Organism Not Organized
I have a really simple question. Is there such a thing as organization in this movement? How do we group ourselves, or manage the finances, or organize gifts or assistance?
I think the best way to answer that question would be to ask ourselves how God creates life that’s truly of God? When man makes a machine it has organization. When God makes life, it is organism. If you consider the human body, there is nothing more complicated than that, right? Yet one would have to say that it is highly organized. For instance, if you touch your arm periodically, every single skin cell beneath your finger will eventually be totally gone and replaced by a new skin cell. How does that happen? There is a complexity about it but the dynamic is organism life, not machine.
Every two years the hair on your head is totally replaced with new hair whether you know it or not. It looks the same to other people if it gets cut regularly, but the truth is that there’s not a single hair on your head that was there two years ago. Is there organization to your hair growth? Yes, in the sense that it is not disorderly. God is a God of order, not of chaos. So there is no chaos, but it’s not because it is a man-made organization.
Let me give you an example from Acts 6. They were having problems with some of the widows not being cared for. The Hellenistic widows were being overlooked during the daily distribution of food. Yet the answer to their problem was not organization. It was organism, and let me explain why. They said, “Choose from among you seven men who are full of the Holy Ghost and full of wisdom.” But what would man normally say? Man would say, “Find seven people with experience in the restaurant business. Plan a way to take care of all the widows. Have all those with names starting with the first four letters of the alphabet go over here. Those with the next four letters of the alphabet, you all go over there and so on.” That’s organization, right?
Organism says, “Find men full of the Holy Ghost and full of wisdom” and they’ll know what to do—because they know God. They are full of the Holy Ghost and they have wisdom. Today they will do one thing to take care of the widows; tomorrow they might do something else. They will respond day by day. They will see God and they will hear God. Think of who those men were—they were of the caliber of Stephen and were over the matter of waiting on tables. It takes men of the caliber of Philip to be in charge of making sure that the widows have food. It was the Life of God that provided order and brought answers—it wasn’t administration. It wasn’t system or method or program.
We have genuine needs in our lives that call for real answers. But the real answers come from being full of the Holy Ghost and full of wisdom. The answers come by letting the Life of God answer a problem in one way today that the Life of God may answer differently tomorrow. Man says to separate all the widows according to the alphabet and make sure you do it this way and that. Then what would they do next week? They would do the same exact thing. And the week after that and the week after that they’d do the same thing. They would do the same thing because it’s a system. But if you choose men who really see and hear God, they may do it one way today and another way tomorrow.
So, there’s an answer that brings order and not chaos, but that answer is a fellowship with God as opposed to a system based on the alphabet, form, ritual or tradition. There’s no mechanical answer to even caring for the hungry widows. We don’t look for answers with a system or a mechanical form even when widows are hungry.
The factory, attendance-based churches have a system. I call it factory-based because there is a system for everything. There’s a form, a program, a hierarchy, a boss, and then assistant to the boss, and then assistant to the assistant to the boss. They are hired and they are fired and they’re all organized in a certain way. And maybe they don’t even know God! Or maybe today they know God, but they let sin into their life and they grieve the Holy Spirit. Tomorrow they don’t know God, but because they have a title, a position and a seminary degree, they stay in place. God wants to sit them down, but the factory system has put them in their certain place. There’s no way to touch them or help them or move them before they’ve damaged many people.
So, God’s way is organism and there’s order with no chaos. “When revelation comes to the second, let the first one sit down.” That’s also where it says, “God is a God of order, not of chaos.” Both of those verses are found in the same place (1Cor. 14:30-33). Apparently it’s very orderly to let the second speak and the first one to sit down. But it’s when revelation comes that the second one speaks, not because it’s “their turn.” People don’t speak because everybody is supposed to take a turn. We’re listening for God not listening for participation. We’re not trying to get everybody to talk. We’re trying to get to the place where God can talk through whomever He wants to talk through.
In Acts 20 it says that Paul dialogued with the people until midnight. They broke bread together and he was with them until dawn. He dialogued with them, which means, when revelation came to the second, the first one sat down. Maybe because of his gift, and because he was leaving the next day, Paul did most of the dialoguing. But it didn’t say that Paul “preached until morning.” The Greek word is dialegomae and where the word dialog comes from. He dialogued with them until dawn because, “When revelation came to the second, the first one sat down”—even then. Paul was the one who wrote the words in 1 Corinthians 14, which was in the context of 1 Corinthians 13—it was based in love!
Remember that there are no chapter breaks in the original Greek. There are no little numbers or little designations in the Greek. So, in chapter 11 Paul talks about their breaking bread together, and because they’re selfish, rude and unkind to each other and they don’t discern the Body, then their meetings do more harm than good. They shouldn’t even have meetings if they’re living separate lives and everyone is doing whatever he pleases. They should be one loaf as he wrote right before that (1 Cor. 10). They should be unified and discern the Body and examine themselves and deal with sin and be one loaf together. Otherwise, their meetings do more harm than good.
Then, chapters 11 and 12 say (no chapter breaks), “You’re all one body. We need the parts of the body and the parts that deserve special modesty aren’t less a part of the body. We love them, we need them.” Paul goes right into what we call chapter 13 saying that if we don’t have love then we’ve not accomplished anything. If you give your body to be burned, you’ve got nothing if you don’t have love. You could proclaim Jesus from the top of the mountain, and you’ve got nothing if you don’t have a practical daily love, laying down your life for each other. And again, no chapter break, and chapter 14 is, “When revelation comes to the second let the first one sit down.” He speaks of prayer, of gifts, of life and the reality of everyone coming together and bringing a revelation or a song—because you are all part of Jesus. Do you see how it is all the same thing?