by Steve Dines
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I don’t think the Lord is going to allow this world to come to an end without a fully functioning ekklesia giving testimony to Him. I can imagine that at this point in time, Satan may well be challenging the Lord by asking, “So where is your ekklesia now?”.
Perhaps Satan might be asking this kind of question because of the chaos and confusion he has brought about by infiltrating and flooding our local churches with his human agents and doctrines from his demons.
So where is the Lord’s ekklesia now?
Some of us are out of the church system, many are still in it. Even those of us who are out are not able to fully function as the ekklesia because we are not yet “decontaminated” from our old ways and our old thinking.
Just physically removing ourselves out of a local church and out of the system behind it does not make us ekklesia. We have to go on a journey of personal transformation.
For us to be ekklesia in the future will mean each of us experiencing a paradigm shift in our thinking. This is why I talk about us becoming like a spaceship compared to Noah’s ark or like an ant colony compared to a production line.
What we will have to go through to become ekklesia is nothing short of a miracle, and therefore, it is only the Lord that can do it.
What the Holy Spirit has been doing with me since coming to Canada is this; emptying me of everything I thought I “had”, breaking me of everything I thought I “was”.
By putting me into situations that are deeply distressing to me personally(and keeping me there for a sufficient period of time) the Lord has enabled me to see more clearly who I am compared to Him; and you know something? I’m pathetic.
I’m proud, arrogant and self-willed. I give in to certain temptations at the drop of a hat. I have a terrible temper and get angry with people for things that the Lord is trying to do with me. And I feel sorry for myself.
As a former small-group leader, “pioneer pastor” and member of a senior leadership team, I thought I knew “something”. But I knew nothing! I am a spiritual infant who has no idea how to be a spiritual man and participate effectively in a fully functioning ekklesia.
I guess what I am trying to say here is that moving towards a fully functioning ekklesia is not going to be a pleasant little stroll down a pleasant little lane on a pleasant afternoon.
The Lord is going to put us in deeply “distressing” situations for long enough periods of time that will show us exactly who we are in His sight. He will cause us to see ourselves as He sees us, and that is not pretty.
At those points we see ourselves as we truly are in comparison to Him, there comes a great deal of self-loathing, something that perhaps our contemporary Christianity knows absolutely nothing about.
It’s at that point of self-loathing that the Lord does a wonderful thing for his ekklesia, He grants us repentance, that is, a complete change of mind about who we really are and who He really is. I have come to the conclusion that God granting us repentance is nothing short of a miracle. (I am not talking about being born again here, but rather, ongoing repentance that leads to maturity in Christ).
So for us to become a fully functioning ekklesia is going to take a miracle, or rather a series or string of miracles. A series of miracles that occur on a journey of personal transformation, a journey of repentance that will bring death to self on the one hand and life in Christ on the other.
On this journey towards a fully functioning ekklesia we will leave behind those old and dead ways of our local churches and enter into a new and living way of relating to Christ and each other as the ekklesia.
It is only a fully functioning ekklesia that can genuinely live as the Lord’s body today, this is what He gave Himself for, so I think He will settle for nothing less.
What humbles me is that if I repent, He is willing for me to be part of it.
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