The Hope of the Church ::: And Why We Need to Take it Back

imperfectly brave living

 

The brownish white carpet under my red chair has some dips form my knees, some tears from my prayers, and some heartache from all my hopes for the Church. Because what happens when you begin to lose hope? You remember — you remember, that’s what. I need us to remember today — let’s all remember that hope will always be in the Church, lest we forget who are God is…

 

(and let’s never forget — me and you — let’s never forget together).

 

“At the center of all this, Christ rules the church. The church you see, church is not peripheral to the world; the world is peripheral to the church. The church is Christ’s body, in which He speaks and acts by which he feels everything with his presence.” Ephesians 1:22-23

 

Oh girl — do we believe this? Do we see this? Is this our church? The center of our lives when everything else is blurry and messy and undistinguishable? I am begging for us to believe for it and not let it go. If ever there has been a time in my life to see the church rise again, it is now. Every ounce of every part of me longs to see the church come alive. It is time for church to get pin-pointedly focused. I long to see churches completely and wholly dependent on God’s power rather than man’s power.

 

Because isn’t it God’s power all along?

 

Several nights ago, I couldn’t forget the God of my city. He simply wouldn’t let me forget. He opened all of the heavens and rain crashed onto hard cement in Liberty, Missouri. It made puddles turn into rivers — running fast down the still dry land. Then sirens and wind and branches on the ground; tornadoes dropping down across my streets. It’s as if He was yelling, “Wake up! Yes, you, dear child, wake up! Stop limiting me and my power! It’s time to let me be alive again.”

 

And so I shook all the way home until my babies were in my arms and I prayed again and again until the breath was out of my lungs — “I get it, God. You’re alive. I see your power. You have revealed the brute force of your hand. You are all-powerful, all-knowing, all-mighty God.”

 

So today I am begging to live that way.

 

“Christ rules the Church” because do we live this way? Or have we become the rulers?

 

Francis Chan describes the early church this way —

 

“When I read the book of Acts, I see the church as an unstoppable force. Nothing could thwart what God was doing, just as Jesus foretold, ‘The gates of hell shall not prevail against it’ (Matthew 16:18). The church was powerful and spreading life wildfire, not because of clever planning, but by a movement of the Spirit. Riots, torture, poverty, or any other persecution couldn’t stop it….so much of what we see today is anything but unstoppable. It can easily be derailed by the resignation of a pastor…” (Francis Chan, Forgotten God)

 

I want in on this church. I want in here. But girls, prayers about building up our churches need to be proceeded with action. Our pastors can’t do it all — and they were never called to — you and I are being called into action. God is raising up an army of women and if we want in on this kind of movement, we are going to have to get marching.

 

This is your one wild and precious life. You have one call — to love God fiercely and love others well enough to tell them about Him. We must become passionately engulfed in the spread of the gospel. And the beauty about the battle is that if we all surrender our lives over to the cause, we have sisters to move into the trenches with.

 

But — as a dear friend says — a soldier doesn’t put on her armor for the fun of it. A soldier puts on her armor because there is a call. She doesn’t clamor around her room putting breastplate, helmet, and metal clanks around her body to grin a bit more. Oh no. She does because she understands the magnitude of who she is.

 

“The Church is Christ’s body,” and isn’t it worth protecting?

 

Let’s not get to our lives when we are 80 and wonder if we lived out our faith. Let’s live it now. Armor to armor, sword to sword. And why don’t we pray – you and I – let’s pray wildly for God to raise up His army and let’s start moving our feet forward — for the glory of the One and Only.

 

What are your hopes for the church? How are you putting on your armor? Tell us — sisters in battle need to know.

 

 

 

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