Over at 3rdrace.org the theme for this month is ‘Body-Life 101’. Please check it out for my post there today called “What I Didn’t Know About Body-Life”.
Hi brothers and sisters,
There’s so much attention and media time given these days to singing and the worship and elevation of those who sing. Our televisions are filled with shows like American/Australian Idol, Australia/Brittain’s Got Talent and The Voice. I must admit, I’m pretty sick of it. But there is a different kind of singing that thrills me and it clearly delights the Lord’s heart immensely.
I’ve just been reflecting on some words some saints put to the old familiar tune of “Oh What a Beautiful Morning” and I see something beautiful of the Lord’s oneness with His church, His bride, come through in the words. Sometimes it helps us to capture the Spirit in the words of a song if we actually remove the tune so if you’re not familiar with the tune thats ok!
The words are addressed to a corporate gathering of saints and go like this…..
Holy ones (that’s us), do you hear when we’re singing it’s the voice of the Lord we are bringing?
He gave us His life that we might be His wife
And as she is singing she hears His reply…..
“Oh what a beautiful woman”!
Read it a couple more times.
What I saw in these words is the oneness of the Bride with her Bridegroom. That as she (corporate expression of His life) sings His praises, it is His life that indwells her and sings through her! The Lord is actually glorifying Himself through the praises of His people! Wow! And to the shame of the powers and authorities in heavenly realms.
As if thats not enough to meditate on for weeks! But what really caught the attention of my spirit in these words is that as we, the corporate body and bride of Christ, sing His praises together something wonderful happens. With our spiritual sense of hearing, that is in our spirit, we hear the Lord loving and adoring His bride! We hear Him singing “Oh! What a beautiful woman!”
Now isn’t that just the most wonderful and the closest relationship anyone could ever imagine?
“…He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.” Zephaniah 3:17.
Oh! What a wonderful Lord!! He’s The Voice! He’s Eternity’s Idol!
It’s the 12th of the 12th, 2015 and here I am sitting in my new office for the first time, in the new house the Lord has given me and my family. God has been faithful as always. We moved in here on the 27th of November and what a ride this last month has been. Some of you have been following my blog posts on our situation regarding moving house and how the Lord has been revealed to us so beautifully through it all so I am delighted to now share the next chapter (but not the last) on our move.
For a re-cap if you haven’t been following, you can read the following posts ……
We have moved from a land of wide open space looking out onto plains and paddocks ready for development by the father and son landlords, to an established land of fruit trees and shade, tucked away in semi-suburbia. It is a large block of land offering refreshment with the biggest shadiest mulberry tree I’ve ever seen. There’s an apple, a pear, a lime and a lemon tree, a pool for this Summer season we’ve just entered here in Australia and water from three different sources. Water is sourced from town water, tank water and a well :-).
To the right of us is an agricultural farm for the high school (yes it does get a little noisy) and so our neighbours are sheep and chooks, literally at our window and I think soon there’ll be baby lambs arriving, it’ll be our very own navity scene in time for Christmas! To the left of us is a long vacant block at the rear of a house which is down on the street, while our house is on a battle-axe block with the vacant land down on the street.
Funnily enough, (and praise the Lord that I am learning to see the funny side of His ways) the vacant block at the front of our house currently has a development application in council and we are told that ‘eventually’ our landlord will develop our block also. So once again we have come into a land that is intended for development – and as a sister from our group commented yesterday, this is a reflection of the life of the church and how the Lord is always about development, change, transformation, moving us on in Him and taking us wherever He leads us. Great stuff!
Derek and I are really beginning to get the picture that we do not belong to this earth and are not settled here but rather we are nomads on this planet for our home is in Christ Himself and His body (which are one anyway) and ultimately in His heavenly kingdom, the full resurrection after this earthly life. So we have a six month lease and I wouldn’t at all be surprised if we have to move at that time or shortly after, although we’ll wait and see. It’s up to the Lord after all!
My mother has her own area of the house for herself but still allowing for interaction, our daughter has her own large bedroom, we have our ensuite and the three doggies are all very happy with so many trees to choose from! Ahhh….the God who meets all our needs 🙂
The most exciting thing for me and Derek on a practical level, is that we are now pretty much centre of the various geographical locations where the rest of the saints live, whom we are sharing community life with. Yay!! A big yay!!! This means we can be together more often, sharing a quick or lengthy drop-in coffee and chat, can pick each other up for gatherings, can more readily change venues if a hosting family has to cancel, and generally be much more available for body life. Just yesterday I was able to meet a sister for lunch at her favourite café and it was only a 15 minute drive at 60kms per hour instead of 40 minutes at 110ks! And how much easier this will be for our brothers and sisters than having to pack up their kids and travel out to the sticks where we used to be.
