The Mission of the Church Part One
Vision: The Mission of the Church Part One
This article was taken from a message spoken by Pastor Sonny Arguinzoni to the Mother Church in La Puente
Scripture: Joshua 1: 1 – 9 After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, it came to pass that the Lord spoke to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ assistant, saying: 2 “Moses My servant is dead. Now, therefore, arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them—the children of Israel. 3 Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given you, as I said to Moses. 4 From the wilderness and this Lebanon as far as the great river, the River Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and to the Great Sea toward the going down of the sun, shall be your territory. 5 No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life; as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you nor forsake you. 6 Be strong and of good courage, for to this people you shall [a]divide as an inheritance the land which I swore to their fathers to give them. 7 Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may [b]prosper wherever you go. 8 This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you[c] shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
Here we find a great historical account of God giving a mandate to Israel to move ahead. In the same way, He speaks to us today individually and as a church. There are lessons from this passage.
The first one is that God’s people must go forward, verse 2 says; “Moses My servant is dead. Now therefore, arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them—the children of Israel.
The command that Joshua received to move ahead, in the history of Israel we see how easily they came into complacency. Even when Moses led them through the wilderness, they would come to places to experience a plateau. Plateaus are enjoyable experiences for the moment. In 23 years of our existence with 2 more years, we will celebrate 25 years of ministry. In our history as Victory Outreach we can look back at all the blessings it is very enjoyable from Gless Street to St. Louis to Montebello, the International
And finally, the miracle of how God brought us to La Puente. We can stay on the plateau enjoy the experience and look back. Plateaus can be dangerous we can stay in just enjoying the blessings of yesterday, the past. We can see it in the children of Israel over and over God’s people had fallen into sin when they were in the state of a plateau and by being satisfied caught up in looking past experiences and losing the burning desire to move forward. We have seen it in the life of Israel we have it recorded in the Old Testament we have the example of Israel not entering the promise land a whole generation of people who were not able to experience the promise and blessings of God because of a spirit of complacency a spirit of kickback type.
We also see it in characters within the word of God. We have David as an example the bible speaks about that he fell into sin when he was kicking back “When the kings would go to war he stayed behind” David decided to stay behind. That moment of staying behind and not being in the frontlines is when David fell into sin.
So, looking back at our accomplishments and just dwelling on our past experiences from yesterday can be very dangerous. I would say that there are churches but also people here this morning that all they can talk about are experiences about yesterday you cannot talk about faith experiences that you are having with God. God has not intended for you just to dwell on the blessings and experiences of yesterday. But He wants you to have a burning desire inside of you to go forward in faith, believing God for greater things within your life.
Israel needed to be reminded that plateaus are not permanent stopping places. Every blessing that you have received from God are not a place to stop, we are just moving on, moving ahead. He wants us to continue to and use them as steppingstones springboards to greater accomplishments for God.
With all my heart I feel that God is not finished with Victory Outreach La Puente, I will have you to know right now, but it all depends on the attitude that we have. Are we going to be like many ministries that are just going to talk about the blessings of yesterday? Those days when the Holy Spirit came down, those days we experienced the power, those days we were being saved, those days when people were being baptized in the Holy Spirit? So many people baptized in water? Are we going to look back to the blessings of yesterday? There is nothing more tragic than to see God’s people fail to keep in step with God. I pray to God that we as individuals listen to me very carefully this message is for you as an individual it is for us as a church, not only that but to us as a movement.
God has raised up a movement Victory Outreach is much more than an organization it is a movement! That God has raised up to be a testimony not only locally but throughout the world. So, the attitude that we have is very important. What type of people are we going to be? People of the blessings of yesterday or are we going to be people that are going to move ahead and take hold of all the promises that God has made on to us? Now there are some people in our congregation that I can pick out. I can pick out the ones that are still living on the blessings of yesterday. They are like in a rocking chair they have spiritually retired. How many know that there is no retirement in God? There are some people that have spiritually retired sitting back. People who before I used to see them on fire for God. It breaks my heart when I look out in the congregation and see them. Yes, they come they go through the motions, when you fall into that place of complacency you have the form of godliness but deny the power thereof.
There are many churches like that, that at one time there used to be a revival. The Holy Spirit used to move in their midst! All they had left is a form of godliness, but they are void of the power of the Spirit moving in their midst. The reason is they have failed to be obedient to God. When God gave the marching orders. When God desired to thrust them forward, they stayed behind in the spirit of complacency.
A spiritual person desires to pray jut like I sit here and hear a message and the message hits me, I want to hit the altar I want to pray I don’t care who is looking, who is around. I want to talk to God. I do not understand how some people come to church week after week and never have a need to hit the altar for prayer. Or their Christianity is only to the extent of a Sunday morning churchgoer.
There are some people here that have not been to a mid-week service for years but don’t know what is going on in our Friday night service where the Spirit of God is moving people are storming the gates of heaven for an outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Those people are at home. Or like Sunday night we are having a powerful Holy Spirit service. Somehow they have lost their zeal. The desire to see people going into their burial ground and be baptized. To see people who have been taken from the clutches of the enemy, having a testimony saved by the power of God.
When you lose that desire, listen these are the things that are precious. When we lose that we are in trouble, we are very dangerous ground! If Israel failed anyone can fall. “Be careful when you think you are strong the bible warns us, that’s when we are the most vulnerable to the tactics and deceit of the enemy. So, we need to move on. There is no camping place in Jesus. God wants us to move forward, and the command He gives Israel is to move onward to go forward.
I pray to God that we as a church as a ministry will be able to move forward for God that this coming year, we will be able to experience tremendous spiritual exploits. Next month of stewardship we will be able to see people experience tremendous victories within their lives!