Are You Hungry and Desperate for More of Christ?

“TO THE SAINTS” Conference 2017! If you have a real hunger and desire for a more biblical and life-giving expression of the church of Jesus Christ then this event is for you!

“TO THE SAINTS” Conference’ focus is spiritual depth, the centrality and supremacy of Jesus Christ, the ministry of LIFE rather than information, an emphasis on knowing Christ practically and expressing Him with others in close-knit community, connecting with others of like mind and vision, and equipping God’s people to fulfill His grand mission and eternal purpose in the earth.

Click on the link below which will lead you to the event website!

via Exciting New Event that You Won’t Want to Miss! — Blog of Milt Rodriguez

Advertisements

Haystacks and Harvest

img_1697bThis is a photo I took on our recent road trip. I took the photo because it reminded me of a dream I had once.  In my dream I saw something similar to this, in that it was a field full of gathered hay stacks, wound with string, ready for collection.

After I had the dream I felt that the Lord was showing me that the hay stacks represented small bodies of saints that were beginning to gather and meet all over the world.  The small groups of saints were ones who are abandoned to Christ and are pursuing Him with all their hearts.  They are embodying His life and are a living testimony of the manifold wisdom of God, to all the powers and principalities of the heavenly realms. Whereas the physical hay has been cut, raked, dried and bailed, these small bodies of saints all over the world have been tested, tried and found true and are being made ready for His works – much like the Bride being prepared and ready for the return of her Bridegroom.

I was encouraged by that dream and this view on our drive in being reminded that there is a ‘spiritual’ church being built together by God. He is building His church and getting her ready.

Are You Really Vulnerable? 

second-1131275_1280

Have you ever seen a movie where a submarine is submersed in the ocean and the enemy above is dropping depth chargers? I saw this in a movie the other week and Derek explained to me how the depth chargers worked and what they were intended to do. Basically, the closer they explode to the sub the more damage they will do. But it’s all about creating pressure. When the charger explodes it creates incredible pressure on the sub so that eventually there’s enough pressure that it starts to split, generally starting in its centre which is the prime place for damage.

Sound familiar?

Well over the last ten days or more I’ve had various things happening and changes occurring in my life – death of a friend, substantial financial adjustments and emotional issues – things that have been impacting my internal world. You might say my ‘centre’ has seemed somewhat vulnerable?

 My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever (Psalm 73:26)

I had a picture of those depth charges come to mind yesterday and subsequently I realised there is some enemy activity trying to sink me with building pressure. Have you ever felt all that pressure pressing so hard against you that your head actually physically hurts? Looking at the submarine picture again, it’s like a tin can being gradually crushed. Have you felt like that? child-1439468_1280

So something else I realised about this kind of enemy activity of creating and building pressure in order to break us, is that it is all external. That’s right, it’s all outside of us. It’s not us, and its definitely not from within.  It doesn’t mean the situations and circumstances aren’t real and valid, but there’s a pressure that is so strong and powerful, and not of this world. It ‘feels’ and ‘appears’ to be beyond our capacity to cope with. That’s something else folks. That’s external.

But you know what? Christ isn’t vulnerable. Christ doesn’t succumb to pressure. He’s completely solid and secure. He’s not in any danger of any pressure or of drowning or of any type of enemy activity. Christ is the overcomer!

I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world. (John 16:33)

That world that Jesus is talking about there, is the spirit of this world.

And guess what else? I’m in Christ! And you’re in Christ, if you are a follower of Him.

For in him we live and move and have our being. (Acts 17:28)

That means we are inside of Him and so if Christ is not vulnerable (and He’s not!), then neither are we!

Abide in me, and I will abide in you…” (John 15:4)

Parables and Flies

So I’m sitting here in the office at home and although it’s a much cooler day, it’s still a bit muggy. So I opened the sliding window and left the timber venetian blinds only just open a little. As I sat there with the cooler breeze coming in I was able to sit in quietness and meditate on the Lord and bring my petitions before Him. Not long into this, came a buzz. Quite a loud buzz.

Outside the window comes a large fly fossicking around the screen trying to get in the window. He had the whole outside world to buzz but he came to my window that I only just opened, at the time that I had set aside to commune with the Lord. Typical isn’t it.

Jesus spoke in parables a lot, so people could understand. I suppose parables are like shadows and types, that speak of a reality. So in a way, this incident with the buzzing intrusive large fly, served as a parable or shadow/type of how the devil tries to penetrate our prayer life but simply can’t.

