There is ONE river
That one river is God. The flow of this river from the infinite past into the present and on to the future. may seem confusing to the undiscerning eye, but God has woven everything into this divine tapestry of His mystery.
This one river can also be the great enterprise - God stepping down to rescue fallen humanity. We cannot chronicle all of history in this article, but if we could look back over even the past 300 years, what would we see?
- We would see the slave trade that scattered 800 million Africans across South America, Western Europe and the United States.
- We would see the Protestant reformation and the explosion of faith in Europe, and the war between the Churches that emerged.
- We would see Western explorers and missionaries who at great peril to their lives left Ireland, London and New York to journey to the hinterlands of Asia, the Middle East and Africa and lead the birthing of Churches.
- We would see the Azusa street revivals, the faith movement and the new independent churches that are the leading lights of Gods witness to mankind in our times in the United States and around the world.
We would see the building up of denominational walls around God. We would see that we have employed marketing to build our brands and have rejected the relationships that God sends. In the end it is our brand clout, equity and ownership that seem most important to us.
But this is not of God. It is not part of the flow of God. It is not of the River of God. God is not divided, His move is one, He is so old that He is with the Catholics and the Russian Orthodox Church just as much as He is with the House Churches in China and the Underground worship centers springing up in the Muslim world, or the dance bands on the streets of London, who go in His Name.
Let me illustrate: Recent statistics say that of the 20 million or so who live in London, only 1 million attend church - either nominally or regularly. What of the 19 million? No one seems to care. Pastors hold the 1 million people down in their congregations and call them ‘their people’, rather than equipping them to reach the 19 million.
Imagine for one day if the Christians of London became ONE and made a serious effort of reaching the 19 million non-believers? And this is true of every other large city in the world.
When God looks down from heaven, He sees one Church, One Tribe, One People, One River, One Enterprise; those who have received the finished work of Christ and become followers and disciples of Jesus. He draws this One River without barrier to everywhere where any heart is perfect towards Him.
It matters not if your pastor preaches better or your choir is more erudite or your vicar is more charismatic, the only one thing that counts is if you are part of that river.
Whatever resources God has put in our Churches is part of this river, the teaching graces, the pastoral offices, the apostolic trust, the givers, the administrators are all to gush out as God’s river to a dry and broken world and restore it.
God’s river is not flowing smoothly through-out the earth, and it is only because we are cornering aspects of that river as our reservoirs and not letting it flow freely everywhere.
Let us no longer be content to be reservoirs, but to gush forth as His River.
Pastor Moses Ida-Michaels