Communification Part 2: The Proper Mindset

The modern Christian interpretation of compartmentalized life is not biblical.

What I mean by this is the “church as a hobby” mentality, and it is leaving us malnourished and unsatisfied spiritually. I don’t know if it is a purely American or Western deviation, but the church has simply never thrived when it is so severed and segmented like it is nowadays. Ask our Chinese or Indian brothers and sisters if they can survive plenty fine by themselves. They would probably tell you, because I have heard their testimonies, that their FELLOWSHIP or their in-commonness is what gets them through their trials.

Several ills seem to be present in us American Christians when we compare ourselves with other Christians from these countries. One is that we are basely selfish and don’t wont other people touching our stuff. Period. Two: we have not ever endured hardship to KNOW that God really does provide help and all that we need to survive. Three: we have priorities completely out of wack to be able to live collectively or for each other. We don’t want to share and would rather scoff at anyone who has lack and make some sweeping statement that those fakes just didn’t try hard enough. Now, sometimes they indeed DID NOT try at all, but sometimes they did and they are truly in need. Many times we can’t get to the bottom of what ails them before we are asked to help or are in a position to help. We usually find a very sound excuse not too…even sometimes citing that we are barely getting by ourselves. “Barely getting by,” for an American is better translated, “Not having everything we want…yet.” Maybe I will help when I have everything set the way I want it. No, my friend…that is selfish…and you will not end up helping anyone because your personal well-being is your number one concern. You are NOT caring for others more than yourself.

Love the Lord your God will all you got. And love your neighbor MORE THAN YOU LOVE YOURSELF.

Notice how “self” somehow always falls to the bottom of the biblical list.

Without diving into another, seemingly negative, rant on the American Church…I want to attempt to offer practical help and proper Bible-based mindsets to get us to the point where we can live better, simpler, or share more. Or at least maybe we can become more like the Church of Acts– in the process. Because, newsflash, it IS a process. Here goes:

First, we must accept the fact that everything we have or own is actually God’s. We don’t “own” anything, whether we worked hard for it or not. The world is COMPLETELY the Lord’s and all that is in it. I heard a great statement once that went something like this, “Keep your fingerprints off of God’s money, God’s women, and God’s glory.” I think, keeping with the shtick, that this goes for God’s stuff as well. We can live so much more “lightly” when when gain a proper, biblical perspective of possession and money. I am a servant and a Bondslave…last I checked, they don’t get paid. All I have is the Lord’s. Yes, that is still hard for me to admit, even when I have less than I used to.

Next, I feel it necessary that we Believers see ourselves in light of togetherness. We are part of the same Body, family, or fellowship. Choose which term you are most apt to respond favorably to. Again, we need to learn to need each other. With this perspective, we can much more easily be of one mind and achieve something close to true Unity. A natural byproduct of this biblical unity–IN CHRIST JESUS–is a willingness to SHARE wealth and resources. My friends and fellow laborers in the Lord are just as important to me as my own family. I seek that they should be taken care of or provided for just as much as my immediate children and wife.

Lastly, I feel this whole issue comes down to trusting Jesus and His Word. Will He rise up and provide? Will He help us when we can’t figure out what to do or how to proceed? When disaster or peril or famine or poverty strike hard, will He protect us? Well, the Bible says He will…YES to all! See, the Lord will go before us…He will have the victory. We are so very helpless in our flesh anyway. Not by your power or your might, but by MY SPIRIT, says the Lord. Our God is a warrior; our God is an ever-present help in times of trouble. He will be our rear and fore guard. Is their anything too impossible for Him?

The breakdown to all this comes when we read the Bible, agree intellectually…but have never or will never allow God to put us in a place or position to have no choice but to trust Him. A place where He is our ONLY hope. The day we let Him get us there is the day He truly becomes our God–our Yahweh Jireh (God who Provides). It is an ultimately sad fact that we will hardly ever let God touch us the way He touched Job, “The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away, but blessed be the Name of the Lord.” I can honestly say, through much calamity and breaking and teaching and blessing…I am starting to see my God like this.

