When the church comes out of the four walls, and walks into a home, something happens. Glory is getting out, and presence is being released.
Meeting a person at the fellowship is different from meeting that same person at his home. When I come to your home, I’m invited to your space, to your world, to your everyday world. And just knowing your world helps me to know you better and love you even more. I get a taste of the atmosphere around you, as you walk in and out of your house every single day. I know what mindset you leave the house in and what greets you when you come back after a hectic day’s work.
I suddenly don’t isolate you anymore to what I see you at church. And everyone at church comes with the ‘church-face’ – all happy, I’m fine-praise-the-Lord, all dressed up in the very best, at the best behavior possible, controlling the yawns during message, being ‘attentive’ – all of us might not fake, but all of us try to be our best. No one walks in says “I feel terrible” in response to “Hey, how are you doing?”
Recently a friend broke up and was going through the worst phase in his life. When I told my husband, he was shocked. “Are you sure? I just met that guy and he looked perfectly fine, and we shared a good laugh too.”
We all can play “church.”
Our team recently visited a family that is in the aftermath of a betrayal by the father, and still reeling from it, though the father left home years ago. And how many years does not matter, the devastating effects still remain. Everyone in the house is living below the greatness God has placed inside of them, everyone adjusted rather painfully to the tragic incident, and now are in the survival mode, not even aware that there is a thriving mode after survival. All are stuck at survival.
Broke my heart to see how every child in the family is deeply hurt by the father’s abandonment. How does one recover from a fatherless home, a fatherless society, a fatherless nation? I look at every person as a generation, and I saw three generations in that house whose foundation is a fatherless-living. Such a tragedy.
And here I was, coming from a loving home, with the best father I could ever dream of having, with the most loving and supportive mother ever. I don’t even have empathy to give. The only thing I can give is what I have – the revelation of the love of the Father.
Now when I look at the same people in that home, I view them so differently – my perspective has completely changed. I have more grace to give, more grace to understand their messed up lives, and more grace to suffer-long while behavioral change in them comes at a very slow pace. The house visit changed me in more ways than one.
Healing people where they hurt, meeting them where they are is the purpose of the church. Yes, they can come to us once a week, or a month for corporate worship, nourishment and fellowship, and that is very important – I’m not denying that. But the beauty of going to meet them where they are in life, now, is unmatched.
I think that’s why Jesus chose to come to us, to where we are, in our abode, on our earth, to meet us on our turf, and shine in his light in the darkness we were living in. That’s what separates Him from the rest of the “gods.” While others seek for us to painstakingly scale through mountains and efforts of rigid holiness to come to them, this God of love, reaches down and walks among us, and takes it even further … walks like one of us, by becoming like us.
Jesus said it was to our advantage that he went up to the Father, so He could release the Holy Spirit to us in full measure, who will come and dwell in us, in our tent, in our spirit, in our deepest being. The abode of God is now with man. He chose to visit my house, and stay with me forever. This is not a temporary visitation but a permanent habitation.
I’m more grateful than ever before for the love of God, and I can see more clearly than before the love He has for each one of us. I felt his heartbeat for that family, a deep longing to visit them in a special way and make His habitation in their hearts and their home forever.
Hope was released, faith restored in restoration, reconciliation introduced, love poured out through the Holy Spirit. I firmly believe, even as we declared a new season, new courage, supernatural hope, and everlasting joy in that house. Hope made a visit. The work has begun.
We are privileged to carry His love, and release His Kingdom in that house. And many more houses to come, and to cities and nations … being ourselves transformed in the process.
Behold, I stand at the door and knock.
If anyone hears My voice and opens the door,
I will come in to him and dine with him,
and he with Me.