There are some words that need to become a part of the Church today; especially the word “intentional”. Christians apparently “intentionally” get saved and it’s all down hill – sorry, down river, from there. They seem to think that there is nothing more they need to do and there is nothing further from the truth.
When someone intentionally becomes a genuine convert and is gloriously saved and converted – this person then needs to remain intentional and proactive. They need to sit down and determine, on purpose, how their relationship with the Lord will actually function; what disciplines they will use to keep in touch with a supernatural God (prayer, fasting, Bible reading, meditation, memorization, Bible study, silence and solitude) and what time frames all this is going to take. Not to mention, where is it fitting in the daily schedule and what might need to be removed to make room on the plate for all of this. As well, how about connecting to His body, the Church where their talents and giftings can be used and they can be equipped and trained.
However, most people that I know who are Christians seem to think that this relationship will just happen and so are not proactive and intentional. They immediately turn over on their backs and float downstream. They fail to recongize that anything worth having costs something and that they need to invest time and energy into this new relationship. It seems they think that by osmosis or by accident this relationship will continue to grow and develop and have life. As a result they put little to no effort into the relationship and so nothing happens. The same is true for their Church attendance, their time out telling others about Jesus (fulfilling The Great Commission), and most basic aspects of the faith.
An important note: They do the same thing with prophetic words. They take the tape containing the Word and toss it in the top drawer. Or, they may get as far as typing it out and actually filing a paper copy. But pray about it, cooperate with it, fulfill the conditions of it … “Whoa, that means I have to be intentional and proactive”. Now, you’re catching on!
This came to mind, once again, last night as I talked with a Christian and asked him about his friend who was attending our church and has vanished over the past six months. Apparently he and his wife are going elsewhere – to a place, according to my source, where they are recognized for the gift that they really are and where they are being trained for ministry. Nonsense! That would have and could have happened in the Church I pastor if they had attended regularly, tithed, became involved, joined the discipleship classes and small groups, or joined the Global Discipleship Training classes available to them at the Regina campus which is in my local assembly.
Here was the problem. He received a prophetic word in October of last year that told him, while in a season of not attending and not putting God first, to get connected to our (and at that time his) local church. He was told to spend one year helping the pastor (me). So, we met and we talked through the Word. I told him that the best way he could help me was to simply be committed and involved in the local church. Come and help set up the gym on Saturday night and help with the teardown on Sundays after service. Help wherever you see a need. No, I was not going to mentor him (he did not qualify for one-on-one mentoring), I was not going to disciple him (there was already a system in place for that), no he could not be my driver on my various trips (I don’t need hours of counselling or answering questions about spiritual things when on my way to another preaching engagement – tired just thinking of it), and no we were not going to hang out as friends having coffee and exercising together. Just connect to the Church, build relationships and serve me by serving the Church. He immediately stopped coming and we have not seen him since.
Here is a truth I learned a long time ago – “DEAD FISH FLOAT DOWN STREAM”.
He, like many Christians, is unwilling to put time and effort, commitment and activity into his spiritual life and his walk with Jesus and His Church. They are not intentional about it; not proactive. This was the case when with us – and, unless something has changed, this will be the case where they attend now.
They expect God, the Church, the pastor or someone to do it for them -and open all the doors that need to be opened for them. Push your own doors open, thank you. Not my responsibility. Will he succeed in the Church he is now attending. Not unless something has changed. Will the prophetic Word he received 6 months ago come to pass – never. He moved on and the Word is now null and void as it was specfically connecting him to this Church which he immediately walked away from.
Dead fish float down stream!
Your spiritual walk needs you to put effort and energy into it!
Your prophetic words need your cooperation!
Your gifts and callings need to be submitted to a local leader and worked on!
You need to intentionally serve while waiting for your calling and gifts to be recognized!
You need to take responsibility for your personal walk with the Lord, His Word, and His Church!
Proactive, active, responsive, responsibile, involved, focused, energetic, connected, involved. Otherwise, dead fish float down stream!
For fish to have life (and in some cases to spaun) fish swim into the current. This keeps them strong and active and alive. Only when dead do fish float to the top, roll over, and float with the current, down stream.
Time to start swimming Christians – upstream or uphill! Be intentional and proactive.
It is really easy to just let everything slide and simply say: “Well, if God wants it to happen, it will happen.” No it will not! You will simply find yourself floating down stream with a lot of other spiritually inactive Chrristians because dead fish float down stream.