A Call To The Remnant

Scottish Warriors for Christ- http://www.facebook.com/acalltotheremnant

Finding the Body of Christ

Posted by appolus on June 18, 2015

Wayne Jacobsen writes in his book Finding Church ” I’d been living in church most of my life without recognizing her because I was too busy trying to create a version of my own. I’d tasted her reality in the closer friendships of virtually every congregation I had ever attended but because this was not part of the official program I didn’t see them as Church, it was a classic case of missing the forest for the trees and explained why we allowed the needs of the program displace those friendships.”

Now Wayne was a Pastor for decades. He has seen countless programs come and go and the conclusion that he has come to is that the needs of the programs over-ride and displace the creating of true fellowship. This has been my experience. If you have ever been involved in organizing anything, you will know that the reality of what you’re organizing takes over and the thing itself becomes the central focus. If there is one thing that I have learned in all my years as a Christian is that whatever distracts us from Christ Himself is the enemy of coming into His presence. Even as we go about our daily business, there is a reality of this world and there is a Kingdom reality and the reality of this world demands first place. It is immediate, it can be seen, it presses upon us and ignites our senses and demands to be attended to. The Kingdom reality is always there but never takes second place. If ignored, it simply fades into the background, retreats away from the noise of this world.

How then to live the Kingdom reality and encounter the Body of Christ and have true and meaningful relationships first with Jesus and then with other saints? The key for me has been the words of Jesus where He tells us to seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness. Now it is no accident that Jesus tells us to do that after speaking about anxiety and stress and worry about the things of this world. Yet he reminds us that this is the way of the gentiles, those of the world. He further reminds us that our heavenly Father knows that we have needs that include putting food on the table and clothes on our backs and a roof over our heads. For our basic needs we have to go out into the world every day, but we are not of the world. We are to walk through this world in the reality of His Kingdom. For years I would begin each day praying to the Lord and asking Him to bind the reality of this world from me this day and for me to walk in the Kingdom reality.

And so. When we do this, when we make Jesus and His Kingdom our reality and we seek Him first in everything we do, then His Kingdom begins to open up before us. We begin to have divine encounters. Jesus begins to bring people into our lives seemingly randomly but of course there is nothing random about it. So I can only speak from my own experience but let me share with you how I have worked this out practically in my life. I am a Real Estate Agent, that is what I do to put bread on the table. This kind of work can be very demanding of your time if you allow it. So I had to make the decision many years ago what I wanted out of life. Did I want to be very successful? Did I want to have a lot of money and the ” security,” that came along with that. I personally found that by going down that road I could not seek first the Kingdom of God. Maybe you can and God bless you if you can, but for me it was impossible.

And I felt an enormous jealousy within my Spirit if the demands of this world so consumed me that my Lord was relegated to second place in my thoughts because of the business of life and work. So, something had to give. And so I gave up doing the things that would make me be a successful agent. I did not pursue business in all the ways your are supposed to. I did not hand out cards or let everyone know I was an agent, in fact often times no one would ever know I was an agent. All of this runs counter to the wisdom of the world. Can I tell you that I have never went hungry. I pay all my bills, and not only that, for whatever reason my family has thrived as the world measures that sort of thing and all the while never pursuing any of that, but pursuing God.

And so, how do we find the Body of Christ? How do we find fellowship? By being able to see the forest and the trees. If we are so busy with the things of life that we miss out on life itself in Christ then we are not walking in the Kingdom reality of Jesus. The anxiousness that is created by the programs in churches and the measuring of the programs successes have for the main part, displaced the simplicity that is to be found in simple personal relationship, with Christ first and then with other brothers and sisters in Christ. If you are so busy with life that your relationship with Jesus takes second place and you have no meaningful relationships with other brothers and sisters in Christ then you need to take stock of what is truly important. It really all comes down to time. We create time for what is truly important to us. So you have to recognize what is truly important and I have no doubt that there are many things you probably need to simply give up if they relegate Jesus and the Body of Christ to second place.

This is one of the reasons why what we call church has been such a dis-service to the Body of Christ. For most professing Christians, if they attend church services once or even twice a week they feel that they have done what they are supposed to do, it makes them feel better. How tragic that you could go to church four times a week, Sunday morning service, Sunday evening, Wednesday night, Bible study on an early morning, you could do all that and not have a meaningful relationship with Jesus or with a single other saint. I believe that is one reason why so many mature saints have opted out of ” going to church.” Even that phrase makes no real Biblical sense, since the Church is the saints. The freedom to fellowship, which is supposedly the primary purpose of gathering, has all but been lost to the official programs of the ” church service,” which include organized praying and preaching and worship. You may grab a few minutes of actual fellowship in the foyer or in the parking lot, but for most, that would be it.

I was part of an experiment which we conducted last year in Missouri. We had a gathering of about thirty saints from various places from around the States including California and Texas and Kansas and Oklahoma and Arkansas and someone from Canada. We gathered together and there was to be no agenda. We would be there for three full days, some of us four. It was in a camp ground and it had little chalets and a meeting building, very pretty surroundings. We met at 9am ( some of us showed up much earlier) and we sat around in a big circle facing each other. Most of us did not know each other, although I knew several of the folks. We had decided that for the most part we would fast, mainly so there did not have to be the organizing of food and so on, although it was purely voluntary. The key thing though was nothing organized. We were seeking to see Jesus preeminent in our gatherings. Can you imagine how fearful most pastors would be if there were four meetings organized from 9am to 7pm at night and no program whatsoever?

