I have finally accepted the fact that I am highly irregular—I don’t floss, exercise or pray consistently. Instead of condemning myself, however, I have come to realize that like many artists, creativity is more important than routine. Nevertheless, I still try to floss and pray. (I’m still working on the exercise.) One habit I have added to my semi-regular routine is to ask God to order my steps each day. As I have done this, I have become aware of some amazing “coincidences.”
One day, my conversation with a patient veered from her surgery to nutrition to healing to deliverance. It turns out that she is the director of the freedom ministry at her church. Her pastor’s wife was a student of Dr. Charles Kraft, whose seminar I had just attended. And God brought us together. As soon as she has recovered, we plan to have coffee together and exchange deliverance stories.
Another day, I took care of my husband’s colleague. He asked about my job change which I answered with uncharacteristic honesty. Having been my patient at the previous position, he was stunned to learn of the allegations made against me. He told me how loved and cared for he felt when he was my patient. I was able to joyfully share how God had moved despite the enemy’s attempt to destroy me.
Just recently, I met with someone who was an elder at my previous church. I asked how things were going there. As he filled me in, he noted that his daughter had been part of a church that underwent a change. They met with their pastor to tell him that they would be changing churches and “getting their nourishment” from another pastor. I was disturbed by this perspective but wisely kept quiet.
Afterwards, when I shared this conversation with a friend, she reminded me that people who need to be fed by another person are known as babies. In reality, we are to be fed by Jesus, not through a human on Sunday morning, solid Bible church or not. After all it was Jesus who said, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.”
At some point, this man asked where I was going to church. I told him that since leaving his fellowship, my perspective had changed. Church is not a meeting but rather who we are. I meet with the church in a variety of informal settings throughout the week. Later, I ran across a quote that expresses what I was trying to say:
The nature of ekklisia is not about a group of people who go to a meeting together. The nature of ekklesia is a group of people who are participating in an ever expanding set of friendships, not just relationships, but growing friendships, who genuinely care about each other, genuinely enjoy being with each other, who will walk with me through the tough stuff, laugh with me through the fun stuff, and I with them. That stimulates the life of the church. That is how church is expressed.
When Jesus led me away from this man’s church, I felt unsettled and confused. It didn’t make sense to me to leave a church. What I left, however, was not the church; I left the institution known as church. In its place, I have embraced a new reality. My experience of church has become richer as I have learned to trust Jesus and the Holy Spirit for my nourishment. Instead of being dependent on another human, I have been fed by the Shepherd Himself.
Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil. (Heb 5: 13-14 NIV)
GENEVA CHINNOCK is a writer and author of Becoming His Beloved: Journey into the Father’s Affection and is known as Lady Arwen to her closest allies. She lives in Southern California with her husband and blogs semi-regularly about matters of faith at TreasuredbyGod.com.
 John 6:35 NIV
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