Efforts to bring or enhance the Kingdom of God
Almost always, whatever truth is discovered to enhance the Kingdom of God among men, the first step is to put it into a methodology and then a program and then work the program, trusting God to honor it.
The truths God reveals for any pupose where never meant to become a method. It is Jesus, alone who builds His church
Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain. Psalms 127:1
This does not mean that we are to ask the LORD for His plans so that we can look to and follow the plan to get results. Oh, how men love to lean on their own understanding (Prov 3:5) instead of God. Rather, it is the LORD personally and intimately involved in the building of His church though each and every living stone (1 Peter 2:5 ).
We must not only see the outcome that the Lord wants, but must also see and obey His ways of building or doing anything. We are to participate in His work, as He dynamically directs it, not devise methods of getting His work done.
God says that man
must live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God Deuteronomy 8:3, Matthew 4:4, Luke 4:4,
That is how Jesus lived and it would only make sense that that is how His body should live. Yet, such a teaching is denounced by most preachers, except as it refers to obeying the bible. The thinking that Jesus as head can communicate directly with the parts of His body is an scarce teaching today. Yet, Jesus and scripture says otherwise
Psalms 95:7 For he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand. To day if ye will hear his voice,
John 10:3 To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out.
John 10:4 And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice.
John 10:16 And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd. [not thousands of mini-shepherds nor thousands of mini-folds]
John 10:27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:
One wonders why the ability of every Christian to hear Jesus is a teaching hardly ever heard. Can there be anything as important as hearing our Master?
One of the big problems in living by every word that proceeds (not only proceeded) out of God's mouth is the mistaken notion that it is the top heirarchy that hears God though their proper study and exposition of scripture and relays it to the congregation. That is the same concept that corrupted the Catholic church and set up the divided system of clergy and laity.
God says that all men know in part and see in part (1 Corinthians 13:9; 1 Corinthians 8:2) - even Paul, the apostle.
14 For the body is not one member, but many.
15 If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?
16 And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?
17 If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling?
18 But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.
19 And if they were all one member, where were the body?
20 But now are they many members, yet but one body.
1 Corinthians 12:14-20
Paul said that God has given gifts to His body. Each member of His body is an expression of Him and His will and His ways. Each sheep hears His voice and follows Him. The input of each member of His body is essential to the growth and health of His body. This is not speaking of being of help in the church's kitchen or other duites - but of speaking truth in love.
Eph 4:15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:
16 From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.
While most "churches'" proclaim such words sometimes, and profess to believe them, they limit the extent to which they accept its truth. They need the rest of the "body' to finance the building and other programs. They need them to fill duty slots to maintain their programs. But when it comes to wisdom, or understanding, or revelation, all of a sudden, they become the nice sheep that are in need of their direction.
A valid insight, direction, truth could come from the newest of belivers at any time. Not always, or usually. But all should ever be to hearing the voice of the Master through the least of His body. Any elder who is not open to and seeking to hear His Master's voice coming through a fellow believer, the least of the sheep, can never faithfully fulfill his ministry to others.
It is interesting that the gift of governments is listed almost at the end of Paul's list of gifts in 1 Corinthians 12:28
And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts, healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.Yet, those with the gifts of governments are typically the ones that decide what the "church" is to do and how it is to be done. This is not to say that those with the gifts of governments do not also have wisdom and understanding, but all wisdom and understanding and revelation must come through prayer and seeking His face with a holy fear of hearing Him amiss.
How many "church" decisions are made without leaders knowing for certain that they have heard God's voice in their prayer closet?
Until this is remedied, there can be no spiritual growth or revival. Praying and listening leaders will eagerly seek His voice through even the least of Christians for Christ does speak through any part of His body he chooses.
As long as pastors have programs and success stories of methodologies that they pursue instead of His face, God will continue to move His people out of the institutional and pastor managed church.