We enjoyed cakes, videos, hakas, speeches and prayer from all the generations in the congregation. Yesterday was amazing as the leaders of our local church sent us out to begin itinerant ministry. It was a beautiful day and we felt honoured and encouraged.
A number of years a man of God prophesied over us, that we were hidden in a quiver as sharp arrows, but there was a time when we would be released from the quiver. That time has come.
But an arrow without a bow is powerless and pointless It is the testimony, the credibility, the prayer backing and the corporate anointing of the local church, that gives flight to the arrow. Yesterday the bow was drawn back and released.
David said God enabled him to bend the bow of bronze. “He teaches my hands to make war, So that my arms can bend a bow of bronze. You have also given me the shield of Your salvation; Your right hand has held me up, Your gentleness has made me great” (Psalms 18:32-35).
David was saying he was effective in his warfare but our hands are still the weapon of the church against the dark kingdom. By laying on of hands we cancel sickness, cast out devils and impart life into death and we still need the strong arms of leaders to bend the bow and release arrows of the Lord.
I’m incredulous when I hear a Christian say they don’t need a local church. It’s like saying I can be a Christian without going to Church. You can become one but you can’t live as one without the local church. That is like saying I can be rugby player without a team. It is delusional and the coach would just shake his head. The best rugby player is useless apart from the team, as is a knee joint without the rest of the body or an arrow without a bow.
I love the local church for it is the genius and dwelling place of God. To believe you can worship the Trinity outside of relationships in a local church misunderstands the nature and the heart of God. He only wants to dwell within a corporate gathering of His people. Only Jesus Christ is enough for God to live in alone. He otherwise needs a nation to dwell in the midst of. He constructed from a thousand parts His one tabernacle. He had a temple constructed out of many thousands of components into a glorious unified house for His habitation. And so it continues that the whole body of Christ manifested in local churches alone can contain Him. It is your brothers and sisters that carry Him within. To get closer to God –get closer to the Church. We love God as much as we love His people.
I was converted the day I encountered Christ in a pup tent while goat shooting in the hills of Hunua. From that moment God’s people prayed for me, helped me, encouraged me and visited me. His church discipled me, befriended me, fellowshipped with me, taught me and lead me. They then believed in me, trained me, prophesied over me and released me into ministry. Eventually, they listened to me, honoured me followed me, supported me and my family and enabled me to my destiny. Yet all they were doing was being Christ’s mouth, heart and hands.
Friend, I love Jesus and I love the Church.
I’m so glad He invited me to sit at His table and to “feast” on Him but do I want Church with that? Yes, please!