For instance;

There was a woman who locked herself away in a room to pray. As she prayed a fly came buzzing trying to get in the window. Noticing the loud buzzing sound and watching the fly, the woman decided not to fuss and bother with attempts to whoosh it away but decided to wait in quietness and keep her heart set on the Lord. After a few moments the fly flew away and didn’t return.

And so it is with God’s people, when setting aside time to commune with Him, that devil, that Beelzebub (it almost sounds like ‘buzz’ doesn’t it?), comes along to try and cut in, tarnish, disturb and corrupt the time with the Lord. Beelzebub seeks to penetrate the prayers of the saints with so many distractions.

Thoughts of others, self and other matters, crazy thoughts and seemingly reasonable thoughts, yet all are distractions designed to draw the saints away from communing in that sacred holy of holies with God.

Yet if the child of God will remain rested in Christ, unperturbed yet alert, the devil will eventually give up and go away.

🙂

“If I Were a Christian Now” – A Cry From The Old Testament Believers

Please listen to this video before reading….(men the clip will apply to you too so hang in there)…

 

At first I thought there was something just naturally beautiful about this clip. Initially I liked it because the ladies in it, all different ages, have grey hair. I love that they’ve accepted their grey hair because although I am only 48, I am learning to accept mine. So I thought wow, that’s cool, maybe there’ll be a revolution among Western women to let their hair be its natural colour, now that’d be something!

I noticed more women were ‘liking’ the video which I ended up sharing on my Facebook timeline so I watched it a few more times. It seemed to really resonate with the cry of so many women’s hearts in this Western society. It seemed to reach right into the core of our beings as women including mine.

Now, I’ve never considered myself to be any kind of ‘women’s lib’ advocate. To be honest, and please don’t be offended, it’s just never concerned me that much. Call me naïve, ignorant, lazy, call me whatever, it’s just not an issue I’ve bothered with. So I was kind of surprised at this deep reaction inside of me to the cry of the women in this video. Then it hit me.

It’s the cry for the church! I began to hear the words of these women and see the expression in their faces, as that of the Lord in and for His bride! I could hear the plea of the Lord’s heart for her to stop agonising over works and exhausting herself with self-effort as though she can be anything or do anything at all in her own strength. I began to hear how ludicrous it is for the church to let herself come under bondage again to the law. Try hard, try harder, fail, give up, try again, try hard, try harder…Oh! It’s painful and sad just to think about it.

I began to hear the soft gentle whisper of our Lord, saying “Come unto Me! All you who are weary, and heavy laden…I will give you rest for your souls…my burden is light! My yoke is easy!” I began to hear the word of the Lord to His very own body, to His very own bride, to His very own family.

I think these women can be representing the voice of the church, the bride of Christ, calling out to all her members, to say come out from ‘works’ and just ‘rest’ in Jesus. If we listen and watch this video through the eyes of what the Lord is saying to us, His church, I think we’ll be relieved to once again be reminded that “It is finished”.

I can hear the saints of the Old Testament crying out to us saying that now they understand the freedom of Christ, why are we living like they used to? They’re saying that if they were us living here in our time, they would embrace this incredible Christ and the freedom Christ died for and not return to being bound by the law with all it’s works – serving on the committee, having to prepare a sermon every week, be on the visiting team, run a new discipleship class, attend the conferences, run the youth group, play the drums in the ‘worship’ band, be early for every ‘service’, attend the prayer meetings, contribute to the building fund, join the street witnessing team, bring people to church, go to bible college, become a strong church leader…and so on. You know how it goes.

After beginning with the Spirit are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort? asks Paul of the Galatian church (Galatians 3:3).

When Christ came and set us free from the law by fulfilling it for us, He took away the danger of us burning out from religion.

Some quotes from the video:

…Pressure to be the perfect mother, the perfect wife, the perfect friend….to be successful, a boss, a leader…

…If I had my time again I wouldn’t create a To-Do’ list, I’d create a ‘To-Don’t Do-list…

…I’d give myself the time to indulge myself in the things I now understand are the most important…

Christian, the most important is Christ Himself. Let’s indulge in Him and Him alone. Let’s give up on the expectations of the world and the law of religion that do not belong to us.  Let’s stop concerning ourselves with ‘doing’ and just ‘be’. Let’s ‘be’ the church, the bride, the beloved of our Lord. Let’s indulge in Him and in doing so find our identity, our purpose, our joy and our rest.

41But the Lord answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; 42but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her. Luke 10:41-42.

Now, listen to the video again, with your spirit.

