Friday, April 20, 2012

Church Communities, Codependency, and Christ

Church communities can be one of the most codependent organizations out there.
We keep telling people that they are sick, that they need more prayer, when what they need to do, on their own, is renew their minds to the truth of who they are in Christ.
We are more than conquerors in Christ Jesus – in our Spirit man. For many, though it has become more convenient to lay our heads on someone else’s shoulders, cry away our days, and hope that someone will make everything better.
We are called to live a life of faith, and within every believer we are empowered with the faith of the Son of God. For many believers, they have grown comfortable waiting for someone else to make their lives better. They want a hand out, they want people to sit around and pray for them.
I attended one church meeting in South Torrance, where the leader spent more time yelling and shouting than actually just receiving from God the Father.

Another young man was waiting for something to happen. He sat there the whole time, feeling tired and pitying  himself for his circumstances. Two other  men sat around and prayed for him. The man receiving prayer just sat there, yawning, refusing to say or do anything. One of the pastors on site began praying for the man, asking him if he felt any joy. What many of these people are failing to realize is that we have been blessed with all spiritual blessings in Christ Jesus. We are asking God for something that He has already given, and we are trying to go to a place where we have already been.

Like a cyclist who is riding his bike with one wheel on low gear and another wheel on high gear, many Christians are going nowhere in their lives. They do  not grow in grace and knowledge of the Lord, as they have grown comfortable doing the same thing day after day, year after year. We all long for something more in our lives, but it has become far more convenient  to do the same thing, knowing that at least we have enough to get through every day.
Christ Jesus came that we might have life, and that more abundantly. But for so many of us, who simply do not know who we are in Christ, we find that we are not doing very much, we do not see a great deal of victory in our lives.

When we wrestle with bad moods,  when we sink into a deep funk, we find ourselves fighting with the lies within us that have nothing to do with the truth of who we are, we need to grab onto God’s Word and believe what we are reading.
In today’s church communities, men and women are blaming everything that they are enduring on demons. Much of what people are struggling with centers on the error that has become dominant in their lives. We would rather get strokes from other people instead of believe in accordance with the truth.

We spend our lives trying to make ourselves better, when if we invested our minds with the divine truth of who we are in Christ, we would find ourselves enjoying, love, joy, and peace all the time. For  many believers, unfortunately, we have become so dominated by our feelings. We spend more time responding to our thoughts that telling our minds what to think. Many mental disorders would be fixed in a trice if we invested ourselves with the truth that our identity rests in Christ, not in what we think, not in what we feel, and certainly not in what we do.
On example of faith in action: Ronald Reagan. He understood the role of faith as greater than our reason or our senses, to an extent. His amiable optimism, for many a sign of his homespun, Mid-Western naivete, was a motivational force of faith, faith in himself and the basic goodness of man – faith in the wrong object, perhaps. This  faith enabled him to ignore the hardships and harsh realities of his childhood, but in another sense, this faith was a conscious decision to ignore the evil, to repudiate the empty ruminations that have nothing to do with who we are what we are doing in our lives. He refused to believe in a fallen world which would capitulate to communism. In 1969, on a speaker’s panel in France, Governor Reagan remarked that he wanted to see the Berlin Wall come down some day. The very idea caught the moderator off guard, enough to make him choke back a stifled laugh. For many intellectuals, the Berlin wall was going nowhere. Modern historians were resigning themselves to a new world order, one in which Communism would eclipse capitalism and democracy. Yet in 1989, shortly after he left office, Ronald Reagan went to Berlin and chopped off a piece of the Berlin Wall. It was twenty years in the making, but Reagan saw his vision come to pass.

In the Body of Christ, in the world, we have become far too mind-oriented. We want to think everything through to the end. We insist on seeing the outcomes, but we will not risk anything, convinced that whatever we want will not come to pass, or that we will have to resign ourselves to having nothing to work with in the first place. We are walking by sight, we are walking in line with our feelings, with whatever can keep us busy for the short-term, but we are not willing to enter a Promised Land of delight, we are so beset with unbelief.

How do we break out of this prison of the mind? We must learn to believe. We must learn to renew our minds to the truth of who we are in Christ. We must stop believing everything that we think, and instead we must begin investing ourselves in the truth of who we are in Christ.

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