Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Growing Up

Sunday morning we had the rare pleasure of attending a home in Oklahoma City that is part of a house church network, stretching all over the state. The Fenns of Supernatural House Church (also known as The Church Without Walls International) facilitated the meeting (no one person has the floor at all times in a house church meeting, ever). They started planting house churches about twenty years ago and continue to maintain relationships with HC plants all over the world.

I have to admit Jarrod and I were a little gun shy when we first heard about this ministry, Supernatural House Church. "Supernatural" has become a buzz word in grossly unbalanced teachings but after browsing their website and articles, it was clear balance is what they are about. As a friend of ours put it, "Not crazy but not spiritually constipated either."

The meeting was incredibly similar to ours with the exception that there was no off topic conversation and rabbit trails (which we sometimes fall prey to), though there was plenty of "let down your hair" fellowship during the greeting time and over a meal afterwards. I really liked that the conversation stayed focused on the subject but that didn't prevent people from sharing personal stories or asking questions...all of it was related to the core of what God was saying that morning.

I also enjoyed the very sensitive nature of the worship. Each song ended followed by silence to sense the Lord's leading. Are we finished singing? Does anyone have a tongue/interpretation, does anyone have an encouraging word? As Paul said in 1 Cor. 14 "let all things be done in order."

"As the Spirit" gave utterance, several spoke up between songs and actually foreshadowed the discussion that followed worship. For example I'd written in my journal, "How many of my decisions are based on my own desires and how many based on pleasing You by doing what You want, Lord?" There were several other things that I wrote down during the meeting that either expressed itself in song by someone else or by an exhortation or prophetic word of encouragement.

The "sermon"?

Pleasing God. Do we live our lives everyday to please God...or do we approach God with the idea that we pray and plead for God to bless our own will, ideas and desires?

As Fenn pointed out, when we first come to Christ it's usually for some immediate benefit. Salvation brings joy and peace and the assurance we will see Christ at the pearly gates...but, as Jarrod pointed out, we mature as we plunge deeper in the experience of His love for us. We naturally begin to love Him so much more that we yearn to please Him!

Of course the sheer absurdity is that this has somehow been twisted into legalism by those who would rather bear His name while living for themselves. We can't possibly please God...or can we? With Christ's energizing grace and power of the Holy Spirit, we are expected to!

As John Fenn brought out in several passages, Paul urged us to live in a way that pleases God. "Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God. (Rom. 8:8)" and "without faith it is impossible to please God...(Heb. 11:6)" and "we instructed you how to live in order to please God, as in fact you are living. Now we ask you and urge you in the Lord Jesus to do this more and more. (1 Thess. 4:1)

Nearly everyone spoke up and one by one added truth from the richness of Christ and His Anointing and His Word from within them! Brief personal testimonies brought humility and openness to the meeting. We all shared this incredible love for Christ and longing to please Him.

We were refreshed by the entire meeting and enjoyed meeting other believers in this setting. "Cross pollination" as Steve Queen said to us is a great thing. We thank God for the connection and look forward to sharing it with the Ekklesia in Shawnee.

Thanks to the Queens, the Fenns, and the Lassiters for the warm welcome and inspiration. 

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