Why Being a Christian Can Seem Hard Sometimes

tools-498202_1920

Being a Christ one, is all about a surrendered life, isn’t it? And so there are costs we never even knew of. Sometimes I sense the Lord doing something in me and I can’t even really tell what it is. I’m generally experiencing some kind of discomfort, pain or suffering in a way that I can’t put into words. It’s not necessarily that my external circumstances have changed and by anyone’s account my life appears to be going along swimmingly. But there is an apprehension that something is being pulled at, perhaps pulled out, or prodded, deep within me. Perhaps it’s another death of some kind, more learning to let go of my own soul-life on a deeper or further level.

However, I’m learning that during these times I can remain confident and assured that He is right beside me and is in fact leading me in it all because it’s as though I can hear the craftsman busy at work. Chiselling, bang- bang! with the hammer. I can just imagine Him there covered in dust from the stone He is carving into, sawdust from the timber He is sanding. I can even imagine power tools grinding away at times and all the while not knowing what He’s up to. But He is working away diligently without telling me anything.

He might be breaking things apart in order to change the shape or chiselling away at a better design. He might be hammering in nails to connect pieces to other pieces. He might be sawing off sections that need to be discarded. He might be sanding and polishing. Whatever He’s up to, He’s working to a plan. And that plan is ‘Him’. HE is the plan. God the Father, by His Spirit, through the life of His Son in us, is always conforming us more and more into the likeness of His Son Jesus, the Christ.

For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; (Romans 8:29)

He has one goal in mind and that is to see His Son gloriously expressed as head over all things.

And He made known to us the mystery of His will according to His good pleasure, which He purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfilment – to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ. (Ephesians 1:9-10)

God has already achieved this outside of time, since He is not subject to time and dates, though we may not yet see it manifested with our earthly sight. This is why the scripture above says “when the times will have reached their fulfilment”. This is also why we must live by faith and not by sight.  We remember the words Jesus spoke on the cross when He breathed His final breath, “It is finished”. How has God done this already? What did Jesus mean when He said “It is finished”?

…by setting aside in his (Christ’s) flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two (Jews & Gentiles) thus making peace, and in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross… (Ephesians 2:15)

God has created this one body, this new humanity, this one new man in His Son, through Jesus’ death on the cross. There Christ conquered the power of sin and death thereby making the way open for all who believe in Him as God’s Son, to be reconciled with God the Father. This new humanity is the body of believers, i.e. the church – whether Jews or  Gentiles i.e. Greek, Chinese, Australian, Italian, Lebanese, African etc, male or female.  This is a new race in which Christ dwells as it’s head.

And in Him you (plural) too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by His Spirit. (Ephesians 2:22).

We see and experience with our physical senses a fallen world all around us that is rapidly increasing in darkness. So one could ask just how is Christ manifested as head over all things in the heavens and the earth?

His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, according to His eternal purpose which He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord (Ephesians 3:10-11).

It is through the church that God displays His manifold wisdom to all powers and dominions, and this has been accomplished in Christ because it’s only in Christ that the church exists.  As members of His Church, His body, this one new man, this new race – we are the bearers of Christ’s image. This is the plan. Christ is God’s plan. And God, through Christ, is having each one of us, each member of this one new man, being conformed more and more into His image so that Christ is expressed for who He is, head over all things.

Now Christ is the head and no head exists without a body just as no body exists without a head. So the head and the body are one. Just as your head and your body are all part of you, so Christ’s head and his body are all part of Him. So He is in fact both the head and the body. So it stands to reason that we, who collectively are also His body, are being conformed into His likeness. 

This means ongoing work inside of us as individuals. Is it any wonder Jesus’ earthly vocation before going into ministry was as a craftsman? Some say He was a carpenter, some say a stone mason, but either way He was a craftsman, a builder. It was a reflection of His spiritual ministry. Jesus created new things while working as a young man for his earthly adopted-father Joseph. In Jesus the Christ, the resurrected son of God, we have been made a new creation.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come (2 Corinthians 5:7, ESV)

Our lives as disciples of Jesus Christ are all about being conformed into His image. This means being spiritually chiselled, broken, repaired, refined, re-shaped, hammered, sanded and polished so that His church becomes a glorious masterpiece. Not displaying us, but displaying Him!

…that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death;in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. (Philippians 3:10)

Jesus showed us the way of the Christian. He worked as a skilled craftsman. He ministered as a skilled craftsman and He still does. What is He building? He is building a dwelling place in which He and His Father can live and He can express Himself as Head, to the glory of the Father.

