Dear Family (2013 Journey Group),
I left our gathering Friday morning (which had been designated on my calendar as: God is Willing; Journey Session 4.1 & 2 with some things stirring in me. Since it was really you men who were the catalytic ingredient responsible for the stirring, I wanted to share the thoughts you have had a hand in provoking. They are anchored (in part) by Psalm 133;
Look! How good and how pleasant it is when brothers live together!……Indeed that is (the place) where the Lord has decreed the blessing (or benefit) will be available – eternal life. (my words)
There is truly something healing and life-giving as we gather together in Jesus’ name. I feel as though you (and others) are assisting me as I am breaking through into a new understanding of what it means to gather in His name. It is like a new frontier to me that is unfolding into a great adventure. It might seem small to us at this moment and it might be easily overlooked, but I truly believe, if nourished, over time, it will grow into something exceedingly beyond our wildest imaginations. That is why I am calling attention to it; asking if you see it as well. I believe it is the Kingdom of God. Could this be what Jesus meant when He said?
To what shall I liken the kingdom of God… And again He said,
“It is like a grain of mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his own garden; and it grew and became a tree, and the wild birds found shelter and roosted and nested in its branches.” (Luke 13:18-19)
I believe, in our 2013 Journey group (as in all the groups I am learning to do life with), as we are gradually learning to entrust ourselves to each other, in a sense, we are entrusting ourselves to Him. Let me try and explain. As sons of light, our hearts are already laid bare before Him. That is simply the unalterable nature of the Kingdom. So, as sojourners, we proceed deeper into the mystery and adventure of His Kingdom by acknowledging that we are presently living in the light of eternity where nothing is hidden. We begin tasting the benefits of the eternal Kingdom very quickly as we learn to live in the “now” reality that He knows all.
Over time we discover that hiding from ourselves and each other deprives us (and this earth) of the kingdom’s premier benefit, His Presence. The kingdom of God is within us because the Spirit of Christ, the King of that kingdom lives in us and has literally become our life. The story of His Life is being written and expressed through us to the unbelieving, cynical and obstinate world around us that He so loves. Our story/His story are (in part) the tales of His conquests in our hearts; those contests where we have surrendered and yielded our rulership-rights over to the King. Light displacing darkness; Life overtaking death.
His kingdom-conquests may require that He lay siege to areas of our hearts (where we keep our perceived treasures); areas over which Christ is not yet ruling. As He expands His Kingdom’s reign, our hearts will inevitably be shaken. Since there is none who has not sinned, there is none that will not be shaken. It may not be the best news (in the present) but He scourges every son whom He receives.
Being together with each other (and Him) as those who have been shaken (or are being shaken) is an invaluable benefit to the sons of God. The process of being transformed from ones who were independent from God (and each other) into beings who have been reconnected to God and are being reconnected to each other is the story He is writing. If we are familiar with His processes and the value system of the Kingdom-within (which He is endeavoring to reveal) we will be more cooperative with Him and useful as the ministers of reconciliation we are called to be.
My point; As we gather in His name in Light and transparency, the Spirit is there in our midst. He loves this environment. He invented it. In His freedom (a now benefit) which He has purchased and so freely given to us, we (in our well-anchored and practiced liberty) can freely give it to others; creating safe spaces where sons can discover their identities and kingdom assignments.
My calendar may designate my appointments by this title or that but it would be more accurate to just call all appointments the Kingdom Opportunity of the Moment / date, time, and place. Eternal life does not begin when we die. It begins when Eternal Life Himself takes up residence in our lives.
“Father, as we are awakened to Your kingdom within us and around us may we see that it right here where two or three have gathered in Your name that You have designated the blessing and have decreed that the benefit will be available – eternal life. Grant us eyes to see.”
Bless each of You I have been privileged to sojourn with.