Today there is much activity that is generated and perpetuated by the visible “church.” But is “doing church” being the real church? Does God need OUR creativity and action to accomplish HIS plan? “The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that you build unto me? and where is the place of my rest?” says the Lord. Yes, where IS the place of His rest?
I recently have been communicating with a brother in the north-eastern U.S. about what it means to be the church and he wrote:
“there are a whole bunch of folks out there now… all somewhere along on the journey… and He is doing the connecting… encouraging us all that this is how it will be… your life touches mine… mine touches yours… and all of it encourages us to keep pressing into Him…. it’s real… it’s His way… He will do it… just need to keep my hands off of it”
It is as simple as LIFE IN Christ. Those who live IN and draw their life from Him are Christians (Christ ones). This is what the Gospel of John is all about. Jesus is the True Vine and we who abide in and obtain all our sustenance from Him are the branches, members of the Vine. Once we are abiding there, the fruit bearing is automatic… not something we do, but something that HE makes happen as we rest IN Him. Does a woman make a baby in her womb grow by giving thought to it and striving? Many women are barren because they are trying too hard to have a baby! No, a woman has an intimate relationship with a man in a position of rest and a child is conceived and grows until it becomes a living manifestation of that union. The Church that abides in Christ is that woman and Jesus Christ is the man. Jesus said, “Abide in me and I will abide in you and you shall bring forth much fruit.” It is all about abiding– making Jesus our abode. He also said, “Apart from me you can do nothing.” We rest IN Him. “Labor therefore to enter into that rest.” That is when God moves. What is the church? It is where two or three are gathered who abide in His name, IN His personage.
T. Austin-Sparks wrote:
When you touch these things, human language is a vain instrument for expression. “The exceeding greatness of His power” – the superlatives in this realm! Oh, for this enlargement by a new apprehension of the greatness of Christ in His Person, in His death, in His resurrection! Well, then, the supreme thing the New Testament shows is that the Church on its true, spiritual basis corresponds to Christ risen. Not “the Church” that we know here on earth, for it does not. But God’s thought about the Church is not an impossible and merely idealistic one. It is a practical thing. Two saints, simple, humble and unimportant in this world, but really meeting together in the Spirit, can be a functioning instrument of Him to whom has been committed all authority in heaven and on earth. With them all these old limitations can be dismissed and they can at one moment touch all the ends of the earth. Do you believe that? That is really the meaning of our glorying in Christ risen. It has to be something more than emotion, and more than glorious doctrine; yes, more than a truth to which we give some assent…. If it is true that we are one with a risen, enthroned Lord, it ought to have tremendous repercussions. May it be so!