In our last post I shared that Jesus did not initiate the church as an institution, rather as a movement. What we read in the book of Acts is a movement, not an institution. In fact, it was not called a church for several years. It was known as “The Way”. The Apostles of Jesus, the early church leaders, and all believers of The Way had a passion to love and follow God. Their following God was in human minds, following into the unknown. You see, a movement is started and fueled by passion.
Abraham was a devout believer in God Almighty. One day God told Abraham to get up pack up his wife, servants and livestock and leave his father’s land. This was not a common practice. Families stayed close, helping each other. The one detail God left out was where He wanted Abraham to go. Paraphrasing, when Abraham asked God where he was to go, God said, “I’ll tell you when you get there.” Now, this had to be very peculiar. Yet, what did Abraham do? He got up and left, just as God said. Abraham would later become the father of a great nation, and by God’s own word, would bless every nation on earth.
In the new Testament, the Apostle Paul and his traveling companions were taking God’s story to various cities, towns, and nations. Yet when they attempted to go to Asia. Acts 16:6-7 says, “They went through the region of Phrygia and Galatia and were prevented by the Holy Spirit from speaking the message in Asia. 7 When they came to Mysia, they tried to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them.”
I share these stories from scripture with you to say, it is okay to not always know where you are going as long as you know why and that why begins with passion. When we passionately follow in obedience to Christ, God’s purpose will always be revealed along the journey. Abraham, the father of God’s people Israel, the most talked about person of the Old Testament and the Apostle Paul, perhaps the greatest missionary of all time, through whom God inspired over 1/3 of the New Testament writing. If God used these two men in such a mighty way and yet led them without sharing all the details, how foolish are we to think we must have the details?
God has not given any person, leader or follower, the ability to know the future. He reveals it to us at His discretion. God’s leaders realize it is not talent but the motivation to move forward even when you cannot know what’s around the next corner. An institution cannot do this, only a movement can. It is time to stop looking at the church as an institution and once again recognize the church is a movement.
What is the first item you realize you personally must take to God in prayer in order to adopt the mindset of His movement? Who will you turn to for help in leading your family of believers into God’s movement? Your obedient passion will lead you to God’s purpose.