The Unfolding Reality of Father’s Family
Like a sprig of grass growing up in a parking lot, God's kingdom and his family are being revealed in the earth, put perhaps in ways we're not used to seeing. Wayne's back from the Carolinas to catch up on some listener comments from the previous podcasts about the culture of control, and then moves on to more positive reflections of how God's family is taking shape in the world. Two weeks ago twenty-one people gathered in North Carolina for the first of a series of conversations about how we come alongside what God is doing to unveil his family in the world, without creating the same institutions and movements that disfigure it with man's agenda. Here's a bit of what we wrestled with in that conversation.
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Re: Dean Koontz
I’ve been a fan for quite a while – he’s a Catholic… From the Wikipedia:
In his spare time, he wrote his first novel, Star Quest, which was published in 1968. Koontz went on to write over a dozen science fictionnovels. Seeing the Catholic faith as a contrast to the chaos in his family, Koontz converted in college because it gave him answers for his life, admiring its “intellectual rigor” and saying it permits a view of life that sees mystery and wonder in all things. He says he sees the Church as English writer and Catholic convert G.K. Chesterton did. Koontz notes that spirituality has always been part of his books, as are grace and our struggle as fallen souls, but he “never get[s] on a soapbox”.
I just wanted to clarify, as you mentioned here my comment about Rick Warren’s tweet which I left on your previous podcast, that when I said Rick’s words about leaving the church family seem totally harmless, I deliberately used the word “SEEM” totally harmless. Clearly, they do not seem harmless to those of us who are no longer part of the Religious Machinery but to those who are still in it. The manipulation and brain washing that often takes place in this kind of environment completely nullifies one’s ability to discern what is really going on and so for those who are a part of it, it is reaffirming to hear statements like these and also the perfect excuse to put to one side or even ignore the little nudges that the Spirit of God may be giving them to love HIM and not the System, to choose today whom they will serve. Rick’s statement is a “clever”, well thought-out manipulating technique to secure allegiance and ongoing support in “his camp” by establishing fear and reproach in the hearts of those who may be contemplating opting out. As I said before, it is this kind of subtle approach that does much of the harm amongst Christians in the West, and that stops well meant and intended people from following JESUS and not man.
Now that I am out of that controlled environment, I can see right through what is really beyond what Rick says on that tweet, but I have to be honest and admit that when I was part of the system myself, I would be the first one to want to pat Rick on the back for coming up with what to those within sounds like a clever and well thought statement, which I agree with you, is nothing more than a very subtle way of throwing around condemnation and putting shackles on the feet of those who may be hearing God’s whispers to follow HIM but who would rather remain in the safety of Egypt than venture out into the promised Land, into the UNKNOWN.
By the way, I loved the analogy about the grass on the parking lot. My heart skipped a bit as I read that. Nothing can stop God from building His Church up, not the gates of hell, not the will of man, NOTHING! Praise God for that.
I am, once again, struck with how the institution is so blinded to its own shortcomings. I have no desire to go on the attack against the establishment, but it seems that those who represent the establishment, for the sake of self-protection and preservation, have gone on offense against those who are leaving. I was struck by the tweet from Rick Warren that Wayne shared from the note he received, which said, “The temptation to drift away from a church family is predictably the 1st step to poor choices,stupid sins,and needless pain.”
Seriously??? I can’t imagine what he could base that belief on. I think if he were able to take an honest look at the condition of the “church family” (as he defines it), he would see that the church family is just as full of “poor choices, stupid sins and needless pain” as the rest of the world. Possibly even more so. I’m not being critical of the family for that, but I think to make such a statement is to be completely ignorant of the facts and shows evidence of one living in a fantasy world.
The other thing, which also plays into a mindset that prompts tweets like Rick’s, is that over the past month I have heard three people use the expression “throwing the baby out with the bathwater” in reference to the throngs of people leaving the institutional church. The sad thing, to me is that people seem to hold the misguided belief that the church is the baby. It may sound cliche, but the church is not the baby…Jesus is, and when I hear most people talk about leaving church, I hear them expressing a desire to find the baby who has been lost in the murky bathwater of church.
