A Call To The Remnant

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The Narrow gate (part 4) Martin J Collison

Posted by appolus on September 23, 2013


Men and women within the institutionalised church are creating their own reality to suit themselves. Forming their own “golden calves” in the desert. The sad thing is that these are deserts of their own making. Even those who believe they are “in blessing” very often are not. It may be man-made and counterfeit. Sometimes it’s actually demonically influenced. The walls of the church have broken down and every sort of demon has entered. There are few true Nehemiah types to re-build the walls. There may be excitement, there may be worship music and emotionalism. The current big names in the church world may be getting invited to speak at the meetings. There may be conferences. However, leaders often do not have the confidence or back-bone to believe that God has a word to them for their own flock.

Running scared of the true prophets they surround themselves with hand-picked “yes men” prophets. They do not want the Jeremiah crowd telling them that their captivity will be longer. They borrow from others to feed the “feel good factor”. They will of course defend themselves in this and always have their own answers. Even those who claim to be at the prophetic “cutting edge” in these times, mainly within the charismatic streams, are misguided by wrong doctrines and superficial understandings of Gods ways. Embedded in an utterly repulsive celebrity culture of image and presentation.

Many are asking; are genuine disciples of Christ being raised up? Was it the nature of Christ to strut this world within a flesh inflated suit of his own making? Thinking that He was something special? Telling Himself constantly that He was chosen? No. This is how the shallow self-help, motivational language has penetrated the church. Jesus carried His divinity and His specialness in utter humility. This is why He Himself is the best role model. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus. God is seeking those, who like Jesus, will actually live in sacrificial consecration and holiness. Set themselves apart from this world and the “broad path” espoused in the churches. Too much rhetoric and emotion and words without lives laid down. I feel deeply that He must be tired of it. Who is going to shake themselves to take hold of God for who He is? This is not the same as fashioning a version of Jesus to appease our carnal side.

More crucially, churches nowadays actually avoid the true deserts ordained by God and are conformed by the systems they have created. Freedom is spoken of within man-made walls that bear no differentiation from the walls the world has made for itself. It is almost a form of sub-culture. I would go as far as to say that some of the behaviour; the elevation of personalities and leaders borders on cult-like. I have personally experienced how you will be “black-balled” if you voice disagreement over the pre-determined chosen routes being taken or call out the system in any way for what it is. When you are part of it you feel the pressure to conform, to tell yourself it’s not ideal but “who am I to judge?”. You reflect on your own inadequacies. As a “good Christian” that is what you are meant to do. The “leaders” play to this. Wolves in sheep’s clothing.

Be wary. Even when they use phrases like “chasing God” or “wanting more”. Very often this is a flesh based rendering of these words. No real depth. Many times it will again, at core, be based in the capacity of fallen man to deceive himself over the true nature of God. Again, these “pursuits”, which whole churches corporately go on together will often not lead you closer to Christ as He is in reality. They will make you feel good about “doing something” which appears spiritual for a while. However, on closer examination they will often be found to derive from our own carnal inclinations to withdraw only from the heavenly “Bank of God” that which does not cut too deep into our own well laid plans and pre-determined perceptions of what God requires from us. We do not actually lay down and surrender from a deep place. I have found that even the mere act of laying down on the floor, which is so commonplace in charismatic churches these days as a symbolic gesture of sacrifice, is not the same as working out my salvation in fear and trembling. Its often a superficial gesture which is sometimes deceitful in motive. It is one of those numerous “on display” hypocrisies that we often play out in church in order to look holy.

In truth, it is through the reproofs of life and through closer communion with Jesus Himself, not mans version, that I have found truth. Where else would I find it but from the Master Himself? I must utterly decrease and He must increase. All that is of “me” (the flesh life) must go. We should be crying out “God have mercy on me, a sinner”. This is what is woefully absent in churches these days. Many in these days sadly seem to think they have already arrived and now its time to “eat, drink and be merry…for tomorrow we die”. It is these motivations which have subtlety invaded the gatherings. The “fellowship” of the believers is very often little more than the congregating of, in the main, educated middle-class folks who can step back into their cosy lifestyles when the meeting is over. Clock-in and say the words. Show the other folks commitment to the cause by turning up at the meeting.

Yet again, the power of the flesh and its ability to deceive itself kicks-in. The corrections or challenges of truly following Christ will be omitted. Very often these days, it is sad to say, it will be a shallow chasing after signs, wonders and blessing which leaves the hungry heart still yearning. Why is this? Because the true course for the hungry heart is not the broad path on offer in these institutions, it is the narrow path. The narrow path will challenge deeply and to the very core of our beings. We are creatures of the flesh who would naturally choose the path of least resistance. That is why we must make every effort to enter into our true rest, the life of the Spirit. In order for the pilgrim to truly make progress towards the goal of Christ Himself the “marrow gate” is the only true way. It is by its very nature contracted by pressure. Refining does not come easily.

3 Responses to “The Narrow gate (part 4) Martin J Collison”

  1. Happy in the desert said

    Left denominational church months ago. Was expecting horrible desert experience, actually it has been the most peaceful time of my life. I know I probably should become a member of some kind of church soon but am still waiting on God to show me which one. I know there is not going to be any perfect church, but there is not one here that I feel led to attend. I am really content spending hours alone with God just worshipping, praying, bible reading. I know I need to be doing some kind of ministry work, but I am just really enjoying the divine appointments that God sets up. My husband and I are actually growing spiritually together more now than when we were in a church. We are praying together more and treating each other with more love and compassion. I know the people I was doing full time ministry with believe that I am a terrible sinner because I am not doing what they are doing but I am ok with it. I think I was doing it for the wrong reasons anyway, I think I was trying to work out my own salvation through works. This time in the “desert” has really given me a new understanding of the covenant of Jesus Christ. I would just ask for prayer that God leads us where he wants us because I want to be in his will.

    • appolus said

      Just remember sister that where two or three are gathered that the Lord is in the midst. ” Ministry,” is such a loaded and modern word. It is definately something that is attached to the modern day church. Ministry is anything that the Holy Spirit leads in, religiosity is everything else. God will grow you and your husband in this place, like flowers in the desert and you will learn that your total dependence is upon Him. I also believe, that in His time, He will lead you or others too you who are like minded, hungry for Him and Him alone, not desiring to be a part of a religious social club, but desiring for true and deep and genuine fellowship. Perhaps you may even have a gathering in your own home. You guys have my prayers, God bless you………………bno Frank

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