Sometimes It’s Right in Front of Us

I received an email last week from a friend in Israel. He mentioned how much he and his wife were learning to relax in Father’s love and care, but then added a hunger that had gone unfulfilled in their hearts:

During this time, the Lord taught us a lot and fed us with his love. We still have not found a group that we could call our home. We continue to pray for it. I have never felt such an acute need for simple communication and friendship.

I took note of his hope that some group would become home for them. I understand that hunger since we’ve all been schooled in the idea that we all need a fellowship we can call home, but it isn’t true.  So, I wrote back, “I don’t know that you need to be looking for a group to call your home. Let Father, Son, and Spirit be your home, and then you’ll be free to love others without needing anything in return. In time, some of those you love will love in return, and then you’ll find people who can enjoy the simple joy of friendship. Finding fellowship is a process to follow, not a group to find.”

Not everyone is ready to listen to something like that. Thankfully, he was, and it drew his heart to a work God had done before in them:

Thank you for writing me that my home is in the Father. Something inside me clicked and everything I have worried about lately finally came together as a puzzle in my head.

When my wife and I received an update in His love, our life became a daily adventure in Him. Every day, I got up and the first thought that arose in my head was “More.” I felt like a child who was circling behind the hands of the Father, and who is so happy and filled that he said again and again, “More!” In our life,     new people constantly appeared with whom we shared our path. We started spending more time with our children, having breakfast every Saturday, and spending time.

But at the same time, pressure was growing in the church we attended. We did not fit into the system and it spat us out. Unfortunately, then I did not understand many things that the Father revealed to us. I was not ready. We understood that Father called us to go out, but we were not ready to remain without a church in the way we’d known it. We were afraid for the children, afraid that they would not have friends. And besides, I thought that we needed to find a church with good, correct, deep, Christ-centered teaching.

In our new congregation, the meetings fell on Friday evening and immediately killed our dinner time and reading the Torah. It turned out that on Saturdays they had a youth ministry and we no longer had breakfasts with children. In addition, we were loaded with various ministries and endless conferences and seminars. And we are always in a hurry somewhere, but at the same time we had almost no close relations with anyone. More recently, we gathered with people at our home. We all had fun and joy, chatting, eating and studying the Bible together.

Because of my studies, we decided to stop the group for a while. I also stopped conducting classes in the children’s ministry. And now every Friday, I try to sit out the ministry. The only thing that inspired me is communication with my old friend.

After what you wrote to me, I realized that such a life we had before. We just let the Father fill every day and shared this love with others. But then we wanted to find or create a group and everything began to die. A thought came to me to stop coming to these church meetings. Just live filled with Him and loving those who are near. I will not make any quick decisions. I will ask the Father to show me if He really wants it.

He already had what he was looking for, but it didn’t count because it wasn’t the specific kind of group he was looking for. There are so many ways Father can connect us with his family. You can find that connection in a congregation if you’re not too worn out by the program, or you can find it elsewhere as you learn to live in his love.

Sometimes what we want is right in front of us; it’s just not in the package we were expecting.

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If you need help finding the church Jesus is building in the world, that’s why I wrote Finding Church. We often look for her in all the wrong places and get frustrated when we feel alone and isolated. She is all over the world, growing in his glory. She just doesn’t always look the way we think she should.

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18 Comments
  1. Lloyd Portman July 9, 2019 at 4:25 pm

    Great post Wayne,
    Very early in my walk with God he spoke to me saying “You can walk with me or the church”! Because I was a very young believer and didn’t know about all the impending hoops I would have to jump through I replied: “What does THAT mean”?
    This was His amazing reply “If you walk with me you will have trouble with the Church and if you walk with the Church you will have trouble with ME”!

    • Wayne Jacobsen July 9, 2019 at 4:27 pm

      You made me laugh out loud. Hopefully, though, you’re talking “church” as man’s attempts to build one that looks like his, not the Church Jesus is building. 🙂

  2. Lloyd Portman July 9, 2019 at 4:32 pm

    True You GOT IT!!!
    You are such an amazing blessing to our household Wayne. God took us out of the traditional church at the same time we “met you online” and we now live loved with Him daily. Exactly as you described it in this email. We are truly blessed and we live in New Zealand. When will you and Sarah come over and visit???????? PLEASE

  3. Sam franks July 9, 2019 at 4:42 pm

    Just 7 months ago you told me something very similar. Thank you Wayne for your insight

  4. Charisse Carrigan July 9, 2019 at 4:59 pm

    Hi Wayne,
    It has been many years since I last wrote you. I haven’t gone to “church“ since 2009. Maybe once or twice I went with a couple of my children to the church they were checking out. Are usually don’t even have to think about them asking me, because I work on Sundays.

    I drive a bus for a retirement community. So on Sundays, I am taking those that want to go to their respective churches. And then I bring them home again. After working at this place for 10 years, you can’t help but fall in love with these residents. And I have a lot of liberty to speak with them openly about Jesus or Father.