Lord, build Your dwelling place. Help us to both corporately and individually, live a surrendered life in the hands of the Great Craftsman, that we the church might be Your masterpiece so that Your manifold wisdom is displayed to all the heavens and all the earth. Amen.

What You’ve Got To Know About The Christian Life – An Interview By Rocky – Part 2

Figaro 001 (2)

Hi everybody (& especially to all dog lovers)! Rocky here & welcome to my second guest blog post where I continue my extraordinary interviewing skills with Donna!

If you missed the first part of this interview you can go to it by clicking on this link here Previous Post. I suggest you check that out before reading on so that this one makes sense.

In this second interview, I continue to discuss with Donna this whole ‘Christian life beyond salvation’ thing we were talking about. Unfortunately, I’d been up to a bit of mischief earlier that morning and subsequently, needed a good wash! So to save time, we conducted this interview whilst I was having a bath…

IMG_1168

Rocky: Well, Donna….(gurgle gurgle) welcome to our continuation of my interview  guest blog post.

Donna: Thanks Rocky, pleasure to be here. (keep still!)

Rocky: So, we finished off last time when I had found that old shmacko under my blanket…

Donna: Well, yes, um, and we were talking about how big Jesus is and how much of Him there is to discover, so much more than just our salvation.

Rocky:  So how did you find out there was more to Jesus than what you’d always known?

Donna: Well, I think we have to return to that word ‘revelation’. Like we’ve said, revelation only comes from the Holy Spirit, it’s not something we can bring about ourselves. Everything in this Christin life is by God, for God and through God. God is always calling us to know Him more. So He introduces circumstances and people in our lives that will lead us to a point where we realise we have a certain lack or a need as far as knowing God is concerned.

I remember reading from Watchman Nee once, how revelation comes when there’s a need. So for example in my life, when I observed my husband’s Christian walk I realised that I didn’t know Jesus in the same way. I realised that my emphasis in my understanding was on God the Father only and that the name ‘Jesus’ was a little awkward for me. It was like when I said His name, I was trying to be comfortable with it, but I wasn’t completely.  So there was my need…..I needed a revelation of Jesus!

Rocky: Ohhh, right. (don’t get soap in my eyes!) So there was the need, and then what happened?

Donna: Well, I suppose the Lord made me more aware of that need over a number of weeks. It became more painful and obvious that I didn’t know Jesus Christ intimately, Himself. So I began to ask God to reveal His Son to me. And then, one morning the Lord gave me a vision of Jesus and with it came this new understanding that EVERYTHING is about Jesus. That was the revelation and it blew all my old paradigms out the window!

Rocky: What sort of paradigms were they?

Donna: A whole bunch of things – the way I looked at prayer, tithing, scripture, worship, ministry, gifts of the Spirit, especially the church, the kingdom of God, God’s purpose, what actually took place through Christ’s death on the cross, and so much more, what it means to live by the Spirit. Some of these aspects of the Christian life were just that – aspects of Christianity, rather than Christ Himself. I had embraced these ‘things’ through faith and through the filters of my religious past but not subjectively by revelation. Not all in my experience had been life to me.

Rocky: Oh, so it sounds like it was ‘stuff’ that you knew, but not actually Jesus?

Donna: Spot on! Jesus is a Person! When God opened my spiritual eyes to see Jesus and to understand there was so much more to Him than I’d ever known, He then put the hunger and desire in me to want to discover this incredible Christ. So yes you’re right Rocky.

Rocky: Tell me more about the hunger and desire to know Jesus more…(can I have a treat when I’m finished with this bath?)

Donna: ( Yes Rocky, only if you don’t shake everywhere!)…Well that’s the thing. I realised I didn’t need or want to know more ‘about‘ Him, I needed to know ‘Him‘ Himself. (I talk more about this in my post Knowing Him).  So, there was the need to know Jesus, and of-course God wants us to know Jesus. God the Father even told Peter and his companions when Elijah and Moses appeared with Jesus, to listen to Him, Jesus! There was Elijah representing all the old testament prophets and there was Moses representing the law. Now God was saying “Here is my Son, listen to Him”! So He put the need in me to know Him. Then came the revelation and then the desire to see that revelation become a reality in my own life, to become a part of me. Learning that Jesus is everything became a need to experience Him as my everything.

I mean, listen to these verses…

For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities– all things have been created through Him and for Him. 17He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. 18He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything (supremacy). 19 For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, 20and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven.…(Colossians 1:17-19)

and…

…but Christ is all, and in all…(Colossians 3:11)

Rocky: I see. You’re saying He’s everything. Sure sounds like it! So can you tell me specifically, apart from salvation, what else is He then?

