Jesus prayed for a spiritual unity in Him first and foremost. From there anything is possible, even deep relationships and fellowship with others. But that can only happen when your spiritual life is founded upon a deep, abiding belief in three core principles…
Ekklesia, Fellowship & Church
“By ceasing to take part in the public worship of God, as it now is, you have constantly one guilt the less, and that a great one: you do not take part in treating God as a fool.” – Søren Kierkegaard
Many things compete for our time, attention, affection, energy, and money. But there is only one Lord Jesus. Just as some people cannot see the forest for the trees, I believe most sinners cannot see Jesus for the Christians. And I believe most Christians cannot see Jesus for the “church”.
Jesus is not building a denomination or founding a movement. The Church is not a denomination, but neither is it a non-denomination. It is not a steeple-house or institutional church, but neither is it a house church. Stated simply, the Church is a spiritual house of living stones, invisible to the naked eye, but clearly seen and known in Spirit.
If you follow this revelation of Christ to its ultimate conclusion, and if you truly desire to give Him preeminence in all things, then you will eventually find that you have nothing in common with the religious system that man has created in His Name.
The glory is in Christ, and not in a method, a meeting, or a movement: and it is for Him, and not for us. How quickly “It is good for us…” turns into “Let us build for You…” How subtle our flesh is! How often in the name of “fellowship” have we have built something “for” the Lord Jesus that really serves our own agenda?
Let us not be too quick to seek out others until we have reaped the benefits of being alone with God. Let us remember that Christ’s Body is a spiritual Body. Being in the physical presence of other members does not make us more of a member, and being removed from the physical presence of other members does not make us any less a member.
The Scripture does not say, “Seek first the ministry.” It says to seek first the Kingdom of God. How does this apply to ministry? It means simply this: I must be governed by the Lord of the Work, not the work of the Lord. The Lord of the Work governs the time, the place, the people, the provision, and the assignment. All these things may change as the Lord of the Work sees fit.
Without a purpose – and without leadership to keep people aligned to that purpose – home fellowships are as spiritually unsatisfying as the institutional church services they aspire to break free from.
The ministry of One-Anothering doesn’t require a platform, a pulpit, a building, a budget, or a Board. You can start immediately, with no training and with no experience, and you don’t have to quit your job or do anything dramatic. The Life you possess qualifies you to be in the full-time ministry of One-Anothering.
Paul gave us an example to follow. Don’t just look at his calling and his gifting and his revelation. Look at his heart of love. He gave all – not just for the Lord, but for the Lord’s people. And they were a most carnal, unappreciative bunch of people. Even so, the heart of a father is demonstrated.
Jesus is no ordinary person; He is the Son of the Most High God. What He demonstrates to them (in word and in deed) is that everyone who does the will of God is His brother, sister, and mother; that is to say, all the members of His family are on equal ground before Him. In this family He plays no favorites, He gives no preferential treatment.
The purpose of solitude in the spiritual desert is to get you to see that Jesus is Enough. You’re not going to die from lack of fellowship, but if you don’t learn that Jesus is Enough then spiritually speaking you’re dead already. He’s the One you need to be focused on – not starting a fellowship, not finding a home group, not making something happen with other people.