Can i tell you that it was one of the highlights of my Christianity and another brother came up and shared that same thought, and we have both been on the road for a long time, him much longer than me. He is a pastor in L.A and had pastored all over South Africa and had written text books for Christian Colleges and yet this was the highlight of his whole Christian life. What was so great about a bunch of Christians sitting in a circle for 10 hours a day? In a single word, freedom. In another word, Jesus and a final two words , Holy Spirit. If I remember correctly the Lord had laid a Scripture on my heart that first morning. I read put the Scripture and asked others what they thought of that Scripture and how they has seen it play out in their lives. That was it, it went from there, it never stopped. There was a wonderful flow to it all as we discovered the tremendous beauty of the Body of Christ operating in harmony under the direction and leadership of Jesus through the Holy Spirit. There was prayer and there was worship and there was teaching and there were words of wisdom and all of it was directed by the Lord and the people glowed as they operated in their giftings and their gifts were finding expression and outlet as directed and guided by the Lord. This went on every day, ten hours a day for the three days and dare I say it it would have just went on and on if we had stayed there for a month.

So what I am suggesting by all of that? Oh brothers and sisters, I am suggesting something very simple. Fellowship and all the more so as we see the dark days approaching. Meaningful true fellowship and the expression of the gifts of the Holy Spirit for the edification of the Body that has all but been destroyed by what we now call “church.” Now I know the kind of meetings I have just described terrify folks. People have said to me ” but Frank, what would we talk about if we just sat in a circle and looked at each other.” This made me smile. Passionate people talk about their passions. Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. I am not for a single second suggesting that “nominal Christians,” do this, nominal Christians have, for the most part given us this luke warm thing we call church nowadays. No, I am suggesting that those who are passionate about Jesus simply get together and allow the Holy Spirit to be preeminent in their meetings and therefore have Jesus magnified in their midst.

Finding the Body of Christ and the Kingdom of God and His righteousness. It was so important that Jesus taught us to seek it above all else. Can you say this is the primary purpose of your life? In finding and walking in the Kingdom reality of God each day, we will discover the Body of Christ in others who are doing the same thing. It is a journey, a narrow path that is a lifetime long and takes us through many different terrains. The Body of Christ is found on the narrow path of life and we must be walking down it, taking part in that journey if we are to find others. Sometimes we can walk long distances and not run across others, and sometimes there is a brother or a sister around every corner, God knows. Let Him direct your life and your gatherings and you are in for a tremendous adventure.

15 Responses to “Finding the Body of Christ”

  1. sharon said

    Best post I have seen to give us hope in finding fellowship.
    True confirmation for this follower of Jesus.

    • appolus said

      May it be soon for all the saints and for those who have struggled without fellowship, God has not forgotten you……………bro Frank

  2. Eliza said

    Thank you for the great post of encouragement and exhortation to live for our Jesus in the here and now. God bless us.

  3. KMH said

    Dear Brother Frank,
    Excellent post and I recall you blogged about your meeting after you went and I emailed you to find that Brother/pastor in my area, Los Angeles, hoping he would do this in “his church” after being Spirit led for so many days, or at least be changed in some way from “church” as we all know it. I went on a Thursday night to the Bible study- prayerfully expectant that this “place” and “pastor” would be where I could fellowship with the Lord through His body. It was small (less than 15 people), a few smiles, small talk from his wife as she carried a baby. Then he spoke his “Bible Study.” It was good. Biblical, had me thinking. After he spoke and ended, I started to leave with my friend that I brought with me. This pastor, sitting in a chair by the door, asked us where we were from and how we heard about “them.” I told him about the blog. “Oh,” he said. “You should join us here. We need people like you here.”
    My friend and I left, sad. Never to return.
    Perhaps if pastors were humble shepherds who waited/prayed upon the Lord, and taught those they shepherd to trust the Lord for fresh pasture, and stop being cattle drivers to dry barren concrete for grazing, and look at the sheeple with compassion, not with “what have you done for me lately” eyes, then maybe God can use that particular church/pastor/congregation ???
    I find very little “connection” in the pulpit between what is done (this pastor’s experience just days before) and what is said (application of God’s word). Thus, no evidence of transformed lives. I am sure this man does love the Lord, however.
    Your 6/10 post recently about the sea is where I was when I read it. I go to the ocean to be with Jesus. And He has brought me others there for fellowship/prayer (or I drive my friends there to pray and meditate)!!!! So organic and amazing!!!
    My prayer lately (I am claiming this as a promise!) is Luke 11:13
    “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?”
    He will answer us with sweet fellowship through the power of the Holy Spirit in US in the body and those to come along side and journey with!!! Praying for Angela and all of your family Brother Frank!!! I know you will have sweet fellowship at HOME!