While we are still getting used to our new ‘temporary’ dwelling, with all its new sounds, smells and layout, still boxes to unpack etc (although we are continuing to cull) there is much the Lord has done in and shown us over this period of transition and I would like to share some of these with you over the next number of blog posts. Here’s some of them….
- Letting go & Not looking back
- Taking the land for all it’s worth before HE moves us on
- Letting go of anxiety and remaining in Rest – Christ as our Rest
- God as a God of completion –the final day – the final hour
- A place where the Son can lay His head
I’m not sure what order I’ll write these posts and whether or not more will arise or I will feel not to share some of them as the weeks of reflection go on, but I know the Lord has done significant work in both Derek and myself through all of this and so I want to wait on Him about what and how to share. I am still very much ruminating on what the Lord has done!
So until my next post, I hope you like the few pics of the new place, a picture of Christ as our Land of Refreshment (sorry they’re only taken on my iPhone so they’re only a reflection, not as crisp as The Real Life!)
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 🙂
On my walk today I noticed with new eyes, all the barbed wire lying around the place, that has been cut down from the many fences that were used to separate all the land into paddocks. Now the barbed wire has been pulled down and in some places you can see it rolled up and pinned to a pole here and there. In some cases, there are coils of it lying in the grass where it’s been left. In another place, along the path, there is about 2 feet of barbed wire standing up out of the dirt as if it has grown there. It isn’t even in the paddock or attached to a pole, it is literally under the pathway and sticking through ready to catch anything that brushes past it. It is quite out of place. There are traces of it everywhere.
All this reminded me of religion. One might ask of another “What barbed wire are you wrapped in?” and they might reply “Oh, I’m Pentecostal” or “Good works and bible study”. Another might answer “Oh yes, I’m all caught up (entangled) in what other people think of me”, “I’m ensnared in keeping up appearances” or “I’m always trying to make sure that I’m living the right way and avoiding the wrong way”.
Religion is bondage. It is binding just like barbed wire. When one is caught on, in or by barbed wire, it is very difficult to escape and to do so really hurts. To be free of barbed wire once caught, generally means you’re in for a bit of agony, at the very least some torn clothes if not torn flesh to some degree. If you’ve ever experienced this you know what I’m talking about. Getting yourself free from religion is just like that.
But how do you know if you’re bound by religion?
- You’ll feel a separation between you and other Christian brothers & sisters
- You’ll be concerned with what others think of you on a spiritual level
- You’ll see yourself as different to other believers (usually, more spiritual than them)
- You won’t have a genuine sense of freedom
- You’ll be bound to some expectation of performance
- You’ll be crushed with disappointment in yourself when you sin in front of others
- If you do recognise any of these religious ways in your own life, even hating them, you feel powerless to change
So on this land where I walk every day, I was reminded by seeing these traces of barbed wire, how the Lord Jesus has removed the separation, the division, the fences if you like, amongst His people, His body.
Paul says ;
There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:28).
14For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall, 15by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, so that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace, 16and might reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, by it having put to death the enmity.…(Ephesians 2:14-16)
He has made us One New Man just as this land here is one lot of land, far and wide and no longer divided and separated by barbed wire.
The Lord wants us to be free of religion, remember it wasn’t the sinners but the religious leaders of His day that Jesus continually rebuked. However, it is a very real challenge to get ourselves free of it once we’ve been caught by it and to do so is often a very long and painstaking process.
Yet, our Lord Jesus is always cutting down the barbed wire of religion that has seized many a heart. One of the nastiest aspects of religion is that we never realise how deep it goes. It has been described by many who have gone through and are still going through this process, as a rabbit hole.
Jesus often frees us by connecting us with others who have been freed also, who can then help us.Only a free person can help free a person. So if you sense that you have been caught in the barbed wire of religion and you want to get free so you can roam and explore the entire land that is Jesus Christ Himself, I’d like to encourage you to ask the Lord to help you find others who have been freed. From their place of freedom in learning to live by His indwelling life and not by religious strongholds, just sharing life with them will support you greatly in your journey toward freedom. I know it has been paramount to my ‘losing my religion’ which is ongoing.