Donna:  I’ll list a few of His characteristics….that aren’t just things about Him, but who He is…

He is our Teacher, He is Joy, our Peace, He is the Prince of Peace! He is love of-course, He is the air that we breathe, He is creativity, He is light, He is our provision in everything. He is our sustaining strength, He is our Future and our Hope, He is the Resurrection, He is Truth, He is the Gospel, He is our life!

He is our purpose, He is our capacities, He is the song in our heart, He is our fulfilment and satisfaction. He is our portion, He is our completeness, He is Righteousness, Holiness, Perfection.  He is our suffering, He is the narrow path, He is the whole purpose of God, He is the fullness. He fills the universe, He is the exalted and eternal King, He is the food we eat, He is the drink we drink, He is our Rest, He is our best Friend, He is our brother, He is our Lord!

He is the answer to every need, He is bigger than everything else, bigger than any sin, any problem, any threat. His riches are unsearchable, His kingdom is endless, He is mercy, He is grace, He is the River of Life, the Tree of Life, the Good Shepherd, the gate and the Gatekeeper, He is our healer, He is healing itself! He is the joy of the whole earth! He is His Father’s delight!

Shall I keep going?

Rocky: I could be stuck in this bath for hours if you do that! (Can I shake now?) Wow, He sure is more than just salvation and salvation is pretty awesome!

Donna: Oh yes, He is certainly our Saviour! And that’s where it all starts for us. When we come to that point of salvation in our lives, turning from a life lived without Him, to a life lived in surrender to Him as our King and Saviour, we discover just who this Christ is and what He’s done!

When we are saved (become a Christian) this following scripture from Galatians 2:20 becomes our reality ….

It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me and this life I live in my body, I live by the faith of Jesus Christ…

So we don’t have to live by our own strength, abilities, intellect, wisdom or will. We have been crucified! So now it is Jesus living inside of us instead! All that Christ is, lives in me, lives inside His Church, every member of His body. All that He is! Can you imagine that? Can we even fathom all that He is? God wants us to know all that Christ is, so we can rest from our labours and let Him live instead.

(Yes, you can shake now….arghh!)

Rocky: (Ahhh, that’s better…) So mum, if Jesus is all those things and even more, no wonder God wants people to know Him. (Treat please?)

Donna: Yep, and this is why I do my blog. (Here’s your biscuit…) I am hoping that by sharing the little bit of Christ that He’s helped me come to know, experience and love, other believers will be encouraged to know and experience Him as much more than just their salvation.

Rocky: I see. I think I’m finally getting it mum. If Jesus is all this, I can see how everything is about Him. He wants us to know Him, shows us our need of Him, He reveals Himself to us, He gives us the desire to know Him more, He changes us, He gets more room in our lives, He is expressed because it’s more Him than us and…wow…..He is amazing.

Donna: That’s beautiful Rocky. (Come here little fella, let me give you a snuggle while I dry you off…)

Rocky:  There’s just one thing I don’t understand yet.

Donna: What’s that Rocky?

Rocky: Well, I noticed when you were telling us all these wonderful things that Jesus is, you said He was our suffering and our narrow path? What did you mean by that? 

Donna: That’s a really important part of who Christ is and really the true Christian life cannot be lived without it. Suffering with Christ is key to knowing Him deeply and that subject really deserves a full blog post of its own. I think we might need to leave that for another day Rocky…

Rocky: Well, maybe we better end the interview here for now. Maybe we’ll do another one another time? (I think I’m getting the hang of this interviewing/guest blogging thing). 

Donna: Sounds good Rocky. This has been fun. And your interview skills are surprisingly good for a shoodle (shitzu x poodle).

Rocky: Thanks mum!

********************************************

So thanks everyone for reading my guest blog interview with Donna Batty (tee hee, that’s you mum). I hope you’ve enjoyed it as much as we have and if you’d like to hear from us again then just let Donna know in the comments section.

In the meantime, I’m getting snuggles off mum to keep me warm after my bath!

So this is Rocky Batty, interviewer and guest blogger extraordinaire, signing off! Woof Woof!

IMG_0411

 

 

 

 

 

So it’s ‘organic’ church but God still needs a facilitator, right?

people-467438_1280

Organic meaning: relating to or derived from living matter; living, live, animate, biological, natural

So some of us who have stepped outside of the traditional and institutional system of church life as we have known it, call our meeting together ‘organic’ church. Now, I know there are many brothers and sisters in the body of Christ who meet this way and although once described their meetings as ‘organic’ are turning away from the expression ‘organic’ church.  This is because as they rightly say, it has become a term used to label a whole lot of different ways of meeting together that are actually not truly organic at all!