I think what bothers me most about both of these quotes is that they’re both based on assumptions. The first assumption is that those who leave the “church” have been hurt, and are going home to nurse their wounds behind locked doors, in order to protect themselves from further pain. These people are criticized for “forsaking the gathering” and made to feel guilty for not participating in the weekly meeting, which, of course, is God’s ordained way. For those who have truly been hurt, this only adds to their pain and confirms their choice to leave. For those who are simply searching for the real Jesus; they, too, have their decision confirmed, as pressure and guilt are sure signs that the “church” is not where they will find Jesus. The second assumption is that sin is managed by weekly “feeding,” which comes from church attendance and listening to messages that the Holy Spirit has laid on the heart of the pastor for us. The second critical factor in sin management is strong accountability relationships within the church. Sadly, neither assumption can be backed up by scripture without taking scripture out of context, and twisting it to mean something it isn’t saying. In addition, neither assumption takes into account the relationship we have available to us with Christ, but depends wholly on corporate conformation (is that a word?), which does nothing more than build fences around people to keep them from sinning. The unfortunate thing is that, despite their best efforts to cover it up, the horses are still getting out!
The sad state of “the church” is that it is little more than a facade and when the winds start to kick up, we see people scurrying about to prop up the walls that are being blown down.
Excellent point(s) Kevin. I have always found the assumption that people who leave the church are hurt an interesting one.
One, I think it is a VERY broad stroke. When I left traditional church it wasn’t because I was hurt but because I felt I was being invited into something different and most of the people I knew were in a similar place. It was amazing how many people couldn’t believe that I wasn’t mad. Some actually told me that they knew it was because I didn’t like the music. lol.
Two, if you really believe that that many people are really hurt than shouldn’t that be an indication to sincerely check out what’s going on? Any way you look at it you have to start asking the questions, right? If you truly cared about your “flock” you would go, talk and LISTEN. Not just write them off as people taking their first steps towards hell. And if you really do believe they are taking their first steps towards hell then all the more reason to try and connect, right? Or if it’s just business any decent business would start asking questions when they lose THAT many customers? Heck, even a bad business does that. Any business that simply villianizes former customers in an attempt to keep current customers won’t be long for the world.
It seems to me that there is an incredible level of arrogance that goes on when statements like that are made.
Wayne, for me one of the most meaningful times of the weekend was when you said, “Community is a gift God gives.” It seems I have heard you say that before but when I heard it on Friday night when we all gathered for the first time it resonated deep for me. If that be true, and I believe it is, then it has to change our whole way of looking at and being involved in community/church. It was incredibly affirming for me. The weekend was incredibly affirming for me.
The word “community” may not be a biblical term, but I love the oneness that flows from it. It fits well with the theme of being members of “one family” who are sons and daughters of “one father” and are of “one body” that comprises the citizenry (ekklesia) of the “one set apart nation”.
Oneness is obviously a major theme of the New Covenant but this unity seems to be in short supply. Why? Let me suggest that the vast majority of Christianity has fallen victim to a cult that has drained his life out of us. This cult has also made us crazy; in other words we have lost our mind, the mind of Christ.
Every church that I have attended and every Christian that I know is a member of this cult and pays homage to it. For many centuries it has pitted Christian against Christian, family member against family member and has turned friends into enemies. I’m referring to the cult of worldly nationalism.
For the most part, this cult demands allegiance and uses physical force and the coercive power of law to control its citizens and others. It uses fear to control its adherents, regularly abuses its power and promotes a culture of control. Power is its mantra.
There is no doubt in my mind why the church is in such disarray. For the last 17 hundred years we have been in “bed” with the nations of this world and thereby adopted their ways. Whenever we utilize the power of this cult to enact change, we empower worldly kingdoms to the dis-empowerment of the kingdom of God.
The four gospels clearly illustrate that Christ main message was that he came to usher in a radically new type of kingdom. For instance, there are 89 Chapters in the four gospels. He presents this new way of doing kingdom well over 100 times. That’s an average of more than once a chapter!! The full phrase “kingdom of God (or heaven)” by itself is used 87 times. Do you think he’s trying to get our attention? By comparison, being born again is only mentioned twice.
Christ presents us with a kingdom that does not power over, if anything it is power under. The king himself willingly gave up his life not only for his citizens (ekklesia) but also for the enemies of his kingdom!! We are also presented with an Abba Father. This is the type of king and father that I want to follow and to have rule over me.
