I begin this post with two famous poems that reveal in stark contrast the central difference between ‘the way of the world’ and ‘the way of the cross’. Please consider these prayerfully since only one will point us to eternity with GOD:
“Invictus” by William Ernest Henley
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.
and the second; a Christian response:
“My Captain” by Dorothea Day
Out of the night that dazzles me,
Bright as the sun from pole to pole,
I thank the God I know to be
For Christ the conqueror of my soul.
Since His the sway of circumstance,
I would not wince nor cry aloud.
Under that rule which men call chance
My head with joy is humbly bowed.
Beyond this place of sin and tears
That life with Him! And His the aid,
Despite the menace of the years,
Keeps, and shall keep me, unafraid.
I have no fear, though strait the gate,
He cleared from punishment the scroll.
Christ is the Master of my fate,
Christ is the Captain of my soul.
Biblical Christians will daily bow the knee at the foot of the cross of Calvary, where all of our repented sins are nailed forevermore! In the hope that we will be greatly challenged and empowered to fulfill the Great Commission in our lifetime, I submit to you all the second essay citing quotations from the outstanding booklet The Starfish Vision by Wolfgang Simson… available via the title link.
May the LORD open your spiritual eyes, ears, and hearts- to His Vision for the End of the Age, in Jesus’ Name, AMEN.
“Starfish Vision” Part II… (direct quote citations from booklet)
Apostolic-Prophetic Re-Foundation (beginning with page 29)
“In the church, GOD has appointed first Apostles, second Prophets…” (1 Cor. 12:28). Paul speaks of the household of GOD being “built on the foundation of apostles and prophets (Eph. 2:20)… prophets are not democratically elected by the people, and apostles do not send themselves. They are agents of GOD’s mission… if religious people have their way, they persecute and kill the prophets and apostles (Luke 11:49). .. One of the main ways prophets seem to function in the Empire of GOD is that they are a very effective national system (I call them GPS, GOD’s Prophet System), to whom GOD confides before he acts. “The LORD does nothing without revealing his plans to his servants, the prophets” (Amos 3:7)… In the broadest possible perspective, prophets serve as agents of GOD in the area of spiritual intelligence… Some of them are given inspiration from GOD not only in ‘spiritual matters”, but regarding all six aspects of life in the area of technical inventions, breakthrough business ideas, prophetic concepts that affect the culture in the area of arts, media or sports, or prophetic insights to solve issues regarding the government, the economy, communication or relationships, education and the family…
…Could it be, therefore, that the current situation in church history is exactly such a moment? All the might of the church, the power of tradition, countless church-based programs and missionary projects without end are clearly not able to face and challenge the Goliath of consumerism, apathy, of Buddhism, Hinduism, or Islam… In what I call a divine romance, these two ministries are matched by GOD into prophetic-apostolic tandems. GOD is causing them to, figuratively speaking, “fall in love, engage, marry and have children”. Prophets see the mountain far away, apostles build the road to reach the mountain… like a kernel of seed falling into the ground until he could say “I am dead” (Gal. 2:20; Phil. 3:8). Only dead apostles and prophets are good apostles and prophets [dead to self and alive to Christ]… prophetic intelligence for apostolic architecture, a more technical and deeper way of saying that we need to hear GOD’s voice- alone and corporately- and do what he says. Good ideas, human creativity and even the most genius marketing concepts will simply not be good enough…
… I need to put in a word of caution. One of Lucifer’s tactics is trying to burn the ground before GOD sows His seed into it… and [the adversary] will put up a confusing smokescreen of the false or premature, to besmear and ridicule the words apostle and prophet with the filth of images of self-appointed, triumphant, successful, rich and abusive gurus building their pseudo-apostolic empires, which is often nothing more than thinly veiled and polished neo-denominationalism. His satanic goal is to lure as many Christians as possible into throwing out the apostolic baby with the pseudo-apostolic bathwater… satan does this because he truly has to fear the apostolic and prophetic church; however, in the long run, he will be unable to prevent the rise of the real thing. Because GOD is restoring a holy order to his ekklesia and re-engineering it for its final purpose and global mission, we are witnessing a global re-emergence of a prophetic and apostolic people of GOD…
… one of the main ways that this will happen is this: by imperial decree, apostolic and prophetic people, crowned not by triumph but by suffering, together with evangelists, pastors, teachers, deacons, and healthy, responsible families (elders), will become parents and equipping teams of the saints matched by GOD with each other, their jurisdictions or respective “gardens of GOD”, and will work in corporate, long-term obedience to the revealed pattern and divine blueprint of the ekklesia, so that GOD’s garden will flourish once more and bring its fruit, so that the Lamb that is slain will finally receive the [full] rewards for His suffering…
… The prophetic ministry is often an impregnating ministry, making people pregnant, the apostolic ministry is building conducive structures and creates an enabling framework for the prophetic word “not to fall to the ground”, but to bring mature fruit and become reality… GOD has established His household “on the foundation of apostles and prophets (Eph. 2:20). As GOD is correcting foundational error, a resource almost unknown for ages is being unlocked once again: the explosive and viral power of an apostolic ekklesia…
And GOD created the Starfish
The starfish is an extraordinary animal that can serve us as a prophetic symbol. It displays one of the most unique reproduction abilities in the animal kingdom. Cut off the leg of an octopus, and -amazingly- it grows back. Cut off its head, and it dies. However, cut off a leg or two of a starfish, not only do the legs grow back, but also the cut-off pieces grow back into an entirely new starfish! Rather than a top-down structure, like an octopus or spider, with a minute head and a dumb workforce that literally just does the legwork, a starfish is a brilliantly designed decentralized neural network, carrying its DNA in every part of the body…
…The difference between addition and multiplication is like the difference between growth and explosion… [The Great Commission] will not happen through human endeavor in our typical additive, sweaty style of work- it will happen GOD’s style: by multiplication… Under GOD and as a firm part of His Empire, with the specific blessing of GOD on individual disciples, churches, networks of churches, and regional strategies, they will receive a dimension of fruitfulness and multiplication that is, for humans, out of this world. The consequences of this is that the global impact, the filling of the earth with the glory of GOD, the discipling of nations, will become possible within an amazingly short time-span. It is the central thesis of this booklet, that under these conditions, it will take less than two decades to finish the task Jesus, our King, has left for us.
For deeper insight into how GOD the Father sees His children; to better understand the elementary principles of Christ (Hebrews 6:1-3); the ‘mysteries’ of Christ’s Kingdom; and our individual and corporate calling, commission, and empowerment- please review my first published book and the Table of Contents on the Amazon website linked here via Book Title: “Thy Kingdom Come- Here and Now!”
I Surrender- Hillsong