A Good Dose of Honest Reality

NORFOLK, VA— I haven’t got time right now to blog out my Thursday meeting, but I will when I have time. It was incredible, and I appreciated so much all who put me before Father on that day. In the meantime, however, I received this email exchange with one of my overseas friends a few days ago. It was a plea for prayer and some wonderful things God worked out:

I would appreciate your prayers for the folks here. We have had a difficult year bodywise. Some relationships seemed to have turned sour and possibly as a knock on affect of this the level of interaction between us all has been so poor. But God seems to have put it on a few of our hearts to get together next week to pray for the saints in the area and see if there is something that he would like us to do.

I responded: I will be praying, Brother. But it sounds to me like God’s at work in people becoming more real together. That’s a good thing, but it rarely looks that way in the process. Let me know how it all sorts out,

Only a few days later he wrote back:

Actually, five of us men got together in a brother’s house last night. I know them all well but for some of them it was the first time to talk together properly. We shared our hearts in one of the most real and honest ways I have experienced for a long time. And we prayed and sought the Lord together, afterwards agreeing that we would meet up weekly for a time to spend time praying and just being brothers together- honestly sharing what we feel God puts on our hearts but waiting patiently to see if there is something he wants to make clear to all of us.

I realized (again – for the 1000th time) that this is all that matters; to hear the voice of the Lord and to respond accordingly..

Community does need a jolt like that once in a while. It is easy for all of us to fall into comfortable patterns and routine and the sharing the journey grows stale. People get bored with body life when it is like that and so often we try to save it by just staying ‘committed.’ I like this approach much better. Simple honesty is where true fellowship incubates. Refreshing those relationships through times like this of open-hearted honesty and genuine concern for each other can be so powerful. It will allow people to continue on the journey together and not just fall into lifeless routines. I love what happened here.

And I love his last sentence. It is about as good a commentary on the first part of Galatians 3 as I’ve ever read. Without people listening and responding to the Spirit’s work in them, community just becomes a charade. How can people share together a journey they are not actually on? If we’re not active followers to begin with, there is nothing to build community on.

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