God is a relational God – that’s why He is in relationship as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. He is a God who loves (John 3:16) and a God who said we were to love one another “as I have loved you.” (John 13:34) Following Christ is not about external commands and observances, even though we do try to live a life that pleases God in all we do. Rather we have a faith that is about fellowship with God and with one another. And because we give the heart to Christ and to each other, it does change all we do. We will want to demonstrate our love for Him and for our fellow believers.
Because our walk with God is about the heart, we are also supposed to walk with one another with genuine feeling for each other. Brotherly love (affection) is supposed to be in and between our church congregations, it should be normal. Enoch walked with God and was no more because God took him. He got so close to God that it was just natural to be with God, so he was taken. That is where we are all supposed to be. And, we are supposed to walk with each other with one heart and one mind.
In a typical church there is an outward working unity. Most church congregations do work together, run programs, help the poor, and do things to advance the Kingdom. However that is no guarantee of what is in the heart of the same people. Many corporations, businesses, sporting teams and other organisations also have an outward effective unity. The disciples of Christ, prior to the Day of Pentecost, were people who worked together with Christ as their unifying point, but they didn’t have brotherly love for each other. In other words, they hadn’t given the heart to each other. The Scriptures contain stories of their independence, pride, argumentative natures, and examples of trying to promote themselves first. All of this was despite the fact that they worked together unified by a common cause.
Christ taught them that the first in the Kingdom was the one who humbled himself, and put others first. The early believers had no ability however to do as Christ instructed until the giving of the Holy Spirit. After the Day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit brought change to them and they recognised the Body of Christ, they saw each other and they gave their hearts. They suddenly belonged to each other and cared. Finally they had love that was real and alive. They had power to do as Christ instructed. Their devotion was now to each other, as well as to Christ.
The typical church congregation has not experienced these type of things on a corporate level, where everyone comes into it together. We all know of believers who exhibit brotherly love and have grace for serving, and it’s real for them. However in our experience, this is rare to see in an entire congregation.
What we are looking for is the “Spirit of Sonship” to come upon all of God’s people, and bring the kind of change we saw on the day of Pentecost. Such things are possible, and have happened through history when people sought God, recognizing their need. However, these same people also had to give the heart. This is a choice each person makes, and is part of where God is trying to bring each individual believer.
In church there are people who serve, and work hard, and these people are needed in churches all over the world. Without them churches would not function, and yet many of them do these jobs without giving the heart to their fellow man, or their pastors. Let your jobs and work be done for God, but also do it for your pastor, and your brothers and sisters. Do it to love them, do it for them to bless them, do it because you decide you will care for them. Give the heart, make a conscious choice to be a blessing to others even if nothing comes back.
Do that, and you’ll sow a seed for something different in the Body of Christ for the future, and for you too. Plus… when you really decide to do it for someone else because you love them, now you have found the key and it is really being done for God. (Matt 25:45)