The following post was one of Jay's earlier, and more foundational posts after first starting this blog in 2011. An 'oldie but goodie,' and definitely worth revisiting ... again. :)
What I hope to do here is to take a step back to a question that was asked of me about 10 years ago now. Here it is in context:
I had just arrived late for a leaders gathering in Charlotte, NC. I couldn’t help but note a rather common look on the faces of those already present. It was sort of a pleasant look, like a group of cats who had just shared a canary.
Before I could take my seat, the presiding leader asked, “Jay, what does the Church in this city look like?” I hesitated a second or two and then responded, “It looks like the sum total of all of those who belong to Christ in this city, who know who are theirs in Him. Everything else is show business.”
I share this by way of further introduction to what I would like to blog about here. The kind of intimacy that we are looking for is not likely to be found until we accept Jesus as Lord of relationship. We need to know and receive one another as from Him. What God calls church is not about “let’s make a deal” on a human level.
In a subsequent leaders meeting, but still back in that same time frame, I shared that, “There are places in all of us where we have never been. We can’t get there alone because, if we did, it wouldn’t be the same place as it would be if somebody was there with us. The problem is that there is so much garbage between here and there, that we are afraid to go there, either alone or with someone else. We need to have a place to put the garbage. That is a place that only Christ can provide, and has provided. "Behold, The Lamb of God who takes away the ‘garbage’ of the world." He is not only our garbage man, but He wants to make garbage men out of us for the sake of those He has given us to love. We don’t have to take away the garbage of the whole world, but we are called to, and can, take away the garbage of those He has given us to love in Him.
Having said that, which I know sounds very nice in theory, I must quickly add that in my experience it only happens in the intimacy that is possible when He is Lord of relationship. Unless we discover who we are in Him, and in relationship to others in Him, we dare not get that close.
Jesus wants to give you, and has, in fact, promised to give you significant others in Him. Keep your eyes open, because you never know when He is going to give you the gift of another person. Opening the package can easily take a life time. Oh yes, the package can only be opened in the presence of God’s kind of love, the kind He demonstrated on the day He said, “I love you,” when He and His expectations were nailed to the tree. We need this revelation if we are ever going to love like God.