Ways in which being with Christ centered believers who are free from religion, can help;
- We learn Christ
- Christ is revealed in us
- We begin to know for the first time what freedom really is
- We learn for the first time what God’s greatest purpose is
- We begin to understand who the church is
- We begin to love the church and see Christ expressed in every member
- The gifts of Jesus to the church become apparent and free-flowing
Jesus said “I have come to give you life abundant.” Paul said “It is for freedom’s sake that Christ came to set us free”.
As T. Austin-Sparks writes, “How did Paul come out of his narrow Jewish conceptions about the Messiah? Simply by the revelation of Christ in him, and as that revelation grew his liberation increased…it was the revelation of Christ which was emancipating him, leading him out, freeing him all the time” (By T. Austin-Sparks from: All Things in Christ – Chapter 1).
Are you free today friend?
Yes, my soul, find rest in God;
my hope comes from him.
Truly he is my rock and my salvation;
he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.
My salvation and my honor depend on God ;
he is my mighty rock, my refuge.
Trust in him at all times, you people;
pour out your hearts to him,
for God is our refuge.
Sometimes my soul is very noisy. It is sometimes easily rattled. I can always tell because I get this gnawing feeling that something has disturbed my inner peace and there’s no obvious reason for it. At that time I have to stop what I’m doing and turn my spiritual eyes to the Lord Jesus and behold Him in my spirit as gazing into a mirror.
I don’t want to be easily rattled, I want to remain in the ascendency of the spirit with my soul submitted to the Spirit of God at all times, don’t you? It’s so much better there.
I thank You Lord that at any moment of any day or night, I can turn inward to You, seek Your face and there find rest and quietness for my soul.
You are ever available to me. You have made Yourself truly as a spring of living water that bubbles up inside of me. You speak from within, Your word rises within me and washes over me, refreshing and cleansing.
Your Word is life to me, for Jesus, You are the Word and You are the Life. Your life never ends in me, it begets life again and again. Your stream is endless and has no limit to its depths. It truly is as a fountain.
You are deeper than the oceans and higher than the highest of heights above heights. O Lord, one glance toward You and I am returned to rest.
Exalting the Lord is a powerful thing. When we exalt Him by proclaiming out loud who He is to all the powers of the air, that Spring of Living Water comes bursting forth.
One thing that always encourages my heart toward the Lord and enables me to exalt Him, is to hear it through others. This happened for me recently. I was reading through some comments made on another believer’s blog and the reader went from commenting on the content to exalting the Lord! Oh how my spirit was lifted and my gaze turned toward Christ! And right there I was washed in His spring and my soul was rested.
I pray that your spirit is lifted today friend and that your soul finds rest in Him alone 🙂
Come, glorify the Lord with me, let us exalt His name together (Ps 34:3)
I say to the LORD, “You are my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing.” Psalm 16:2
I am happy to say, that I cannot love you.
Please hear me out. I have finally come to realise that I cannot love anybody as they deserve to be loved, not anyone. I’ve finally come to truly see the FACT that nothing good dwells in my flesh (Romans 7:18).
In my ‘self’ – I am so full of flesh and the capacities of the flesh which are profoundly faulty and lacking, no matter how hard I try, what counselling training and courses I do, studies, reading, the company I keep, no matter how much I pray and read the bible. My flesh will always be just that, flesh.
For so long I have bought the lie from that tree of the knowledge of good and evil, that if I did all these things above, coupled with being raised by a loving Christian family, that I automatically have the capacity to love. It is definitely living from the wrong tree.
When I’ve been confronted by your quirks and perks, the things about you that rub me up the wrong way, I’ve only just tried to love you more. But this has failed and turned into frustration and offense, offending you and me being offended. In my efforts to resolve this I’ve turned to my own resources to do the right thing. I’ve stayed in touch, I’ve continued to pray for you, I’ve kept up ‘godly’ behaviour of “do unto others” in your company, at times silently confessing my un-forgiveness and then my forgiveness. All the while I have thought this was good. I have thought this was loving you, how I should.
