There is plenty of evidence to support a local gathering of the Body of Christ; however, we have taken that to the extreme. We have become gazers, spectators, if you will, of the faith. We long to hear what our Senior Pastor has to tell us, to “feed” us, instead of searching the Scriptures for ourselves and establshing and growing our relationship with Christ on our own.
We are hungry for information, not necessarily for the Bread of Life. We want to know more stuff, not simply walk in humle obedience to what we already know. Our knowledge of Scripture exceeds our obedience of it.
1 Corinthians 14:26 says, “What then shall we say, brothers and sisters? When you come together, each of you has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. Everything must be done so that the church may be built up.”
We are to gather together for worship, for encouragement, for fellowship. But the Word also tells us that when we gather we are to bring something. Not simply gaze at the worship team or the pastor. We are to be participants, not observers. This involves more than just singing and clapping. It involves more than serving in the children’s ministry. It is a Spirit-led action that moves us to encourage others, to hear from the Lord for ourselves and on behalf of others for the edification of the whole church.
Church members, are we actively participating as we gather? Church leaders, are we seeking to engage the body and not merely gorging them with information about God, but letting them experience God for themselves?
I organized and led out in a men’s retreat last weekend, along with my dear brother, Joseph Cartwright of Awakening Church in Dallas. We not only talked about the Spirit-led life, but we allowed the men to experience it. And, when we did, a Holy Spirit atomic bomb went off (as my friend Joseph described it), and the Lord did a mighty work. Men were freed from addictions, filled with the Spirit, weeping out of sorrow for sin in their lives, and crying for joy because of the Spirit’s impact on their lives and the fellowship we shared. We spent time listening to the Lord and sharing what we were hearing. We experienced words of knowledge, words of encouragement, and even a vision. One man was baptized (in a windmill tank no less), and we all celebrated what God did that weekend through worship and just soaking in the Spirit. It was as if a page in Acts had come alive!
It is biblical to gather, but it is not biblical to merely gaze. Now, if you are a new believer, there is a time to watch and learn, but this is not merely gazing. It is an active participation to learn and experience the Spirit of God. For those of us who have been believers for longer, it is time to wake up to the Spirit. He is moving and He is working. Join Him as he moves, and see if you aren’t totally blown away by what He says and does.
*If you are unsure how or where to begin, then please get in touch with me. I have a team of people who can teach you where to begin and how to start.
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