“Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have found your deeds unfinished in the sight of my God” (Revelation 3:2).

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Where would the workplace be without standard operating procedures; mine would be lost without them. Where would the typical church be without their catechisms or books of order or doctrines? Maybe the answer is that we chuck order and propriety in worship all together? Perhaps, we ought to throw caution to the wind?

I believe that the flesh actually craves order, despite, time and time again, producing disorder. What’s the problem you ask? The problem is that the flesh craves order, but order in its own image. Hasn’t that been humanity’s big problem since the fall? I think that’s probably what caused the fall, or at least gave it a helping hand. But what about all the churches, which have abandoned most such regulatory devices, and consequently, week after week, break down into disorder and pandemonium? Are they any better than those churches that are rigid and structured? Sadly, I don’t believe so; they’re operating in the flesh too. Both examples are operating in the flesh, and neither realizes their folly. Both seem to have fallen asleep. “Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have found your deeds unfinished in the sight of my God” (Revelation 3:2). Despite having a good reputation, Jesus found the church in Sardis to be spiritually lifeless—going through the motions of religion; there were many tares among the wheat (Matthew 13:24-30).

Let’s not be deceived into moral compromise or dabbling in idolatry as the church in Thyatira (Revelation 2:20). Let’s not forget our first love as the church in Ephesus (Revelation 2:4). Where the structured church claims reverence, the unstructured church claims moving in the Spirit, and both are deceiving themselves; both are going through the motions of religion. If we were operating in the Spirit, there would neither be a need for volumes upon volumes of regulations, nor would there be a disregard for order and propriety in worship. If we were operating in the Spirit, we would see the fruits of the Spirit manifest, and much, if not all, of what causes us to worry and toil would mysteriously take care of itself. Instead, whether we’re adhering to a rigid set of protocols, or running and dancing all around the sanctuary, we cling to what our hands (and minds) have conceived; we cling to our own image; we cling to that which we can control. 

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