Monday, August 28, 2006

Gathered Together

I was reading Luke 13 when verse 34 caught my attention like it never had before. Jesus said to the city of Jerusalem, "How often I wanted to gather your children together, just as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not have it!"
There was this sense that what he said to Jerusalem 2000 years ago he is saying today to the city I live in, Harrisburg, PA. Of course, this applies to any and every city. His desire is to gather the people of the city together under himself. This wouldn't be orchestrated by man, but by the Spirit, after the fashion of John 3:8, "The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit."
I envision The Spirit drawing people together in huge public gatherings where the atmosphere is so heavy with the Lord's presence there won't have to be any planned speakers, music, ministry, etc. It will happen by the leading of the Spirit under one name, and one name only - Jesus.
Though many might think this is wishful thinking, I believe it's something God desires. Why not pray, believe and act to that end? What might be the results in a city where a seemingly spontaneous gathering of 100's, swelling into thousands over time, gather to worship and exalt Jesus, and depart to serve and be his witnesses with the love and encouragement imparted to them through their spiritual brothers and sisters?

I remember reading I think it was Rick Joyners book "The Harvest" about a vision he had of stadiums being filled with God's people. I can't help but think how that spontaneous gathering would really upset some of the "church" leaders of the city because they were not a part of the planning of it.

On a more positive note I was just talking to my wife about how in the New Testament it seems that they may have met together spontaneously wherever and whenever the Lord would lead them. I think it was free and spontaneous like that. But it does seem to be specific about certain times when the elders of the church of the city would call all the believers of the city together for an apostle such as Paul or a teacher such as Apollos.

From the book "Rediscovering God's Church" Derek Prince says "I once heard Charles Simpson say, all the demons in the average church know they have to be on hand at eleven o'clock on Sunday morning because that is when the pastor preaches his sermon. The demons have all ganged up on everybody who is going. They have put in their work beforehand, and there is no element of surprise. But, believe me, when Philip was moving around, the demons just did not know where to go next or when he would be there. I long to see this initiative restored to the church."
Thanks for the excerpt from Derek Prince. I believe as we learn to walk in the Spirit, being constantly led by him, there will be much more spontaneity in the church. It seems quite obvious that the norm for the church as we have known it is a man-led institution. Therefore we see planned and scheduled meetings because that is the only way the church can function. Of course, the Spirit can still lead men to call for a meeting at a specific time. However, when the norm is for a scheduled routine that remains the same, week in and week out, month after month and year after year, it becomes quite apparent that the Spirit is not in charge of when the gatherings take place.
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