Now ‘true organic’ church is not a denomination or a model, it’s not even a name or a noun. The word ‘organic’ is an adjective, it is a description of the ekklesia  NOT a brand. Therefore, by calling our meetings ‘organic’ church we are describing the way in which the Lord Himself functions among us, the members of His body.

Organic by its very ‘nature’ (it is NATURAL or in this context Supernatural) is not interfered with by man, just as organic food is not interfered with by chemicals, fertilizers and pesticides! That means there’s no need for man or woman to facilitate in a truly organic expression of Jesus Christ. Jesus can do it ALL Himself because the ekklesia IS Himself just in many parts being brought together.

In 2012 seven of us here on the Central Coast of New South Wales, Australia embarked on meeting together as an ‘organic’ expression of Christ. We had spent some time with Milt & Mary Rodriguez who are workers in planting groups like ours and most of us had read Pagan Christianity, Reimagining Church and Finding Organic Church.  Still, none of us were sure how to do this without having a leader or facilitator although knew that the absence of such a position was key to it truly being an ‘organic’ expression of the Lord.

Well, here we are, coming up to our third birthday and we’re all still here. No-one has the position or responsibility of leader/facilitator/preacher/prayer/worship leader/pastor/elder/teacher. It’s a miracle. And it’s taken a lot of ‘dying to self’ and it still does and it always will.

We are not in any way perfected in this ‘organic’ church life together, and we are always susceptible to returning to old ways of organised Christianity because that’s our background and our human nature. However, having walked this journey together now for this long, I’m pretty secure in the fact that if one of us were to wander into doctrines and leadership tendencies etc, the rest of us would gently steer that brother or sister back to focussing on Christ and letting go of all the ‘self’ stuff. In fact, we’ve seen this happen and it has been graciously received. Another miracle.

Now, all this isn’t to say that when we gather together there isn’t preaching, ministering, prayer, singing, scripture reading, teaching, prophecy, or even leadership. On the contrary, there are all of these.  I used to think of ‘organic’ church in terms of there being no leadership which I had trouble believing (knowing myself and the nature of humanity). However, now what I see occurring is that EVERY member leads at different times, but UNDER THE HEADSHIP OF JESUS CHRIST AS THE HOLY SPIRIT FACILITATES. (I know capitals means shouting but I’m not really shouting, I’m just trying to make my point very clear 🙂 )

So we say it’s ‘organic’ church but God still needs a facilitator? He already has one – His Holy Spirit.

You see, God doesn’t need any one of us to be facilitator. He can do it Himself. He really can! How do I know this for certain? I’m experiencing it. I’ve been experiencing it for three years. It’s no longer a hope, it’s now my testimony! Woo hoo! (Click on this link for another brother’s testimony ( http://www.marklake.org/christian-communities-hierarchy-exclusive-clergy-exist-possible/)

Do you believe Jesus can do it Himself?

Sometimes we, just like our little group when we started in 2012, cannot fathom that Jesus can actually run a meeting.  We seem able to fathom that all creation was made by and through Him and that He fills the universe but can He really run a church meeting? (sounds pretty silly doesn’t it?) We get all caught up in questions like;

  • How will we know when to stop eating and start getting spiritual?
  • Who will set the agenda?
  • Who will tell us when it’s time to sing, if we are going to sing, and what we will sing? Who will start the singing?
  • Who will read the bible and when should it be read? Should it be read at all?
  • How will we know when to pray or stop praying?
  • How will we know what to talk about?
  • Don’t we have to learn something?
  • Don’t we have to have some teaching?
  • Who’s going to address any issues?”

…etcetera, etcetera, etcetera! (in the words of the late Yul Brynner!)

Folks, I’ve gotta tell ya, Jesus can do it all. Yes He can.

“But how?” you ask. Good question.  The answer is Jesus can lead a church meeting/gathering by us laying down all of our agendas. In other words, if we decrease He can increase. This means laying down our preferences, doctrines, practises, talents, traditions, dreams, spiritual ambitions etc, and bearing the cross with one another. By bearing the cross I mean preferring one another over ourselves, giving up the rights to our own lives.

Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends (John 15:13). The word ‘life’ in this verse is the Greek word ‘psuchè which means soul-life).

Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. (Philippians 2:3-4).