    • appolus said

      Hi Sister. These kinds of gatherings are a severe challenge to the traditional church concept. One experience will not make any lasting change in anyone, the reality of abiding in Christ is a continual action one. What I and others write about on this kind of gathering is a paradigm shift away from countless centuries of tradition and what we have come to know as ” Church.” Now dont get me wrong, there are literally millions of saints in traditional church settings all over the world. There are many many good men who lead these kinds of gatherings because that is the way they have been taught. As you probably know from my writings, I believe that it will take the coming persecution of the saints for the saints in the west to really step into their role and to really understand what ” Church,” is all about. We have redefined the word Church so that we associate it with a building as opposed to brothers and sisters in Christ. I think the best way to share the freedom that we have found in Christ is to live in the freedom that we have been given by the Lord. I am totally committed to living in that freedom. After that particular meeting, as was invited to participate in a series of meetings with bro Yun. I respectfully declined to take part in these organized meetings, although I have read and was blessed by both his books and was blessed to read about his leadership in the underground church in China. The man who wanted me to be involved in those meetings got very angry and accused me of being proud and arrogant and so on. He simply could not get the fact that I have zero desire to be involved in meetings where the draw for such meetings is a man, albeit a wonderful man of God. I want to be around people and gather with people for no other reason than to talk about Jesus and our shared passion for Jesus.

      Thank you for your continued prayers for my family, God bless you……………..bro Frank

      • Eliza said

        Amen! All of our fellowship should be focused upon Jesus Christ, our love for Him and our love for one another. May God raise up godly men who desire nothing more than to serve their King and see His agenda fulfilled in the lives of His children as they preach and teach the truth of God’s Word by the power of the Holy Spirit. God bless us.

        • appolus said

          Amen Eiiza, if everything we did was simply focused on the Lord then it would be a better and simpler world and the Body of Christ would be so much less weighed down that it is now with things that have no eternal value………….bro Frank

  4. Great post! We were never meant to be alone! What a blessing to do life with others.

  5. Barbara said

    Excellent word of encoursgement and life.

  6. Deb B said

    Greetings

    I have just found this site and have been reading through many of your posts and have found them to be very enlightening, and encouraging, so much so that I have begun to share this site with those I know who are on this same journey in Christ.

    Your post “God is calling His Remnant outside of the established church” was very encouraging to both my husband and myself as we have been out of the “church system” for over 5 years now.
    During this time we have not had much opportunity to gather together with other believers but continue in prayer in our home, trusting that the Lord will bring others our way or us their way, allowing for His Holy Spirit to lead and guide us.

    We also continue to submit ourselves for His work of refining in us to bring the much needed change in our lives and in the lives of our children. We also realize our need for a greater reliance upon the Lord. How our trust and hope must be solely upon Him for all things rather than that which we once looked to or what we were accustomed to.

    Getting together to pray and share the Lord with other believers has been difficult yet it sounds like we are all going through the same thing and desiring true fellowship. Perhaps some have become fearful of stepping out because of what they have gone through or fearful they will be entering into more disappointment. Whatever the reason, fear and unbelief cannot have a part in what God is doing as He is looking for a people who are full of faith, unafraid of the the “giants” in the land.

    I have also noticed that many times people seem to have so many things going on in their own lives that they don’t have time for fellowship with those outside of their own families. I do believe however that we need to make this time for the Lord in our lives as well as others in Christ, just like you have shared.

    “If you are so busy with life that your relationship with Jesus takes second place and you have no meaningful relationships with other brothers and sisters in Christ then you need to take stock of what is truly important. It really all comes down to time. We create time for what is truly important to us. So you have to recognize what is truly important and I have no doubt that there are many things you probably need to simply give up if they relegate Jesus and the Body of Christ to second place.”

    Again so thankful to have found this site and we are blessed with what you are sharing here.

    The Lord continue to bless and strengthen you in Him.

    Deb B

    • appolus said

      Hi Deb and welcome to this site. God bless you and your husband on your journey with the Lord. I think business is one of the vital factors in the distractions of life. We become so caught up in things that are not eternal or have no eternal value, that we miss out on the primary purpose of our lives and in fact the primary purpose as to why the Lord created any of us in the first place, fellowship with Him. He desires to walk with us but cannot be relegated to second place. Jesus straightly told us that we were to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness. I wonder if we asked professing Christians this one thing, how would they answer. The distractions of course come in many shapes and sizes, the most subtle of all is the ” ministry.” If we are busy in that then it seems to give a good cover for not walking closely and intimately with Jesus.

      The comforting thing is that there are saints in every town and in every village and in every city in the land. God has His witness. Circumstances are bringing about a paradigm shift in Christendom and there will be those who are closely anchored to Him and who stay close to Him and He will bring them into safe harbor. Then of course there are those who are not and for so many of them the storm that is headed straight for us will overwhelm them and they will carry them away. Dependance upon the Lord in these coming days will be a vital aspect of who we are. Those who have learned through trial and tribulation and refining that He is our rock and our refuge and high tower, will hide in the cleft and shelter under His wing and run into Him………………bro Frank

  7. exposeevil said

    Reblogged this on Light In The Darkness.

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