Again, I love the terms “community”, “family”, “brothers and sisters”, “sons and daughters”, “ekklesia”, … because they help me visualize this new kingdom. We should therefore continue to emphasize these attributes. However, it is important that they flow out of the kingdom/nation message of Christ. Let me try to illustrate this point.
Wayne is involved with many communities across the globe that are members of various nation/states. Hopefully they understand that their allegiance is now to a new nation and king. For all intents and purposes they don’t hold dual citizenship. They have taken on the role of ambassadors to the nations of this world. If they don’t understand this, and if history is any guide, these loving communities (or their descendents) will someday be facing each other across arbitrary battle-lines, drawn by their individual nation/state, with murder and hatred in there hearts.
Let’s dispense with the cult of worldly nationalism and enter Christ’s kingdom which has no arbitrary borders to fight over because it encompasses the entire earth. Let us take on the mind of Christ, become one in his nation and follow our kings example of sacrificial love.
Some of the terminology gets flipped-flopped here in Germany through language and customs. As part of the independent Churches of Christ, in that work here, if one is preaching along in German, and uses the term Kirche, which is “church”, everyone hearing the sermon will know that the speaker is speaking about “the other” religious groups. If someone uses the word “Kirche” in some comment in a study together in reference to us, and our meeting and building, we would automatically know that they havent’t been properly trained so-to-speak in the correct terminalogy. Someone would get with them afterwards and discretely straighten out that “misunderstanding”.
We have kind of hijacked the “community” word already. We generally, but not always, refer to ourselves as The Gemeinde Christi; the “community of Christ”. The term Gemeinde is used in the society to refer to a small town, as in “the Gemeinde so-en-so has no money to repair the flood damage”.
But in end effect, the community term for us is basically meaning the building and its functions. If you leave THAT building, and are not going on Sunday morning to another building identified as GC in some way, its a pretty good bet that many, including leadership, would see you as leaving the real Matt.16:18 community of called out ones.
Thanks to all of you for sharing this e-conversation. The encouragement is knowing that we’re not alone in this walk with Jesus. I grew up in a very institutionalized “Presbyterian” setting where rules and performance were definitely more important than relationship. After three years of being drawn by Jesus to a more free way to live His life out in the earth…there are interesting conversations happening with my parents and extended family. I’m living and working in a different city so they’re not seeing what has happened with my Sundays…but they’re asking and I’m learning to hear Abba’s gentle voice in how much to say, what to say and how to love them through this. The encouragement of community being “a gift that Father gives” and the lightness of His invitation through pressure to move counter-intuitively away from performing has also been life affirming for me. After so many years of driven performance it’s refreshing to have an “exhale” moment and learn to REST in the arms of the Shepherd. Blessings, Sue
Hey Robert in DE,
The flip-flop that you cited is possibly much greater than you think.
I’m sure we can agree that the meaning of words are important, and if scripture is to be properly understood we have to try to envision its meaning at the time it was penned.
You make interesting points regarding the German term Kirche (church). Church is possibly the most misunderstood word in the entirety of the bible. If you read my rambling post above (sorry), you may have noticed that I used the word “ekklesia” in lieu of “church” and I noted that it meant citizenry. This is somewhat close to its original meaning. In 4th century BC Athens, the “ekklesia” was a regularly summoned political assembly of citizens, gathered together by a herald, to discuss and vote on various political issues. They were summoned approximately 4 times per month. Scholars seem to be in total agreement on this, which by itself is miraculous. So, 3 to 4 hundred years before Christ, ekklesia was a political term that had little to no religious connotations.
Over the next few centuries, the Greeks lost their power and Rome took over the Mediterranean basin. However, the Greek language prevailed. Given this context, it’s very interesting how the Romans handled the Greek word “ekklesia”. They had many Latin words to denote assembly but they basically kept this word by slightly altering it to “ecclesia”. Why? There must have been something quite unique about it that was not evident in any other Latin word for assembly. The only uniqueness comes from it being a political assembly of citizens and they had no Latin words to replace it with.
Now lets fast forward to 1st Century AD. and take a look at Acts 19: 23-41. Paul is confronted by the silversmith ekkesia (King James says “assembly”) of Ephesus. This political assembly (this ekklesia) of silversmiths is about to riot because Paul is destroying their idol business. The town clerk intervenes and tells them that they are an unlawful ekklesia (political assembly of citizens) and that this is a matter that should be brought up to the lawful ekklesia (political assembly of citizens). He then dismisses the ekklesia of silversmiths because it was an unlawful political assembly of citizens.