So do we think this is easy for us to do? No way! It goes against our very human nature and that’s why something organic can’t be mixed with man’s touch and still be organic. That defies all sensibility. Either a thing is organic or it is not. Either Christ is the Head or He is not. Any mix and it is no longer organic or no longer led by Christ.

Of-course, Jesus has now constrained Himself to His body, which is the church. So Jesus has chosen to live in and through us to express Himself so that He will be exalted and His sovereignty will be displayed as a witness to all powers and principalities. He expresses Himself, THROUGH the members of the body but it is HIS Headship, HIS life, HIS personality that is being expressed as the Holy Spirit facilitates Christ’s Headship. That means, not our charisma, talents, skills, abilities.

This is great news people! Christ is able! God has it all sorted in His Son. But it’s through the laying down of our own lives, that He has the room to function as He wants to. So let’s let Him be Head and trust Him, as we take our hands completely and utterly off His Church.

Let’s let go and let God be God, He really is pretty clever 🙂

Comments welcome 🙂

 

What You’ve Got To Know About The Christian Life – An Interview By Rocky – Part 1

IMG_1118Welcome to Drawing From The Well’s first ever Guest Blog post!

Yup, I’m a dog. My name is Rocky and Donna, the author of this blog, is my mother.

The way I came to be a guest blogger is, I noticed she’s become very busy lately, in her office. So I trotted on in there one day and asked just what she was up to. Well, I was so intrigued that we decided it might be fun for me to interview her! (tail wagging). We had such a ball (ball?? did somebody say ball??) and there was so much ground to cover, we thought it would be better still, to turn the interview into a little series of posts. So -here is our very first interview together with me as ‘interviewer extraordinaire’ as well as guest blogger!

Rocky: Hey mum, why are you on your laptop so much more these days?

Donna: Well Rocky, I’m working on my blog ‘drawing from the well’.

Rocky: You’ve been writing on there since November 2014, but you seem busier than usual, what’s changed?

Donna: Well, while I’m not working, it seems like every day is an opportunity to see more of Jesus & I feel like the Lord is really encouraging me to share my journey with others who are interested. This is a great way of doing it. What’s changed of late is that my hunger to connect with other believers who want to share a deeper revelation of Jesus Christ has deepened.

Rocky: I see…..but how is blogging helping with that hunger? (hmmm, I’m getting hungry now…when’s dinner by the way?)

Donna: (Dinner’s hour’s away Rocky, you know that). Well, I’ve discovered through blogging that there are many other believers out there who have so much of Christ to share and who are equally hungry and desperate even, to connect with the wider body of Christ. I find that by connecting with these brothers and sisters and reading their blogs, I am seeing more of Christ and I hope that’s what happens for them when they read what I write too.

Rocky: Ok, great. Is that the only reason you’re blogging and can I have a biscuit?

Donna: Good question Rocky and no you can’t. No, also there are so many believers who are ‘lost’ out there, having left church life as they’ve known it and are disillusioned, confused and lonely, many who have never had a revelation of Jesus Christ Himself! Just like I didn’t have a revelation of Jesus until 4 years ago when I’d already been a Christian for 38 years!

Rocky: Wow, that seems crazy! It’s a bit sad there are others like that.

Donna: Yes it is sad but Jesus is always found when we truly seek Him, that’s one of the things that makes Him so cool.:-)

Rocky: I don’t really understand. How can someone be a christian for so many years and not have a revelation of Jesus Himself? Don’t people become christians in the first place because they’ve had a revelation of Jesus?

Donna: Well, you’re right Rocky. People become christians firstly because the Holy Spirit has drawn them to Him, so even this is by God’s sovereignty. And people become christians by believing in and accepting Jesus as the Son of God and their Saviour, and the One who forgives sins. Jesus said : No-one comes to the Father but by Me: So there has to be some level of insight into Jesus to do that, you’re definitely right there Rocky.  But ‘becoming’ a christian, is only the first step. That’s our initial salvation and it’s just like opening the door to a house, stepping inside and standing in the entry. 

Rocky: What do you mean? Do you mean there’s more to being a christian than salvation?

Donna: You’re a very clever boy! (Rocky wags tail) Salvation is that initial transportation from darkness into Light, from death to Life, from the kingdom of this world into the Kingdom of Heaven. Sticking with the analogy of entering a big house, the entry is just inside the front door and there’s so much more to a house than just the entry! So salvation is like moving from outside the house, to inside the house and the house is Jesus Himself!

Rocky: I think I get it, but you better explain more (while I finish off this shmacko treat I just found buried under my blanky…mmmm)

Donna: Righto, the thing is Rocky, this Jesus is sooooo big! He is enormous! The bible says He fills the universe and His kingdom has no end! How big is that?

