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A word of warning on gathering

At least several people I know are experiencing desires to establish places to which people can come. Their reasons for this are various, but in the cases I know of, seem to be sincere and good.

I can't at this time share with you an adequate portion of what God has taught me on the subject. The only reason is that there is too much to convey briefly, it is too interdependent to share chunks of it, and there are many other things that are much more important right now to which I must dedicate my limited time.

This is the best I can do for now.

I want to clearly indicate to you the importance, opportunities, complexity, and dangers of gathering, but I can't call upon the details of what I know for the aforementioned reasons. So here is analogy:

You are a caveman, and you've just found a giant barrel of gasoline and box of matches outside your cave. There are some scenarios where this could end in your benefit, and all of them would be massively better than anything you have right now. But there are much, much greater odds that you are about to hurt yourself and others very badly. Many of those possibilities are terminal.

For now, I would highly recommend that you reroute any desires you have involving gathering into:

1) Personal repentance. If you are not fully aligned with the Lord in what you do or do not do, what you could give or get through gathering will not exceed what it costs you or others.

2) Personal growth. Gathering starts where what you have power to do yourself ends. The time God gives us to improve as much as we can on our own is an important gift. Make use of it. Seek out everything you can from the sources you already have access to, to the full limit of what they provide. How you exercise faith with what you have already is the gateway to everything that lies beyond.

3) Family improvement. Gathering is an extension of family. If you can't yet say that you have become and given all you can to your family up to their limits of receipt, you aren't yet ready for an extension of family. If you are single and young, you fulfill this by improving yourself (see 1-2 above) and exerting the necessary effort to obtain a worthy spouse. If you are married and don't have children, you do this by entering into the sacrifice of having and rearing children*. If you have children, you do this by shepherding them to come to the "full stature of Christ."

These things require tremendous effort over time, and I'm not sure I know anyone who has done them so fully that they have run out of more they could become or do for those they already interact with. Make no mistake, you really do have to get to the point where you can say:

"I have been true and faithful to everything you have given me, and now I request more."

You have to be able to ask "What more could I do?" and have the Lord say "nothing." Do not try to skip steps.

By the time you get there, I will hopefully have had enough time to write up everything the Lord has taught me. Then you will have enough of an instruction manual to know what you are getting into and sufficient warning labels so that if you blow yourself up, it will be your own willful choice.


* or, if there are fertility issues, fostering or adopting.