There is a great and effectual door opened unto me, and there are many adversaries. This is from 1Corinthians 16, and it was impressed on me as I got up this morning and started to pray and think. There was a mishap with Greg Millsaps flight last night and instead of arriving at 11:30pm, he is being told he will have to wait until the same flight tonight. That is a loss of 24 hours on an already short schedule. Doesn’t seem that cool.
The institutionalization of the Lord’s church, and of various ministries and Christian organizations, continues. Once an organization or group reaches a certain mass, it will tend toward institutionalization. I don’t think this happens at the same mass for every example, and it will likely vary, depending on a lot of different factors. However, once it begins to be institutionalized, it’s mission will be changed from what it was originally, to self-perpetuation. At this moment, if not before, it will also begin to calcify and lose it’s flexibility. It will respond in a natural way to threats, to silence or marginalize them, and also remove dissenting voices from it’s midst. This is often done with the proclamation that the group is more important than the individual, which has an element of truth, but is the wrong comparison. In Christ, we should be following Christ, not the group, or the individual. Systematically, Christ Jesus and His leadership fade into the background, and the original mission becomes the focus of marketing efforts, though it has likely been supplanted by a motive that the “organization” must continue. This is one of the reasons why the institutions of man are temporary, but what God does lasts forever.
For the last few years I have used Mondays to fast and pray. I try to set aside the first part of the day to focus on the Lord, perhaps reading the word, or praying specifically about something that is going on. Some weeks I have done well to stick closely to my plan, and other weeks I have had to miss it all together due to a travel schedule, something that has come up, or sometimes for a pure lack of discipline. Overall it has been pretty consistent though.
There are a lot of things that fasting does for us, but most of my early experiences with fasting were unsuccessful, and certainly unenlightened! A little understanding goes a long way when it comes to things like this, things of a spiritual nature that go against what the body is used to or finds pleasure in. Continue reading “This World Is Not Our Home”