Of the 115 times that “ekklesia” is used in the N.T., the King Jimmie translators consistently rendered it “church” expect for these three times in Acts. Why? First because “the church of silversmiths” would make absolutely no sense. The second reason is that King Jimmie was a scoundrel who went to great depths to maintain his “divine right” as king. He even adamantly protested against the softer translation of “assembly”. God forbid if someone were to call it a “political assembly of citizens” because their head would have most likely found its way to the chopping block. So Jimmie insisted that “ekklesia” be translated as “church”.
This is where the plot thickens. “Church” comes from the Greek word “kuriakos” which means “of or pertaining to a lord”. It is my understanding that your German term Kirche (church) comes from “kuriakos”, and “kuriakos” only appears TWICE in the N.T.!!! Once in 1Cor 11:20 where it refers to “the Lord’s supper” and once in Rev 1:10 where it refers to “the Lords day”. In both cases it is translated “the Lord’s” and not “church”. This is another area where most scholars agree.
Now consider the utter insanity of what has been done by looking at the MAJOR flip-flop that has occurred. The only two times in the N.T. where the word “church” could properly be applied (1Cor 11:20 and Rev 1:10) the powers to be decide not to apply it. Then they decide to improperly apply “church” 112 times to the word “ekklesia”. To add insult to this injury, they clearly indicate that they have a basic knowledge of the word “ekklesia” when they somewhat properly translate it three times as “assembly” in the 19th Chapter of Acts.
The above explanation may seem complex, but the reality is quit simple. This is what have we done. Not only have we grossly mistranslated a Greek word that appears 115 times in the N.T., we have SUBSTITUTED it with another Greek word that only appears twice in the N.T.!!! “Of or pertaining to a lord” (kuriakos) is a great statement but it has nothing to do with “a regularly summoned political assembly of citizens” (ekklesia). In fact, it is an outright category mistake. It is like saying the speed of yellow – yellow has no speed.
Sorry, I’ve gone on far to long so I need to put this to bed quickly. At the time of Christ “ekklesia” was understood as a political term that had basically no religious connotations. Christ brought us the kingdom and explained it in the 4 Gospels. The writers of the epistles taught us that we are citizens (ekklesia) of his kingdom.
If your interested, here’s a link to an article that pertains to ekklesia. It’s called “The Phenomenon of Ekklesia” http://www.radicalresurgence.com/ekklesia1/
Thank you for your thoughts too. The history of the Bible has to be noticed. King Jimmie did lots of things to keep control of believers and non believers. His introduction of the term “Lord” made a huge diference. Lord meant bread provider and was the name of the surpreme God of Anglo-Saxon mythology. In other words, Lord has no connection to the Koine Greek of the New Testament!
Is that “concept” important to those of us on this journey? I think so! For one thing, it helps cement in me the idea that my relationship is with the man, and not the deified book. That is my flipflop away from authoritarian book-based training.
I do hope that readers noticed the VERY tongue-in-cheek nature of my first post on this above.
here’s another odd spin on this podcast.
i suppose i would be someone that people like Rick Warren would point to and say, “See, he stopped going to church and look at all the awful things he’s fallen into now!” And indeed, i am on the prodigal road, doing things that are not right, to put it mildly. But how strange that the father in the prodigal story not only allowed his child to leave but gave him a sack load of money for what he must have known would be a bad trip. The older brother had no illusions about what his brother had been doing with the money. But the father saw past the brokenness of the younger son and waited him out until sin took its inevitable course and the son came home, to the loving arms of his father and a huge party to boot.
so i stopped going on sundays for many of the reasons others cite but also because i needed to find a real relationship with God. after 7 years of God Journey podcasts and The Shack and SYDWTGTCA and searching, i felt like i had to hit the road. And that’s where i am now. God’s love just doesn’t feel real to me yet. I have not experienced that breakthrough that others have. so far. I so desperately need to feel loved that I have sought it out elsewhere. Enuf said. It would do no good to have stayed in “the church”— what is outward conformity with inward rebellion? Just rank hypocrisy. So at least i am consistent inside and out. i have no doubt that Jesus is with me in the midst of my rebellion, calling me home. I have no doubt that i will get there one day. but the reality is that i am not there today. and reality is far better than trying to pretend in a pew every sunday. (although i have to admit that the free coffee was pretty good. i miss that).
