Ephesians 3:10-11 (NIV)-“His intent was that now, through the Church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, according to his eternal purpose which he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Truth be told…most of us feel terrified of going out door to door or giving out tracks on the streets for understandable reasons. On the one hand, some of us might feel the fear of being publicly challenged to defend the faith.
On the other, we might fear the possibility of being labeled as Bible-thumping fundamentalists. Sometimes we just feel awful about interrupting people’s private time, in the knowledge that our current culture is a busy one…and that every minute spent with family, doing chores or in recreation, is almost a rare commodity. But underlying all these possible reasons is that for most churches, the motive for doing outreach is to grow the congregation.
Yet for some, our gut feeling tells us that church growth is not the original reason for sharing the Christian Faith.
In all the hustle and bustle for church growth we forget that our primary reason is to be living lessons of God’s manifold wisdom to rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms. These rulers and authorities are the invisible, yet powerful fallen angels who are in charge of this present world order of chaos, confusion and destruction. (Eph. 6:12; 2 Cor. 4:4; Jn. 10:10; Heb. 2:14)
Among the manifold lessons that God is teaching the angelic powers (both the good ones and the bad), is the lesson that the one who forsakes prideful ambition and seeks to serve in selfless love, will in turn receive love in the form of devotional service. (Matthew 20:25-28)
“…whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave…”
God is teaching all His heavenly betrayers that leadership based on love is greater than leadership based on intimidation, selfish-ambition, and pride. God is teaching His would-be usurpers that leadership based on selfish-ambition can only hold its grip temporarily, and this, by means of the fear of either corporate or personal death. (Hebrew 2:14-15)
Our emancipation from slavery to Satan was not the result of overpowering the enemy by means of blunt force; but rather, through the mystery of love that allowed for evil to expend its own purpose and power in trying to destroy the God Incarnate. Through the sacrifice of Christ on the Cross, God allowed for evil to fulfill its ultimate destiny, therefore, rendering it ineffective… dead. (2 Tim. 1:10; 1 Cor. 15:26; Rev. 20:14)
Through Christ Jesus, God the Father is teaching the whole universe that love is infinitely more powerful than fear or intimidation because it inspires voluntary submissiveness in return as a sign and expression of appreciation.
Through Christ Jesus, God the Father is teaching the whole cosmos that real power is attained when would-be leaders become inspirational examples of encouragement and work to provide an environment of affirmation in harmony that breaks the shackles of fear and inspires and encourages progress in joy!
Satan wanted power “now,” but because God is love (1Jn. 4:8), God is patient, kind, humble, considerate, gracious, not easily angered and keeps no record of wrongs. God always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres. (1Cor. 13:4-7)
The devil is concerned with ruling the potentially dead bodies of fearful slaves. God is concerned with ruling the hearts and minds of beings that were created in order to share His divine dignity and throne. (Eph. 2:6-7)
Therefore, our greatest mission as ambassadors of Christ is not to explain the Gospel to the cosmos through words, but rather, to be living examples of the life in the Good News of what Christ accomplished through his willful humiliation on the Cross.
Our greatest mission as a community is to existentially experience the power of God’s love and to be witnesses of Christ’s redeeming work, primarily through the way that we treat one another. (John 13:35) Since every one of our brothers and sisters in Christ are restored images of God, we primarily seek to treat them with the love, respect, dignity and service that we would render to God himself- since they are parts and parcels of the One who became man for our salvation. (1Cor. 12:27)
Thank you Lord for appointing us as living lessons to Angels who long to look into the mystery of your Love for the whole cosmos, and especially for the lowliest of your rational creatures, the human race. (1Peter 1:12)