It’s been rather quiet around here for the past couple of months…I know. As 2014 wrapped up and we headed into the new year, I felt a need to step back from blogging for a short season to wait on the Lord, and to focus on my family and the regular stuff of life for a little while. It has been a very busy time with some significant developments taking place. 2015 looks to be shaping up to be quite the year for the Bolton family!
During this time, the Lord has also brought some greater clarity concerning the focus of blogging for me this year. In this post I’ll be sharing some of the things that He’s been laying on my heart.
Before I share about 2015, though, I’d like to take a quick look back at 2014 to see what preceded this year. As I consider last year on the blog, it seems there was one particular theme that ran through most of the posts and pages that were published. That theme can be summed up in the word: “RESTORATION.” I believe that is the central purpose of the Lord in these last days, and it also is the primary burden of my heart concerning the purpose of this blog. (See the header if you don’t believe me. 🙂 ) I’m very glad for the content and related resources that were added last year that revolved around that theme.
As I’ve prayed about this present year, there have been a number of projects, series of posts, and related resources that have been stirring in my heart to share. As I thought about these, I realized that they, likewise, shared a common thread. That theme can be summed up in the word: “FOUNDATIONS.”
I believe that last year’s posts and pages helped to cast a vision for restoration and this year’s content will get to the practical matters of its foundations. All lasting restoration work begins with the foundations and so that is where we must begin as well!
The content I plan to share this year, by God’s grace, will be focused on what I would consider to be the three primary foundations of restoration: 1) God’s eternal purpose, 2) Christ-centered ekklesia, and 3) the inner life of the believer. If these foundations are firmly laid in our lives, individually and corporately, our “houses” will be established on the most unshakeable foundations possible. Only when God sees that the foundations are laid correctly and soundly will He proceed with the full building of what He desires in this day!
“If the foundations be destroyed…”
Toward the end of last year, the question posed in Psalm 11:3 was weighing heavily on my heart: “If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do? ” (KJV) I’ve always thought of that as being an expression of despair, as if the implied answer is, “Well…not much!” Since the Lord hasn’t given us over to despair, though, I asked Him specifically what the righteous can do when the foundations are destroyed. The answer that came back to me was, “Re-lay them.” My heart said, “Amen! That is what the righteous can do and must do!”
We are living in a time when foundations in every sphere are disintegrating and even being purposefully dismantled. On the surface, the superstructures built on top of these foundations may still have a semblance of soundness and stability, but it is just a matter of time until that dramatically changes. The enemy’s most persistent and successful strategy is to dismantle and erode the foundations of things while keeping men unaware of his work through the prospering of the superstructures built on them. By the time men do become aware, it is too late.
Conversely, the Lord’s primary and most persistent “strategy” is to establish imperishable foundations under that which He desires to permanently build. He is after substance, solidity and stability in His people and He desires to establish foundations under them which are eternal, immutable, and unshakeable. It is said of Abraham that “he looked for a city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God.” (Heb. 11:10) That city’s most notable characteristic was its foundations. When man builds, he focuses on that which is lofty and impressive, as in the tower of Babel. When God builds, He focuses on that which is lowly and hidden, as in the foundations of His holy city! These are what make it enduring.
“Upon this Rock…”
When it comes to foundations, God has but one thought in mind. He has only one chosen and precious Stone that He has laid for a sure foundation. (see Is. 28:16, 1 Pet.2:4-8). This tried Stone has been tested by all of Hell’s unbridled fury and all of God’s undiminished wrath, and has come through incorruptible and unshakeable. God has no other foundation in mind. He has no other qualifiers or runner-ups. Nothing else even comes close. This Foundation has been laid in the deepest depths and has been raised to the highest heights. All that is built solely upon this heavenly Gibraltar stands indomitable, indestructible, everlasting. ” “For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.” (1 Cor. 3:11)
It is the revelation of this One, given from heaven, that is the Rock upon which the Church is unshakably built. (Matt.16:18) It is this revelation from the Father of His Beloved that we must earnestly seek if we are to see the Foundation of God’s House re-layed in this last day. It is the revelation of Christ… not the revelation of spiritual means or methods, of religious traditions or forms, of theological doctrines or dogmas, of popular fads or formulas, but the heavenly revelation of this consummate Son that we need. He alone establishes, unites, and defines the Church as its one sure Foundation according to the glory, pleasure and satisfaction of the Father!