@Searching- Your honesty is appreciated. I agree that it’s better than hypocrisy/pretending. Also thankful that Wayne (and others) never see the podcast or his books as an end in themselves. They can (and for some do) point to a greater journey…but ultimately only Jesus can bring us where we need to be in Father’s home. It’s His work…period full stop : ) Letting you know you’re not alone.
so very true, Sue. i guess my point in posting was an echo of something Wayne had said somewhere, that God is not into pretending, he’s into reality. And there are people like me out there who are still very lost in some ways even while being on this God journey. you really captured it, Sue: it has to be all him. If i think i can somehow clean myself up and then present myself back at father’s doorstep to get a pat on the back, i am more lost than i know. but things are weird enough as is without pretense or delusions about self-help.
Absolutely …you “nailed” it Searching. There are times when our brokenness distorts that reality into something backwards. As in “I’ll first clean myself up, make myself all presentable…then I can go to Jesus.” All through Scripture and in echoes in our own hearts…we know that the invitation is rather “Come, come…and watch Me (Jesus) do the work of healing and cleaning”. Wayne uses “poetic” language of describing Jesus “untangling deep things that are/were twisted”. So in response to His extravagant love…the other cleaning takes shape. Since it’s His work there’s relief in that our performance/driven perfectionism no longer is needed or even valuable. : ) I’m learning this too (through painful processes) and again…you’re not alone.
“The Christian community is not a spiritual sanatorium. The person who comes into a fellowship because he is running away from himself is misusing it for the sake of diversion, no matter how spiritual this diversion may appear. He is really not seeking community at all, but only distraction which will allow him to forget his loneliness for a brief time, the very alienation that creates the deadly isolation of man.”
? Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together: The Classic Exploration of Faith in Community
Hey again Robert in DE,
I don’t know what we would do without the bible, but what we have done with it is beyond comprehension. We have turned it into an idol that is essentially worshiped, we regularly use sounds bites from it without considering context, we all to often mistranslate and misconstrue its words, phrases and concepts, we have used it to muzzle God and finally, and most significantly, we have used it to domesticate The Christ. Yuck!
Having said this, scriptures have relevance and as you stated, “the history of the bible has to be noticed”. The matrix, the context within which it originates and develops, is extremely important. We need to do our best to try to understand the words, phrases and concepts as a 1st century person would have received them.
Here’s an example that hopefully illustrates this point. Just after the time of King Jimmie “The Great Fire of London” took place (1666). It destroyed 2/3’s of the city and St. Paul’s Cathedral was one of its numerous casualties. An architect by the name of Sir Christopher Wren was hired by the monarchy to redesign and oversee the rebuilding of the cathedral. Thirty five years of his life was spent on this project. Just before its completion either the King or Queen (historians are not sure which one) walked through the complex and commented on the structure. They used these three words to describe what they saw; they said that the cathedral was “amusing”, “artificial” and “awful”. If I was Sir Christopher I would have been extremely dismayed and ticked, but he wasn’t. Not only that, he was exceedingly pleased. Why? Because at that time “amusing” meant pleasing, “artificial” meant artfully done and “awful” was something that was full of awe.
Here’s some other English words that have changed over time. “Meat” use to be anything you ate, “Deer” used to be any form of meat and “counterfeit” at one time meant legal tender.
The meaning of words are elastic, not static. They change over time and can even be understood differently based on locality or from person to person in the same locality. Even the words that are rolling off my “pen” are being understood one way by the “penner” and another way by the “pennee”. It may be slight, but there is a difference.
So from the time of Sir Christopher Wren to today (just over 300 years) words have evolved, some dramatically and some not so. Now lets step back 2,000 years. This increases the degree of difficulty 6 to 7 times. Then considered that the words of Christ were most likely spoken in Aramaic, written down in Greek, transferred to Latin, and then the Greek and Latin versions were used to give us what we have today. This increases the degree of difficulty to a point that it makes my head spin.
