I think many people come to the alter because they are more interested in relief than they are conversion. Ethical lives are not conducted they are lived. God is calling us to a life where we pursue Him and grow up into the measure and stature of the fullness of Christ. We can grow in Him from ever increasing glory to ever increasing glory. Some 30 fold, some 60 fold, and some 100 fold. Outer court, inner court, and Holiest of Holies.
Ethical leadership comes from ethical lives. You can emulate an ethical life for a season but your sin will eventually find you out. Joseph Stowell says in Redefining Leadership that “often leaders use the power of their leadership leveraging the authority of their position instead of the credibility of their lives.” This comes from a lack of understanding that we all must grow by pressing into new dimensions of maturity with Him. I believe ethical conduct is directly connected to our growth as a believer.
When God meets us He meets us as sheep. But He will never be intimate with us as long as we are sheep. The Bible says in the book of Leviticus that it is unlawful for a man to lie with an animal as He does His wife. When He says this what He is saying is… as long as the church remains sheep He will never be intimate with you. At some point you must cease to be sheep and you must become the bride.
Why must we become the bride? Because new converts and souls need milk. And only the breast of a pregnant woman can produce milk. The church doesn’t become the bride so she can fit into her size four and look good. She becomes the bride so she will become pregnant. She becomes the bride so she can stretch beyond the limits. It’s not about getting cute. It’s about getting pregnant. Many churches are trying too hard to be cute and are not effective for the kingdom.
There are certain times that a husband is intimate with his wife and all they have to enjoy is intimacy. But there are certain times a month that his wives body is susceptible to pregnancy. Not only do they have the pleasure of intimacy but there is a life left that will produce for generations to come. What the church needs to understand is… we don’t come together just to enjoy the pleasures of intimacy. We come to get pregnant.
We also can’t remain the bride forever. Because you can’t put a mans head on a woman’s body. Well in some neighborhoods you can but it isn’t right. There comes a point were you must cease to be the bride and you must become the body of Christ.
We start as sheep, we become His bride, and eventually we become the Body of Christ. It is not that one is more valuable than the other. It is that we progress in our intimacy and relationship with Him. It is not good enough to do the right thing and not be the right thing. There is a difference between emulation an revelation.