I am in an interesting place. Have been for quite a while. An aggressive act of deconstruction actually started about this time last year. I’m continually being challenged to let go of things that I have embraced over the years as being vital and necessary to my faith journey. I am speaking of concepts, forms, modes of action and the such.
The further I get down this road and the more I come to know Father, the more I realize that, man, I carry A HUGE AMOUNT of unnecessary baggage. He continues to boil things down, strip me of things created by the efforts of my own hands and ideology and is apparently attempting to get me freed up to go to places I have yet to consider or go. He is an awesome God who transcends my current understanding and knowledge. He desires for me to know Him and He beckons me to come further in doing so. I am understanding that the more I release, the more I am capable of receiving!
I firmly believe that if believers truly grasped the necessity of a lifestyle of repentance before Father, they would be better able to grow in Him, mature and more readily enter into His Fullness. Spiritual maturity requires a lifestyle of repentance and coming to understand what is in God’s mind and adjusting our mind according to what is revealed! Such a process is required for our new birth. I don’t understand why people don’t realize such operation to be an ongoing way into LIFE rather than a one time deed.
Fortunately, over the last several years, Father has surrounded me with a family that has grasped such Kingdom concepts and are not only supportive of such processes but actually incite them.
I had the privilege of attending a gathering of precious brothers and sisters this past Sunday here in North Texas. The time was sweet! It was good to reconnect with some brothers/sisters I hadn’t seen in a while, sing some songs together and have deep, meaningful conversations. It was a very encouraging time.
Perhaps what encouraged me the most was the discussion regarding ‘fallow ground’. While there were many good points being brought to light through the discussion, the one thing that significantly ministered to me was that even though the ground in question appears to rest unproductive and irrelevant at the moment, only the owner of the field knows the plans he has for the field he purchased long ago. There is a reason for the season the ground finds itself in and it isn’t the concern of the land. That concern belongs to the one who holds the title deed.
Maybe the owner is desiring to plant a different crop in the field than he has ever sown before. Maybe he is allowing the field to rest, to be restored to usefulness and develop the soil for the use he intends. No one knows the intention of the property owner and unless he shares, those intentions will not be known until he acts and the intentions become obvious and clear to everyone.
So, if the “field” is my life and I’m the “soil”, such a state of existence becomes a bit disconcerting if I’m given to validating my relationship with Father and gaining my identity by the production that apparently does/doesn’t come. That is a nasty disposition to be subject to but most believers find themselves bound to it. It is so Old Covenant and clouds the Way of the New. I am discovering Father wants us free from it.
One of the main questions posed to me during this season of fallowness has been, “What have you been drawing people to?”
Am I drawing them to house church and/or organic communities? Am I drawing them to Kingdom teachings? Am I drawing them some other concept, idea or framework that I am comfortable in and therefore propagate? Am I drawing them to my ministry? Or am I truly drawing them to Christ?
Once, I spent a few days with a brother who defined himself as an “organic church pragmatist”. He apparently had written books, developed workshops and built a reputation as an organic church specialist. We actually roomed together and as I observed his function over the time together and his interaction with others (myself included) I realized that all questions and conversations eventually reverted back to the principles, concepts and philosophy he had developed regarding organic church. While Christ’s name was spoken and alluded to in the course of communication and referred to as the basis of all things “organic church”, I was never able to touch the substance of Christ in that brother though I intentionally tried to do so.
At the same meetings, I was introduced to another brother simply as “Name” from “such and such a place.” As I spent time with him and we mingled with the other brothers/sisters there, I watched as this brother completely opened up his life with total transparency, not concerned about reputation but portrayed Christ as the sufficiency in his life. It was quite remarkable and humbling to observe his interactions and the brief time we spent together deeply impacted me personally. It wasn’t until later, when we began to deepen our relationship that I began to understand how accomplished and “successful” he was in life. None of that really mattered……not to him….not to me…..because the Christ in him was allowed to connect with the Christ in me. Such a connection ALWAYS produces fruit according to Father’s purpose.
From my dealings with both of those brothers, I have learned that training someone to facilitate a meeting in a house is not the same as equipping someone in Christ. What’s more, drawing them into “something” even in the name of “someone” is not drawing them into him. And while Father is glorified by the fruit produced in/through our lives, I don’t think He considers “fruit” to be what we think it is.
I don’t think I am splitting hairs here. I think there is a deep significance in what Father is showing me.
As I relinquish all that I hold important, step back a bit from trying to “keep things going” and stop doing what I do because it is what, after all, I do, I find Him there and am keenly aware of His presence.
There is undoubtedly right fruit to be produced in the right way at the right time. But, more and more, my desire is to know and be known through my union with Him. So, here I lay as fallow ground, apparently unfruitful. However, being tender to His touch, cherishing His dealings with me and trusting His Faithfulness assures me that increase will come as He determines. He is The Almighty God and Husbandman who happens to also be My Father. Father knows best!
Keep your peace!