Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Worth Repeating Wednesday
When the Scripture talks about church, it means community. The little fellowships of the heart that are outposts of the kingdom. A shared life. They worship together, eat together, pray for one another, go on quests together. They hang out together, in each other's homes. ... I love this description of the early church: "All the believers were on in heart." (Acts. 4:32). There is a camaraderie being expressed there ... . It means they all love the same thing, they all want the same thing, and they are bonded together to find it come hell or high water. And hell and high water will come, friends, and this will be the test of whether or not your band will make it: If you are one in heart. ... Going to church with hundreds of other people to sit and hear a sermon doesn't ask much of you. It certainly will never expose you. That's why most folks prefer it. Because community will. It will reveal where you have yet to become holy. It will bring you close and you will be seen and you will be known and therein lies the power and therein lies the danger. ... Seriously, now, how often have you seen this sort of intimate community work? It is rare. Because it is hard, and it is fiercely opposed. The Enemy hates this sort of thing; he knows how powerful it can be, for God and his kingdom. For our hearts. ... We have settled for safety in numbers -- a comfortable, anonymous distance. An Army that keeps meeting for briefings, but never breaks into platoons and goes to war. Living in community is like camping together. For a month. In the desert. Without tents. All your stuff is scattered out there for everyone to see. C'mon -- anybody can look captured for Christ an hour a week, from a distance, in the Sunday best. But your life is open to those you live in community with. ... A true community is something you will have to fight for. You'll have to fight to get one, and you'll have to fight to keep it afloat. ... Suddenly all those "one another's" in Scripture make sense. Love one another. Bear one another's burdens. Forgive one another. ... But be careful about what you are looking for from community. Community is no substitute for God. ... We first go to God, alone, so that we have something to bring back to the community. ... God is calling together little communities of the heart, to fight for one another and for the hearts of those who have not yet been set free. --John Eldredge in "Waking the Dead"