How We Live 1 Cor. 14:26 in a Family-based Church Setting
…14You do not even know what will happen tomorrow! What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. 15Instead, you ought to say, “If the Lord is willing, we will live and do this or that.” 16As it is, you boast in your proud intentions. All such boasting is evil.…
But as he left, he said, “I will come back to you again if God is willing.” And he set sail from Ephesus.
Many are the plans of a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.
In my prayers at all times; and I pray that now at last by God’s will the way may be opened for me to come to you.
1 Cor 4:19
But I will come to you shortly, if the Lord will, and will know…
1 Corinthians 16:7 For I do not want to see you now and make only a passing visit; I hope to spend some time with you, if the Lord permits.
And this will we do, if God permit.
There are three kinds of meetings that we see the early church do:
Gathering: It is when one or two of the 5-fold Ministry Gifts come to a city and all the Saints will be gathered together in one place. And they will share what is the heart or the plan of the Lord for their city and what to do. And the whole Saints or Church in that city will allign themselves to do what needs to be done. Such events is like Peter stood up and speaks to a big crowd and the 120 disciples alligned themselves to the Message and baptized 3,000 in one day (Acts2). Or Paul gathered the Saints everywhere he goes, in Troas and in Ephesus gathering the elders and gave a teaching or instructions (Acts 20).
Meeting: Is found in 1 Cor.14:26, where everyone has something to share for a given situation. This article will give detailed accounts on this area.
Assembling: Is the daily-life together of the Saints. Where the culture of the kingdom, the 58 one-anothering in the Bible happens in their everyday living. Where they are becoming a family to one another, daily. Hebrews 3:13, to admonish one another daily, not weekly. “Behold how good and how pleasant it is when brethren dwell together in unity” Psalm 133:1. Hebrews 1:24-25, Do not forsake the assembling of the Saints. A pieces of a puzzle can be gathered but not assembled. When we as an individual are gathered, then we are a family. Having “hundreds of mothers, brothers and sisters” as Jesus said of what His church is (Matt.19:29). I believe, this “assembling” type of meeting is the most neglected area of most Christians. We are comfortable enough to see one another once-twice a week. The foot cannot say to the hands, “See you next Sunday!”
I believe that for the Church to become an apostolic one it should have these three. But let’s focus on the “meeting” side of the church.
IF IT IS GOD’S WILL
Often in our lives we have had hard decisions to make such as transferring to another location, finding the right job, deciding what kind of business do we do, or even finding the right person to marry. I am talking about ‘more’ on personal situations here that we needed to do and we want to allign it to the will of God. Thus, we say, “if it is God’s will” or “God willing.”
But let’s talk how we go about 1 Cor.14:26 says. As a family-based community church, means our lives is intertwined with each other every day. We don’t do “Sunday Worship Services” or “Weekly Bible Study” Or “Cell group” nor do a “Evangelistic Crusades” or “Conferences” or “Seminars” on “Church Growth.” We do not even have a “Discipleship Classes.” We do not have a building, a pastor, and an offering box! However, what we do have is we make disciples to our unbelieving families and friends and baptize them directly in those minutes we share the gospel of the kingdom. We father/mother those that we made into disciples, gather as a family. We encourage them to live “from house to house,” to “share everything in common,” to continue in the “apostles doctrine,” to “take care of widows and orphans” as they live “among us.” To admonish one another daily, to love and to serve one another.
No trace of religion.
So when one of us is confonted by a situation and critical decisions is needed to be made and we do not know what to do, we apply 1 Cor 14:26: How is it then, brethren? Whenever you come together, each of you has a psalm, has a teaching, has a tongue, has a revelation, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification. As we do things together; gardening, sewing, cooking, cleaning, repairing, having coffee or meal together, situations or concerns are shared. We inform a couple of saints of the situation without asking what to do except in your secret-time with Father you ask Him of a word, wisdom, knowledge, pray in a tongue (if you do now know how to talk), a song or story from the Bible, a dream or a revelation, a vision. Remember, we may good at hearing God for ourselves but I believe we need to be good at hearing God for others as well, thus denying ourselves and serving one another. Days passes by and some may have something from the Lord for the situation, we will find out. You may not have it yet, we keep waiting, you will wait in the Lord also. We don’t want to miss alligning ourselves to the will of God so let us be patient and not hurry. In due time, it’s time to sit down together and share what we heard from the Lord for the brother’s situation. By the way, sometimes some saints were ask to pray to the Father without exposing the situation. This is exciting as well because God always love to surpise His children, “And suddenly, the wind blows…you do not know where its coming and going.”
