A Storm is ComingWith a storm on the way, it is more important than ever to find the center of God will. That place is the safest place. It is the place where chaos turns to adventure; where fear has no place; where our houses will stand as a refuge for others. This is the place we want to be; so how do we find it?

God’s eternal will is for the restoration of the three things that He lost in man’s rebellion: His reign over our hearts, His intimacy with us, and His habitation in us. I believe that our pursuit of His purpose in these three areas will supernaturally propel us into His will for this strategic season.

This article relates to the restoration of God’s habitation in us as the body, church and bride of Christ. The articles and assessments for the remainder of this series can be found at the following locations:

Our Preparation under His Reign

Our Preparation for Intimacy with Him

Many in the body of Christ are recognizing the inevitability of the storm. That recognition has created urgency for preparation; and a desire to know how we are doing in that preparation.  Assessing our preparation as His habitation is critically important.

Is there a biblical way to assess our preparedness, and receive wisdom and revelation in the ways God would have us strengthen our house? I believe so. In fact, we are encouraged and commanded to do exactly that:

Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me, and know my anxieties;
And see if there is any wicked way in me,
And lead me in the way everlasting.
Psalm 139:23-24

Let us search out and examine our ways,
And turn back to the Lord;
Let us lift our hearts and hands
To God in heaven.
Lamentations 3:40-41

For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith. Romans 12:3

For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.  Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is.  If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward.  If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire. 1Corinthians 3:11-15

But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup.  For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.  For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep.  For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged.  But when we are judged, we are chastened by the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world. 1Corinthians 11:28-32

Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you are disqualified. 2Corinthians 13:5

For if anyone thinks himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself.  But let each one examine his own work, and then he will have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another.  For each one shall bear his own load. Galatians 6:3-5

These passages are clear on a few points: First, we are encouraged to seek God’s assessment; second, we are commanded to assess ourselves (both personally and in community); and third, this assessment is for our good and for the good of His kingdom.

During my time in the corporate world, I received a performance review at least one time each year. Invariably, my review was precluded and supplemented by a self-assessment. Every once in a while, it included a peer review. This process was a great tool for both me and the company.

It has occurred to me that my reviews were not only about my performance – a view into the past. They were also about opportunity; for me, the opportunity for monetary reward, advancement, continuing education, etc.; for the company, the opportunity to advance their vision, purposes and plans. As we examine ourselves, it is important to keep this notion of opportunity in the forefront of our minds.

The Vision of His Habitation

It is impossible to assess our position (i.e., the lost, realized and potential opportunity) without first knowing the vision of our “company”. Our “boss”, in His wisdom, has provided that vision for us.

And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ—from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love. Ephesians 4:11-16

This is the church that Christ envisioned – the church that would be His Bride. We are to be that church, for the LORD’s habitation. This is our destiny. Every follower of Jesus Christ has a desire in their heart for the church described in this passage:

  • Equipped; meaning to be fixed for its intended use (like a bone or net).
  • Unity of both faith and knowledge; even unto perfection that is measured by the full stature of Christ.
  • No longer deceived.
  • Able to speak the truth in love.
  • Maturing in all things.
  • Knit tightly together; like a hug instead of a handshake, or a beautiful tapestry.
  • Effectively working; the Greek here is energeo; the energy of ministry.
  • Every part doing its share; no 20% doing 80% of the work.
  • A fellowship building itself up in love.

Are you having the same thought I’m having? How is this possible? We are so far from this; it is difficult to even imagine such a thing. But, God is able to do exceedingly, abundantly above all that we can imagine… according to the power that works in us (Ephesians 3:20); and He will have His Bride.

Praise God, it is not up to us. In fact, things are moving along in spite of our efforts. Even in this day of apparent decline, we can be encouraged that He has not been caught by surprise.

Yes, Jesus Christ is building His church. Our responsibility is to walk in the work He has prepared for us. Our responsibility – particularly those of us in positions of leadership – is to find the center of His will and remain there.

Assessing Our Preparation as His Habitation

Consider for a moment that you are one of a company of believers, all attempting to follow the Boss – the Lord, Jesus Christ – as He works diligently toward His vision for the church. How would you know you are making progress in your alignment with His vision? How would you self-assess and peer-assess your progress?

Recognizing that our motivation for improvement is the pleasure of our Lord, consider the following review questions.  NOTE: Don’t spend a lot of time on each question. Instead, spend the bulk of your time in preparatory prayer – inviting God to examine your heart. If a question does not make sense in your context, go on to the next one.  Rate each question on a scale of 0 to 5, with 0 being no evidence of attainment and 5 being a level you feel is pleasing to the Lord.

For Leaders:

  1. How well are you equipping the saints (i.e., preparing and repairing them for their intended use)?
    1. How well do they know their work of ministry?
    2. How many are thriving in that work?
    3. How many are building up the body of Christ in demonstrable ways?
  2. How would you rate the unity of those in your spheres of influence? Explain.
    1. How are they demonstrating unity of their faith?
    2. How are they demonstrating unity of their knowledge of the Son of God?

For all the Saints (Leaders included):

  1. How well are you seeking to be equipped by your leaders?
  2. Rate your level of engagement in your work of ministry?
  3. Rate the level of deception that you have recognized in your personal life. Explain.
  4. Rate your ability to speak the truth in love. Explain.
  5. Rate the spiritual maturity of your personal walk with the Lord. Explain.
  6. Rate the level of intimacy you have with others in your fellowship. Explain.
  7. Rate your level of engagement in the day-to-day life of your fellowship.
  8. Rate the level of your doing your part in your fellowship.
  9. Rate the level of energy that is produced in your working relationships within your fellowship. Site examples.
  10. Rate the level of growth you have experienced in your fellowship in the last 12 months. Explain.
  11. Rate the level of love you are investing in your fellowship.

As you can see, there is much we can discover about ourselves through a healthy Spirit-led assessment (and from only six verses). Others include the “one another” verses of Jesus and Paul, and the many encouragements of Paul’s epistles to the churches (e.g., Romans 12:9-21).

Maturing as the Habitation of God

Now that you have a better assessment of your maturity in this principle area of habitation, there are three simple but powerful steps to take to begin growing in the body of Christ. First, and with the Spirit’s leading, select two or three areas for improvement.

Second, develop a plan with some immediate next steps. Only a few steps are needed to get you headed in the right direction.

Third, convert your plan into a written covenant with God. Don’t skip this step. Our God is a covenant keeping God. He will keep His promise to give you the desires of your heart; and He will lead you into the center of His will for this strategic season.


So then each of us shall give account of himself to God. Romans 14:12

And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account. Hebrews 4:13

After a long time the lord of those servants came and settled accounts with them. Matthew 25:19

The Parable of the Talents is a most sobering passage. From it, we discover that there will come a day when we must give an account of what we have done with the “talents” of our stewardship. We do not know when that day will come, but we do know that when it comes the time of preparation will be over. It is a grace of God that we know these things are true; and that they are for our good.

Our King is a good king. He desires to say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” I believe He has made Himself available – right now – to help us assess our level of preparedness. I believe He is looking to show Himself strong on behalf of those that are loyal to Him and His Father. I believe it will be good thing to receive His gracious correction and His wise counsel regarding our preparation for the coming storm.

Humbly yours and forever His,