July 28 – July 30, 2017
Having just graduated in London, I spent this past weekend in The Deeper Christian Life Conference in Orlando, Florida, before heading back to Hong Kong.
The best time with brothers and sisters are always when it is nothing but Christ who holds us together. This is exactly what happened in this conference. I am beyond thankful to have met all these people of a great diversity in terms of age, race, nationality, social class, and church background, etc. My another similar experience this year has been recorded in A Week at The Hookses.
The topic of the conference centers on the Kingdom of God. There are many captivating yet challenging teaching from Frank Viola, who has played an important role in my Christian life for a long time. Given the space, I’ll share one thing that has impacted me the most.
“Everything that we own, from the Kingdom perspective, should be a part of the body of Christ.”, Frank said. Yes, everything that we own. It does not only limit to your spiritual gift, natural talent, time, but your physical possessions as well. Why? So that there will be no one among us who is needy (Acts 4:34). So that we can enjoy and manifest Christ to the fullest.
If this statement sounds uncomfortable, it is perhaps sadly that, we the modern Church, especially the ones in the more wealthier countries, have been living in our comfort zone for too long. We should learn this lesson as we observe the life to the early Church (take Acts 4:32-37 as an example).
How does it relate to our view of work then? We work not to lay up worldly treasures of ourselves, but we work to share, and we work to give.
But this is not a rule established to draw us into legalism. Rather, it is His beauty and the vision of the everlasting Kingdom (Daniel 7:14) that captures us into sharing our life in common. As someone who is at her 20s and will eventually work, I thank the Lord for this timely message so that before I enter into work, I will not be enslaved by it, but rather, go into it with a Kingdom mindset.
If you think this is unrealistic, let me share with you a real-life story shared by a couple from Tennessee during our group sessions.
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 do you guys do that? The couple simply answered, Christ is the source.
And 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 got baptised on the second day of the conference. It all started with one sister’s desire and eight others resonated.
Most of them had been baptised before but without a proper understanding of its meaning. Some were previously baptised into a legalistic system of fear; some were baptised because of peer pressure. But in their testimonies, they declared that with their baptism, they leave the world system and enter into the Kingdom of God as a new man in Christ.
We ended the conference by having a breakfast in groups of 3-4, although my group ended up with 6 people. I so miss the Christ in one another, and I look forward to the conference next year.