Painting a new picture 3: Going beyond the walls
I think about Jesus’ ministry and one of many things I see is how he connected with people beyond the walls of the institution. He would encounter people in the streets, in homes, up a mountain side, by the beach…everywhere.
He was not limited to “meetings” or specific “believers” gatherings (though he often taught there too). So one question that comes to mind is was he intentional about that or was it consequential? I personally think it must have been intentional, he saw where the needs were, he knew where the people were and wanted to go to them, It must have been the fathers intention, Jesus said himself he only did what he saw the father doing.
One thing I am finding as I am learning to spend quality time in the presence of God is my that there is growing desire in me to connect with people who are outside the “church”. Where as so much of my journey has been church orientated. I find myself wanting to go beyond these restrictions, to pray for the sick, share the love of Jesus, Is the fathers heart rubbing off on me too?
I’m convinced as we learn to let go of our institutional dependencies (addictions) we will start to find that the fathers desire for us is to reach out…we’re called to follow in the foot steps of Jesus, he modeled a missional lifestyle, God is a missional God, we should (all of us) be missional too.
The tough part of this process is the letting go of the selfish desire to protect and preserve the things we have built and who we are, and it means embracing the Cross, it’s hard in our culture, we’ve build a world that panders to our every need, we have submitted to the spirit of comfort and it’s a strong habit to break, but imagine the outcome if we were to get out, imagine the lives we would influence if we would allow the Lord to strip us of everything but his presence? Imagine the people who would be healed as we pray for them, when we go out with the unconditional love of Christ. Imagine the bondage’s people will be delivered from…you know one thing is guaranteed, we’ll never see miracles, healing and lives transformed it we don’t go and connect with the people who so desperately need them, they’re not so likely to come to us.
I love watching God heal people, I’ve been present when deaf ears are opened, when pain has disappeared, where aches and restrictions have been lifted, more and more stories are bubbling up from grassroots level testifying of the healing and miracles of God, by people who are pushing out beyond the walls.
I think it’s time to stop limiting God to our experiences (and justifying our lack) and start following him into situations where faith and risk may produce the very experiences we dream of.