Saturday, June 8, 2013

Don't Look Back Lest You Become Table Salt

We can't go backwards.

I have a message brewing in my heart. The message was confirmed when I listened to Commissioner Floyd Tidd (pictured below with Commissioner Tracy Tidd) speak of The Salvation Army moving forward. He spoke recently in the Australia Southern Territory about the change of leadership from Moses to Joshua, and that Joshua stepped forward to lead the Israelite people into the promised land by the grace of God.

We can't go backwards. We must not embrace the former years as if they were necessarily the best. Healthy churches do not relive the glory days, the glory days are happening amongst them in the present! Dysfunctional churches want to recapture something of the past - the way it used to be. The problem is, while the church seeks to grab something from yesteryear (maybe the music, the methodology, etc), they are missing what God is wanting to do today.

I need to qualify some things here. I am speaking very much about the church's expression of ministry in the world. I am blessed to be leading Salvos 3064, a church plant 12 years ago, that is trying hard to be prophetically and practically relevant to our generation. For us this means keeping the music fresh and new, the structures lean and effective, the outreach culturally mindful and yet Spirit-led, amongst other things.

When The Salvation Army, not to mention other churches, lives with a mindset that the best days have been and gone, we might as well be table salt. Let's just sit next to Lot's wife, as pillars of salt, reflecting on yesteryear and continue to relive the glory days.

Though, if we are really honest, we know full well the glory years were just as difficult and painful as the years we live now. Don't forget the grace of God throughout the years, but understand, that God is wanting to do a new thing. Something fresh. New. Alive. Maybe slightly dangerous. Maybe slightly edgy. Maybe something that gets you out of the comfort zone.

I would much prefer to be salt that is seasoning the world around it, than cheap, homebrand table salt.

Do you remember that difficult passage in Luke 9:57-62? The one where Jesus says, 'let the dead bury there own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God' (Luke 9:60)? What about the end of the passage in Luke 9:62, 'Jesus replied, 'No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.''

We are challenged here to make the priority, service in the kingdom of God. God is doing a new thing. Stop looking back, hoping God might reignite the same methodology, music and outreach methods you used in previous years. Embrace what God is wanting to do now. Be filled with the presence and power of the Holy Spirit, and tell Jesus, that you're ready for what lays ahead!

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