A Fish that Goes Against the Current

Why Do Salmon & Other Fish Swim Upstream?
It takes a strong fish to swim against the current Even a Dead one ...

In the last few months, our country has become even more dismissive regarding questions and analytical thinking. So easily offended, people don’t want to hear another perspective, or heaven forbid, a fact that might mess with what they’ve already determined to be right and good. We see this dismissive attitude overturning our ability to reason. To many people, my passionate search for truth and God’s story (over our own narrative) feels like sandpaper, but as my mentor regularly points out “as iron sharpens iron”, so should we the church be held accountable. Otherwise, we become dull knives left in the drawer, not useful for much of anything, and ever prone to the ways of the world.

More than our comfort or feelings or own desires, we need to be elevating the LORD’s mission. To “go against the current” means to “To go against or disagree with a prevailing or popularly held opinion or perspective; to act or behave contrary to the majority of others.”

How many within the Body of Christ feel brave and equipped to step out and ask the hard questions and assess “are we matching His steps?” We may be shut down, labeled, dismissed, or even outright rejected, but our Savior was too. He was regularly misunderstood, mislabeled, and ultimately, murdered by the religious conventional rule-followers. But Jesus knew that for those He came to save, He’d have to fight against the current and go the other direction.

To borrow the line from the musical, Newsies:

All it takes is one voice" Poster by prince-of-pluto | Redbubble

My husband and I have been discussing what the Church (as described in Acts) should look like? Where is the power coming from? {Is the Holy Spirit even present in churches today and would they notice if He wasn’t?) How can we redirect and get back on the course God–not man–has called us to?

“And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. 43 And awe[d] came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. 44 And all who believed were together and had all things in common. 45 And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. 46 And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved” (Acts 2).

These few verses in Acts give us deeper insight into the inner purpose and practical application of the Church.

^Regularly (“day by day”) they met and prayed together and shared bread and had fellowship and read Scriptures.

^They shared their time, energy, money, and food.

^The Lord worked in and through them to increase their numbers and spread the Gospel in a way only He could do. (Healing of the sick, conversion in the thousands, etc.).

How does that contrast with our modern, American platforms?

>The Church today spends more money on salaries, facilities, and overhead material costs than feeding and providing for the poor.

>Despite the saturation of Bibles in our homes, Christians are more ignorant of Scriptures now than they were even 100 years ago. “Christians today exhibit an unprecedented biblical illiteracy despite owning dozens of Bibles. According to one statistic, 60 percent of confessing born-again Christians can’t name five of the 10 commandments, 81 percent don’t believe (or aren’t aware of) the basic tenets of the Christian faith” (Preston Sprinkle).

Even before they could own a Bible for themselves, believers valued the Word of God, feared it, and took obedience seriously.

“Christian leaders in the first centuries of the faith mandated a rigorous, communal study of the Bible for everyone who became a believer. Every new convert to Christianity spent their first three years of the faith studying through the entire Bible so that it seeped down into their bones.

This wasn’t an option. To become a Christian meant becoming reconfigured through the Word of God. And here’s the thing: Prior to the printing press (A.D. 1450), most people couldn’t read. The whole idea of doing private devotions was unthinkable until 500 years ago. And yet—despite being illiterate—Early Christians became fluent in Scripture by listening to the communal reading and teaching of God’s word” (Preston Sprinkle).

In case some might ignorantly attest, “Well, it was easier to live communally then as believers,” remember that Christianity was widely hated and punished. Under Nero, believers were torn apart by dogs, thrown in with lions, and lit at human torches for his evening garden parties. Following The Way of Christ was anything but easy. But it was worth it! “And as they were speaking to the people, the priests and the captain of the temple and the Sadducees came upon them, greatly annoyed because they were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection from the dead. And they arrested them and put them in custody until the next day, for it was already evening. But many of those who had heard the word believed, and the number of the men came to about five thousand.” Acts 4

Some ways we can mirror the Church as God first ordained/established it:

  1. Repent and Rely on the Holy Spirit’s power.
  2. Be Bold and Leave Your Comfort Zone.
  3. Share What You Have (Physically, Materially, Spiritually, and Emotionally).
  4. Don’t Worry or Be Fearful of Man, but Fear the Lord and Follow His Commission.
  5. Stand Up to False Doctrine and Expose the Lies.
  6. Encourage and Strengthen the Believers by Regular Fellowship & Accountability.
  7. Get rid of idols.
  8. Be hospitable to believers and unbelievers.
  9. Read and Meditate on Scripture.
  10. Fast and Pray.

For more ideas on resetting priorities and mirroring the Gospel-driven Church, visit here.

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