YOUR CHURCH – A LAKE OR A RIVER?

A couple of mornings ago as I was praying the Lord showed me something I feel I need to share with you.  I saw a beautiful river as it flowed through the countryside.  It flowed for several miles, then all of a sudden, it reached a place where there was a logjam in its path.  This logjam was strong enough to all but stop the flow of this river – only a few small streams were able to penetrate it.

Interestingly, at the place of the stoppage, a large lake had developed.  This lake was beautiful in its own right.  The lake was surrounded by rich vegetation.  People would come and go enjoying the lake.  I saw different kinds of wildlife come out of the nearby wooded areas to drink from the lake.  It was obvious this lake that had been created by the river water unable to break through the logjam had become an accepted fixture in this community.  Much pleasure was gained by the creation of this lake.

As I was seeing this flowing river stopped by the logjam creating a lake for people to enjoy, I heard the Lord say, “this is sadly the church in many places.”

I have not been able to get away from this vision.  The words said to me by the Lord were not spoken in anger but disappointment.  It seems He was saying His plans for us are far greater than we are experiencing.  I believe He was saying we have settled for much less than He has prepared for us.

Too many churches have chosen to be a lake instead of a river.  A lake can definitely meet a need.  A lake is usually the focal point of a community and a place to be celebrated.  Most people enjoy a lake.  But…your church is not called to be a basin filled with water; you are called to be a flowing river bringing life to everything you touch.  You are not simply a meeting place for Christians to enjoy; you are a mighty river meant to affect every aspect of culture.  You are the living, breathing Body of Christ in this world!

Satan recognizes the potential of the Church.  He has created this logjam with the intent of stopping the river.  He is not threatened by a religious institution that meets together a few times a week and reaches out to the needs of a community much like any other civic organization.  He must feel good when he can disrupt the flow and cause us to be satisfied with maintaining the lake.

Sadly, I see this happening today in too many places.  We are preoccupied with disputes with each other, arguments over style and methods, and disagreements over texts that have nothing to do with our salvation.  We agree the world is in trouble but developing a plan to do something about it is a task for another day.  We keep the lake looking good but that logjam is still stopping the river.

The time has come for an identity check in the church.  We need to remember the words of our Lord in Matthew 16 when He said this is His Church and the gates of hell cannot prevail against it.  We need to remember the authority He said we had in verse 19 of this chapter, “And I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven, Whatever you forbid on earth will be forbidden in Heaven, and whatever you permit on earth will be permitted in Heaven.” (Matthew 16:19 NLT) This does not sound like a passive “take it as it comes” body; this sounds like a difference making, life-giving movement!  This is who we are created to be!

We become this Church when there is:

*  Less emphasis on growth and more emphasis on health.  Our goal is not building a big ministry; our goal is becoming everything God has called us to be.  Growth will naturally happen when good health exists.

*  Less emphasis on programs and more emphasis on power.  If programs could change the world we would not be in the shape we are in.  Programs can be helpful tools but it will take the power of the Holy Spirit to impact our world.  “…not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.” (Zechariah 4:6 NKJV)

*  Less emphasis on performance and more emphasis on productivity.  What difference does it make if we have all the bells and whistles in our worship services but the Kingdom does not experience increase?  These times call, not for a high-tech performance but an encounter with a risen Savior.  We must bear fruit that remains.

*  Less emphasis on what feels good and more emphasis on what does good.  It has almost become a cliché – church is not about us.  Somehow this must be more than words; it must become our life theme.  We are not looking for a feel-good experience; we are a militant body moving throughout the world reclaiming territory stolen by the devil.  We are active, aggressive and victorious!

*  Less emphasis on relating to the culture and more emphasis on changing the culture.  We are in the world but not of this world.  We are the called-out ones and being different is not something to shun but something to embrace.  We are here to reflect Jesus to a fallen world – that requires we me more like Him and less like them.

The time has come for the logjam to be removed and the river to flow mightily through the world.  This will only happen when we earnestly seek God for fresh anointing – the kind that breaks every yoke.  As we pray and seek Him, He will reveal to us those things that must change to loosen us from bondages and free us to rise up as the army of the Lord.  The time has come…the time is now!

The words Jesus spoke to His disciples in John 14 resonate in my spirit as I write this.  “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father.  And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.  If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.”  (John 14:12-14 NKJV)

A lake church reads this and moves on.  A river church reads this and says, “Yes, Lord!  Let it be done in me!” 

We have arrived at an exciting time for those who are tired of religious activity and are hungry for a divine move of God.  Promises like those in John 14 were not placed in the Scripture for our reading pleasure; they are intended to be reality in our lives/ministries today.  This truth is setting people free and taking many to a fresh season of the miraculous.  Breakthrough is happening.  Barriers are being broken.

God is calling you to leave the lake and get back in the river.  His plans for you are greater than mere survival.  His will is to thrust you forward – past every hindrance – to a place of awesome fruitfulness.  It can happen.  It will happen.  I believe I can even say it is happening!

Dear God, I am hungry.  I am tired of religious activity.  I want to go deep in you.  I want my church to be a city on a hill and alive in the power of your Spirit.  I want to see the promises you made me in your Word become reality in my life and ministry.  I want to change my world for your glory.  I surrender fully to your will – I hold nothing back.  Change me.  Fill me.  Use me.  Take me where I have never been.  I am ready, Lord.  Do it today.  In Jesus name I pray.  Amen      

7 thoughts on “YOUR CHURCH – A LAKE OR A RIVER?

  1. As usual, your message is inspiring! May these words sink deep onto our heart and spirit and motivate us to become what the Lord intended us as the church to be!!

    Like

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