God’s people have always been on the move. Noah builds a giant boat big enough to hold a zoo. Abraham leaves his homeland to explore a new land in which he would never really settle down. The prophets like Elijah and Elisha never put roots down in a town or village. King David lived in the hills, caves, fields and a castle. John the Baptist moved around like a nomad eating locust. And, unlike a fox, our Lord Jesus had no place to lay his head.
Now that may seem all well and good “back then.” But what about for us today? How do we live as God’s redeemed people in 2016 and beyond? I think the answer is back in Matthew 28. Jesus tells us to go. Peter goes. Timothy goes. Paul goes. Saved people are always sent people. And even though we have not seen the risen Lord Jesus (in person), we have seen Him with the eyes of our heart and we have heard His call to go. Settling down is not an option for those whose hearts are settled in God.
So what does it mean for us as a church to go? How do we avoid a slow settling in? Here are a few things to help us. First, we stay on our knees. We pray without ceasing. If the heart in the body stops pumping, then blood stops moving and the body will soon become lifeless. It is the same with prayer in the church. Prayer is the heartbeat and lifeblood of the church body. If we stop praying, we stop living.
Second, we do things. We respond to apathy with action. We don’t sit on our hands, ring our hands or fold our hands. We use our hands, feet, legs and brains to explore new ways of being the church on mission together. Paul calls the church “a people zealous for good works.” (Titus 2:14). And this zeal for Christ spills over into concrete action. Let’s be eager to explore new ideas, spend money where necessary and avoid saying “no” too quickly.
And third, we stay unified under the same mission and the same Lord. Our Lord is King Jesus. Our mission is to ignite a passion for Him and love for people. It is the simplicity of the gospel that impacts people so deeply. And we want to avoid muddying the waters, blurring the clear picture of Christ crucified or gathering under any other common bond than the Spirit. God has brought us together and God will keep us together as we center our thoughts and passion on Him.
So where do we go as church? We go forward. There is no reverse gear in this engine. And there is no neutral. There is only drive. And the Driver is King Jesus, the Head, Shepherd and Savior of His bride. Lead us o’ Christ, now and forever!
Happily following His lead together,