Having just finished my study in London, I spent this past weekend attending The Deeper Christian Life Conference in Orlando, Florida.
Amazing things happen when brothers and sisters gather under the headship of Christ. Well, this is exactly what happened in this conference. I am beyond thankful to have met all these people coming from of a great variety of background. My another similar experience recently can be read here: A Week at The Hookses.
The topic of this conference is the Kingdom of God. There were many wonderful teaching from Frank Viola, who has been an important role in my Christian life for a long time. One thing that struck me the most coming from Frank was that “Everything that we own, from the Kingdom perspective, should be a part of the body of Christ.”
Everything that we own. Not just our spiritual gifts, natural talent, time, but also our physical possessions. Why? So that there will be no one among us who is needy (Acts 4:34). This is how the early Church lived their life together (e.g. Acts 4:32-37).
How does it relate to our view of work then? Well, we work not to lay up worldly treasures for ourselves, but to give and share. This is not a rule luring us into legalism. It is His beauty and the vision of the everlasting Kingdom (Daniel 7:14) that capture us into sharing our life in common in such a way. As someone who is at her 20s and will eventually work, I thank the Lord for this timely message so that I will remember to embrace work with a Kingdom mindset.
A couple from Tennessee during our group sessions encouraged us with their story. This couple lives with other believers in a close-knit community in the same neighbourhood. They do this not just to take care of one another, but to help one another to get out of debt. They begin with one household – helping them to get out of their debts – so that together with this household, they can help the next one to get out of their debts. They live a quiet life working with their own hands (1 Thessalonians 4:11-12).
When a sister asked, how did you guys do that? The couple simply answered, “Christ is the source.” As Frank said, when we truly desire Him and His Kingdom, Him and Him alone will become our true provision, enjoyment, and security.
What is even more moving is that, without any pre-planning, nine brothers and sisters decided to get baptized on the second day of the conference. It all started with one sister’s desire and eight others resonated. Most of them had been baptized before, but they did it without a proper understanding of its meaning. Some were previously baptized into a legalistic system of fear; some were baptized because of peer pressure. In their testimonies, they declared that with their baptism, they had left the world system behind and entered into the Kingdom of God.
We ended the conference by having breakfast in groups of 3 and 4, although my group ended up with 6 people. I so miss the Christ in one another, and I look forward to seeing them again.