I've been sharing about chasing spiritual butterflies, from a visitation and vision with the Lord depicting many believers distracted by the unimportant, but Him sharing about a coming shift in the body of Christ to His priorities.
I'm just telling you what He said - in the next 3 years in the west especially, many will not have the luxury of having butterflies to chase. Don't get me wrong - times are coming that believers walking with the Lord will find their needs met and some exceedingly so, but there will be many believers who thought it too difficult in these times to pay the price of getting to know people, of going to someone's home for a meal, or to invest in a new way of doing 'church' like home and relationship based church.
They have no network of support though they are active Christians, no one to 'watch their back' so to speak - these spiritual islands can afford the luxury of being islands as long as their life sails along under good weather, but if a storm in life comes, to whom do they turn?
Recognize the season
In Luke 19:41-44 Jesus approached Jerusalem on His way to the cross that would happen just 3 days later, He wept over it saying: "If you, even you, had you only known on this day what would bring you peace, but now it is hidden from your eyes....because you did not recognize the time of God's coming to you."
Now is the time to turn our attention as a body away from child-like chasing of every newest teaching, and just grow up in character. So many times I've talked to women who spend thousands of dollars going to conferences to pray for the nation, and pray for their family's salvation, while their own husband and children want their wife and mom home to have time together as a family - but she is too spiritual to be practical, self-deceived thinking what she is doing is God, when in fact staying home and growing in character and as a person, present with her family is what He would ask of her.
And I've spoken to many men who work hard for their family and long to be with them, but think the God thing to do is work themselves into the ground to provide the luxuries he thinks they want and deserve, self-deceived and blinded, not realizing they just want dad home.
Often times the most spiritual of decisions is nothing more than rearranging our priorities to do a difficult thing, something out of our comfort zone, yet the wise perceive it to be God's path.
People are going to begin meeting in homes for fellowship, prayer, worship just out of a desire to have someone real in their lives and have the Holy Spirit free to flow in worship and the gifts of the Spirit, with real relationships, whether they call it house church or not - they just want the real and genuine. These are the ones who have others to watch out for them, who will care for those in their midst, while others will attempt to turn to their auditorium church, but discover they have no one to help.
That isn't scare tactics, that's just what's coming down the road. The Holy Spirit continues to move now as He did then, within those priorities of Jesus and the writers of the NT - feed/water/clothe/visit those in need in the body of Christ first. That's what the body of Christ looked like at the start, that's what Jesus said it will look like at His return - "...if you have fed/watered/clothed/visited even the least of these my brethren, you have done it unto me." Mundane, normal, not glamorous, but ever so spiritual.
Many have twisted Paul's words about making unbelievers jealous, and using those words to explain things like why x church needs $2 million for a sound system, to make the unbelievers jealous, Or maybe giving to x Christian TV network to 'make unbelievers jealous' over the quality of programming, and things like that.
But go back to the first century, to a time when widows and the lame and the sick with no family were forced to beg and live on the street in lonely destitution, while all around them were Christians who had all needs met, whose lives were enriched with extended spiritual families, friends, neighbors and co-workers. Wouldn't you be curious and jealous as you observed they had strong relationships and so loved one another each made sure the other had his or her needs met?
Now I ask you - are we any different today? Isn't the proof of our discipleship our love for one another? (John 13:35: By this all men will know you are my disciples; if you have love one for another.") I'm not saying lets be like the 1st century church, I'm saying the 1st century church simply practiced what Jesus did and taught, and should we obey Jesus in this way too?
Where to start?
I was in a grocery store and as often happens, I was asked by a shorter woman to reach an item on a top shelf for her. (I'm 6'6"/1.9m) I recognized the spirit of depression on her and tried to continue the conversation past 'Excuse me sir, can you help me get this off the top shelf?', but she just said thank you and went on - and all I could say was 'You're welcome, bless you, have a good day."
I prayed for her as I walked away and told the Father "I wish there was something more I could have done for her, like cast that spirit of depression off her." and He replied, "That's alright, you did what she could receive for now and what I had for you to do for her today."
I reflected on His patience and how He continues to go about doing good - Acts 10:38 says that of Jesus, and Jesus said He only did what He saw the Father do. (John 5:19) And not only that, but something as simple as getting an item off a top shelf for someone was so spiritual, so personally directed from heaven to do good to this lady.
The other day as I pulled up to a stop light upon leaving a store's parking lot, I glanced in my rearview mirror to see on the roof of the car behind me, a large soft drink with no lid - certain to spill when the light turned green and our line of cars entered traffic. I first rolled down my window and looked back at the man, and made motions pointing to the roof above him...but he didn't understand.
Finally giving up, and seeing the driver behind him burying his head in his steering wheel he was laughing so hard at my gyrations and the man's gyrations back at me, I got out of my truck and got the soft drink off the roof of his car. He rolled down the window upon seeing I had his drink in hand, and I said 'Here you are sir, you almost lost your drink." to which he replied with a chuckle, 'You're a good man, thank you!'
As I got into my truck the light turned green and off we went, me thanking the Father for allowing me to 'go about doing good' in this little thing - and humbled and amazed at the Father's care for the man whether he recognized me as being an Ambassador for the King or not.
Jesus went about doing good
He turned water into wine, but never took credit for it. He healed Peter's mother-in-law, but only those in the house were aware. He multiplied a boy's lunch to feed thousands, but never advertised it nor sought a means to market Himself through His miracles - He just went about doing good.
In 2014 I saw the humility of the Lord more than ever before, and in turn have been humbled more than ever before as a result. When He said in Matthew 11: "Take my yoke (the Holy Spirit) upon you and learn of Me, for I am meek and lowly of heart and you will find rest for your souls."
Note - He is truly meek and lowly of heart though He be King of all. His yoke teaches us humility, and that humility leads to rest for our souls - not spirit - souls; emotions, thoughts, minds.
Paul told the Corinthians* he was concerned they would be seduced away from the simplicity in Jesus, and the gospel message, and the Holy Spirit. If you have been seduced into a complicated faith filled with agendas and formulas and manipulation and performance based 'If I do this then God will do that', then repent and return to what Jesus said - do good to His brethren in practical ways, in relationship with others in the faith, and simply find ways to demonstrate the love of God in your heart to others. (*II Corinthians 11:3-4)
Hear what the Spirit is saying to the church - the season of chasing spiritual butterflies is over - time to be the church, not play church. Time to be a Christian, not play Christian.
New subject next week, blessings,