The Fresh Start we are talking about here will require a new way to live the New Creation life. As citizens in the Kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ—a new walk, a new fellowship, a new way to care, a new way to lead, and a new way to teach awaits His people.
As we survey the landscape of church today, His bride is in dire need of a fresh start. Everywhere you look, you see Christian leadership scrambling for how to make the necessary adjustments to maintain the status quo. Building mortgage payments, building maintenance, and staff salaries are all suffering amidst the turmoil of war, civil unrest, inflation, and a worldwide pandemic that does not want to go away.
At best, any changes Christian leaders make to keep butts in the seats so they can count them and get their weekly tithe will be like putting band-aids over the leaks of a sinking ship. There are no strategies to keep something together when it’s the Lord himself who is allowing for the dismantling of our man-made institutions and religious systems.
In the middle a difficult transition or a difficult season, sometimes standing still is the best you can do until Father again blows the winds signaling to His children the beginning of a fresh start.
To enter into this 21st Century promise land season for the church will be no small task. Just like Nehemiah saw that there were heaps of burned ruins that required great leadership and great unity to move, so it is today.
The biggest hurdle the 21st century church will face will be overcoming their status quo programs and human ideas that they thought worked before. The Lord will publicly show that they were not successful then, and they will not bring success now. The winds are here, and no matter how big the building and how many seminary degrees the pastor had, the religious system’s foundation has proven to be sand.
Either we as a people learn to hear the direct commands from the head of the Church, the Lord Jesus Christ, or we too will perish in the wilderness. If we are really going to join this new “Fresh Start,” the Body of Christ together needs to hear what the Spirit is saying to His Church.
“For we have not passed this way before”
To truly begin a fresh start, you must face the fact that Moses is dead, and his ways are dead with him. All around us religious system giants are passing away, or who they really are is being brought to light. The Lord will not contend with man forever. The greatest thing they take to their graves is the idea that they have God all figured out because they know the Bible.
I use Moses because its time for a Joshua generation to rise up. This new generation will not be left without counsel. There will be elders like Joshua and Caleb who, because of their holy zeal for the Lord and their ear to the Spirit have matured in the midst of the mess, will be around to help father this new generation on the everlasting ways of the Lord Jesus Christ.
What are some of the things this Joshua generation needs to overcome to enter into this fresh start with the Lord?
- Discard old perspectives.
We need fresh revelation of the Lord Jesus. I place this one first because only a revelation of the goodness of the Lord will bring us around to change. Oh, how we need His grace and mercy in the Body of Christ today! Over five hundred years of religious traditions since the reformation have cemented the mess around our minds, and we are blind to our condition. Unless we allow the Holy Spirit to work in our lives, we will reject everything that is not status quo. Then, we are doomed to continue in our mess.
- Overcome our ego and pride.
Our pride is revealed in our love of doctrine, worship of the Bible, and desires for titles and positions. Many of us remain in the religious system hoping the old leaders will throw them a bone. We want to be seen and respected. We have deep rooted issues with our identity. What ever happened to the greatest shall be the servant of all? Why do we continue to take the glory that belongs to the Lord for ourselves?
- Let go of old ideas of success in ministry.
After years of worldly teaching, we too have brought into the Church humanistic measurements for success. Big is not better. More is not more in the Kingdom. Large budgets and money in the bank have no relevance as to character or spirituality. There should not be any comparison or competition among brothers. Each of us were given a unique gift and calling. We need to focus on is being faithful to that gift and calling.
- Don’t try to build on old foundations.
Nothing pains me more than watching brothers trying to repair the church system from within. The lie the enemy tells them is they may be able to reach those that are in that mess. The deceived and blind won’t find the door. All we are doing is enabling the survival and continuance of the mess. Reconstruction will not work because the present foundation is out of line with the Cornerstone.
- Cross over and enter into this opportunity for a fresh start.
I pray it doesn’t happen to you, but without a major “crash and burn” in our lives, we tend to hold on to the old ways. Much like a beaten and bruised wife who refuses to leave her abusive husband, we need a wakeup call in order to leave. Don’t blame it on the Lord when the scaffolding we built falls. Just thank him for revealing it for it wasn’t the Lord’s wall.
- Get over it, and turn the page.
This is easier said than done when you are still angry. We were all there at one time, and I still see every day brothers railing against the religious system on Facebook. We need to quit focusing on the past. We will not be allowed to build if all we do is tear down what we left. We must remember that at one time that was us who did the very things we now condemn. We must remember that we have been given this revelation by the pure grace of God.
- Finally, be kind to yourself.
Change hurts, even good change. You don’t know how addicted you are to the religious system and its rituals until you quit. You will experience withdrawals. At first, you won’t know where they are coming from. Religious manna is not nutritious, and it ceases when you enter the Promise Land. Christ will again take center stage in your life. A relationship with Him via the Holy Spirit will replace all those people and things that hindered your walk with Him. Give yourself time. You are not a heretic. You have now tasted something better, and all hell and its demons can’t get you to go back. It’s time for a Fresh Start!
In conclusion, I am not blind to all that is going on here and globally, but I am very excited and hopeful as I see many coming into this revelation. It is my prayer that you will find your tribe locally and begin to experience the joy of real family. The Lord loves you and wants the best for you!
Jose L. Bosque
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