But let us not forget how the Book of Job ends…after all the junk this man went through–loosing daughters and sons, wealth and possession, personal comfort–HE SEES GOD.

“I have heard Thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eyes seeth Thee. Wherefore I abhor MYSELF, and repent in dust and ashes.”–Job 42:5-6

I don’t know about you, but I want to see God. And I am willing to do what it takes. In this is freedom. In this is fullness of life. In this is Revival. In this is visible…the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.

In the next installment of COMMUNIFICATION, we will look at some logistics.

20111207-115257.jpg

20111207-115536.jpg

Two men I always think of when it comes to trusting God: George Müller & Gideon

Advertisements

About Joshua M. Brindle

Child. Father. Husband. Herald. Writer. Messenger. Psalmist. Poet-Prophet. Biker. Beard-wearer. Teacher. Pastor? Follower. Disciple. Disciple-er. Bearer of the Torche. Keeper of the Flame. Waver of the Banner. Running the race. Fighting the fight. Revolutionary...hopefully.
This entry was posted in Communalism/Acts Model, Flame, I AM RESISTANCE!, ministry, Revival, Tribe of Judah General, Tribe of Judah School and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Communification Part 2: The Proper Mindset

  1. Big Ben says:

    Just think if we really just loved our neighbor AS ourselves. Because we really love ourselves. Really we do.

  2. N.A.Rypstra says:

    Very true! In preparing for teaching tonight, I’ve been studying what it means to be a bondservant, and one of the important things about being a bondservant of Christ is that WE DON’T have the right to choose who we serve, who we invite, who we share with. A bondservant serves others at the Master’s bidding. This includes those we may think undeserving. I can think of two examples, the first, in Matthew 22:1-14, in which the servants were to go out and invite those who had already been invited by the Master, and those who were “the untouchables” as well. The servants did not choose, the Master did. The second (and probably more important) example is from Philippians 2:5-8, where Paul instructs the church to have the same mind as Christ, who humbled Himself to the point of death, dying on the cross, for all of undeserving humanity and doing so because of the Father’s love for the world! (John 3:16…)
    Thanks for sharing this!

    • Joshua M. Brindle says:

      You’re welcome Nathaniel! Can I ask if you are related to Pastor Don Rypstra in Minnesota? Just curious. And thank you for reading and contributing some thoughts. It is good to know people out there have their hearts turned towards God

      • N.A.Rypstra says:

        Yes I am! That’s my father! In fact, I remember you and your wife serving food at the pastor’s conferences I went to with my father when I was in high school. I found this site through Seth Waters, who I knew through my parents and his parents and attending His Oasis in WI. ALSO, we attended bible college together 1 semester in 2005. I’ve been blessed by your writings, so thank you!

  3. The proper mindset for the appreciation of the holiday season is becoming the true spirit of love: for oneself (healthy self-esteem), and others (letting others express themselves). As a novelist I like to consider spiritual themes, and the four part structure of the New Testament, which I think represents an innovative concept in storytelling.

    Happy Holidays!

    • Joshua M. Brindle says:

      The problem is, with self-esteem, is that both the New Testament and the Old Testament speak out against it. We are told to “die to ourselves.” We ARE indeed told to love others…but that doesn’t mean we believe in or except everything everybody does with their lives. Everything can’t be “right” all the time so we can get along. Our response, as Christians, is how we react to others when they are either selfish or destructive. Love is the answer, but it is the Love of Christ….

  4. Brian says:

    An appropriate Dickensesque reflection, considering the time of year, but with a more theological base (A Christmas Carol). Who will know the joy of the Lord? He who not only has clean hands, but he who holds the things of the world loosely in those hands, who discovers the joy that can only be known in blessing others…freely you have received, freely give. The American church (of which I am a ‘member’, for better or worse) has definitely, as as rule, become too navel-oriented, but there are perhaps more among us who are living a selfless, others-oriented life than we sometimes realize or see. Lord, make ME a “hilarious” giver of ALL my resources…uh, YOUR resources.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s