    But every now and then, one of my close friends or one of my children remind me how much I always enjoyed worship in the congregation. And they asked me if I miss it. The truth is I do. I often enjoy worship in my car or sitting down by the lake. But not with a larger congregation. I think I’ve
    become used to that; yet many times, I think about David speaking of being in the congregation & worshiping. Have you ever had anyone ask about that in particular?

    And no, I don’t miss it enough to look for a church on Wednesday nights, because I really don’t want to get sucked into all their other stuff. And I really don’t want to meet a whole lot of brand new people that are going to ask all kinds of questions. Sometimes I wonder if I’m just weird! LOL

    I would really love if you had any input or if you see something that I missing. Honestly, the place where I work, those people have become more of a family to me than any church I ever went to. And there’s no religious garbage that goes with it. If you know what I mean .

    Because you travel so much, and meet so many people, I am going to remind you of who I am. When you came up to Puyallup, WA before, I met you at one of the people’s house that had invited you up this way. Then I invited you over to our house, and my son Judah played pool with you. And the loser had to wear a Hawaiian skirt. I think we emailed a few times. But if you see the answer right in front of me (lol), would you mind giving me your honest opinion?

    • Wayne Jacobsen July 9, 2019 at 9:58 pm

      Charisse, how could I ever forget the Carrigan family. Of course, I remember you. And yes, I think you’re fine. We were never told to attend services, but we were told to love one another. Yes, I’ve had people ask about David worshipping with the congregation was not attending a Sunday service and singing songs in pews. It was the worship in the temple with others around him also worshipping. The temple now is not in a building, it’s his body scattered around the world and you can worship in their presence just about anywhere. And the words of Jesus to the woman at the well apply exactly here! Blessings to you. Hope you’re well!

  5. Charisse Carrigan July 9, 2019 at 6:09 pm

    Wayne, I just happen to be reading John 4 again. Yes, the answer was right in front of me…
    “ Woman believe me, an hour coming when neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father…but an hour is coming, and now is when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers.

    You can feel free to reply or not. I am convinced still, I am exactly where He wants me. Papa sends friends, family & those at work into my life to experience freedom & see what it is to live life knowing we are loved by Him & in Him.

  6. Merryl Streak July 9, 2019 at 6:49 pm

    Thank you so much! I am always encouraged by your words. My Christian life has become so exciting since I no longer attend organized church on Sundays. The freedom to live in love every day has opened my eyes to so many different things. I have learned more than I ever dreamed possible!

  7. Victoria Holmbeck July 9, 2019 at 7:17 pm

    Love love love your response!!!! Father God was revealing to me out of Psalm 90 or 91 years back “in You has been our dwelling place for generations” and I was too focused on I HAVE to serve in the “church” that I couldn’t fully receive what He was speaking to me but oh the richness of depth I could feel when He brought me to that verse…at the same time of this verse I kept meeting strong on fire believers everywhere I went…on vacation, at the store, etc and usually I would be led to unbelievers to reach out to…I didn’t understand why it was so obvious that literally every new person I met was a strong Christian (I was still thinking I needed to go to “church” to obey God)…now I know He was revealing to me the Church as His Body and how crazy beautiful His Body is spread around…at the same time this all happened we happened to hear Wayne Jacobsen on the radio “debating” about needing to be at a Sunday gathering or not…everything he was saying was what the Spirit had been teaching us…so cool!
    We were finally able to yield to His revelation and love the next person in front of us trusting Him step by step not needing to know farther than the next step…and it has been the most fulfilling journey of loving relationships!!!! Hallelujah! Incredibly thankful!

  8. Victoria July 9, 2019 at 7:26 pm

    Psalm 90:1
    “LORD, You have been our dwelling place in all generations” the revelation that God is our home is freeing to be content in God alone…our “home” isn’t here on earth and I think by this verse technically heaven is not even our focus of our home but God is. How comforting.

  9. Susan Theron July 10, 2019 at 1:10 am

    Oh yes … the cry of my heart, the longing somewhere so deep inside for meaningful relationship, a deep desire to be part of something, to feel like you belong. And so why this message, this morning, am I missing something. Gods timing is perfect I do believe that, and so I have to believe that this was sent today, now, as I was sitting and crying out to God once more for his leading and direction in and for my life. I have to get to the place where GOD is my enough, trusting and knowing that HE will provide all of my needs as I seek FIRST his kingdom and his righteousness. However this is not easy, at times the silence and the loneliness is overwhelming. I cannot go to church or attend weekly prayer meetings, or go to so called community group, that actually has nothing to do with community living whatsoever. I cannot do these things anymore because they seem to be the right thing to do, or because it’s better to do these things than do nothing. And so where to from here ?? And so I wait, and will keep on waiting and will hopefully rise up like the eagle 🦅 as I keep waiting and hoping in YAWEH. My only hope. Thank you for your words.

