In my travels across the country I always find the same quest for most churches, trying to be in the “new thing”. I do believe it is true that the revelation is progressive, and that our approach to ministry should be fresh. For the most part what I see is the Pastor’s are trying to be in the new thing and really are nothing more than marketing their church. In our American society it is hard to find loyalty to anything, marriage, family, church, and even shopping for goods and services. So most leaders in the church are always looking for that new message (product) or minister (service) who can put them on the cutting edge of ministry in their city.
In their defense it is true that some of the old ways (technology) are not applicable to today’s church and society. I believe that the church should be relative to the culture in which it is ministering to. So a cutting edge church is one that is relative to the community they are trying to reach. This is St. Paul’s philosophy when he says, “I become all things to all men, that I might save some”. I think we need new ideas and fresh techniques for equipping the church, but not at the expense of the anointing. God always builds upon the outpouring of His Spirit. So anything we do in the direction of the church should always be confirmed by the anointing of the Spirit of God. In other words the Spirit will confirm all of our directives by anointing, creating positive change and momentum, in the hearts and lives of the people.
The Lord started revealing to me a word concerning the new thing, and what that really means to us today. Most of us have been exposed to the prophetic realm and ministries. They are equipped with the ability to see into the future and speak it into the now time of what God is doing. The Old Testament refers to them as “seers.” The Prophets have helped the church navigate towards the “new thing” that God is doing. The Apostles are men that possess ancient wisdom and have the ability to glean from days gone by. True Apostles of our day understand the principles and blessings from our ancient church history and can use that as a blueprint to help build the church in the “now.”
But the word that the Lord revealed to me explains the new thing from His perspective. If we can come to an understanding of the new thing that God wants to do, and how it will happen then we can anticipate coming into the new realms of God’s Spirit.
Ecclesiastes 1:9 “The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun. 10Is there any thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new? it hath been already of old time, which was before us. 11There is no remembrance of former things; neither shall there be any remembrance of things that are to come with those that shall come after.”
This passage began to really make me think concerning the new thing that we are always looking for. For the most part we are so impatient and we don’t enjoy what God is doing in our “now” moments of life. We seem to be passing through time at a fast pace and never enjoy just where God has the church. In verse 9 it says the things that are coming are the things that have already been! And that which has been done will be done again. And by the Spirit the Lord is telling us that there is no new thing under the sun. I know that pertains to God himself, but the things we come into by the Spirit are definitely new to us. And He goes so far as to say the things that we go through in our lives and churches, as we progress and develop, will cause us to not even remember the things that were.
Isaiah 43:18 “Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old. 19Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.”
Isaiah 46:9 “Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, 10Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:
We see two very conflicting thoughts by the prophet Isaiah. In one passage he writes and declares to not remember the former things, and then in another we are to remember the former things of old. In a mystery both of these thoughts are correct. The only way to rightly discern these thoughts is we must come to a conclusion to what the new thing is. We know that the new thing is not new to God, but is new to us. This is the first step in finding the true meaning of the new thing. In the book of Thomas we see a passage where Thomas asks Jesus when will the end come, and what will that look like. Jesus tells Thomas, “To find your end you must go back to the beginning, for at your beginning, there will your end be”. This is very perplexing to our human finite minds, because we live in time. Time is charted and measured linearly, and has and end and a beginning. But God cannot be interpreted in that fashion for He is outside of time and space. And while He can and will work within His own boundaries He is not subject to it. Everything in time is called created space or matter. Everything in the material realm is trapped by limitation. We have a divine identity that is compelling us to seek to become unlimited while dwelling in limitation. The goal of Christianity to discover our divine identity. Our true nature and identity is unlimited, and not subject to the limitations of the material realm. A classic example would be Peter walking on water. We were taught for years that he walked by or on his faith. I think what really happened is that for the first time in his life he walked in his divine identity for a moment. He stepped out of the boat of fear and limitation, and at the bidding of Christ he walked in his true nature.
When we chart our history it is always defined by a time line or in a linear fashion. So when we think about going back to our beginning we always think of it as going backwards. Everything in God is not measured in time but in circular. The Heavens declare the very nature of God himself and the planets are all round. The roundness tells us that there is no beginning or ending. So with this thought we can see that if we go to our beginning in God, it could be the ending as well. Everything He made on this planet is in a loop that we call the cycle or circle of life. The very nature of God is reveled to us as a circular dimension, so we ought to perceive the way to understand Him is to interpret His workings in a circular fashion.