Are we building our own luxurious houses or are we building God’s Kingdom? (Haggai 1)
Are we more interested in holding a correct theological and ecclesiological position, or is our concern for the unity of the body of Christ? Do we believe that our way of being church is the right way and that everyone else is a little misguided?
Back in my days as a physician, one of the highlights of my career was performing an EKG on a very well-known persecuted Christian from the underground church. As I placed my hands on the deep (at least 1 inch deep and a foot or so long) scars on his chest and back, I was in awe at the example of this joy-filled and gracious man! One of the things I best remember him saying was that in a situation where believers suffer severe persecution, denominations and theological divisions do not matter. What counts is the heart and the relationship with Jesus. In prison he had deep fellowship with some who, under normal situations, people would say were part of a cult, or certainly very unsound theologically.
I pray it will not take that kind of persecution to bring the body of Christ to unity.
Jesus is in the process of breaking down the barriers that we have erected between us. He is coming back for a pure bride, without spot or wrinkle. As life accelerates towards his coming again, I believe we will see Christians walking together without regard to which church they attend, or what theology they hold. Even so come, Lord Jesus!
What can we do as churches together that we cannot do on our own? Let’s build his Kingdom rather than concentrating on living in luxury and comfort in our own houses.
5 replies on “A lesson from my days as a physician: What are we building?”
I live in the Bay Area and am close friends with Ross Rohde. I met you in Dallas a few years ago.
God is using your messages to minister to my heart in a deep way. We just finished an addition to our house that I have been dreaming and planning to build for years. I had been reading Haggai before you started to write about it. The Holy Spirit convicted me through Haggai that I have been too concerned with this house. I have been obsessed with it to the point of idolatry. I want zeal for His house to consume me.
Thank you for your ministry. I have given away “Army of Ordinary People” to many friends. One of my wife’s and my all-time favorite books. Please pray for me that I will have a passion for the Lord’s house that surpasses the obsession I have had for this house.
Thanks for praying and I will continue to pray for your ministry. You are doing a great work and I know the Lord is very pleased!
Thanks for this post – I have seen a little progress in this regard in the northeast USA, but much less than needed to make a regional difference. Need to keep praying.
I have a question, Felicity.
‘Building our own houses’ might mean several different things. It might mean that my personal life elbows aside my spiritual life (seed among the thorns). It might imply that a particular instance of church has ignored the rest of the local body. It might mean we have put more effort into denominations and streams than we have into oneness.
It certainly means that we have put more emphasis on ‘our stuff’ and less on ‘Papa’s stuff’; and we can do so individually, on a local group basis, or on a large organisation basis (or all three).
We have put more emphasis on the place where we live than on the place where we worship in spirit and in truth.
As you and Tony have worked through Haggai and beyond, have you had the sense that one of these aspects is more relevant than the others today? Do they apply equally, or does it vary from person to person, group to group, place to place?
Interested to hear your thoughts.
Thanks for sharing this. First things must always be first, indeed.
You are right again here Felicity…its not about the church you attend or theology you hold…but walking in the love and grace of our Lord. We have recently met a couple that is far away from what we believe…but they are the most loving,giving people we have ever met!…And they recently brought me over a book on Haggai…because I was studying this.. I can’t say I even agree with this book…but their faith, dedication and love walk speaks louder then their religion…may we see more “In Christ” and not denomination…