Yesterday I started to share with you a vision I had about a table and the legs that supported it. If you haven't read this previous blog post, I suggest that you read that before you start this one.
After the formation of the First Leg of The Table, the Second Leg began to take shape before me. This new leg forming before me was very different from the small fellowships of Christian koinonia that made up the First Leg of The Table. This table leg was the "missional" leg. I saw that the umbilical cords from those groups in the First Leg, reached over and connected them to communities and people from their lives who didn't yet know Christ. Individuals and communities that First Leg people had connections with through work, their neighborhoods, interests, family members, previous lifestyles, and other "oikos" from which they came from or presently lived in. I saw it as The Mission Leg of The Table, because it was through these relationships and connections that the First Leg fellowships grew, and how new fellowship groups were formed. First Leg fellowships didn't form and grow from each other, or through the shuffling of people around from group to group, but rather through the addition of new believers!
Then The Third Leg began to form. I saw this leg represent the corporate gathering of the many fellowship groups from the First Leg who gathered together for such things as regional trainings, conferences, corporate worship, teaching, local and international mission projects, and various community outreaches. Those things where the Body of Christ of a region came together in larger community and in corporate unity type of events. Thus, the Community Leg of The Table.
Then I saw the Fourth Leg of The Table empty and without anything visible, and asked the Lord, "what about that leg?" and He said, "that's not for you to know at this time."
End of The Table vision.
I was stunned. I was amazed. I was enthralled with what I had just saw. I saw true shepherding, real discipleship, natural evangelism, training and equipping, the "one anothers" of scripture in true community and authentic fellowship, the participation of each member of the Body, and so much more in this vision. Seeing that everything we needed spiritually, physically, emotionally for such Kingdom life, had been bountifully provided for us on the top of the banquet table, boosted my faith to new levels. I was ready! Bring it on Lord! This was going to be great!
I prayed and prayed and prayed. But nothing. I told people about the Table Vision, and received back blank stares or raised eyebrows. I drew picture after picture of it on napkins, scrap papers and anything else I could find to illustrate it. Once in a while I got a, "oh, cool!" My initial excitement began to wane. Years went by. I waited, watched, and prayed, and waited some more.
But nothing happened. Only the "D's" - deserts, droughts, discouragement, disillusionment, defeat, dejection, despair, depression, death. For years I prayed and looked for the manifestation of this vision. It had impacted me so powerfully, and I was aching for it to become something that I could be a part of, or at least witness in my lifetime. But nothing. What had started out to be an incredible blessing of insight and encouragement, became to me like a curse. I began to beg God to take it from my memory if He was not going to allow me to be a part of it, or at least see it come to pass. I prayed and prayed for it to be forgotten and lost to me. But it didn't go away. It stood before me daily like a great neon sign advertising something I could not have.
Then the long season of the "D's" came to an end. I began to see the Table Vision form around me.
More in the next post........