What will it cost you to build God’s Spiritual House?
The following excerpt is from Milt and Mary Rodriguez’s novel, The Gathering, in which God calls believers together through dreams to pursue building His ekklesia. In the following scene, one character, George is having one of these dreams and is witnessing a brother sharing in a church meeting:
The Lord said that before we build, we should consider the cost. It is very foolish to start building without first understanding the price of materials. “What are the materials? Gold, silver, and precious stones. The building is His Body. It is made of living stones. Christ is this foundation. What is the cost of this building? What is the cost of this Pearl? What is the cost of this Treasure? The answer is simple: THE COST IS YOUR LIFE . . .
… everything which you hold onto, everything which is your security, your comfort, your sanctuary. It may cost your family, friends, leisure, career, money, hobbies, spouse, possessions, daily routine, etc. The things which hinder you from becoming God’s Building in a practical way, these things are your life. Jesus said you must lose your life! You see, losing is the only way to gain. If you will lose your life, then you will gain His life. His life is a life lived out with your brothers and sisters. His life is a corporate life, not a separated, individualistic life. These things which get in the way of His life . . . these things are your life. Lose it. Paul said it is through much tribulation that we enter into the kingdom. It’s not easy. There will be many obstacles along the way. But believe me, brothers and sisters, it will be worth it.”
As he continued to speak, George began to look into the faces of those sitting around this living room. He could see it . . . he could see it on their faces. They had paid a price to be there. In each face, there was joy, and yet, he could detect a deep pain. It was not pain as one normally comprehended it. It was a pain which was intricately interwoven with the joy. There was no hint of remorse, or resentment, or regret. Their resolve was clear. The eyes of each one only revealed glory and beauty. The faces, however, manifested the deep scars — the wounds which would forever remain because they were each one with the Crucified. They fellowshipped with one another in His sufferings. They were filled up within their bodies that which lacked of the sufferings of Christ for His Body.
The suffering had been great and the persecution monumental, but that did not make them special. There was this treasure in them. And even though the field looked barren and neglected and unattractive because, after all, it was made of earth; the treasure within radiated through the portals of their souls, their eyes. Oh . . . … those eyes told the whole story! One could not peer into those eyes without getting lost in the fire of His love. The passion of His being. The downright splendor of His glory! And that eternal weight, that unending Rock of Heaven, that perfect reflection of the Father, was purchased by the mere human life.
And for the first time in his life, George saw a tiny glimpse of what the Lamb had paid to purchase Her . . . that one who would be His Wife. And even though he felt as if he had not suffered very much, somehow, he understood their suffering. They were one with Him. His suffering was their suffering. How could the Head suffer pain without the Body suffering likewise? George was seeing something in the faces of these people which he had never seen before: the inexplicable oneness of Christ with His Church.
He looked around the room and whispered to himself. “He really is one with us . . . He really is!” George’s thoughts were interrupted as the soft spoken, bearded man continued. “We must never give up on the dream. He has called us to carry the torch, the witness of His eternal purpose in this age. We cannot quit. We must carry the torch to the next generation. We must never give up on the dream. Never give up on the dream. Never give up on the . . .
Follow the Life!
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