The worlds genius serves the purposes of human desire.  According to the Letter of James desire produces death.  In an interesting picture James paints this scenario – “after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death”.  When we delve a bit more into the letter we get to a point where we realize that even our good desires can become sinful.  Proverbs 11 – The desire of the righteous ends only in good, but the hope of the wicked only in wrath.

Desires need to be shaped by the new heart given by the suffering and death and resurrection of Christ.  His righteousness becomes ours and so do His desires.  The desire to engage in mission is inspired by God’s desire that all men be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth.  The desire to do mercy work comes from God’s desire that we love our neighbor as ourselves.  When we fumble and fall and shamble about as the church, her ministers and servants we get pretty worked up.  We want excellence and success and accountability and all those are great things.  We should give our best to the One who gave it all for us, and yet…..

The genius of the church comes from God and as Martin Scharlemann said –

Here we remind ourselves that the church is to be the precursor – an exhibit, so to speak – of the vast cosmic order which will be the final product of God’s redemptive purpose. Maybe this should be emphasized more in our day. Much of what goes on in the church occurs in a hidden way. Like the ministry of our Lord Himself, the church’s work is not impressive from an external point of view. To this day the kingdom comes not “with observation.” Yet in His own mysterious way God is active among us and through us to bring salvation to the world. Let us not be deceived by the stumbling ways of the church. It has many faults and weaknesses. No one knows that better than we who are its members. Yet, in point of fact, what goes on in the church below the surface is nothing less than the central thrust of that redemption which God has planned for the world. Martin Scharlemann