It’s been coming up in our discussion the last few days.
The truth is, God lead me to this.
I didn’t expect to discuss this at the closing of this series.
But I believe God wants us to reconsider community within the Church.
And I believe he wants to bring us together.
Like he intended from the beginning.
Like we’ve lost the art of.
Like its a new idea. Though its an old one.
I believe he wants us to rethink how we come together, and why we come together as the family of God.
He wants us to remember that we’re safe together. That we can and must be vulnerable together.
See, you and I have been justified. That is, as a new race in Christ, a new nation whose origins are in Heaven, we’ve been given a new law to live by. A law that leads us in freedom and victory over the darkness.
This law has been written on our hearts and on our minds. It’s a a dynamic with-us law we can access for each unique situation.
But you and I have very little experience living from it. Most of our experience is living in the natural law of sin and death we were conceived in (Rom. 8:2).
So we need each other in this too. We must never believe the lie that our pursuit of God should be kept between us and him alone. Yes, we each have a personal relationship with God that is individual to us and him. But we’d be surprised to discover how helpful community is for learning to live from the Law of the Spirit of Life within us!
In fact, I believe God longs for us to train in this together. We want to band together as a mighty army of God on this dark earth. And training together will make us stronger—sooner and with greater longevity—than training alone will.
“Go therefore and make disciples [learners/trainers]… teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have enjoined you. And behold, I am with you all the days…” (Matt. 28:19 Darby Translation, parenthesis mine)
Let’s deliberately practice following Jesus together. To learn to recognize Jesus’ voice—the Law of the Spirit of Life within us—let’s work “quiet time” into our gatherings. Lets use this time for nothing but quiet listening to his voice. We can do this by…
-communicating how long we’ll break apart for this (15-20 min at least)
-communicating what we’ll specifically seek God for.
-listening with pen and paper (or device and notes app), recording what we each hear
-sharing what we each heard
After this “quiet time”, its imperative that we come back together to share what we heard God say. The purpose of this is threefold: to test the source of the message (was it truly from God?), to grow in recognizing God’s voice (as distinct from the enemy’s), and to zero in on God’s will.
We’re all listening to the same Jesus. Therefore, if it is from him, there will be no contradictions among us. People may hear various assignments or perspectives from God, but they will never be at odds if the words are from him.
Through testing what we hear, we learn more about how God sounds, what he says, and how he works.
We literally come to know him more.
After we discern God’s guidance on the matter we sought him on together, we must obey him.
It’s in obeying him that we learn we can really trust him. He doesn’t send us without supplying for the assignment. It’s when we risk going, that we receive his supply.
When we risk on God together, we all grow together. In strength, in faith, and in love for God and humanity.
Faith is contagious. But left to ourselves, giving in to the doubts of the enemy which quench obedience is far more likely.
Oh friends, lets renew the art of Christian community! But let’s not settle at vulnerability alone. This, on its own, will prove to be self-serving. Let’s do life together for a higher reason and from a higher plane.
Intentionally building communities that are infused, directed, and trained-up by Jesus himself will give us the gift of sharing pursuit, passion, and divine purpose with each other. What joy is found at this juncture!
What JESUS we’ll come to know and trust together!
And what a mighty army of God we’ll grow into on this dark, captive earth!
For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word [of] righteousness [the Law of Spirit of Life within us], being still an infant,. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil. (Heb. 5:13-14, NIV, parenthesis mine)
P.S. If you are interested in pursuing this idea further, I recommend reading For Sinners Only, by A.J. Russel.
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