What in this chapter really resonated with your journey and why?
I loved these last 2 chapters… They were great.
1 His church is not made up of the activities we’re doing; what matters most is how we treat one another. The church appears where people engage in relationships of affection, genuineness, wisdom, and generosity. While we cannot build his church for him, we find our place in it by learning to live in his love and sharing it freely with others.
2 … you have no idea what you will come to discover about Jesus and his church after being out of a conformity based system for a few years.
3 We need to learn to recognize the fragrance of Father…
1st – I have been in traditional and contemporary church groups as well as house church and organic church groups that were far too interested in activities then in how they treated people. I think we would all be better off concentrating on showing love to people.
2nd – The longer I’m outside of the IC, the more I see that I really didn’t need a lot of the stuff that they were involved in. I have also received a lot of answers to a lot of tough questions about life and about the Bible while on the outisde of the IC.
3rd – I have seen a lot of teaching in traditional and contemporary church groups as well as House church and organic church groups that didn’t have the fragrance of Father… So once again I think we would all be better off concentrating on showing love to people.
I’m finding that as I get to the end of this book, that, I have a less angst toward the IC and those in it. I’m also slowly finding my way to having casual conversations instead of trying to force others to my view of things. I’m also seeing that most other people seem to almost always try to force others to their views. I can now see the downside to it.
The questions themselves show how dependent we’ve become on institutions for a spiritual survival.
Losing a dependency on human systems is scary at the start because we’ve been taught to trust them.
But honestly, you have no idea what you’ll come to discover about Jesus and his church after being out of a conformity based system for a few years.
I split the three quotes up because they follow each other in the chapter and I wanted to explain what they mean to me and why.
When I felt God say to me “I want you to come away because I want to show you something.” I was feeling so disillusioned with the local church I was attending, I thought that he was just asking me to come away from that group or IC as I now call it. The “something” that He wanted to show me put a mystery into my life and that felt exciting. I have in past discussions mentioned that he led me some books that started to unfold what that something was. Initially, I had the questions, and suddenly found that I had nothing to lean on. I definitely had the moments where I felt incredibly scared and didn’t really know what on earth was going on. If I could have fast forward it to today I would have been a lot more trusting but life doesn’t work like that or not mine at that time.
The way that has worked out highlights my last quote there because honestly I had no idea that God could be so interested, this close, and take such an interest in my life at such a personal level…
Did I know that then??
Oh no!! I must say I probably try my hardest to make life as difficult as possible and look for things to trip over all the time. But what He has been showing me is how deep his love really is. I can truly say that I see how trust grows out of love. I didn’t trust what was going on but what God has done is showed me through experiences that happen along the way by the things that transpir daily that He has my life in his hands.
An example is my recent surgery (total knee replacement), which has gone well, thanks to those who I did ask to pray and did. Going into it I was incredibly scared. I was told it was up there with the most painful operations to have. Yes the doctors gave good medications for the pain, but it was that helping hand that I just could almost feel physically along the way that really got me through. The secondary fear was I was told at work that I’d be dropped to half pay whilst off sick. That would have meant survival issues etc etc. I’m thankful to God that has not happened and that in itself for me is one very important lesson. God is my provider even there.
There was a time when I used to worry so much I’d worry about how to butter my toast. With God showing me how much he loves me I find today that I worry about very little. It’s these things that show me then he cares, he is involved. The wonderful thing is I discovered that to my amazement as I have done nothing to change that. I haven’t practised any ritual to stop worry, I haven’t read any books, done meditation exercises. Nothing…Nada. Zip, it has just changed in me. All thanks and glory belongs to the Spirit,guiding and teaching me through the daily life experiences that fall in my path.
So explaining my last quote there of losing my dependency on human systems, I can confidently say it is Jesus himself that has turned life upside down and showed me the real value of human systems. Or could I rephrase that, as how valueless they are!!
That goes hand in hand with another last quote to mention…
Don’t I need to be taught? In a word, no! The purpose of the New Covenant was to invite each of us into a growing relationship with Jesus so that we have no need to be taught by others. He wants to lead you into God’s truth.
So true, so very true.