All restoration begins, therefore, with a fresh heaven-sent revelation of Christ. Whether it is in the realm of personal or corporate restoration, it is the deep, substantive unveiling of Christ as the bedrock upon which all is to be built that is essential. All the innumerable carnal, worldly, and pseudo-spiritual foundations that have been laid and built upon by man in the Church must in the process be exposed, unearthed, and overturned by this heavenly invasion of God’s revelation of His Son. This is a radical, revolutionary work of the Spirit. It is costly, painful, and deeply disturbing to the status quo, but it is of the utmost necessity for God’s Foundation to be practically laid and His House to be properly built in this last day.
It is this foundation of the revelation of Christ, then, that I will seek to focus on in this coming year, especially as it relates to God’s eternal purpose, the practical expression of the ekklesia, and the spiritual life of the believer.
“Christ the Center” Remix
The first facet of this foundation I’d like to focus on is that of the centrality of Christ. Since there is no single verse in Scripture that says, “Jesus Christ is the Center!”, that truth needs to be arrived at by Scriptural inference and deduction. One way to do that is to look at various dictionary definitions of the word “center” and see if and how they apply to Christ in regards to God and His eternal purpose as revealed in Scripture. To the degree that He satisfies the given meaning of the definition, we are warranted in declaring His centrality in that respect.
In the very first series of posts published on this blog, three years ago, I did just that. As I looked up the various shades of meaning of the word “center”, I was wonderfully surprised and richly blessed by how many of them, when applied to Christ, beautifully showed a unique facet of His unrivaled centrality. What eventuated were five distinct meditations taken from four definitions of the word “center.”
When I finished what I thought was the final post of the series, the Lord had one last special blessing in store. As I meditated on the five posts and the unique revelation they each gave, the Lord showed me how those five meditations all blended into one to illustrate the progressive unfolding of His end-time purpose in and through His overcoming Church. Part six is the conclusion and culmination of the series and I believe is one of the most important and, dare I say, prophetic posts on the blog. I know it was a gift from the Father and not of my own conception.
Since I have a larger audience on the blog now then when this series was first published, I’d like to offer a fresh re-mix of the “Christ the Center” series. (I will be keeping it essentially the same except for the reversing of the order of the first and second posts and some subsequent rewording to accommodate that change.)
I have always considered this series a foundational one not only for the blog, “Christ-Centered Christianity”, but also in expressing a Christ-centered understanding of God’s eternal and end-time purpose. For this reason, after the series was published, I transferred its contents to permanent pages and listed them under a tab called, you guessed it, “Foundations.” And so this series is a fitting way to start off this year of blogging on the theme of the “foundations of restoration.”
I will begin next week with part one and plan to intersperse some related resources in between their bi-weekly posts. There is much to share!
I look forward to the year ahead with you!
Love and blessings,
p.s. As a later footnote to this post, the links to this series can now be accessed here:
A Copernican-Style Revelation and Revolution (“Christ the Center” series revisited – Part 1)
Centering the Clay (“Christ the Center” series revisited – Part 2)The Heart of the Matter (“Christ the Center” series revisited – Part 3)
Unlocking God’s Eternal Purpose (“Christ the Center” series revisited – Part 4)
Unlocking God’s Eternal Purpose – Cont. (“Christ the Center” series revisited – Part 5)
The Process of the Purpose (“Christ the Center” series revisited – Part 6)