Stay the Course

Ephesians 5:21 – “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.”

Today’s church culture after COVID-19 has taught us some important things about the maturity of the body of Christ. Many people after being absent from church for so long are struggling to come back. Maybe you struggle with this in a less obvious way. Perhaps you go just because it is the religious “right” thing to do but you are bored and disconnected. Today I want to encourage you by saying that life in the body of Christ is so much richer than just showing up on a Sunday as a consumer. What if attending church was less about showing up to be taught something and more about being a blessing to others around you? One of the things that I have come to realize is that if I just show up at church to receive, then I will be disappointed.

There have been many times when I am so busy, I have skipped meals and later settled for something to eat that I normally would not even consider eating but because of my hunger, I settled for it only to be disappointed afterward. It is the same way with our spiritual hunger. If we just eat one meal a week in the natural, we will end up malnourished, weak, and sick. So why is it that we think one spiritual meal a week (Sunday morning) is going to sustain a healthy, vibrant, and strong spiritual life? We should be like David who said in Psalm 23:5 – “God has prepared a table before me in the presence of my enemies, you anoint me with oil; my cup overflows.” We should be so full from eating at the Father’s table every day that when we show up at church our spiritual cups are so full, they run over and bless others. I want to encourage you with a fresh perspective on the real point of the church.

If I just eat one meal a week, I will be weak, malnourished, and sick.

Romans 12:2 – “Do not copy the behavior and the customs of the world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will know God’s will for yourself, which is good, pleasing, and perfect.” Everything that we do after accepting Jesus as the Lord of our lives is spiritual. For the believer, there is no such thing as secular anymore. Going to work or school or hanging out with friends is no longer a secular part of life, everything that we do is spiritual. When we came to Christ, we joined the royal priesthood (1 Peter 2:9). As priests we take our spiritual lives with us everywhere we go, looking for God to lead us in what He wants to do. As priests, we do not go to church to be ministered to, we come so that we can be better equipped to minister (Ephesians 4:11,12). The church is not an organization, it is a body of people seeking to fulfill the purposes of our Father. Jesus said that He did not come to do His will but the will of the Father (John 6:38). There is no greater purpose and no greater fulfillment in life than to do the will of God. The truth is that we will never be fully satisfied in life outside of the will of God.

There is no such thing as secular anymore.

Every believer is a minister. The Apostle Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 5:18 that God has called us all to the ministry. That does not mean we are all called to the pulpit, but it does mean that everywhere we go we are to be ministers. And when you know that you are a minister, you are not waiting for someone to minister to you. Instead, you go to church to be better equipped so that you are prepared for those ministry opportunities that God opens. If you work in a nail salon, you are a minister at a nail salon! If you are a stay-at-home mom, you are a minister to your children! If you are the CEO of a Fortune 100 company, your greatest opportunity is not in managing your staff and finances, it is in bringing your ministry to the marketplace. Some people believe they work in a dark place. That may be true, but it is not dark when you are there. Jesus said that “You’re the light of the world” (Matthew 5:14). Wherever and whenever you show up, light shows up! And light is always greater than darkness.

Every believer is a minister.

So, as you approach this weekend, I want you to think about your perspective of the church. Are you going? That is the first step to staying the course to become all that God has called you to be. And when you show up do not show up as a consumer, waiting to be ministered to, or are you going with an open heart and open eyes to what Holy Spirit is wanting to do? I hope that you will go this Sunday with the heart of a minister. How will you be equipped? How will you serve? How will you pour out?

My prayer for you today is that you will begin to see yourself the way that our Father sees you – as a member of the royal priesthood – an ambassador of the Kingdom of God – an able minister of the gospel!

We love you and hope to see you this Sunday. 

Pointing People to Jesus,

Rocky Byers

“On Earth as it is in Heaven!”