What has my experience been in the local churches? One of utmost blessing! The following verses bear testimony to what I have experienced in the local church: “One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in His temple.” (Psalms 27:4)
“For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand. I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness.” (Psalms 84:10)
“Surely goodness and lovingkindness shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.” (Psalms 23:6)
“And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world has been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ: to the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, according to the eternal purpose which He purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Ephesians 3:9-10)
While I was a freshman at the University of California, Berkeley campus, the Lord revealed to me that His heart’s desire and eternal purpose is the church and that He is the Head of His Body, the church. It is not a human organization but a composition of all His born again believers. Ephesians 5:25 says that He loved the church and gave Himself for her.
Thirty-eight years have passed and I must worship Him that by His grace He had given me the revelation of the church and by His faithfulness He has kept me here. God is so wonderfully rich, vast, and inexhaustible. How can I, a little one in the Lord, come to know and experience His fullness on my own? In the church through the rich fellowship of all the members I am able to taste His riches. My sensation at the meetings of the church is glory, glory, glory! There is no lack of the rich ministry of His Word or the experience of brotherly love. God is present and He is being expressed in all the members! As He gets the church that He desires, I become a person full of rest and satisfaction, knowing that I am living His will and am according to His purpose. What can I do now but render Him blessing and honor.
As I have desired after God’s house, the church, He has blessed me in a personal way, in my family life and in my career as a college chemistry instructor. He oversees every day in every way. Now that our children are grown, we have more time to travel. At each stop, when we attend the meetings of the local church in that city, we feel right at home with the brothers and sisters and come into a deeper appreciation that His Body is universal. We see His blessing not only in our locality but also wherever there are believers who come together on the ground of oneness. What a blessing to be in the local church.