Chapter 18: Jesus Christ: Not Sigmund Freud
REAL worship of Jesus and the penetrating applied Word of God must be the ever‑dominant theme of His disciples’ gathering. While, of course, there will be honesty, humility, and confession, meetings should not be “pity parties.” If Christ is in it, you will find a jubilant application of the Truth of God. Even though there will be tears at times, there is Hope in Christ even in the serious and painful situations of life. Praise God!
The honest confession and heart-cry of a Saint often launches the Power of God in gatherings. The answer from the Heart of God to our struggles (when He is allowed to reign in our midst), is frequently more than anyone could “ask or imagine!”
To see mountain‑top Truth explode from the Saints and shatter darkness there are at least three prerequisites:
1) The liberty of Christ to run His own Church is such that it allows an occasion for brothers and sisters to really open their hearts, and,
2) Our confident Faith in God (in spite of the circumstances).
3) The Wonderful Counselor, by His Mercy, blessing His People.
Given the above, boy, can some awesome things occur.
As for the “confident Faith” part, you know where I’m coming from on this — a positive application of the reality of a living Jesus to whatever the problem happens to be. As we come together and “everyone has a hymn, a word of instruction, or a revelation” (the light bulb pops on: “Wow! Now I understand!”), let our expressions be a continual expression of Faith in our Father and His Only Son Jesus. Confession of sin is certainly a part of being a Christian and thus an element in the church and its gatherings. Yet let it be with an expectation of the certainty of God’s faithfulness to forgive, instruct, and overcome. And come with “ears to hear” what God might say through His Priesthood (the church) in response to your confession. Have an attitude of anticipation!
A letter that I received today from a companion in the Faith, a new Christian, is an example of just that kind of heart. It ended with:
“Sometimes I am almost amazed at just how messed up I can be in this area. I am so grateful that God is an awesome God and nothing is too mixed up and damaged that He can’t straighten it out and heal it.”
Great expression of Faith, huh? Not really. Just normal Christ‑ianity!
“But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”
“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind.”
“Confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.”
“Everything must be done for the strengthening of the church” (1Cor.14:26). Follow that guideline by coming with an application of the living Word of God, or His grace to your life — for the strengthening of the Church. Turn your life to Jesus and your deepest trials and failings will never be self‑indulgent, but rather your heart will strengthen and uplift the church.
“Look how awful my trouble is and how terrible it seems…but through God it’s a ‘light and momentary’ ‘NBD’ (no big deal) issue. Look at what God’s going to do! Can you believe it? It seems impossible, but God’s using it to refine me and increase my Faith as He comes through again! ‘All things work together for the good for those who love Him and are called according to his purpose.’ I choose to believe that. I believe God. If He created the universe, then I think He’ll keep that promise in Romans 8 — so I don’t have to be defeated and depressed about the circumstances. Anyone have a Word genuinely from God for me about this opponent of Faith that I’ve faced-off with?”
Some incredible (or as one sister said, “Credible” — since it’s God!) teaching never heard from behind a pulpit has taken place at a time when a lamb opens the heartaches or failings of his life to the church. With such room to move, Jesus can do some fabulous things that 40 hours in a “study” could never begin to touch. He can give His servants “an instructed tongue to know the Word that sustains the weary.” And real praise (rather than simply a pre‑planned “praise and worship time”) can then erupt from this surprising victory in a way that the most talented leader could never reproduce. Can you see it?
Many, many times Jesus has used real situations in our lives to encourage and change the whole church.
“I always seem to figure out that I’ve put my foot in my mouth after I’ve done the damage. Will I ever get to the place where I don’t do that anymore?!”
The verbal answer to that simple question was captured for posterity in a booklet entitled “Levels of Maturity.”
“I never feel as if I get anything out of my ‘prayer’ and ‘Bible Study’ times. Is there something wrong with me?”
The answer to that question ended up arriving in some depth a couple of days later in a gathering that was partially recorded, and called “Time Home.” Because of the freedom of the gathering and the sweet sister’s honesty, not only did she receive an answer, but it seemed that the entire church, some non‑Christians, and other folks from out of state who were with us that day, benefited as well.
To reinforce the point, if you will apply honesty, truth, reality, faith, life, liberty, and grace to everything that comes your way, Jesus can work through everything easily for the strengthening of the Church. Don’t get caught in the trap of having simply a “sharing session” or “group therapy session” when you come together. Petition the Lord of the Harvest and turn to Him and His Church in humility and expectation even in your deepest struggles. God will hear you and shower you with Love.
60 The “Lord of the Sabbath,” on many occasions, had a different idea of what “Keep Holy the Sabbath” meant than the scholars did. Joel, chapter two, would never have been interpreted by the scholars to mean what the Holy Spirit said it meant in Acts, chapter two. Though all of the Scriptures — page after page of the Old Testament — point towards and prophesy of the Messiah, few followed Jesus on the basis of knowledge gained in a “scholarly” approach to the Bible. There was only one man that we know of that was of the “scholar class” that did not reject the very Messiah that the preachers had studied about, taught about, and waited for! Joseph of Arimathea.
God’s desire is that we “abide in” — make our home in — His Word, not analyze it. Then, as in Acts 2, allow the Holy Spirit to say, in the context of our NEED, “This is That which was spoken of by….” Jesus, alive in and amongst His People, is the key of Knowledge. He is “all wisdom and revelation.” Rather than formulating our eschatalogical and other doctrinal scaffolding to reach God, let’s just walk with Him!
Matthew 11:25-27: At that time Jesus said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because You have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this was your good pleasure. All things have been committed to Me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal Him.” Back