    • Wayne Jacobsen July 10, 2019 at 8:18 am

      If I may, you don’t have to “get to the place where God is enough.” He will get you there. Just ask him to teach you how to rest in his love, how to find your home in him. Then watch as he reveals to you what’s true. Believe him and live in his truth rather than the illusions people use to manipulate each other. As you discover how to rest in his love, you’ll find yourself loving others and connecting with them in ways that feed that passion for community. We don’t have to find it; he gives it as love finds a bigger place in our hearts…

  10. Christine July 10, 2019 at 5:11 am

    Victoria,
    Thank you for the reminder of this beautiful truth today. I love the way you put it.

  11. Shay July 10, 2019 at 5:44 am

    I really needed to hear this today. I have been torturing myself with the hurt I feel that we don’t have a “congregation” where we really fit in. My daughter goes to to youth group but my husband and I just don’t fit in there. We tried small group that meets during youth but it is not a discussion but really one persons take on the Scriptures or topic, and in one session they were clear about their stance on roles for women when one wife offered to fill in for the leader when he said he needed a break- women don’t lead mixed groups there, apparently- and we have never been back. I honestly have anxiety on Sunday mornings because of the tug of war inside me of not wanting to sit thru a service that just doesn’t mean a lot to me because of the lack of interaction, and that voice in my head of years of religion instruction that’s telling me how dare I not take my kids and show up to “serve” and “worship”, after a life long habit of Sunday meetings and almost 20 years of being a music leader myself.

    However, as I read this I could feel God nudging me to see what I DO have in my life. I have an older friend who is like a family member to us, and he gives us the freedom to discuss all kinds of spiritual things without ever judging me. And we read the Bible every morning as a homeschool family and discuss it, and it’s an interactive conversation. This past Sunday, we had some friends over for supper who are going thru a hard time with one of their older children, and we sang worship songs together before they left. So, I see that there are interactions there, but maybe I don’t give them enough ”credit” because they don’t look like traditional groups that we have tried and just feel awkward.

    We have been very upfront with our 5 kids about this struggle, ages 20 to 8, And some of them choose to go to meetings on Sunday, and some don’t. Last week my youngest said Mama, we are church people are we? When I asked what she meant, she said, we are more like Jesus people.

    Please pray for us as we sort through all of this- there has been tremendous healing over the past almost 2 years when we left the congregation we were in, but there is still a lot to learn and understand and listen to God say. We appreciate you so much- you have the gift of saying things in a way that help me understand and take a deep breath to imagine how God sees our situation. Love to you.

    • Wayne Jacobsen July 10, 2019 at 8:15 am

      Love that, Shay. How your living this out is completely valid in Father’s eyes. Don’t live by the expectations of others, but by the leading of his Spirit. He will give you all the grace and wisdom you need to do that. With blessings and prayers…

  12. Kathy July 10, 2019 at 11:08 am

    Many years ago, or it seems long ago to me, I sat in a friend’s home where you came to share about living loved, listening eagerly to every word. I was married at the time to a man who was a minister. We had left the church, hurt and having “failed.” I was blaming my spouse and anyone else I could find. I was drawn to the message of living loved and learning to listen to the Spirit’s leading. But to me that meant that if God loved me, then I would change into someone others would love as well. Healing would occur in me and also my marriage and peace would come. I was waiting for the sign of acceptance and love from other believers (including my spouse of nearly 30 years) as evidence of change in me. Pretty twisted on my part. But as I watched others being changed and experiencing freedom I began to feel more despair, anger, grief (as my marriage ended immediately after my youngest graduated from high school, followed by the swift remarriage of my ex husband.) Friends became exhausted and frustrated with my “stuckness.” That was fair. I was stuck. I became desperate for approval anywhere. I was fired from a job, after which I learned from a reliable source that no one had anything good to say about me. Not an exaggeration. A quote. As a woman of a certain age, it felt like the last nail in my coffin. Still, the truth that Jesus loves me wouldn’t let me go. Church is not a happy place for me. Church people validate my ex husband (still a minister) and avoid me. But the Christ I know didn’t just die for those who get it right every time. Or just for those who believe they get it right. He died for me. Not much hope of getting anything right, unless he died for me. Thankful today for the message that I am loved. That the change he wants to bring in me might have required this level of loss to see how much he always has loved me. So that I can stop worrying about myself so much and what I should expect in return, and believe that he is enough. That a desire to love the ones he puts in front of me is evidence of being loved by Him. And on this day, it is a reminder that while I live on the earth, his righteousness is in me, and I am being transformed into his image. Renewing my mind and believing that even if no fellowship happens (or it looks different than anything I could imagine) I am never alone. Hopeful for today. Grateful for the reminder.

  13. Victoria July 10, 2019 at 1:47 pm

    Thank you Kathy for your comment. This truth of Jesus dying not for those who get it right all the time really helped free me today!!!
    Also really cool how you shared that loving the next person in front of us is evidence of being loved… “we love because He first loved us” what a wonderful insight!!! I get so much joy overflowing His love to others in my community that might not get visited often etc and now I know part of the reason why…evidence of being loved:)

    • Victoria July 10, 2019 at 1:48 pm

      Ugh correction: Jesus dying for those who don’t get it right all the time

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