I am convinced that we often miss the blessing of seeing the forest because we don’t see beyond the trees. Life these days is so busy and demanding that we often just put our head down and plow ahead. But the seeing the forest helps us to grasp how God connects us to His world changing activity. So, bear with me and let me do some review in the effort to get us to see the forest.
God began talking to us back in the summer as we learned faithfulness from the faithful. Then God challenged us to have high expectations of what He can and will do among the faithful, specifically telling us it will be Above and Beyond anything we can think or imagine (Ephesians 3:20). But creating the spiritual environment characterized by Above and Beyond takes a people who have truly experienced the power of forgiveness: God’s forgiveness, forgiving ourselves and forgiving others.
But this all adds up to something very special. You see, the greatest environment that can be created on earth is the one in which God is present in a special way. Jesus said that when two or three gather in His Name, meaning they gather to do “Jesus’ business”, then He shows up in a special way (Matthew 18:20). The journey God has led us on is designed to specifically prepare us to be the spiritual family He can use in that way. Think about it, being such a family requires true faithfulness. It takes admitting that what we think is best isn’t anywhere close to the best that God can create, and therefore we set aside our agenda, what we want church to be, and adopt “Jesus business” as the agenda, letting Him show up in a catalytic way. And when that happens things change, but because we have been unleashed from our past by forgiveness, we are ready for a future that is different…a different personal life, a different family life, and a different church life. When you see the forest you understand that God is readying us for something special.
But make no mistake we still have work to do. Hearing isn’t doing. And doing means we must be committed to community like never before. Gathering in His Name takes gathering in His Name… actually attending faithfully, which seems to be more of an optional thing these days, and doing so in His Name, not evaluating whether we “like” things at church, but actively asking God to lift Christ up and draw all people to Himself (John 12:32).
I hope you will be that church with me. God certainly has been doing His part to talk us into it!