I. God’s Blessing in Unity of the Spirit
It cannot be said enough how important it is that we find a genuine community in the Holy Spirit where we can grow in God’s Presence and glory. God never intended church life to be apart from His glory. There is no replacement for authentic fellowship in the Spirit where there is real relationship with others of like heart and mind.
“Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!
It is like the precious oil upon the head, running down on the beard,
The beard of Aaron, running down on the edge of his garments.
It is like the dew of Hermon,
Descending upon the mountains of Zion; for there the Lord commanded the blessing—Life forevermore.”
When we do find this community God’s blessing comes in such a powerful way. It is like fresh oil flowing down upon our heads – even His glory in our midst. There is a synergy in the Holy Spirit where value is rediscovered, identity is realized, gifts are awakened and people are empowered.
II. Another Level of Glory
Some have never experienced this kind of life in the Presence of God. There is nothing like it. It can be often imitated but never duplicated. There is a genuine “koinonia” in the Holy Spirit – a special communion that cannot be matched.
g2842. κοινωνία koinōnia; from 2844; partnership, i.e. (literally) participation, or (social) intercourse, or (pecuniary) benefaction: — (to) communicate(-ation), communion, (contri-)distribution, fellowship.
Because of this much more glory is experienced. It is less about structure and more about substance – the substance of His Presence.
“Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.”
The focus is not on eloquent intellectual teaching, not on a great show and not on external comforts. The focus is on the importance of God being in the house, through His manifested Presence, where people are being transformed by His glory. He is the most important Person. It is not about the numbers. Quality wins over quantity. When we find those of like heart and mind the superficiality is removed and true spiritual growth is realized.
III. No Replacement for the Real
Don’t get me wrong, I really really like lights, a nice stage set and even a smoke machine because I’m into technology, gadgets and etc. I’m a musician! Enjoy that stuff. But don’t even think for a moment of replacing the glory of God with entertainment. That’s another version of replacement theology. I like having great numbers too. Who doesn’t? You can have both but don’t make that the default setting. Gideon liked numbers but God had a different idea.
“So Gideon took the men down to the water. There the Lord told him, ‘Separate those who lap the water with their tongues as a dog laps from those who kneel down to drink.’ Three hundred of them drank from cupped hands, lapping like dogs. All the rest got down on their knees to drink. The Lord said to Gideon, ‘With the three hundred men that lapped I will save you and give the Midianites into your hands. Let all the others go home.’ So Gideon sent the rest of the Israelites home but kept the three hundred, who took over the provisions and trumpets of the others.”
God can get more done with little than man can get done with much! Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes the flesh his strength. (Jer. 17:5) Jesus gave us the parable on how to build. One built quickly and another took his time building on the rock. Some choose the quick hamburger helper box and some make their meal from scratch. Guess which one is better and better for you. Fast food is not the best food.
Find the real. Don’t be enamored with fluff, superficiality and entertainment. Gain wisdom and don’t follow the crowd just because something or someone is popular. (Matt. 7:14) Get alone with God in the secret place of His Presence, value Him above all things and let Him lead you into a higher place with Him and in community with others who are hungry for more of His glory.