While living in Florida, after having moved from Oklahoma back in 2010, I was inevitably asked some form of the question, “Why did you move to Florida?” The answer was never a quick nor easy one. I usually went into some form of long explanation about church and rarely made any real sense. I then wrote a short blog post in 2011 in response to the question.
Why I Moved to Florida*
The fact of the matter is this: I moved for a woman. She is a beautiful woman! She is mysterious, glorious and betrothed, or engaged. She is, indeed, another Man’s fiancée; she is not my woman.
I also moved for a house. It is an unbelievable house! It is still being built. Every stone is being fit together. It is, indeed, another Man’s house; it is not my house.
I moved to Gainesville for a family. It is an extraordinary family! It can be dysfunctional at times, yes, but it is learning how to function together properly under the Patriarch. It is a loving, supportive and big family. It is, indeed, another Man’s lineage; it is not my family.
Lastly, I moved for a better body. It is a phenomenal body! It is a body learning how to exercise, rest, move, function under its Head. It is a body with a long reach, attentive ears, and a big heart. It is, indeed, another Man’s body; it is not my body.
That is how I currently know to describe the Church. It is the Bride of Christ, God’s dwelling place, God’s Family, and the Body of Christ. I am a part of all, but none are mine and mine alone. They are indeed His. I moved for Him, not for me.
This is, after all, Christ’s life, not my own.
Why the Lord Moved Us to Florida**
The Lord started to really speak to me concerning this topic, so I then flipped the question on Him. I asked Christ why He moved my family and me to Florida. I wrote a second blog post following the answer I received:
“To strip the seeming beauty from the idols of the earth. To show you peerless worth. To fellowship with you, so you would have nothing else to do with those idols. To draw you, win you, and fill you completely till your cup overflows the brim. To capture your heart and unveil Mine. To pour out My grace on you so that sin won’t deceive you anymore. For you to hear Me, see Me, and know Me like you never have before.”
It was quite an intimate and precious moment with our Lord. I woke up that morning singing the lines, “not a sense of right or duty/But the sight of peerless worth.” They come from a song entitled, “Have You Heard Him, Seen Him Known Him.” The song is sung to the tune of “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing,” and the words are as follows:
Have you heard Him, seen Him, known Him?/Is not yours a captured heart?/Chief among ten thousand own Him/Joyful choose the better part
Idols once they won you, charmed you/Lovely things that turned my face/So it was that sin deceived me/’Till the Lord outpoured His grace
What has stripped the seeming beauty/From the idols of the earth?/Not a sense of right or duty/But the sight of peerless worth
Not the crushing of these idols/With its bitter pain and smart/But the beaming of His beauty/The unveiling of His heart
Who extinguishes their candle/’Till they hail the rising sun?/Who discards the garb of winter/’Till the summer has begun?
‘Tis the look that melted Peter/’Tis the face that Stephen saw/’Tis the heart that wept with Mary/Can alone from idols draw
Draw and win and fill completely/’Till the cup o’erflows the brim/What have we to do with idols/Who have fellowshipped with Him?
I must say Christ revealed Himself in a big way through that song that morning. I had never thought to ask Him why He moved us, what He wants out of the deal, His purpose for us. I thought I knew. When it becomes about Him getting His way from His point of view for your life, it humbles. It pierces my heart and penetrates my soul.
You are so big, Lord. You are the Infinite King, and yet you are intimate with me. You love your Bride, and you love every part of your Bride. Thank you.
What the Lord Is After***
So, what started with a simple question then turned into a three-part series for me. Little did I know the revelation that Christ would provide.
Question 1: “Why did I move to Florida?”
My answer: “For a woman, a house, a family, and a better body, none of which are mine. In a word, ‘Church’.”
Question 2: “Why did You move me to Florida, Lord?”
His answer: “To fellowship with you, so you would have nothing else to do with the idols of the earth. To draw you, win you, and fill you completely. To capture your heart and unveil mine. For you to hear Me, see Me, and know Me like you never have before.”
Question 3: “To what end?”
Again, His answer: “So that My Bride is made ready, My House built, My Family made complete, and My Body functions under My Headship.”
When the Lord strips away the seeming beauty from the idols of the earth for us, when He shows us His peerless worth, when He fellowships with us, when He draws, wins, and fills us, when He captures our heart and unveils His, when He pours out His grace, when He allows us to hear, see and know Him like we never have before, then He gets what He’s after. His glory is shown throughout the earth. When we lose ourselves in Him, His will gets done.
I moved for a corporate reason, one I only understood in my head. He moved us for a personal reason, one I am understanding deeper and deeper in my heart. When He does His work in us, we are then able to be fit together with others to form His expression on the earth. When all the individuals in the corporate body are emptied of themselves and this world, and filled by Christ with Himself, then, the Glue that forms, the Force that holds the entire universe together, lovingly, passionately, jealously fashions His people into His eternal purpose.
Just as a marathon runner does not start running the full 26 miles, so the Lord likes to work His endurance in us through “shorter”, more intimate “distances”. Then, when He accomplishes His work in us, we are more easily worked together to accomplish His corporate purpose.
Have you asked Christ about His reasons or purposes for doing things in your life, lately, what He’s doing in you? If you sit and listen for the answer, I bet you won’t be disappointed. May He bloom and grow strong in your spirit, so He is glorified and fits you into His eternal purpose.
*Excerpted from my original article written on a different blog in January 2011.
**Excerpted from part 2 of my blog series written in January 2011.
***Excerpted from part 3 of my blog series written in January 2011.