“Can you guys pray for my family,” one sister ask me, “we are in the middle of either stay where we are now or go back to our homeland.” A week passes by and I only saw a bucket overflowing with water as I pray. “This is nonsense.” I said, “what has got to do with transferring house?” Then I realize, “Oh ok, this is not for me anyway but for the lady. I ask Father to hear Him for her.”
“Oh wow, that is interesting!” She said while I told her what I saw.
“Apart from transferring house I am really praying for the infilling of the Holy Spirit.” She exclaimed.
“Oh, that make sense now” I said. “But it’s still blurry. We shall ask others to join in.”
Days passed. Let’s see what others get from the Lord as well.
“If your’s is a bucket overflowing with waters Molong,” Peter said, “mine is a barrel overflowing with waters flowing down to a couple of small buckets!”
I shared this to the sister. She was more happy. “What else others have got?” She ask.
“Another brother sees a twister eating up the whole house and transffered to another location” I said.
“What? That’s the same with what a friend of mine gets!” She said.
“And Albert got a story from the Bible that night when I ask him to pray for you. A story of Naomi and Ruth.” We know what the story is aall about.
And what’s more interesting is that Albert didn’t know the situation at all of the sister.
To cut it short, the word is clear enough, the family went back to their homeland and settled there.
2 Cor. 13:1 – “Every matter must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses .”
Many instances we are already using 1 Cor. 14:26 way of finding what the will of God is without realizing. It is funny though, because before we ‘intentionally’ gather to do 1 Cor.14:26 but somehow it doesn’t make sense. You know, we gather and ask the Lord for a tongue, wisdom, song, revelation, etc and we do not know why. For what? I’m not trying to devalue or illigitimize others who do it just that. They might be good at it already and how I wish it is that simple to us.
A key to how we ended up using it like this is I believe we have decided to follow the early church way of life of living close enough to each other and have daily life together. Many churches followed the early church way of doing leadership, for example, yet misses their way of life. The early Church is a family of families living ‘from house to house’ and have ‘daily meetings’ and lead mainly by apostles, prophets and elders whereas the church now is an institution, lived in compartmentalization (this is sacred, this is secular), and run mainly by pastors who mostly claimed to have all the 5-fold gifts thus forbiding outsiders to come in so as not to contaminate their church.
Paul says to Timothy, “But you, Timothy, certainly know what I teach, and how I live, and what my purpose in life is. You know my faith, my patience, my love, and my endurance” 2 Tim.3:10. Today, Christians receive too much teaching but lack the wisdom on how to live. Discipleship is not about classes or else Jesus is downgraded into a program. Discipleship is about how you live the life of the kingdom. There is two equippng in the New Testament, and we know too much of the famous one found in Ephesians 4:11-12, “equip for the works of service (ministry) “but quite ignorant of other equipping found in 2Tim.3:17, “equip for every good work.” One is teaching them about God, the other one is teaching them how to live. Christians know too much of the Bible but doesn’t know how to cook an egg to feed a widow!
God gave dreams and revelations, not just wisdom and knowledge, tongue and interpretations. Many times we are given dreams to guide us what to do when we do know what to do. We had a situation that we cannot even talk about it because we do not know how to talk about it, and what words to say, how to say it. But everyone knows it’s a situation that needed a period. And so a couple of us was given a dream and the same dream and others is a continuation of others dreams. Means, we knew what to do. We didn’t even have to talk about the situation. We just all decided to do it. We said, “It seems good to the Holy Spirit and to us…” Acts 15:28
Revealing Sins Among us
Sometimes we are given a situation and ask others to join in. But sometimes as a church the Lord will reveal to us a situations we don’t know of that is His concern. Wives are normally flow in the gift of prophetic, and husbands are more apostolic in a way he wants to get things done. So when my wife dreamed of something it normally happens, like she dreamed of a snake, a white snake, many small snakes and then in a couple of days there are things that are being revealed to us. Sometimes we are told what to do, normally we are not told by the Lord what to do. So we do nothing.
So apart from daily-life together, Hebrews 3:13, the 1Cor.14:26 is cleaning us, purifying us, disciplined us, helping us see His ways, unite us, helping us in loving God more and one another, and yes, surprises us!
“So, when you come together,..” means each one has something to share for the given situation. Before you come, you got something already from the Lord for your brothers and sisters situation. If not, sleep more and ask God to give you something. It’s good.