I know, I know…what in the world is “the Xerox ministry”?
Well let me start with a statement that Jesus made:
“…The Son is not able to do anything himself; he is able to do only what he sees the Father doing; whatever the Father does the Son does it in the same way.”
Jesus made this statement in response to the Pharisees questioning Him healing on the Sabbath. From there particular point of view this was in direct opposition to the traditions of the Mosaic Law. In their eyes God would never have a man do any ‘work’ on the Sabbath…even if it was healing another man who needed it.
Now I don’t really want to go into the Jesus vs. The Pharisees aspect, what I would ask you is this: would God have Jesus heal a man in what would appear to be a direct violation of scripture? Now God is not out to try and disprove the scripture, that serves no purpose. However, what God wants us to understand in knowing the scripture, is that even if we knew every single scripture that we would still only “…know in part” (I Corinthians 13)
Due to this only knowing in part, this is what makes two things vitally important: Hearing God on specifics, and being truly connected to the other members of the Body of Christ. The reason for this is if we are not doing both of these things, we’ll get into Xerox ministry. That just simply means we’ll look around and see what others are doing and try to photocopy it and make it work for us. This is extremely dangerous, when we consider if this is what God has specifically told us to do. It is also dangerous, due to the fact it may have us to be connecting with those who God may have never intended for us to be building with.
Here is another thought:
“…all those who are led by the Spirit of God are [children] of God.”
If you are a child of God, raise your hand. Anyway, what we have done is we have confined this passage of scripture as to only dealing with sin. This is not the case. Should we be led by The Spirit in terms of sin and temptation…of course the answer is yes. However should we also be led by The Spirit when it comes to decisions in our life, ministry, job, etc…once again that answer is a resounding yes (Matthew 4). The result of doing what isn’t authentically Spirit led, is dead works. Now let’s answer a few faq’s before we move one:
1. So are you saying I can’t follow scripture in terms of making life decisions? No, that’s not what I’m saying. Of course you can use scripture. However, there is a difference with general decisions and specific decisions. There are the general areas that the Bible does address and we are safe to follow the Scripture in these areas. However, there are areas that the Bible does not address specifically and to say that these areas do not exist would be lying to ourselves. This is where we need to be led by The Holy Spirit.
2. So what do I do, if I don’t necessarily think I’m hearing The Holy Spirit? Well this is where it is key to be truly connected where you are supposed to be in the Body of Christ (I Corinthians 12). This is where you can submit the particular issue to brothers who have wisdom and knowledge in the Lord. Through this many times we can receive a clearer picture of things. (Galatians 1, 2)
Ok, let’s move on. Have you ever asked yourself where some of the things people do came from? Is it something God showed them to do, or is it something they saw someone else do and say “hey I can do that too!” Should we all have done the prayer for salvation? Or should we all attend house churches? Do we all need to go to seminary or Bible college? Shouldn’t we all be doing oversees missions? I could go on and on with these different things, but the underlying fact is that we shouldn’t be doing any of these things. We should be doing what God is calling us to do.
David says this:
“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”
That word “word” there is the Hebrew word dabar meaning spoken words. David is saying that everything the God was currently saying to him lights is path. He was led by God in doing all that he was doing. To properly understand what David is saying here you must understand when he was saying this. In David’s time there is no electricity so at night if you do not possess a lamp you may be in “utter darkness”. For those who had lamps they were the ones who could see, however, even with a lamp you could only see the area right in front of you, you had to keep moving with the light for your entire path to be illuminated. Unfortunately, what many of us do is we see someone doing things and saying things that God may have told them to do, specifically, and we photocopy it and expect the same results. Then we don’t get the same results, and then what do we say…”God how could YOU let this happen!” Amazing isn’t it? This unfortunate cycle is repeated over and over and over. Now we’ve gotten to the point of so many failed Christian attempts at things that the world can now look at us and say God is irrelevant. What do we do, we look at the world and say…”how dare you!”
Well I want to point out something else:
“…the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you…”
Paul was writing this to the Romans who were making their boast in things other than God Himself. Boasting in the law, their own knowledge, earthly wisdom, etc. And this is where we are today. Today by in large, ministry is based on many things, very few of which God has actually said. We base ministry on worldly business practices, religious traditions, current political trends, political correctness, our business/political connections, etc. In doing this we find ourselves depending on traditions, institutions, and systems rather than God. When we do this we set ourselves up to fail (according to God’s structure).
Ok, so where do we go from here right?
Well you know that’s an interesting thought. Well as a pattern in scripture I believe God will give us (believers) the opportunity to judge ourselves and correct the situation before He has to judge us. And believe if things continue on the current path, He will judge us. It can’t be ‘business as usual’, as with most of the articles I write, this too sound like a complete changing of things on the foundational levels (believe me I know). It is insanity to continue to do things the same way and expect different results. We must change our structure at the core in order to bring about the change that is necessary for God’s kingdom to manifest in the earth. This, however, cannot be done by us alone. It will only be through the working of Almighty God through us. Although, that can’t happen unless we take the time to…listen.