"God [is] faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord." (1Cor 1:9).
Christians are meant to gather or fellowship on the ground of Christ. We are meant to assemble unto Christ, for Christ and through Christ. But the question is, are we actually doing that? I look around and all I see is people gathering on the ground of so many things except Christ. Oh, how we love gathering on the ground of religion; we gather to do some religious services, to carry out a religious program or scheme, to follow a schedule or list of religious activities, everything well programed, organized and arranged so that we can all have a religious experience. And there we meet on the ground of religion. We may mention the name of God many times and say Christ a thousand times but that doesn't change the fact that we are gathering on the ground of religion to carry out certain religious activities which we call 'worship to God' or whatever we may like to call it.
We gather on the ground of the Bible, on our fascination and our obsession with this book. We gather to worship this great book that drop from the sky and had remain standing from generation to generation. Our forefathers worship this book therefore we must worship it also. How we gather around this book, breaking it down chapter by chapter, verse by verse, so meticulously, not even ignoring; the comma, the full stop and every exclamation mark. We talk about this book, sing the songs of praises of this book and we preach about the supremacy and the greatness of this book. We so desire to know this book, to be so familiar with the words of this book, to be able to quote verses upon verses and like the Pharisees we are incapable of recognizing and knowing the One that the book talks about. We gather unto the Bible and ignore the person that the Bible is pointing to.
We also gather on the ground of prayer and we say things such as; "oh we need to pray, to intercede for the nations", "we need to get power through fervent prayers", "we need to engage in spiritual warfare and deal with the devil", "we need to seek the face of God concerning that thing or this thing" and on and on we go. We spend hours upon hours engaging in fervent prayer. And after all the prayer we feel so satisfied, oh how we love the feeling of doing, doing and doing, we are so sure we've cause crisis in hell. But the devil sit at a corner and laugh, It's just empty religious prayer. We pray outside God's desire, our prayer isn't connected to God's heart. We've never really care to know the Lord, to fellowship with him, we just love that activity of praying, it makes us feel powerful. And then we gather for this course, to make ourselves feel good. It's nothing but another religious activity.
We also gather on the ground of the 'work of God' where we discuss how we need to work for God and do that and this and also that. And we say all kind of thing to justify the significance and urgency of these work, even using the name of God and mentioning Christ. We use all manner of tools - that is not of Christ - to motivate people to do the work, all the while emphasizing that WE MUST DO. And so we gather on the ground of what we term "the work of God".
Oh! My beloved brethren, do not say I am criticizing everything that Christians does. The truth is that we know very little about gathering unto Christ, meeting on the ground of Christ and Christ alone. I know you may not understand what I mean by gathering on the ground of Christ. We have spend so much time in religion that Christ is so strange to us, may God open our eyes. When we gather on the ground of Christ we are gathering to meet Christ (Matt 18:20), to see and experience Christ, to allow Christ freely express himself through his body, to observe Christ as he lives through his body, to talk about Christ, to share our fellowship of Christ with one another, to express our obsession and passion for Christ (Eph 3:17-19) and to give Christ to one another. Why can't we just meet and talk about Christ; oh, how beauty he is, how awesome is his greatness, how majestic is his glory, how liberating is his reign; how sweet is his love and how powerful is his Lordship. Let meet on this ground, on the ground of who we are in Christ and talk about the indwelling Christ; how we are coming to know him as we attempt to live by his life, what we've come to discover about this life in us - it dislikes and likes. Talk about his love, how great is his love toward us and through us. Why can't we in togetherness and in harmony of the Spirit enter into his presence and enjoy the sweetness of him. And just reach out and touch his heart, have a taste of his heart, his passion, his joy and his grievance. To climb up unto the heavens in oneness and sit together with him to enjoy his company. Everything is not about doing, God wants a relationship.
Oh! How we meet on the mental realms and end up arguing Scriptures and doctrines and all that... We find conflicts and contradictions when we gather on a ground outside of Christ because harmony and peace only exist in Christ. Yes that is where we grow - on the ground of Christ. You can't plant on a rock and expect it to grow, you must put the seed on a fertile soil. This is why we need to learn to gather on the ground of Christ, for this is where we find true spiritual growth. To gather around Christ, put him at the center and let the whole activity evolve around him. Let him head the meeting and allow his Spirit direct it. Let the gathering be all about him and let him be the beginning and the ending of the meeting. Can we do that? If only we can do it we would experience the body of Christ in ways we've never imagine. Oh, we would behold his glory and his beauty, falling on our knees at the greatness of his presence and we would find ourselves going deeper in the knowledge of him, awaken to our hunger for him. Do we want this? Do you want Christ or do you prefer religion with it many activities and obsession about a book? The word of God is not letters but a person. Don't you want this person? Don't you just hunger to gather on the ground of Christ?