beauty and light of God; it is the truth lived out that when light enters darkness flees. The battle is complete. There is no battle. We are now to bear Him, as light, into our communities; this happens through our hearts aligned with God’s heart.
Restoration of God come to earth in all glory and honour, whereby we, and all of creation, are freed unto life abundance, where this world is prepared for heaven on earth, this is the point. But this will not happen by moral certitude, good habits, well-planned gatherings, or any other good deeds that we might focus on.
The kind of transformation, restoration, and revolution this world requires is only accomplished through the hearts and minds of Christ-followers who give way to deep, profound, difficult, seared by God’s fire, kind of inner work. We must be transformed if we want to see our world transformed. It is the way God has set it up to work.
JESUS RAISED UP TWELVE
I’ve outlined six ways in which the disciples of Jesus were impacted as they spent three years in his presence. Within each of those six I’ve identified four specific heart and life stances, we might say, that are grown within us. There are more of course, yet for the purpose of this work my goal is to keep it as simple as possible.
1. Transformed Hearts
marked by: Compassion, Humility, Love, Peace
2. Changed Thinking
marked by: Agreements, Turned to God, Patience, Kingdom of God
3. God’s Worldview
marked by: Understanding, Coming on the Inside, Mutual Submission, Dying to Self
4. Growth in Leadership
marked by: Honouring of People, Part of the Solution, Faithfulness, Courage
5. Personal Prayer
marked by: Simplicity, Honesty, Listening Prayer, Advocating
6. Spiritual Authority
marked by: Discipline, In Secret, Being Light, Sulha
The change we need we cannot manufacture on our own. We can become aware of our need, we may see the fractured realities of our hearts, we might glimpse the darkness in our own souls, but we cannot fix this, we cannot fix us. This grid is therefore not a series of ‘now do this’ lectures. Rather, I am counting on the healing and wholeness of the Lord over each person as we become aware of our great need.
It is grace that frees us. It is the Holy Spirit that helps us. My job, my role is to simply introduce and facilitate the revelation of our Lord over lives. God does the rest. He does the revealing, he establishes repentance, he creates the hunger for more, he leads the heart prayers of a people contrite before him, and he then responds with deep heart transformations. It is God that heals us.
I hope to normalize the process of maturity, to remove religion’s sense of shame over where we currently are, instilling a freedom to get on with stating it as it is, seeing our hearts clearly, and bringing our in-process selves to the foot of the cross and the presence of The King. As we do this, we are breathed through with the breath of God and our lives are harnessed for his glory and for our future delight and profound satisfaction in this life and in the next.