After I left the Church System
(not True Church)
Being new to California, most all my friends and social life was wrapped up in the church we were attending – besides people I interacted with at work. My husband and I had met some nice people and were very plugged in to the church life. Leaving wasn’t easy but we knew what God was leading us to do. The more we read and sought in the Word, the clearer it became to us what would become of the church system (not true church) and we started to see it happening around us. It wasn’t our reasons but God’s leading through His Word. On the flip side, He was drawing us deeper into His Word. In brief this is some of what we read and saw, the church system as a whole is leading people to depend on the system not God, to cultivate and nurture a relationship with the system not God, to trust in the system for spiritual nourishment not God. The church often tries to play the role the Spirit should be playing in people’s lives.
Once I started to see what was happening in the church and how blinded I had been to it all, I had to follow God’s lead to another fellowship. As an old church goer, but fairly new true follower of Christ, I needed to establish God as my foundation, something the church always had been. I had trusted the church for my spiritual growth, to “feed” me, my source of truth, and so on. I thought God was my source, but honestly my relation to Him was through the Church. But now a shift was occurring in my life. I had been greatly influenced by others, but now my influence was God’s Word. I was new at cultivating a relationship with God, but I was on the path to building a foundation in Him, something I desperately needed, we all need.
After we left, there was one woman who beside my husband and family was my “fellowship”. It was that way for several years. I prayed about being in the fellowship God desired for me, but nothing manifested. I resolved to trust God that He was able to lead me where He wanted me. During those years, God and I developed a tremendous relationship. He truly became my Rock, my Teacher, comfort and counselor. I needed those “alone” years so that He truly became my foundation, not someone or something else. Over time, my beliefs shifted from being grounded in human teachers words to God’s Word – and that changed everything.
Once that foundation was established, then God started to bring into my life other godly women for me to “fellowship” with. It wasn’t the formal gathering of being inside a church, but souls hungry and desirous coming together real, open and honest. We talked about the tough issues, scripture, what God was teaching us. In that environment encouragement, prayer, exhortation, praise, and worship from the heart came alive. I began to understand what true fellowship was about. I think we get too locked in to how we think fellowship should be and we don’t trust God to truly lead us to what is best for us and those around us – and that various for each one of us.
Many of us have been so ingrained about what fellowship is that we are blinded to other true fellowship that God has in store for us. We get wrapped up in being in the “right” one because of what others have said that if we aren’t in the church system we’ll fall away. We don’t trust God to protect and provide. We push, seek and all the while neglect to trust God and develop a relationship with Him. People are often more concerned about being in the right fellowship than cultivating a real relationship with God grounded in truth – crazy how backwards everything is.
Our life is one of faith and faith is all about trust. The question is who is our faith in really? Those years alone with God put all that to the test as well as refined it. God knows what we need. But we need to follow His lead not man’s “should dos” . We need to abide in His Word. We need to trust that He can provide and protect us no matter where we are – and that level of trust comes from taking time to develop a relationship with Him.
This is a bit of side note, but relevant. I’m having an emotional morning . . . last night I had a horrible dream. It was weird and futuristic, but the basis is there was an earthquake and I was separated from my two cats. It was days before I could get to the place where they were. My heart felt like it was torn in a million pieces. I went searching for them among all the madness as everyone was trying to take care of their own. I finally found Malcolm curled up sleeping in a corner. I hardly recognized him. Dirt covered his white fur. I picked him up. He was much smaller because he hadn’t eaten or had water for days. He was weak and limp in my arms. I was trying to find him some water, but couldn’t find any and at the same time find Sophie, his sister. She is the more frightened one. I looked everywhere. I found a cat I thought was her, but wasn’t. I carried Malcolm around running looking frantically for her and I woke never finding her.
My heart is still aching in my chest. Its amazing how dreams create real emotions in you. But the thought of them so helpless, dependent, defenseless, and needing me to care for them and not being able to was overwhelming. Even telling my husband about my dream this morning tears started to fill my eyes. I love those little guys.
The love I feel is a nit compared to the love that God feels for us, and this is where this is relevant to this topic. We are just as helpless, dependent, defenseless, and needing His to care constantly. God loves us so incredibly much. But so often we doubt His love and don’t trust it. We trust man and those around us more. We don’t trust that He will really care and protect us. So, in our beliefs, we never fully step into that place under His wing. It was a hard dream, but reminded me about the depth of His love for His children.
I know many are struggling with this whole church situation. God loves you so much. We can trust His lead and that wherever we are He will guard and protect if we seek and abide in Him and His Word. The end is upon us. These days are tough. Things are changing just as Christ warned us. But God promised to always be there and protect and provide and He will not let His promises fail to His children who He loves beyond words. The journey God has lead me on has been exactly what I needed. It has been incredible. But I needed to trust Him and I was able as I understood His love for me, which came from abiding in His Word and cultivating a real relationship with Him.