Many people have been communicating the exciting things God has been doing in and through their lives. This is an exciting time, as we watch the Kingdom of God being established all around us. So exciting in fact that it should be the norm. We have been watching and experiencing miracles and amazing things that can only be described as the fingerprints of God.
Many others get frustrated when their own personal kingdoms are not being established. No matter how hard they try, long lasting results just do not seem to exist. I am not talking about attendance, but instead actual life change. What if we could always just point people to Jesus and His kingdom? Then it’s a win win win – for Jesus, us and everyone in our ministry. In fact, if we could motivate people to want to see God released and His kingdom built instead of ours then the increase will come to what God has called us to do. Sadly it is often easier to motivate people behind a vision with a strong leader, if even the cause is of mans motives.
After all, the kingdom of God is Jesus and we are representing the kingdom of God not the kingdom of how awesome we can be. Furthermore, we are not representing the kingdom of God that we make up with new theologies that fit our emotional or spiritual bents.
Every so often as ministry leaders, we need to be reminded that there can be a subtle switch between building God’s kingdom and building what we think is God’s kingdom.
Matthew 7:15-20 “Be wary of false preachers who smile a lot, dripping with practiced sincerity. Chances are they are out to rip you off some way or other. Don’t be impressed with charisma; look for character. Who preachers are is the main thing, not what they say. A genuine leader will never exploit your emotions or your pocketbook. These diseased trees with their bad apples are going to be chopped down and burned.” (the Message)
The New King James version reads, “therefore by their fruits you will know them”, which tells me that the only true test we have is seeing realistic life change in people. That does not mean how good you are at falling down at the alter, how many times you have a religious experience that cannot be explained, or even how many prophetic words you have given someone. Those are all instant expressions of the Holy Spirit. Fruit takes a long time to grow and shows itself through reproduction in new ground, as opposed to reproduction in already tilled ground. Fruit is also something that can easily spread on its own instead of being forced.
This is an easy trap to fall into. The need to see bigger numbers FAST brings the need to create something worth seeing, with or without God. The need for fame brings the need to do something worth noticing, based on love or not. The need for ambition brings the need for selfish motives. It is easy to disguise these major flaws with spirituality and somehow believe that the Holy Spirit is telling us to do it.
It would be a stretch to say that everyone who falls for this is evil or out to destroy the world. I believe that most start out on the right path, wanting to do the work of Jesus, we just sometimes need a bit of a correction. What if we were out to build God’s kingdom and only God’s kingdom, in everything we do? I believe this would eventually look like full churches, fed people and a transformed culture.
Let’s be clear on one thing, I am talking about myself as a Christian leader in our spiritual consumer culture who needs re-direction as much as anyone else.