WORD FOR THE WEEK
"As the elders in Ezekiel’s day secretly practiced idolatry, so also today. There is a crisis in the leadership of the Western church. But it is not a crisis for lack of skills or better techniques – it is a crisis for lack of true men and women of the Spirit. Those who, in the secret recesses of the heart, have refused to bow to foreign gods and the systems of men.
Satan’s schemes are never obvious. Like a snake, silently and surreptitiously, spirits of religion and deception have entered the temple. Under the cover of serving the church of God, mixed and unclean motives have infiltrated ministry. As leaders, we have become ministers of the church rather than ministers of God. We have worshipped false images – images of success, spirituality, and power. We import to our churches and cities the latest models and formulas that guarantee success. Looking at them from afar – from another city or country they look so tantalising, so promising. But like a mirage, the hoped for explosion of church growth, or of city transformation vanishes the moment we move forward. Why? Because we have refused to pay the price of humbling ourselves – of having our strength broken – our programs and planning – our eloquence and speaking – our music and talent, reduced to nothing. If what we are doing is not conceived in the womb of our weakness, we will never give birth to the wonder of his power.
There are only two options: it is either born of God, or of man. Without experiencing brokenness, every new model produces more dependence on our organising abilities, our communication and networking skills, our financial resources, or musical creativity. If we import the latest success model to our city without embracing the humility of the cross we will only be bowing to empty images. Like the super-apostles of Corinth we will be 'taking pride in what is seen rather than what is in the heart' (2 Cor 5:12 NIV)."
Excerpt from "Snakes in the Temple: Unmasking Idolatry in Today's Church"