To some extent, this difficulty has allowed theologians and other “church” leaders to distort scriptures to the whims of their own denomination and/or their individual dominate culture. Much of this is probably done unintentionally. For instance, the last few podcasts by Wayne dealt with, to varying degrees, cults within Christianity. These cults display a culture of control that have had devastating effects on all their members. In my 1st post, I tried to point out that there is a cult that we have overlooked and that nearly all “church leaders” have been promoting. It is the cult of worldly nationalism. It exhibits the most dramatic patterns of control of any cult and it is flourishing within nearly all forms of Christianity. This cult has trumped the message of Christ to such an extent that it has left behind a 17 hundred year history of untold numbers of Christians killing other Christians.
Not only have we transgressed from loving our enemies to killing our enemies, we have hit rock bottom with Christians killing each other in the name of God and country. I shudder when I consider the saying on the Wehrmacht belt buckle “Gott mit uns” (God with us) that most likely originated from “Nobiscum deus” (God with us) which was the battle cry of the late Roman Empire. This represents 1600 years of bloodletting by Christians, all in the name of God.
For the most part, cults are not lying to their members because most firmly believe in their truth. They are deceived and there lies the hideousness; they are blinded by a lie.
Could I be deceived? I guarantee you that I am, I just don’t know where. We are all deceived, it is just a matter of degrees. An in depth understanding of this can be very humbling.
Not understanding words, concepts and matrix has lead to great deception and the taming of The Christ.
Seek THE TRUTH and follow where he leads.
Hey! 🙂 I’m new here and saw this shout out to North Carolina! I am curious….when you say:
“Two weeks ago twenty-one people gathered in North Carolina for the first of a series of conversations about how we come alongside what God is doing to unveil his family in the world, without creating the same institutions and movements that disfigure it with man’s agenda.”
Are you saying that you are coming back to NC for more conversations!? & where!? & can others join the conversation!?
We are on the coast of NC and I’d love to conversate!! 🙂
We have been out of the church-as-business for about 3 years now and I am so amazed at how faithful God is!!! to connect us with others…. in HIS time & way!!! and just amazed at what happens when we just LET GO and trust Him to connect us and focus on building others up.
I admit many days I do get discouraged….but that’s my flesh wanting what I want in my time & way… and I just find some rest…. and then move on again 🙂
Just listening to your first podcast here was like taking a breath of fresh air – yes yes yes!
Thanks for the encouragement.
I am also curious if there’s ever a chance you will write instead of podcast? I learn & can soak so much better with the written word. I will try my best with the podcasts though if that’s all you do.
Hi Randi. No, sorry I wasn’t saying I’d be back for more of those conversations in NC. “First of a series”, meant the first of a number of regional get-togethers as God might open them up in other places, not the first of a series with the group in NC. It does sound like you’re on a wonderful journey learning to live free in God’s gracious life. Resisting the urge to “do more” on our own is certainly one of the big lessons for us all. And, yes, I am writing. Working on a book now called FINDING CHURCH: WHAT IF THERE REALLY IS SOMETHING MORE? Can’t wait to get this one finished!
Can’t wait to read it!!!!!!!! Really. Can not wait. But I have to. 🙂
“So you don’t want to go to church anymore” was so very very impactful on my journey years ago. I can’t say I love the title!!!!! hehe but I did love the book! 🙂
Thank you for sharing your heart. Really. and all that criticism it opens you up to. I trust the Lord took you on a path to really be freed from people pleasing & taking to heart or head what people say about it. I look forward to that place of more maturity in Him and looking to Him alone.
I wanted to share something that’s been a hang up for me of recent. I have such great fellowship with many different people or groups of people…..well not SO MANY….. there’s QUALITY in a handful….. but I think what does bother me a bit is that I feel that I am (or I really am?) the only one that recognizes all our times of fellowship/time of building up/even the relationship itself is Church. Is family. the only that admits that our coming together & loving IS worship & glorifies Him and is a great part of our purpose…perhaps because they are all in the system and have the OTHER definition of Church still.
That annoys me that others don’t recognize that we are being the Church when we are His children together, a family. I know they enjoy our time together…. and they DO encourage me…..and we enjoy each other…. but it’s different when we understand that God made us to do this for each other…. and that this is His will & plan…… and that this is worship & beautiful!!! It’s different when we get together knowing that we are getting together to build each other up!!!!! 🙂
Why does it annoy me that people don’t understand the importance???? or have the same focus??? many times, they think we are just hanging out…. but my focus is always (almost always because i’m not perfect) on the Lord and what He wants me to do for them, with them, speak into them…..build Him up in them. but I don’t feel that from others………
Do I have to have people understand what we are doing….. for me to show love to them? No….. but I can’t really say there is anybody in my life that pours into me… being intentional about building me up in Christ….at least in real life!!……..nobody that gets okay, we are a family/Church and that’s what we are called to do!….other than my husband. He gets it!!! I praise and thank God for that!!
