One definition of the word posture: a particular way of dealing with or considering something; an approach or attitude.
When you read through the book of Acts and you consider the life and ministry of the early church, you see they lived with certain postures. Their approaches or attitudes in dealing with something were distinctly different than the approaches that we are prone to apart from the grace of God.
They lived in a dependent and worshipful posture. It was a physical posture of hands open and up and knees bent. It was a picture of surrender. They knew who their God was and how good their God had been to them, and wanted to live for Him and bring Him glory in every way. Consider Acts 1. Jesus has told them to wait for the Holy Spirit. And they do. Verse 14 tells us they were continually united in prayer. The consistent attitude of the early church was, Jesus, you are Lord and King. We’re following you, and we’re dependent upon the Holy Spirit to empower and enable us to live for you.
The next posture the early church lived in was one of community with each other. Imagine hands being clasped with one another. The interlocking of hands. A huddle of one another. The early church was alongside one another as fellow siblings. They were equipping and encouraging each other for the work of ministry. They were interdependent with one other. Different gifts, one Spirit. Different parts, one Body.
Acts 2:44-46 is a clear picture of this posture. It reads, 44 Now all the believers were together and held all things in common. 45 They sold their possessions and property and distributed the proceeds to all, as any had need. 46 Every day they devoted themselves to meeting together in the temple, and broke bread from house to house. They ate their food with joyful and sincere hearts
Walking and Proclaiming Posture
Thinking of our hands, it was one hand near their mouth as they proclaimed and told of the Good News. And then the other hand was to their side as they served, healed, and loved people. It was not just one or the other. It wasn’t just proclaiming, nor was it only ‘showing’ of the Gospel. Around Crosspoint, we call that show and tell. They were following in the footsteps of the risen Lord Jesus, who did both. Those early believers desired to live and walk by faith, and as a result, they lived with an outward looking view. They had been commissioned to make disciples of all nations, and to be witnesses to the ends of the earth.
In regards to our vision statement, they lived devoted to Jesus, dedicated to one another, and driven to reach people. If we miss one of those postures, we miss what life in the Kingdom of God looks like and lives like. It must be all 3.
And in each of those postures, it confronts our own selfish hearts and patterns. Because apart from the grace of God, and the indwelling of the Spirit of God, we’d be prone to these three following postures instead. Approaches and attitudes that we must reject as the people of God.
Self-reliance is when we trust in our own powers and resources. This is like a clenched fist. So instead of open hands of surrender and knees bent in prayer, it is a posture rooted in pride.
Self-sufficiency is the attitude of seeking no outside help. This is like that clenched fist beating our own chest. Living independently, rather than interdependently. Living in isolation, rather than community.
When you are self-centered you are preoccupied with oneself or one’s own affairs. So this is hands to the sides of our eyes, putting the blinders up. When we are self-centered, we don’t care about others or what is happening out there. Rather, it is all about us and our comfort, needs, ands desires.
For the Christ follower though and the Lord’s church, we must reject the temptation to live in those postures that are oriented around self. And instead, pursue to live as God’s people who have been given new hearts, a new Spirit, and a new purpose to live for the One who died and rose again for us.
- We’re not self-reliant people, we are dependent worshippers, so we pray, we seek, we ask. Together, we are devoted to Jesus.
- We’re not self-sufficient people, we are rather choosing to live alongside fellow believers in the family of faith. We need other believers, and they need us. We huddle, we interlock, we equip, we encourage. Together, we are dedicated to one another.
- We’re not self-centered people, we are rather people who live for the sake of the One who has called us to be His witnesses from our neighborhoods to the nations. We don’t live with blinders. We live with feet that walk by faith and a hand that shows and a hand that tells. Together, we are driven to reach people.