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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

A Movement vs. A Settlement - Matthew - pages 272-280

Matthew 11:12 (New International Version)

12 From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful men lay hold of it.

I want to be a part of a movement, not a settlement.

A movement looks toward the future.
A settlement lives in the past.
A movement constantly changes location.
A settlement constantly changes the furniture of its location.
A movement doesn't wait until things are perfect.
A settlement doesn't move until things are perfect.
A movement needs people to keep moving.
A settlement needs policies to keep from moving.
A movement assumes failure as the cost of trying.
A settlement avoids failure at all costs.
A movement refuses to settle down.
A settlement refuses to move out.

Since the days of John the Baptist until NOW, the kingdom of God is on the move. I made up this German word, "gödizmüvin", a while back. I've come to learn that this belief is a driving force in what keeps me moving. I'm not a part of a faith that is static and stationary. A mark of maturity is not settling down, slowing down or simmering down. Anyone who grafts themself into the kingdom has heard the voice of God a time or two say, "Lead, Follow, or get out of the way." The kingdom is forcefully advancing, and only those who are forceful enough to grab it and hang on get to ride this freight train.

I have a deep burden for the bride of Christ. I ache for the unchurched, but quite honestly I'm even more broken for the mischurched. By that I mean those who have attended church their whole life and haven't the foggiest clue what in the world they are a part of. I feel like they have more hurdles to get over to encounter the living God. They work feverishly to get to the point where they are faithful (same time, same place, same person). "You can count on me! I won't let you down!" They pride themselves in being an immovable fixture in the church. They do whatever they must to tame their wild urges, calm their deepest desires, and curb their pesky dreams. They are godly because they never rock the boat, speak out of turn or disturb the peace. But to me, faithful doesn't translate into immovable. Faithful means stepping out against popular opinion. Faith is more closely associated with Risk. Faith doesn't always have the insurance of moves forward without the gaurantee of anything but God's presence along the way.

I'm glad the kingdom of God is moving ahead forcefully. I love being a part of something that is advancing. You can almost hear God saying, "Stay on your toes, people. This is no place for nailbiters." We are invited into something that is already going...with or without us I might add. We don't get it going, we only jump on and hang on for dear life. The stamina of the kingdom of God has pulled it through some difficult seasons throughout history. It is the unstoppable force as Erwin McManus calls it. It is the undaunted movement of a sweating mob trying to keep up with God. 

I serve a God who has been advancing like a Rhyno since John the Baptist had his head lopped off...and I only see him picking up speed as his coming draws near. If you're looking to settle down, check out your local retirement home. If you're looking for a speed induced nose bleed, I think I just saw the kingdom race by at the speed of God. That's faster than the speed of light for you scientists. I'll catch you at the end of this wild ride.


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