Discipline


The intent of this blog has been for means to create a discipline within me to write, until a dialogue among others begins.  A dialogue that examines, even challenges Christianity as we know it in America.  My hopes of certain,  have to do with the possibilities that lie within a new generation, one that will settle for nothing less than a vibrant, in the marketplace, Christ – centered reality.

A generation, unwilling to simply tweak the institution that church has become, rejecting the career goals that only shape a better industry, refusing simply to sustain some contemporary comfort zone for ones own personal and familial needs, though all that is expected.

The church as an institution is now 2000 years old, how may we capitalize on the potential of such a massive investment; remaining astute enough so as not to throw out baby and wash, but in no way keeping “sacred” practices, that sustain only a false sense of religion, long void of power and bereft of benefit to the nation that it once sustained?

If the purpose of this tool was discipline and dialogue, then I question whether the goal has been achieved?  Was this blog simply a false assumption and would continuing the practice be religious at best?  Or, has this “silent work” afforded only benefit to my own personal walk with Christ?  That, I believe is what has really happened over these last few months.

Each morning I feel compelled to search my heart for any message that might be present in my spirit and then resting, only after I have fulfilled the sense of need to articulate that message, through this tool.  This morning’s early prayer (not trying to impress) was centered around my desperate desire to afford God my entire being, so that the work that He has begun in me and by His grace nurtured over time, might see its full fruition…The Lasting.

Since that evening on January 3, 1973 when I fully gave my heart to Jesus, I have prayed that he would own all of my moments and use my entire life’s breathe for His purposes.  Now 37 years +3 days later, I still find myself agonizing over my own “bowl of pottage” that is the sin that so easily besets me; the subtle desire, which in a moment takes priority over my thoughts of Him.   The ridiculous trade offs that my selfish being is prone to make,  just when a Kingdom breakthrough seems most imminent!

Oh wretched man that I am!  Yet I will trust His grace, I will see the completion of the work that He has begun, I will afford Him access to the life He has sustained against a day He has promised…a city!

That’s the work of discipline!

7 thoughts on “Discipline

  1. So, if you had access, unfettered access to that mass of believers gathering on Sundays and Wednesdays- pick any gathering, what would you do and say? How would you lead them, who are likely more willing and less directed in a daily way than we may know to be vibrant in the marketplace, to be just that- a vibrant, powerful force- one by one, every day.

    What would you do? Would you teach a class? Would you form a small group? A prayer group? A coffee house chat? An online blog in hopes that some would dialogue? Really, Jesus must be willing to do this? What, with Paul who said, “Follow me as I follow Jesus?” will you do with this discipline God has created in you?

    1. T,

      I often feel like Micaiah in I Kings 22:8 must have felt, when the King said, “I hate him because he never prophesies anything good about me, but aways bad.” I have never set this as a goal for my writings, however, my attempts to avoid sounding as if I am throwing the proverbial baby out with the wash seldom work, so here I go again!

      I would change the entire metric of the church. First attending on Sunday and Wednesday have little spiritual merit if attendance is the net effect of our work of ministry. Paul basically says that no day of the week is more sacred (Romans 14:5, Col. 2:16b), although we are encouraged to not forsake the assembly, (there are real benefits to the corporate experience if more than a well orchestrated assembly is offered); when the church makes attendance at its “religious festival” the hallmark of Christianity we have gone awry and probably desecrated the intent of the Sabbath, “a rest for the people of God.”

      The objective of our Christiantiy is transformation into the image of God, “Christ in us , the hope of Glory.” This requires a Spirit driven individual experience, which the church, in its attempts to maintain its real estate and pay its staff has caused to become more corporate than beneficial and is not justified by its current “product” nor national impact.

      Would I “teach a class? Would you form a small group? A prayer group? A coffee house chat? An online blog in hopes that some would dialogue?”
      Again, to avoid throwing baby out with the wash, these things are good but not best and sometimes for the sake of the best, the good must be sacrificed.

      In what ever corporate means used, I would emphasize a personal accountable experience wiht Christ, and yes, maybe in the form of well facilitated small groups, but it would not be about comparing “ones personal sufferings and trials, nor enabling personal growth but rather strategizing about individual impact and celebration of radical marketplace ventures. Personal blessing, prosperity and the stimulation of church growth (actually more like church transfer) are American metrics, most not biblical. Three thousand souls saved in one day is biblical!

      How many of your saints are in public office, how many neighborhoods are transformed by the members that live in them? How much association with the body of Christ does your congregation have within your city (not within your own church or denominatoin alone).

      How deep are your associations with sinners, how often do they come to you for advice and counsel? How often does the Holy Spirit administer the 9 gifts through you and toward those sinners? Do healings occur around you or do you just practice good herbal therapy! There I go, so I better stop!

      Oswald Chambers, January 9 ” Cleansing from sin is to the very heights and depths of our spirit if we will keep in the light as God is in the light, and the very Spirit that fed the life of Jesus Christ will feed the life of our spirits. It is only when we are garrisoned by God with the stupendous sanctity of the Holy Spirit, that spirit, soul and body are preserved in unspotted integrity, undeserving of censure in God’s sight, until Jesus comes.

      We do not allow our minds to dwell as they should on these great massive truths.”

      Thanks for your inquiry and I cherish your feedback as truth is hard to administer in America.

      Repo John

  2. John,

    Thanks for the thoughtful reply. I am printing it out and putting it in my journal, to mull over. Today is my birthday, and as a special request, I call not for John’s head on a platter 🙂 for speaking the truth, but rather for John to come to the party and show the guests how to live a new way. There was a point where the Word became flesh, and had the inconvenient experience of going slow enough for people to get it. I know you must bear this frustration, wading with us, waiting with us to get it, yet joyful in your lasting. But alas, there is a mass of people every Sunday and Wednesday who await someone to show them exactly what it is you are talking about, to lead this “accountable experience” with Jesus you speak of- to coach them into marketplace impact. My birthday request is simply this- show me what it looks like in the belly of the beast… if that is possible.

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