Sunday, September 09, 2007

A Bit of Revelation

So Aleta and I along with Dave and Pam (our partner-seekers) visited another church today. Just looking for kingdom footholds and relational opportunities, really. As I suffered politely through the tedious and self-reliant service this morning I began praying. Praying that the Lord would deliver us from this "killing-me-softly" kind of religion. Praying that he would reveal to us how to live into his way.

As I prayed, two thoughts welled up in my heart.

The first was that God might have our primary gathered community experience be with our friends who lead a budding community of young Christ-followers who call themselves Flood. It's not the first time this thought has crept into my mind; but it seems to be gaining strength in me. I've even experienced some more specific convictions about joining with certain people in that group.

The second thought relates to an enduring conviction I've had to "go to the needy." Yesterday I was reflecting on how my job context (construction) connects me with dozens of ultra-needy men. "Perhaps these are the needy I'm to pursue," I pondered. But today, with great clarity, an explanation emerged in me that what God is after is a context of love and service among the needy that allows us to invite others into it with us. A shared ministry that's accessible to anyone.

So was it the Lord?

Well, after church at In-N-Out Burger (another holy place of God), I asked Dave what was on his mind. (He gets a sort of silent frown on his face when he's deep in thought.) He said he was thinking about what he had read this morning in Matthew 7... the word "therefore" in verse 17 that connects the exhortation to ask freely of God and the exhortation to give freely to others. In other words, the reality of receiving from God is intimately connected with the reality of giving to others. This is pretty relevant for us because we've been making a lot of big asks from God lately!

We went on to talk about how God places us in the middle of his flow, receiving from him and giving to others. Vessels through which God's anointed forgiveness, money, gospel, etc. all flow. When we stop giving, we stop receiving. That's just how flow works.

Then I shared about what I had sensed this morning... to begin searching for a way to serve among the needy. A giving opportunity. We talked about the possibility that God might want us to begin giving to others from what we've already received before he'll give what's next of his plan for us.

Oh yeah, and a couple hours later a friend from Flood randomly text-messaged me and invited us to their meeting tonight.


Bryan Riley said...

Good stuff.. One difficulty as God reveals more of Himself is not rejecting those who haven't seen the same revelation, yet..

John Lynch said...

Bryan, I can really relate to that struggle. For me, it's a struggle that's for them... frustrated for them, wanting for them, etc.

And it's a struggle for our relationship. I'm aware of an acute distance between us as long as we see God's kingdom desire for us and our part in receiving His active plan into our reality so differently. Often when I talk to people who are not yet overwhelmed by the revelation of need and opportunity that my wife and I have experienced and feel we're having two totally different conversations. We understand words like "church," "kingdom," "obedience," and "surrender" in dramatically different ways.

And in all this, I know that it is the Lord who builds vision, opens eyes, and ultimately sends revelation. So there's much peace in that.

But I feel the same difficulty you feel.

Thanks for the comment!