“Upon this rock, I will build My church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” Matthew 16:18
At times, I have been tempted to build my own kingdom. It would be a place in which all my ego needs are met – people would clamor to hear me speak and tell me how much I have changed their lives through my vast wisdom shared through word and writing. In my kingdom, people would praise me for building great buildings and ministries and I would be able to lay claim to all that is done and the attending fame that goes along with such acclaim. I would be able to take the resources produced in that kingdom and use them for myself, for after all, it wouldn’t even exist if it were not for me.
Did you know that a man can build a church?
I know that Jesus said He would build His church but man can build His own without the Lord. Personality, oratory excellence, management skills, and clever marketing can be used to build a church just as these things can by used to build a successful business. You mix these things with a little bit of emotional manipulation and a “successful” church or ministry can be the result.
Unfortunately, I’ve seen many leaders in the body of Christ take ownership over the work of God. It’s as if we have forgotten what our “best” really is. I know what my best is: an alcoholic without the ability to produce healthy relationships in my own family much less the church of Jesus Christ! I’ve tried building my own kingdom! I don’t want that anymore.
I realize that I don’t have the wisdom or moral ability to produce something that God is in. Anything that is done is done because of who He is not because of who I am! Oh, I know, I’m not as “bad” as I used to be. I’ve grown and have much more to use then I once had. But, I still know that what is done is not a product of my own talent or ability – it is a product of the Holy Spirit!
When man builds his own kingdom, there are some unspoken core realities:
1. Since this is my kingdom, I demand your loyalty.
2. Since this is my kingdom, you cannot disagree with me.
3. Since this is my kingdom, you are here to serve my needs.
4. Since this is my kingdom, I get the credit and, therefore the marketing profits from it’s existence.
5. Since this is my kingdom, it owes me something for the rest of my life.
6. Since this is my kingdom, no one has the right to hold me accountable.
Do you see these realities at work where you are? Remember, man’s kingdom can draw crowds, but it can’t change cities. Man’s kingdom can do “good” works but it can’t take authority over the kingdom of darkness.
Even if my kingdom is called by the name of God, if it has the above listed realities in play, it is a work of the flesh.
Jesus said that He would build His church. I’m frightened by anything else. But, for us to change what we are doing, we first have to admit what we are doing.
What is going on where you are?
Is it truly building Jesus’ kingdom or is it building something else in the Name of the Lord?
Beware: the longer you are in man’s kingdom, the more you think it’s operation is normal. God help us to keep in step with the Spirit! In this day of counterfeits, we need what is real. Father, you are real! Give me eyes of revelation! You told Peter in Matthew 16:18 that revelation will lead us to what you are building! Rock of revelation, show me the glory of Your kingdom – the kingdom that You are building!