I remember in March of 2017 when I first heard from Ariane Arquisola about the dream of starting a family of artists. At the time, I was finishing up my final month at Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry. BSSM stirred my heart for the city of Lexington, and I was dreaming of seeing it transformed through Kingdom family. As I listened to the vision for this collective that would embody the answer to my dream, I was floored. It was everything I desired for my home. Not only that, but one of the most powerful/trusted women in my life was hearing the same things from the LORD as I was. As a small team of us continued to cast vision, childlike excitement filled our hearts. We slowly saw that we were not the only ones who had Kingdom family in our spirit. He had been placing the same vision in nearly our entire community. From that, Brothers and Sisters became a reality in the following months and has since gained breath-taking momentum. Even as I write, it is hard for me to believe that we are only a few months old. Since the start, each of us has learned more about ourselves and the Kingdom of Heaven in ways we never anticipated.
Among those lessons is one has had a profound impact on me. I was pondering with the LORD about what makes Brothers and Sisters such a tight-knit family. I want to know so that we can replicate it everywhere we go. One day, on my way to class, Holy Spirit said the simplest truth bringing instant clarity to my question; “Family cannot be built on convenience.” I marveled at His wisdom and then began realizing every person in has made sacrifices to make our collective what it is. In other words, our family is built on surrender. We have individuals who have given up incredible jobs, others who have left their home, and some who have given up their dreams to come under the vision of the collective. Whether we know it or not, we are gathering on a foundation of sacrifice, surrender, and a dying-to-self lifestyle. It is inconvenient and uncomfortable for each of us. Even painful at times. Yet God is not asking us to be comfortable. He is asking us to be a family. To choose one another no matter what. If a ministry (or any cooperation) is built on the personal preference of everyone involved, it will destroy itself. There is no substance to a life of convenience except selfishness. A family built on convenience is likened unto a house built on sand.
Biblically we see this Truth from Genesis to Revelation. Our salvation is built on the sacrifice of One Man. Jesus not only gave up His life but laid down all comfort as Eternal God. He robed Himself in flesh to dwell among the very people that would kill Him, and He knew it. Still, Love came. Love chose. Love gave. Love paid. The highest Love in existence demonstrated sacrifice as the ultimate expression of affection. The Bride of Christ, as broken as she may seem, is a family. Every person in Christ is bound to one another by a shared Sacrifice. Jesus instructed us in John 13:34, "I give you a new commandment: Love one another. Just as I have loved you, you must also love one another." (HCSB) He also said that the highest expression of love is to lay down one's life for others. What's the point? Real family does not stand upon convenience, but sacrifice.
I am writing this amid the most significant sacrifice I have ever made. I surrendered to another year of school at BSSM. The first year was hard, but the second was even more difficult. Don't get me wrong; I love this place. It has radically altered my life and deepened my devotion to Jesus beyond measure. That does not subtract from the pain of missing my family. Being away from them is the perfume I get to pour on the feet of Jesus every day. I know beyond doubt that what I sow in tears I will reap in everlasting joy. The Father never tells us to do something that won't positively impact another. He has His Family in mind! By being in Redding for what will be 18 months, I will be a more loving/effective brother, leader, and friend to those dearest to me. My philosophy is that it will be easier to "count the cost" if I give Him everything and surrendering my heart is the kindest thing I can do for myself. It is the only proper response to the Man who gave everything simply to know me.
Brothers and Sisters has a long way to go. We are exploring something none of us have ever known before. However, at any given time I can look to my right or left and at individuals who have each given up something to be in a family with me. With all my heart, I believe that we are going to demonstrate this so well that it will cause a massive shift in the Body of Christ. A transformation that will take us from sand to solid rock. I will lay down my life for family's sake.
|A Treehouse Ministries Publication|