In my life, I’ve had several paradigm shifts. They’ve all been painful and costly, but well worth it. I’ve had another paradigm shift in this last season that may sound simple and obvious, but is really a mystery. By mystery, I mean a refreshingly simple spiritual reality that seems to be hidden in the natural realm of things. Today’s post is the first post in a two part series that seeks to shed light on this vitally important topic.
In today’s post, I’d like to expose what I believe to be a destructive lie, and why this lie needs to be understood as a lie. In the next post, I would like to talk about what this refreshing mystery actually is and why it’s better than the lie that many of us have bought into.
Living Stones Being Built Together Into The House of God
As many of you may know, God has a house. His house is also known as the temple. As many of you also may know, this house is not a physical dwelling built by human beings. There was a temple like that many years ago in Israel, but that temple was simply a shadow of a greater temple to come. The real temple is a person who has come. The real house of God is Jesus Christ.
As you may know, this Christ has a body. Every time you look in the mirror, you see a beautiful part of His glorious body. In his New Testament letter to the church, Peter tells us that we are like living stones that are being built together into a temple for our Lord. (1 Pet. 2:5)
When people come out of the religious system and into a revelation that Christ has a body (church) made up of living breathing human beings as His actual body parts (with Himself being the head), seeing the church as a company / institution with a CEO or a clerical head(s) becomes incompatible. For many, this naturally leads to the desire to be built together with others who have a similar revelation.
There are many people who are attempting to be built together with others in their respective areas. Even though the motivation to meet with others in this way is good, two unfortunate things usually occur to these groups.
1. A conflict or disagreement breaks them apart, or they runs out of life and motivation to continue. (Typically within two to three years)
2. They survive the typical three year window and appear to be built together with one another although true building has not occurred despite much hard work to do so. Groups like these tend to become more controlling in nature in their honest attempts to keep the living stones built together. Unfortunately, no real building together occurs despite all the blood, sweat, and tears to do so.
I’m convinced that true building together cannot be done by human effort, good intentions, or external methods. Often, the appearance of being built together can be the greatest enemy of the actual building of the Lord. In my opinion, there is a myth that keeps us from truly being built together.
There is a myth that keeps us in unhealthy environments.
There is a myth that keeps us from transcending the ‘ceilings’ that keep us in mediocrity and from drinking in the heart of our Lord’s eternal purpose.
This myth keeps the machine running.
This myth is a myth.
I have repeated this myth often in my attempt to motivate myself and others. This is the myth that I have been told, but no longer believe…
Friction (pressure / conflict) holds the living stones together in the house that the Lord is building.
Actually, nothing could be further from the truth. I’m not even sure where this myth originated from, but it is commonly taught and used to keep people motivated when heat and conflict arise. I believe this myth appeals to our performance driven human nature. It’s the equivalent of ‘no pain, no gain.’ It is a myth that makes us feel good about feeling bad. It’s a myth that glorifies relational conflict and points to it as evidence that the living stones are being built together in true community.
Is there conflict in true God given relationships? Yes. Absolutely.
Do people die to their flesh in true God given relationships? Yes. Absolutely.
Nevertheless, I think this should be said clearly. Conflict, friction, and death is NOT the ‘glue’ that builds people together with one another. That’s a myth. If that myth were true, every dysfunctional family filled with conflict would stay together and thrive.
Thankfully, there is something other more glorious and satisfying than friction and conflict that is our glue that builds us together with one another.
This is refreshingly good news!
In part II of this series, I would like to share what I have discovered to be the true ‘glue’ that builds us together with one another. Part II of this series is much more important than this post. This post was just something I felt needed to be said in light of part II of this series. In light of the next post, I’d like to ask you for a favor.
Please don’t assume anything about what I’d like to share in part II. The glue that builds us together is much more profound than I have ever known. What I want to talk about is ‘other’, and it’s a glorious mystery indeed. I look forward to sharing it with you.