shepherd-sheep-12

It has been very encouraging to see the Lord moving the hearts of VCFers to respond to the call for training to be harvesters and to minister in the power of the Holy Spirit. This is a precious time that God has given us as a church to prepare ourselves for the days to come.

God is preparing us

As you may know, we believe that God’s agenda and priorities for us as a church are shaped by what He is preparing us for. The future will require a certain quality of disciple that God, in His foreknowledge, is preparing. We don’t have to know what the future holds, but we can rest assured that in the present time, God will be preparing us, if we have ears to hear. What an amazing thought – that God is preparing us for action that can only be brought about by what God is doing in us right now! It will be unique, but will require diligence, time, commitment, growth in the Spirit, and unity of heart and purpose.

Implications for the church

This has serious implications for the corporate nature of church. Instead of seeing church as a group of people who engage in a smorgasbord of activities in which each of us contributes or volunteers our gifts to things that are important to us during our spare time – a bit like weekend warriors, we see a totally different picture. We see the church as among other things, an army that moves in rank, with each person being trained, moving in sync with each other, understanding what God is saying to us as a body, being in fellowship in a deep way, and most importantly, understanding our mission. This understanding is to be to such a sharp degree that we know our distinct call in a way that is as much generic to the Body of Christ, as it is different from those who are not called to this particular body. There is a specific way in which God is leading, training and preparing us for the role that he has for us. Understanding what God has not called us to is an important aspect of knowing what He has called us to.

Psalm 80 tells us that God leads us like a shepherd and shines forth from between the cherubim. This means that He leads us stage by stage in our development. Like a good shepherd, He is nuanced in the way He focuses on certain things at one time, and not on others. Then in the next stage of our journey, He may lead us into things that He previously did not permit us to engage in. That is because our learning of Him is led, and in real time. If we can understand this, we will find our time in VCF will begin to be very meaningful. We are not just learning and applying all the values that we see in scripture in a wooden way, and all at once. No, we are being led, fed, shepherded and built up in stages by Someone. Line on line, precept upon precept.

Under His tutelage

This means that there may be times in which people may ask why we are not doing this or engaging in that issue or imperative. It’s because our priority is to follow His leading, and to be under His tutelage. For example, we have for many years, not felt led to focus on spiritual warfare, even though we know it’s crucial role in ministry. We have had to be built up to it, so that our discernment, strength and spiritual maturity was ready for it. I believe that it is the Holy Spirit who has been leading us. Today, I believe that it is time for us to pick up the heavier weapons of our warfare in a way we have not done so up to now.

To be continued…