Squishing Your Bubbles Together
How many individuals group themselves to form what we call intimate relationships? For example, how many will be in a core group and will have what we call intimate relationships?
In answer to your questions, take a look at Acts in chapter 2. Were groupings made up with each group having a certain number of people? All at once there were 3,120 people in one day. No one divided them up, but they just “were” who they were. Only so many could fit into a house at one time, but nobody was “assigned” to a house. They had a kind of life where today I’m at Bob’s house, tomorrow I’m at Matt’s, and the next day I’m at John’s. I’m meeting and involving myself with different people, building relationships.
If you can picture this with me…a normal person’s life, even if they’re saved, has a family life, and often times a work life, a neighborhood life, a recreation life, hobbies or friendships. God’s desire is that we take all of those little areas like my family, my job and my recreation…and squish them all together. What that means is that none of the brothers has his own separate life. Hundreds of brothers are involved with each other.
Of those brothers, there might be three or four that I involve in my work. If I’m involved with the government, there will be other brothers that I’m talking to about my job. I want to involve them in my situation, so I’m introducing them to my co-workers. I’m inviting brothers to have lunch with my co-workers. If I have a decision to make about my job, it’s not “me and my job,” and it’s my own little bubble. Rather, I squish the bubble into the Body of Christ. So now it’s possible to find wisdom in the multitude of counselors as the Bible says. Let every matter be established by the testimony of two or three, the Bible says again and again (Mat. 18:16, 20, 2Cor. 13:1, Heb. 10:28). “We being many are one.” We are members of one another.
My hand doesn’t run around making decisions and doing its own job, completely disconnected from my body and my head, “Well, Jesus tells me what to do.” No, it comes through the body. So I don’t have a job anymore that is “my” job. Bob doesn’t have a job that is “his” job. Brothers are involved in his life, including his job. They may not be employees or earn wages from the same place he does, but if he has to make a hard decision like whether or not to fire an employee and he’s troubled about it, he and brothers are going to pray and talk about it. Perhaps the brothers will even have a lunch together and invite that person to come and talk to him about Jesus. Maybe the employee’s whole problem is that he doesn’t know Jesus and he would be fine if he did! Maybe we help him put the most important thing first which is Jesus, and then we can work out the job issues after that.
If I have a bubble of “my” family life, then after I work hard all day, I go home and I’m so tired, and have barely enough time and energy for my biological family. So I don’t want another “meeting.” I understand why you would feel that way, but it is because you have too many bubbles. What if you come home and find three or four brothers and sisters at the house. The sisters are helping your wife prepare the meal so she’s not so tired. The brothers see you are tired so they pray with you about your day. Then they play a game in the yard with the children while you go take a nap! They love you and your children, so these brothers help with your children and talk about Jesus and impart Jesus to them. Then we all get together and share a meal together. Ten more people come over for dinner or after dinner and we end up singing and worshipping. Somebody shares what they’ve been reading from Acts chapter 2 and then they go home.
Now all of a sudden, the bubbles of my work, my biological family, my church life and my relationships begin to be squished together. Let’s say I’m a woman and I’m so busy and I have to clean the house and go to the market. What if three sisters help me clean the house and go to the market with me and we do it all together? We then share Jesus with the vendors in the market place together, because where two or three are gathered there is Jesus. Jesus forces us to be together, doesn’t He?
The Bible doesn’t say, “Where one is together and reads his Bible and prays there is Jesus.” Of course He is there if Jesus lives inside of me, but it was God who said, “Where two or three are together, there I am in the midst.” It is God who pushes us to be together because He’s there in power, wisdom and special measure when we’re together. So I find ways to not have my little bubble of work, my little bubble of housekeeping, my little bubble of cooking or child raising or family life. We squish all of those bubbles together and that’s Church. Church is our home and family life being brought into the Church. Then the Church is defined by all of our bubbles being squished together instead of all of us having our separate bubbles and trying to find time to have more meetings.