The Lord has been squeezing me and others close to me, especially in matters that affect my local Church. We live in a free Country, so you'd think oppression or persecution would be long gone as we are a forward-thinking civilization in regards to freedom.
This is true except if the freedom you push is found in Christ Alone.
I want to be careful that I don't share too much, but the background is that we've been meeting in my Pastor's home for several years, taking the burden of keeping a building maintained off the congregant's shoulders. Circumstances led to our Body being forced to stop meeting at this residence, because of blah blah blah blah, and if we don't comply, loss of home would be the only option.
May I remind you we live in North America.
Although the authorities were wrong, we accepted that God was leading our Church to seek fellowship with another local similar-minded Church, which was an entirely different culture/language! It was a complete shock to find ourselves immersed in a new worship service where music was the highlight of the morning and very little was spent being taught from the pulpit. We did very little music and more learning from the Word. That being said, this Body was elbow deep in reaching the community with their own food bank, outreach we as a Body have never achieved. All of us could see the weirdness and the great potential of us working together, two distinct Bodies of Jesus Christ, will two obviously specific callings.
Both Churches lost members because of our fellowship. Some were looking for an excuse to leave regardless, others because something like this was unheard of. Not much has changed service wise, but because we are so different, we being only English speaking, and most of them not speaking English at all, communication is almost impossible. Some have actually come back over time as we've figured out how to do everything in both languages, and really, can Scripture be read too much? Hugs and smiles are not limited by tongue either. *wink*
Our leadership and their Leadership are meeting twice a week, and the glory of Christ is pouring out every Sunday morning. God is glorified! Goes to show that God has a plan and it's never what we think it's going to be.
We'll keep stepping forward and follow The Holy Spirit, continually checking that we stay out of His way as we do so.
Along this journey, we'll see miracles happen.