Sure, I could laugh and smile with you, genuinely enjoy your company, listen to your stories, enquire of your wellbeing and make small talk, perhaps even pray with you or engage on a deeper level of communication with you. Still, judgement, criticism, self-righteousness, pride, prejudices, stubbornness and offense have remained in my heart to varying degrees and at different times. I have to admit this if I’m to be brutally honest.
I started off saying that I was happy to say that I cannot love you. Well, you see at one time, all of this would have been confessed to my utter shame. However, in recent times, I’ve learned to turn to the Lord and ask Him to love through me because I was beginning to see I wasn’t able to love well. My true belief was that I just wasn’t all that good at it, not that I actually couldn’t! Therein, lay the problem and in the answer to this problem, lies my happiness.
You see, I thought having to turn to the Lord for Him to love through me and instead of me, was to my shame. I thought it was an admission of weakness, slackness and defeat. I believed that by doing this, I was admitting that I wasn’t a good enough Christian, all of which I now see is completely and ironically, liberatingly true.
On one hand such an admission seemed to me that I was buying into Satan, the Accuser of the Brethren’s, lies. To believe I wasn’t a good enough Christian and couldn’t love people properly seemed a dreadful accusation. I saw it as condemnation from the enemy for the purpose of keeping me naval gazing into my own failure and sin. So I consciously rejected the thoroughness of this admission.
However, I instinctively knew (and they say that one’s spirit is the place of intuition) there was some truth in this but at that point any truth was to my shame. For me to feel shame over this, indicated I wasn’t yet convinced of my total inability. There remained still some self-belief that I was able to love but that I was not living up to my abilities, hence the shame. That is, until today.
When I prayed today and asked the Lord to help me to see others through His eyes, I discerned this sense of admission of weakness rise in me from deep within and I didn’t like it. Then I didn’t like the ‘not liking’ it. So the Lord was beginning to show me that I still held some portion of belief in my self to be able to love. Yet my experience was telling me the opposite. My experience was that I nursed judgements, criticisms, anxiety and offense. However, my core belief was that I should and could overcome these negatives but my experience proved that I could not.
I cannot. I can’t.
These are not popular phrases in the pop culture environment of many believers today. Yet they are words that are completely theologically and biblically sound and are in fact the words spoken by this Jesus of ours, Himself. The very One who was showing me my incapacity and revealing to me the subtleties of the enemy’s lies, this very One, this same Jesus, said those same words about Himself! How can this be?
Jesus said “By myself I can do nothing” – John 5:30
And Jesus gave them this answer: “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does”. – John 5:19
To us, Jesus said “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” – John 15:5
Paul said “For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.” – Romans 7:18
But then Paul also said “ I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” – Philippians 4:13
T. Austin Sparks writes;
In the case of the Lord Jesus there was all the time an underworking to get Him to adopt the contrary course, to act without inquiry of His Father, without direct leading from His Father; to act in His individual capacity as though He were His own Master, as though He had not to make appeal elsewhere. (By T. Austin-Sparks from: Excerpt from The Risen Lord and the Things Which Cannot Be Shaken – Chapter 3).
I see this same underworking in my life, to try and convince me that I don’t need to make appeal elsewhere. Yet, Jesus Himself had to make appeal elsewhere, to His Father. What a fool to believe otherwise of myself. It seems pretty clear and to be said on the highest authority that exists, that outside of Christ, I cannot love.
So why does this make me happy? Do I offend you by this? Perhaps, if we only know one another according to the flesh and not in accordance with the Spirit, this will indeed offend you. Perhaps also, it is because of only knowing you according to the flesh that I have tried to keep my lack hidden from you and to keep up appearances in what I now recognise as something utterly impossible.
But does all this mean that I do not love you? Of course not! I simply can’t! I don’t have the capacity. My love fails. But, I want to… I want to love you and this is why I’m so happy. You see now, I can love you perfectly! – that is, through the One who IS Perfect Love. It’s no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me (Galatians 2:20).
You see, I no longer have to strive in my incapacities and weakness or my anxieties over my failing efforts and works. I can now simply abide in Him who IS Love and therefore He gets the room and the expression in my life to love you perfectly, as you deserve, with His love which does not fail.
For His love is…
…patient, His love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. His love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres (1 Corinthians 13:4-7).
See, I can’t love you like that, but Christ in me can. Christ in me, Christ in you, Christ in us, we in Christ. In Christ. Christ is the key.
That makes me happy.
