One spring day when I was a boy, a group of us neighborhood kids saw the grasses, clover and dandelions growing in our yards, and thought we'd pick them and give them to our moms.
Later, when we met up again each of us reported how our moms were thrilled with our bouquets and put them in vases with water; some on a mantle, some on the dinner table - we were so proud of ourselves!
We would also pick dandelions by the long stem, and make a circle with the stem, looping it through to make a ring, and pick clover flowers just to suck on the sweet nectar, or even long stemmed grasses to suck on the sweet ends...my what treasures for a 6 year old!
When you grow up, that same lawn covered with dandelions and clover is seen for what it is - a bunch of weeds. But we didn't know that then, we had to mature to see another perspective.
As We Grow...
We look for more permanent tokens of our love. Diamonds. Gold. Silver. Platinum. Sapphire and opal, turquoise and garnet. All can be expressions of love, something enduring through the seasons of life. As we mature clover and dandelions and grasses lose their appeal for we've grown beyond that season of life.
Spiritually Speaking Now
The body of Christ is entering a very serious season in the Lord, and I'd like to paint a broad brush picture of our history up to where we are now, and share some things on where the Lord is headed with us.
The Lord poured out His Spirit in a fresh way early in the 20th century, first in Topeka, Kansas, then the Azuza revival. Many people used that outpouring to go deeper in the Lord and grow up in Christ.
But through much of the latter part of the 20th century and early 21st century, much of the body of Christ has been playing with spiritual weeds like a 6 year old plays with dandelion and clover flowers.
However even when surrounded by people content to play with weeds, there have been a few who matured into seeking the more lasting things of God. Their number is growing, and that's what this word is about.
Children think weeds are the most beautiful and precious thing there is. They think a weed is the highest and best they can give their parents. They become a curiosity, something to twist and turn and put in the hair or around a finger - something to play with that is here today and discarded later today when the child sees a new patch of pretty weeds to explore.
So many Christians have played with the things of God like they were weeds, but some played with weeds knowing down inside they were actually searching for things more permanent in Christ.
When I was born again and Spirit filled in the 1970's, personal prophecy was very big, though most were largely ignorant of God's Word and ways; as a result many of those prophecies were a mix of emotion, opinion, and maybe a little of the Spirit of God thrown in.
I guess what goes around comes around, for in the last 15 years or so personal prophecy once again became a fad thing and once again most people were pretty unknowledgeable about God's Word and ways, so many of those 'words' have had the same mix of self and emotion and ignorance.
In the late 70's and 80's the weeds Christians were playing with included prosperity and name it claim it. In the 90's people were being blown over by TV ministers and pastors, and 'apostles' were going around preaching at a church 1 time then demanding that church or pastor tithe to him personally.
In the same time frame people ran from Toronto to Brownsville and later Lakeland. People put 'Bishop' and 'Prophet' on their business cards like a badge of honor rather than a grace to serve. Today's weed patch is dominated by off balance grace teaching: People turning the grace of God into a license for sin rather than empowerment to live holy lives - like children who think their weed bouquet is so pretty, yet in reality they are just offering a bunch of weeds to the Lord with no awareness of growing up in Him.
Paul's Weed Patch
In I Corinthians 3 Paul said this: "I could not address you as people who live by the Spirit but as people who are still worldly - as mere infants in Christ. I gave you milk, not solid food, for you weren't ready and neither are you now ready for solid food. You are still worldly...For no one can lay any other foundation other than that which is already laid down, which is Christ. If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, precious stones - or wood, hay and straw - their work will be revealed for what it is..." (1-16)
The Father wants those children who have been playing with weeds - wood, hay, straw - to put them aside and grow up. The days coming upon this world will reveal many Christians thought they knew what maturity and faith was, but to their horror they will discover they are mere children and what they thought they knew, is wrong.
What is happening in the body is an unrest from within individuals. Christians by the millions are waking up and realizing they've been playing with spiritual weeds their whole lives. They've bounced from this 'outpouring' to that 'gift' only to discover one is a spiritual dandelion and another the flower of a thistle.
They now question church structure, leadership, why the same pattern in church happens again and again. That unrest is Christ rising within - "My little children I travail in birth pains again for you, until Christ be formed in you". (Gal 4:19)
There is a huge population of the body of Christ that doesn't understand the divine dissatisfaction going on within them. The fact is, we look for solutions within the guidelines we know, but what is going on in people must be found outside the box called 'church'; found in the Word separated from that which is called 'church'. They seek the Word in purity. They seek spiritual food that 'sticks to the ribs' rather than spiritual food that fills them for the moment but leaves them all the more hungry for real nourishment an hour later.
Ears to Hear
Many churches that were once considered to be 'cutting edge' have become as irrelevant and distracted as the denominations that preceded them. God is doing something among His people - not people in buildings called 'church', but the true church, His people.
When I was a child my clover and dandelions were the most beautiful flowers I could give. But then I grew up and saw they were weeds, so I put away childish things. That is where the body is. But there is more.
The next weeks I'll share what the Lord has told me He is doing in the body, so stay tuned...