How many people are necessary for a real move of God? One person; just one. What is the maximum number or the maximum requirement for an official assembly of the Body of Christ? Two. Jesus said in Matthew 18:20, "Where two or three are gathered together in my name, I will be there in the midst." It's all right if three come, but the maximum requirement is two. It's all right if three people show up for the assembly. We will not be penalized if more than two people come. Hallelujah! Amen? Now this may seem like shock therapy, but we need to have a new view of these things.
I think we've come to a place in the American Church that we've grown to trust in "the collective we." We have come to a place of trusting in the collected mass of people that make up the Church, and we're dying because of it. It's because we've come to trust "us." We've come to trust the illusive "we." Well, who's going to make a difference in our community? The answer is normally, "We are." Who's going to spread the gospel in our region? The answer again is usually, "We are." Can't we see that this is how we answer these questions now? Who is going to make a difference in your city, region, and world? "Well, of course, we are."
I'm driving at something here. I intend to over-throw a very deliberate scheme of the devil with this. This idea and mentality of "we're going to get it done" is nothing less than a scheme of the devil. I'll tell you who is going to get it done for Jesus. You are! You are!
One of the problems we are now facing is that we have the pastor. The means the. It doesn't mean a. It doesn't mean one of the. It means the. As long as there is a person who is the pastor, what happens if God has put the gift of pastor in you? Do you know what you are likely to do? You will probably sit on your pastor until you wear it out! Because we've got the pastor. That's why we wait for one time or two times a year to have the evangelist come. We call the evangelist to come in when there are evangelists among us! We look to the pastor when there are pastors among us. We want to call on a prophet when there are prophets, and prophet-esses and those who can prophesy in the Spirit among us. I hope to wake you up to the things of God, to the call of God, to the gift of God that's in you. Not in me. Not in someone else. The gift of God in you!
Gideon's Too Many
In the seventh chapter of Judges we read an account of Gideon going out against the Midianites. Initially there were 32,000 fighting men with Gideon. The Lord said, "The people that are with thee are too many for me to give the Midianites into their hands, lest Israel vaunt themselves against me, saying, Mine own hand hath saved me." In response to Gideon's "too many", the Lord made two cuts. The first cut brought the number down to 10,000. This was still too many. The second cut brought the number down to 300. At this point the Lord said, "all right, go down and I will give the Midianites into your hand." Here we see an example of God's economy. The Father sent His One Son to bring "many sons to glory." Jesus chose twelve to follow Him and he delegated the work of the Kingdom to them. Think about it; only twelve. Why not hundreds? Why not thousands? The natural way of thinking is that there is "strength in numbers." However, God's ways are not our ways!
Webster's New World Dictionary defines vicarious as something performed by one person in place of another. Additionally, this word is defined as something enjoyed or experienced by someone through his imagined participation in another's experience. Often times in the typical form of what we know as the local church, we see a kind of vicarious substitution in the work of God. In fact, the clergy/laity distinction places a burden of confusion on the saints that results in most of the brothers and sisters doing little or nothing as to works of service in the Kingdom of God. You will often hear it said, "We are doing this" or "We did such and such." People who have not been taught or exposed to truth regarding their individual gifts and callings in God often make these comments.
It is not uncommon at all to find many of the saints doing nothing while at the same time, because they are associated with a group in some way which is responsible for some particular work, this same individual has a sense of satisfaction about their part. This could be referred to as "vicarious obedience." Now, certainly the term "vicarious obedience" is an obvious oxymoron! It is not at all possible to live out a life of obedience to the Lord through the life of another, individual or group.
We must also be careful to not support the idea that just because a person contributes financially to the work of God that he or she is in some way exempt from the personal responsibility of seeking the Lord regarding their own gifts and callings. A person might be endowed with the gift of giving as listed in Romans 12:8 (which, by the way, is an entirely different administration than common obedience in regular stewardship). Whether, however, a person gives by the motivation of the written Word of God, the voice of the Spirit of God or by the gift of God, this in no way exempts them from other responsibilities.
In 1517 Martin Luther reintroduced two main truths to the Body of Christ. They are, justification by faith and the priesthood of every, or all believers. By this act, Martin Luther was responsible for bringing in doctrinal reformation. He stood up and he said no. You don't have to pay, you don't have to bring money and pay for redemption. No! That's against the tenants of the scripture. He said no! Further, he said no to the idea that only the clergy, only the pontiffs, only those at the "top tier" could have the scriptures and could understand them. He said no, every believer is entitled to know, to read, to understand and to work in the service of Almighty God!
I want to say to you, that most everyone now, as a believer, at least as a Western believer, has heard of Martin Luther. Most everyone knows a little bit about him, perhaps some young people, perhaps the babes in Christ don't, but most everyone knows a little bit about Martin Luther. Most everyone knows at least the term, "The Great Reformation" or "The Reformation." But I want to submit to you that the Great Reformation still needs to be great, that the Great Reformation was by and large a doctrinal reformation. If we say, "Hallelujah, Martin Luther brought back and re-established or established in the Body of Christ the priesthood of all believers", I believe we err. I believe he brought back and introduced the seed of doctrinal reform and said, "This is the way it should be." But in the marketplace, the Western Church isn't practicing the reformation of the priesthood of every believer. And whose responsibility is it? I'm telling you it is not the pastor's responsibility. Because the moment we reach back to that structure, the moment we reach back to that ideology we absolve ourselves from the personal responsibility of standing in God and saying what we hear and doing what we see. Saying what we hear the Father say and doing what we see the Father doing.
Who Will Go For Us?
How many does it take to qualify for a move of God? One. In Isaiah 6:8, we read, "Also, I heard the voice of the Lord saying, whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I." Isaiah didn't say, "Here are we." He said, "Here am I." A little boy, two fish, five loaves, he didn't say, "let me go get my dad's gold card." He said, "Here, take what I have; I know it doesn't look like much, but take what I have." If it's a song, if it's a prophetic utterance, if it's a dream, if it's a vision, if it's a revelation, if it's a tongue, if it's an interpretation. Where have all these things gone now? We've come to trust in the collective "we." Before you come through the door of the assembly hall another time, in the name of Jesus, you pray, you seek God, you call out to the Lord, you inquire of Him and you ask for a psalm, a hymn, a tongue, an interpretation (1 Corinthians 14:26). You bring what you have as your part to the assembly. Also, we should understand that the equipping that the Lord is giving you is for life, not just the Sunday morning meeting. As the saints begin to naturally express what the Lord has given, we will see God's sovereign response to His people acting in obedience.
The Lord is still asking the question He posed to Isaiah. "Whom shall I send and who will go for us." Can you hear the personal challenge in these words? Can you be trusted with the stewardship of the great mystery of Colossians 1:27, "Christ in you, the hope of glory?" Will you pray and ask the Lord to begin to show you what your particular responsibility in His Body is? Can He send you? Will you go for Him? May your answer to the Lord always be, "Here am I Lord, send me."