More Aspects of Our Journey as I see it
A s I have taken time to consider prayerfully and reflect, there are a number of things about this Journey into our Father that are different from what we might have expected. In a House Fellowship environment, some \"formula based\" ideas we had about personal and church life can disappear quite quickly while others take a bit of time to remove from those of us who have experienced church only in a more institutional way. One reality that has surfaced is that relationships that are lasting, and also mutually strengthening, seem to be growing in spite of us being so different from each other. These relationships grow in spite of our opinions about how they should grow, and in spite of each of us carrying individual baggage that needs to be dealt with. The reason we do this is simple caring which is a result of His love in us.
As we journey together some issues of perfectionism can surface in the group.
•“Am I in the perfect will of God?”
•“What is my perfect part in the body of Christ?”
•“What is the perfect way to run a meeting?”
•“How do I find my proper place, or ministry, in the church?”
All can be answered by family based views of these things, such as:-
- “He has given me a perfect family place to live in, therefore, in Jesus Christ, and out of His life in me, I am in His "perfect will" place now. All I have to do is continue to surrender to Him and live out of that \"New Creature\" place, because I am a son or daughter of God”
- “Because we are His family of empowered people, whatever we do together that is focussed on an obedience to each individual’s living hearing from the Holy Spirit is growing in perfection, so hear and do.”
- "The family of God is the first pre-eminent empowered place, not the church. If you are being His family in a group of His family, you are in your proper place in the church, which is those called out (ecclesia) of the world into His family."
- The two words most translated as perfect are translated from greek words which more accurately mean complete (teleios) and accurate (akribos).
In Jn3 we see that we are born from above. Born into a church? Not primarily, but a family – the family of God, born of God, not included into His family by any other means or agency (John 1:12,13 ). All of Jesus teaching was based in perspectives of Family or Kingdom, the primary place of our existence, yet we are encouraged to focus on the next layer down, the church, as if it is more important than the Family of God.
Church is not family in itself, it is a function of family.
S o doing church is always dynamic and different. It always depends on the family relationships for its true existence as the gathering of the “called out ones ” or ecclesia . There is huge freedom in being family, and spontaneously church. Church meetings no longer have to have a formal agenda, and can be led and possessed by the Holy Spirit, as the family wills.
So the only real perfection is of Him by Him and is constantly available to each of us as His son or daughter. The other stuff which makes church more important than being family is imperfect sidetracks to our real purpose which is to be His family to encourage His family and to gather in the rest of our brothers and sisters both saved and unsaved.
As a group we are looking outward and asking Father for more groups to reach, encourage and nurture our brothers and sisters who languish feeling “alone”. The reason many feel alone is simply for lack of good foundational teaching and a knowing of His family kingdom principles that He flows down. Others have walked away from what they see as institutional church that is not working but do not know where to find what does work. When we understand how important discipling actually is as our Father would have it done, a committment to helpful relationships with a few others becomes part of what we do with Him. It just naturally becomes what we do, and includes gifts of the Holy Spirit flowing in a natural way.
We appear to live in an age where the wider western church seems to have no depth of revelation of what Jesus' commission means or how to do it and BE it. We appear to be running here and there to chase or be spectators of miracles instead of the miracles (Mark 16 ) following alongside (accompanying, following upon) us. We appear to not know our authority as children or family of God. We appear not to understand that we were thought of and planned by God our Father and created from the beginning to be His Family. We appear unable to consider that He created us to be His type of being, as family is. We appear unable to accept the responsibility to be dependant on Him that this implies. We seem to be expecting discipling to be something He does, not something that we take a part in, because most of us don’t seem to have very many clues to what discipling is all about. (It looks like family interactions not learning programs)