The Possibility of Visiting

7/19/2002

Do you folks ever have believers come to visit in order to see what the Lord has done among you? Is there anyone there whom the Lord has used to visit other believers in order to encourage or strengthen them? Some of the brothers here would like to come....

Thank you so very much,

Randall

Hi Randall...... We do have some visitors from various parts of the world rather frequently, but have learned a little bit from sixteen years of doing so. We also visit with and help in other cities and countries, when it seems (as in Antioch—Acts 11), “the grace of God is evident” in a particular place. BUT, we spend a lot more time “watching and praying” and building the relationships FIRST to see who will pay the price for the Pearl—in ADVANCE these days. : )

Here’s a very recent dialogue with someone we don’t know at all, other than a wee bit of less-than-personal email, about the potential visit of someone who we know nothing about at all—just so you can see the things we “weigh” as we go forward building relationships and seeking ways to serve the Master...

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...We really don’t do a lot of the “tourist” things anymore, though we often have visitors from various parts of the world. But with someone we don’t know, with no communication or knowledge of him or his tested commitment to Jesus, or reasons for wanting to come, we definitely don’t do that any longer. You learn SOME things in sixteen years of zillions of situations. : ) So, certainly not as any insult to him, but out of principle it would not happen that way....

...I am very aware that this is unusual since a lot of “faddish” places do a lot of recruiting and “come look at us” sorts of things. We haven’t really found that this is God’s Way, but rather is often simply men’s grandstanding their egos and wares, and trying to get men’s money and bodies for their machines. By the same token, as often as not, the motives for wanting to come visit are suspect: sometimes curiosity (which is only carnality), sometimes mate-hunting, sometimes skeptical judgment (“I want to see THIS for myself” or “I have some QUESTIONS about THAT,” blah, blah), sometimes recruiting for their movement, sometimes looking for a platform to “be somebody,” sometimes “‘show and tell’ so I can incorporate ideas into what I’m doing,” and sometimes even worse than all of those. OF COURSE there are many times where visiting, seeking Jesus with other Saints, is a great thing. But often, not so. In the situations described above, it is only harmful.

SO, Wisdom is in order to not miss any “Angels unawares,” while not welcoming any Balaams, Korahs, Diotrophes, Jannes and Jambres, or Cains who don’t want help! We know we mustn’t ever become a spiritual “tourist trap” for the curious, the critics, the vacationers, or the ambitious—and lose our focus on what we must be about in this wicked and adulterous and religious generation.

Grace and Strength to you.

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So Randall, I guess the process of finding out what is REALLY happening, and who the folks REALLY are in your environment would be the best priority together?

We would love to do that. : )

In His Grace,

jesuslifetogether.com
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