As we abandoned previous forms of “church” and “ministry” as best we could, we struggled with such questions as, “What are we doing?” and “What does this look like?” The thought of form and structure plagued us as we swam through the whole “house church” and “organic church” paradigm. It didn’t take us long to realize that you cannot displace the perils of man-made form and traditions by simply moving a smaller congregation into a house from a larger congregation in a institutional facility.
Father continued to further deconstruct our mentalities and paradigms by removing the “gathering” emphasis to a true, community – relationship emphasis. As He spoke in and through the Body of Christ that we had submitted ourselves to, He declared to us that what He had committed to us was Holy and that we should protect it, even from our own hands. What truly mattered was how we existed in Him and how He was able to be expressed through our love for one another. In a word, it was about relationships – not anything extra-curricular to building authentic, love-based relationships.
As He began to reveal to us the effectiveness of Kingdom-communities rather than systematic house gatherings, “numbers” began to diminish. Such an experience truly tested whether or not we were truly free from worldly measures of success regarding Father’s work among us. I will tell you this, to answer to what Father requires in and through His People, there must be a willingness to GO DEEPER BEFORE YOU EVER GO WIDER! There aren’t that many people willing to embrace the cross of Christ as necessary in order to permit the depth that Father attempts to achieve. By the way, DEPTH is a polite way of saying DEATH TO SELF!
As you RELEASE things from the previous religious paradigm and pursue to enter Kingdom function, idols are readily exposed in people’s lives. How/when you gather, money, authority, doctrinal dogma, worship, personal baggage, etc…. there are a plethera of little gods that crop up their ugly head to throw a kink into the flow of a Kingdom community. Father has taught us over the years, what matters is protecting the unity of the Spirit created by embracing the cross and building relationships through His Love and Grace. By Love, we serve one another, honor one another, prefer one another, you know, all the one anothers found in the New Testament scriptures that we purposefully neglect as we focus on other things that don’t really matter.
It is important to recognize that while everybody is focused on achieving a certain “end” in and through their religious or spiritual journey, it is more important how you start in order to accomplish that end. In other words, the seed of something is vital to what is produced. That which is born of the flesh IS flesh; that which is born of the Spirit is spirit! The quality of Life resides in the seed and a seed will reproduce accordingly. Father, who is eternal, will take His ever-loving time in order to prepare a seed, get its Nature to where He desires it to be and then plant it. He may allow us to plant and water it, but it is HE ALONE that gives the increase of it.
I promise you that Father’s design on “success” is not consistent with ours. Fleshly religious zeal is not beneficial to the fulfillment of Father’s purposes. If we truly desire to be pleasing to Father, what we DO must stem from our BEING in Him and all that we PRODUCE must carry His DNA and not our fleshly essence. Father no longer desires our offerings and sacrifices. He desires that we do HIS WILL.
I hear an abundance today about ‘keeping my commandments’. That is as it should be. But, we must submit to His Spirit in us working with/through our born again spirit to enable us to do what He desires and not make it happen in and of ourselves. Let’s heed God’s words given through the prophet regarding the context of the New Covenant.
I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. (Ezekiel 36:26-27)
But, it seems like we would pay much more attention to the NEW commandment that Jesus gave immediately before entering his passion and fulfilling his personal work of death, burial, resurrection and ascension.
A commandment, a new one, I am giving to you, that you should be constantly loving one another with a divine and self-sacrificial love; even as I have loved you, you also be loving one another. In this all shall know that you are my disciples, if you constantly have love among one another.
If believers are going to learn to enter into the fullness that Father has for His Family, Old Testament paradigms that require striving in the flesh to accomplish them must be abandoned. They are just as dead as was Jesus hanging on the cross after giving up his spirit. Until we stop looking for God in processes, things, songs, events, forms, religious organizations that establish themselves under a different name rather than His name, …………………. we won’t identify with the death of our wonderful Savior and experience the fullness of his resurrection into a new and living way.
The Hope of Glory, Christ, now dwells in the believer. Father values His Family and intimate relationship with them. If we truly understood that truth, we would release all that hinders us from focusing on the same and give our time, energy and resources to developing Kingdom relationships. As we align ourselves in faith and understanding, He will be seen in the midst of His People as they walk, relate, live and flow together in Kingdom authority and grace.
Keep your peace!