Church within the Church: Will you be of the few who press in for more of the Lord, no matter the cost?

gray door.jpgThere is a church within the church.

The Song of Solomon talks about the Bride that was called out from Daughters of Jerusalem (Song of Solomon 6:1).  David was called out from among his brothers (1 Samuel 16:11).  Jehu was called out from among his companions (1 Kings 9:4-7). When David went to Ziklag to rescue the wives and children of his army that had been captured, he took only 200 of his men.  The others stayed behind.  When Gideon was called to fight, he was only allowed to choose 300 men of the 32,000 he started out with (Judges 7:1-7).  Joseph was called out from the sons of Jacob.

The church within the church wins victories and gets spoils for all.  They share their victories so others can be spiritually prosperous and better off.  Not everyone is going to pay the price to fight and win and come back from the enemy’s camp with the spoils of war.  Not everyone is going to pray the price to maintain intimacy with Jesus in order to hear what He is doing in the earth and lead out in that way.  But relationship is built in shared experiences with Jesus on the battlefield and in the prayer closet and it’s that relationship that can’t be shared.  I can share the benefits of my time with the Lord but I can never share the intimacy that I have pressed in for.  I can give away what I have seen and heard, but I can never give away the knowledge I have of His presence that I took hold of for myself.

Look at Elisha, the pupil and servant of Elijah.  On Elijah’s last day on earth, the school of the prophets knew that it was Elijah’s last day.  (Weird but true!) They kept telling Elisha, “This is your master’s last day.” He said, “I know, I know!” Elijah also acted strangely.  Instead of asking Elisha to stay close to him, he tried to send him away back to the group of the prophets. But Elisha wouldn’t go.  Why? I believe that he knew that what Elijah carried needed to be passed on to someone and he wanted to be that man.  He knew that for his ministry to be what he had experienced while walking with Elijah, he was going to need that anointing.  So Elisha stayed away from the group and pressed in closer to Elijah.  He got so close that when the chariots of God came to take Elijah from this earth, Elisha was right there to catch Elijah’s mantle.  Now that must have been a cool moment.  Many of us have watched someone die, but we’ve never seen angels take them away – in a chariot of fire, no less! So Elisha represents the zeal of the church within the church.  When trials, inconvenience, and the cares of this world tell us that we need to back away from the intense presence of the Lord and rejoin the group – the status quo of religion – we say, “No! Jesus, I will not leave your side! I want all that you have for me.”

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