In Church, Newsletter, Religion

Over the past twenty-seven years that I’ve been an ordained minister, more than seventeen of them as a pastor, I’ve had many opportunities to observe peoples’ spiritual lifestyle through various means – from the pulpit, during Bible study, during counseling, home fellowship, workshops, seminars, training sessions, conferences and even committee meetings. As a keen observer of human behavior and relationships (sociology), mental characteristics of people (psychology), as well as interrelationships between people and their environment or atmosphere (human ecology), I have developed an acute perception of the complexity of what people look like – individuals as well as groups – and how they function within God’s ecosystem, the living organism we call the church. 

Please stay with me. This is not some spooky, new age teaching. On the contrary, it is a Holy Spirit revelation of how things look from the mind of God. Holy Spirit searches the mind of God – the deep things of God (See 1 Corinthians 2:10). Whatever exists on earth existed fully in the mind of God prior to creating the earth. Holy Spirit revelation of the mind of God is a prophetic privilege that mature believers have through an intimate relationship with God. Much of our problems as believers reside in the fact that we haven’t learned how to think supernaturally. We haven’t come to fully trust the Creator of the universe whom we call Father. True believers “walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinth. 5:7). 

For the sake of emphasis, which I pray will lead to a better understanding of what this article is about, and ultimately direct the reader to examine his spiritual stature and answer honestly the question posed in the title, I will take on the role of both psychologist by the Spirit of God (one who studies, by the Spirit of God, the mental or behavioral characteristics of people – individual or group) and psychiatrist by the Spirit of God (one who treats – in accordance with the Word of God – mental, emotional, or behavioral disorders). This will allow me to awaken the consciousness of believers who have been asleep spiritually to recognize the imbalance of their mental and behavioral characteristics as they relate to an all-loving Father, who embraces relationships that produce generations –succession, longevity. From there, I will prescribe the God-ordained treatment that will procure His cure to His children’s unstable mental, environmental, and behavioral disorder.

Simply put, true believers live in the spiritual habitat of God’s habitation. “LORD, remember David, and all his afflictions: how he sware unto the LORD, and vowed unto the mighty God of Jacob; Surely I will not come into the tabernacle of my house, nor go up into my bed; I will not give sleep to mine eyes, or slumber to mine eyelids, until I find out a place for the LORD, a habitation for the mighty God of Jacob.” (Psalm 132:1-5)

The word habitation is the Hebrew word mishkan, which means a residence; a dwelling place. This word is from another Hebrew word, shakan, which means to reside or permanently stay: abide, continue, cause to rest (Strong’s). Biologists define habitat as: The environment of an organism; the place where it us usually found. Habitation is: A form of learning; a diminishing response to a repeated stimulus (Singer, Mason, and Losos, “Biology Eighth Edition”, McGraw Hill, 2008).

“Maintaining a consistent exposure to the presence of the Lord is essential for our well-being…We have no successful survival rate outside the presence of our Lord…The “Habitation” of the Lord is essential to our healthy existence. One of the ways that God provides these habitats is through human relationships.” (Dr. Gordon. E. Bradshaw, “The Technology of Apostolic Succession”; Kingdom House, 2010, pp. 150 – 151). 

Therefore, a habitat provides a proper environment for growth, development, and healthy relationships. Inhabitants must therefore study the nature, habits, and interrelatedness of their habitat in order to produce longevity and a thriving environment. If these characteristics are not properly understood, the organism may face extinction. So then, in any habitation, there must be order for the procurement of generating generations. Every organism must take responsibility for the overall well-being of the habitation.

I will submit to you that the church – The Body of Christ – is a spiritual habitat which operates within a spiritual ecosystem. At the highest tier of biological organization, an ecosystem is a biological community and the physical habit within which it lives together (Biology Eighth Edition, p. 4). So then the church lives within God’s supernatural ecosystem. “In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.” (Ephesians 2:22) The Greek word for habitation is katoiketerion, which means to house permanently, reside, dwell as an inhabitant; a dwelling place (Strong’s). “But you shall seek the place where the Lord your God chooses out of all your tribes, to put His name for His dwelling place (habitation, KJV); and there you shall go.”