Not only was I going to miss the day's events at Dickey Lake Church Camp, the prospect of driving the 600 mile round trip from Treego, Montana, to Coeur d' Alene, Idaho, and back was not my idea of a great way to spend the day. The Lord had never before required such a thing of me-- to travel such a long distance at such short notice to tell an offended brother in Christ that I was sorry. Somewhat reluctant at first, I set out on my journey, completely unaware of what was about to happen.
Unexpectedly, while in route, I saw what must have been a vision, though I really don't know what to call it. But I can still see it as clearly today, as if it were burned indelibly upon my thoughts, serving both as an encouragement and a warning.
What was this masterpiece? What had he built upon this massive foundation? As he stepped back to appraise his workmanship, I saw it. There atop the very corner of this foundation was a tiny white church building, with a high steeple, bell-tower, and a cross on top. Then the Lord asked me a question, "What must I do with this man's work?" I did not need to answer. The question answered itself. It must be removed! This man's work did not fit the foundation. God obviously has something much larger and far better in mind, so He must remove any man's work that is not built to spec. Everything that is not of God's design and doing is wood, hay and stubble. There is no other foundation than Christ Jesus. The warning then is this. "Let every man take heed how he builds thereon!"
It is evident that the hand of God is now wiping away the religious rubble that has cluttered the foundation for centuries. The foundation is Christ. I look back on my early days as a Christian and marvel at my feeble attempts to build and how proud I was of my supposed achievements. I see now that they were nothing but wood, hay and straw and could never endure the trial by fire.
For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each one's work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one's work, of what sort it is. (1Corinthians 3:11-13)
I came away from this experience knowing that my previous definition of "the Church" was wrong, and only God knows the dimensions and is able to supervise such a massive construction. If He is not building, all labor on our part is vain. It behooves us to ask then, what is God building? What is this Church that Jesus promised to build? Do the current denominated "churches" of our day comprise the Church (ekklesia) that Christ said He would build? Does anything in the religious world today express the full thought of God in this matter? I wonder how much work done in the name of Christ today is as significant and appropriate as that little church building atop that massive foundation.
Sometime later, while at a prayer meeting in my Mother's home, God spoke these words to me. "My people have an Old Testament mentality about my church, they see it as being buildings. They say 'come and let us go unto the house of the lord,' they see Me as dwelling there, and they go to meet with Me there."
Religious people are insatiably driven to construct a house for their God, but God is not interested in our temples.
"However, the Most High does not dwell in temples made with hands, as the prophet says: 'Heaven is My throne, And earth is My footstool. What house will you build for Me? says the LORD, Or what is the place of My rest? Has My hand not made all these things?'" (Acts 7:48-50)
All believers are collectively the dwelling place of God. This is the place of His rest. He doesn't dwell in temples made with hands but in a temple comprised of living or lively stones. Because the church is organic rather than institutional, man cannot build it any more than he could build a tree. Therefore the Lord is still asking this very relevant and contemporary question, "What house will you build me?"to top