Rocky: Wow! That’s huge! (crunch crunch) So I guess you’re saying that there’s heaps more to a house than just the entry, there’s heaps more to explore of Jesus beyond the point of salvation? Especially if He fills the universe!

Donna: You bet there is! Heaps of christians set up camp in the entry, just inside the front door and don’t even know they’re in this incredibly enormous extravagant house that is just waiting to be discovered! They think that’s all there is.

Rocky: Wow, it sounds really exciting to know Jesus like that. So why do people stay in the entry of their salvation and not go looking around to discover more of Jesus? Is that what you did for all those years? And what’s this got to do with that word ‘revelation’ you used?

Donna: One question at a time little fella. Let’s see…..people stay at the entry point of their salvation for lots of reasons, and yes it’s just like how I was for all those years Rocky. Sometimes we stay there because other believers who show us in, have stayed there and they don’t even realise there’s more. Sometimes we stay there because we’re comfortable there and believe there might be too much risk if we step further in and look for more. Sometimes even though other believers have gone on ahead of us and are calling to us from other rooms, per say, we’re just a bit blind or deaf, possibly even prideful or simply immature. I was one of those!

Rocky: So how did it change for you then?

Donna: That takes us back to your previous question, “what’s this got to do with the word revelation?” A huge part of the Christian life is all about revelation. Revelation means to have something that was not made known to us, revealed to us. Like you said before, we first come to Jesus by revelation by the Holy Spirit, that God even exists. Imagine that house again.  So the house is Jesus. The front door that you enter through is called ‘revelation’ into Christ. And then every door after that is another revelation further into Christ. So Jesus Christ is the house and the doors and every room.

Rocky: Oh I get it now. So….(tail beginning to wag)… if I think of it in ‘dog’ terms, it’s like when you first rescued me. That was my salvation. I’d gone from being lost to being found. But years on, I roam all around the house we live in, wherever I want and whenever I want, you take me out in your car, we go for walks together, you give me food and drink, you massage me, play with me, look after me when I’m sick, give me lots of cuddles & treats and call me your baby boy! Oh wow mum! My life is so much more than just being rescued! I’m blown away by how awesome it is!

Donna: Oh Rocky!!! Sounds like you just received a revelation!! You and I both! See how you now understand something wonderful about this life you have that you didn’t realise a moment ago? Now you have a greater insight into just what your being rescued really meant for you. That’s exactly how it is with Jesus! This christian life is a house of many doors, that by revelation, lead us into a deeper and richer knowledge of Jesus and we begin to see more and more just how increasingly glorious and wonderful He is!

Rocky: Wow, this is very exciting! I’m thirsty for more! But we’ll have to leave it there for now folks, so be sure to tune in again for our next post in a few weeks time and hear all about exploring this great big Jesus! (that’s Jesus, not ‘cheeses’…mmmm, I looove cheese)

IMG_0882

TO BE CONTINUED…

Are you like many other believers worldwide, desiring a deeper journey in knowing the Lord and just can’t find others to share this with? Then this might help – Go to http://www.thedeeperchristianlife.com and follow the provided guidelines to become part of a new online community of like-minded christians. See you there!

Perfect Harmony in the Hands of the Kind Master

Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” (Genesis 1:26)….

God saw all that He had made, and it was very good. (Genesis 1:31) …

For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities – His eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. (Romans 1:20)

creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God. (Romans 8:21)

…Jesus. He must remain in heaven until the time comes for God to restore everything, as He promised long ago through His holy prophets…(Acts 3:21)

The clip below is just a glimpse, yet a beautiful expression, of the harmonious relationship God intended between man and animal.  (And the music is incredible).  We know that this relationship will one day be restored in its perfected state in God’s Son, who is the sum of all things. Hallelujah.

Even more than that,  in this clip there is a great image of the strong willed and independent human race (represented by the horse) – until we meet our One True Master, who by His love and Divine nature, intimately connects with us on a level no-one else can and we willingly surrender ourselves into the safety of His hands.

Our God is our kind Master. In our True Master’s hands, we become malleable, willing participants in His mercy. The joy of our love displays the glory of God to the world.

Note the time and energy put into the hidden and private relationship before being displayed to the outside world – a great picture of the hidden work of the Holy Spirit in our lives, our training, learning and preparation.

…and as you watch, see the beauty of the unity of the body in submission to the Head, even unto Christ.

I hope this clip touches you as it did me.