Hello saints! Holy and righteous ones!!!!
Well, I am all a ga-ga about you right now, about this beautiful bride of our Lord Jesus! (of which I am part!)
Well, I have the honour of doing life with a dear brother whose name is Ben Halliday. Ben has a blog site called ‘Treasuring him together’. He has just posted his first ‘video’ post on the bride of Christ, although has been blogging for a good few months now. (If I could re-blog his post here I would!)
I’ve had the pleasure of walking with this brother for approximately 2 and a half years in organic church life and have had the honour of seeing the Lord’s life explode in him, as he continues to abide in Him and trust Him in all things.
After just watching his video post on the bride of Christ, I feel compelled to encourage y’all to check it out. It’s only short so I hope you have the time to check it out – just click on this link to go right there.
This blog post may be very confronting and challenging to the mainstream ways of the mainstream church but I believe wholeheartedly in it’s truth. Thankyou to this brother, Thomas, for your courage and devotion to God’s eternal purpose – Christ expressed freely through His body, the church!
This is the second in a two part series. If you haven’t read the first half, please do so now.
There are two spiritual truths that are the foundation of why there is little emphasis in the New Testament on praying for the lost to be saved.
Jesus didn’t pray that people would respond because he knew that people were desperate for Him even if they didn’t realize it. In Matthew 9: 37-38, Jesus commanded his disciples to pray for not for salvation for the lost, but rather for more workers in the fields: “the fields are white, pray that The Lord would send more workers into the fields.”
Lets consider Jesus’s “evangelistic mission” when he sent out the 72 in Luke 10 and the 12 disciples in Matt 10. When he instructed the 72 and the 12, did he give them extremely specific instructions? Yes. Did those instructions…
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No, this post is not about an Abba song (though I am a big fan).
Have you ever heard the expression ‘walk-a-while‘? This is an expression used by the Australian aboriginal people to describe how to get to know one another and I think it is a most excellent image of how we get to know our Lord!
You see, you can tell me anything and everything you want to about yourself, (even leaving out the bits you don’t want me to know) and this will help me to know about you, but it won’t make me know you. However, if I share life with you, walk-a-while with you, I observe you in all sorts of circumstances and I get to know your character, the essence of who you are. I can rightly weigh up what I know to be true of you in various situations. If someone speaks something contrary to what I know of you, I can say with full confidence “No, that’s not Susan, I know her and that’s not her heart.” (That’s if your name is Susan, of-course 🙂 ).
In the same way, we might read the bible cover to cover, listen to sermons and conversations about Jesus, even attend bible/theological college, read book after book, study commentaries and languages to interpret scripture, and talk about Jesus as much as we possibly can. Does this however, mean we really know the Person of Jesus Christ?
How many of us have trekked through years of traditional church life and have thought we had a real relationship with Jesus, only to later be confronted with the reality that we hardly know this Lord of ours at all? Oh, we know about Him, but do we know Him!
Jesus walked-a-while with His disciples for 3 years on earth, so they could get to know Him. Clearly, this walk-a-while experience of getting to know one another, takes a lot longer than a few weeks, months, even years. And these guys lived in each others’ pockets! They didn’t just meet once or twice a week for a couple of hours and think that’s how you get to know someone. They lived, ate, worked, slept and traveled together.
Jesus certainly wants us to know Him and the Father, too. It is in fact so important to Him that He prayed about it when He said……..
I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them, and that I myself may be in them. (John 17:26)
This next verse of scripture seems to really capture just how important it is to God, that we know Him….
“Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches; but let him that glorieth glory in this, that he has understanding, and knoweth me” (Jeremiah 4:23,24 ARV).
If you’re really taking the time to ‘walk-a-while’ with Christ (which of-course has no end) this has most likely come about through a revelation of Christ being your All, in your personal pursuit of Him. In addition, perhaps you have set out on a journey to detox from all the old spiritual and religious programming and are now getting to ‘really’ know Jesus, the Person.
It’s possibly come about through your corporate pursuit of Him by living body-life with other believers who share the same vision of letting Jesus Christ take His position as Head of His Church. In doing this, Christ has allowed Himself to be known among you, as you walk-a-while together.
Ah, the richest of all! A corporate pursuit of Christ! Christ being made known among us corporately as we walk-a-while together with Him! In Him! How glorious! How we long for this Lord Jesus! Teach us Your ways!