Does Hierarchy Hinder God? — How To “Prepare The Way For The Lord”

John the Baptist came to “prepare the way for the Lord” in his generation.  I, too, would like to prepare the way for the Lord.  I want to prepare the way for God to work powerfully in my life.  And I want to help prepare the way for the Holy Spirit to work mightily in my generation and the generations behind me.  How about you?

So how do you prepare the way for the Lord?

1)  Get out of God’s way.  “God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble.”  John the Baptist put it this way:  “I must decrease and He must increase.”  Give up your pride.  Give up your will.  Quit your sin.  Fully surrender your hopes and dreams, plans and agendas to Him.

Paul of Tarsus said “I day daily.”  Jesus said:  “Deny yourself, take up your cross, and follow me.”  To quote Dietrich Bonhoeffer:  “When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die.”

2)  Create a level playing field.  When we come to Christ we are all equal.  There is no hierarchy in God’s church–no clergy/laity in the Bible.  After God tells us to “Prepare the way of the Lord,” we are told this:   “Every valley shall be raised up and every mountain and hill made low, the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain.  And the glory of the Lord will be revealed.”  (Isaiah 40:4-5)

God moves mightily on a level playing field, but not in the midst of pride and privilege.  Hierarchy gets in the way of the Holy Spirit’s working.  It quenches the Spirit.  But remove hierarchy  (what Jesus calls “lording it over“) by allowing every member of His body to show and tell what God is doing for them, and the Holy Spirit begins to bring forth the glory of God.

To do this, the mountains (people who tend to run and direct things by asserting their agendas) need to be made low and the valleys (people who tend to passively sit back and watch) need to be raised up.  Then God’s glory suddenly shows up.

This isn’t just a Scripture.  It works (as the Bible does when we obey it).  After years of overseeing participatory worship gatherings and participatory Bible Studies, I have noticed that there are usually a few people who do most of the talking and a lot of people who mainly listen.  I have found that when the talkers are lovingly taught to back off a bit and the listeners are allowed and encouraged to speak out more, an amazing thing happens.  The glory of God comes into the room and some of the least likely people say and do amazing things.

If you have never experienced this, come and see it for yourself at The Salvation Army Berry Street, 225 Berry Street, Nashville, TN   37207 on Sundays @ 10:45 am & Thursdays @ 6:30 pm.  You’ll be glad you did!

 

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About Steve Simms

I like to look and think outside the box. I have written two books: Mindrobics: How To Be Happy For The Rest Of Your Life and Your Sperm Won--Experiencing Your Value As A Championship Human Being. In college I encountered Jesus Christ and I have been passionate about trying to get to know Him better ever since. My wife and I lead a non-traditional church in Nashville based on open participation and Spirit-led sharing. We long to see the power and passion of the early church come to life in our time.
This entry was posted in acts of God, Apostle Paul, Bible, Christ, Christ-centered, Christian, Christian community, Christianity, church history, church roles, church structure, clergy, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, equality, free will, freedom, gifts of the Spirit, God, God's government, heirarchy, Holy Spirit, house church, improv, improvisation, Jesus, Jesus Christ, laity, organic church, participatory church, Paul of Tarsus, Quotations, quote, Quotes, race, relational church, simple church, unprogrammed church, What is church? and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Does Hierarchy Hinder God? — How To “Prepare The Way For The Lord”

  1. sherwood8028 says:

    …”the mountains (people who tend to run and direct things by asserting their agendas)”….

    Careful now, those are the people far too many of us claim to love and adore. We love our Pastors, we adore our “personalities” and all the while we tend to ignore those the Lord has positioned so that we might share our love – for Him, our neighbors, those who have not been as “successful” as we like to think, we have been.

    God calls us to love on the run, to pause for a moment to let others know that even if the world tends to ignore them, we love them and if it is appropriate, we will do our best to apply the principles passed along to us by the one we refer to as, the good Samaritan.

  2. ELIZABETH S says:

    amen Amen AMen AMEn AMEN … GET OUT of GOD’S WAY AND HIS BUSINESS! WE R TO BE FOLLOWERS of HIM AND HE IS TO BE OUR PILOT! NOT WE LEAD AND HE OUR CO~PILOT!!!

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