LOVE naturally flows out because of the love He pours into us……we DO always build each other up when our focus is on the Lord…. that’s how He designed it!!!…….I am always encouraged by my fellowship with my close brothers/sisters…..because that is how awesome the Lord is!!
but imagine if they understood/got what was happening, too!? I imagine if they understood how special & what an honor it is to be able to do this for each other. and how this is how we worship the Lord… by loving others and building them up!……..
they wouldn’t be going to church anymore…….
I guess it annoys me even more that I feel the need for everybody to GET what we are doing and the purpose of being together. I annoy myself.
BUT wouldn’t it be so so so so so so much more special if we all understood the REASON we gather!! and that we ARE BEING the Church!!! 🙂
I can’t try to tell people? I have to let them see for themselves!? I have to wait!? I have to just keep on loving/building the relationship and trust the Lord’s timing!?!
I guess perhaps at the root of this is just 1) I want to be able to say I have a Church family…. and I could call them that… and they would be okay with me calling them that!! and they agree!!…. but none of them would be I don’t think…because their church family is the Sunday people…..
maybe at a deeper root…. I want to be able to tell others, when they ask… that I have a Church family….but instead it has to be an explanation/sentence like…. “yes I am part of His Family, the Church”. 🙂 which people just do.not.get!
Perhaps deeper root… .I’m selfish… and I want more people to be focusing buliding me up in Christ? 🙂
Anybody get what is going on here that can speak into me!?!?!
Thanks for your gracious comments, Randi. I’m blessed that some of my things have been part of Father encouraging his work in you. You don’t have to wait long to get a sneak peek at the book I’m working on. I read the first chapter onto a podcast a while back. You can get it here: http: //thegodjourney.com/2013/09/20/shes-alive-and-well. As to your question, yes I know lots of people who have been through that frustration and want people desperately to see what we’re seeing and respond in a way that would be more healthy for all of us. The problem is they can’t see what they can’t see. Until the Spirit prepares their heart to reach out beyond what they’ve always known, they will be perfectly content to keep things the way they are. All you can do is keep loving them where they are at, and not push them to where you are. Your life is an example of something different and when they get hungry enough they will be knocking on your door for help. I’m sorry you don’t have anyone intentionally looking to build you up at the moment, but Jesus will suffice in that department until he does. Just keep living in him and loving, and some day you’ll connect with others who will love you in the same way. And that’s where church begins! Blessings!
Thank you! for your encouraging words 🙂 Sometimes, many times I have to be reminded of these things you’ve said. That I know… but I forget 🙂
I must say.. Our Father has been so amazing (forever!!) but in particular since my journey outside of the business/institution… He truly has been enough. He really has given me a delight and desire for Him and it builds me up!!! AND amazingly enough…. I do find that He does build me up through my brothers/sisters…..without them even trying!! 🙂 How amazing is He that He can do that!? and use anything to build us up!! Use it all for our good & His glory.
That being said…..your words gave me a visual picture….
the Lord really helped me understand my position right now – by thinking of my own children!!!! and the scripture that talks about growth in Him…..
This is what I see…I am an older sibling…. it’s like I’m the oldest child of the children around me….they don’t know how to be a brother/sister yet…. but I can show them how!!! and trust that my parent (Our Father) will teach them eventually… and they will eventually grow from being an infant…. and attention-hogger & milk drinker.
I CAN TRUST THAT I AM NOT LACKING right now!! because the Lord provides for me in the lack of siblings that are old enough to love me like I love them…. and I don’t really know any better anyway….. I just have the dream of close siblings and I know know know that the Lord is going to fulfill it someday!! 🙂 so I will just keep being an older sister and love love love and trust our Father to raise up my siblings around me!! 🙂
and in the meantime…. there ARE many moments of love I can accept from them…. even if not intentional or consistent 🙂
AHHHH but I’m not an elder though! not trying to say I am…… at the ripe age of 30!!! HA 🙂 I’m just an older sister to those around me. <3
and I’m often very whiny and infant like too 🙂
Loved this podcast! Thank you!