Our objective is not to grow in numbers.
That will inevitably happen as the Lord adds to our number, but our objective is peace with God. If this thing doesn’t call your name, then you can’t have it. There’s nothing anyone can do at a human level to make it happen. On the other hand, if it calls to you, there is a substantial burden of effort to make it work.
Not because it’s so hard; this thing is the very nature of what we were designed to be. The effort is to undo all the things that are contrary to that natural design. It takes a lot unlearning to get it right.
As noted in the linked article yesterday, we don’t see a big separation between the Old and New Testaments. Jesus was the natural completion of what Moses was all about. He was the ultimate living expression of the Covenant. His teaching was not a departure, but the final maturation of what started with the Flaming Sword at the Gate of Eden. We who enter into the Covenant of Christ can seek the exact same disciplines and blessings as what God wanted for Israel. There is no unfinished business on this earth. What we have today in Christ is the final stage before the end of this world.
And the end of this world will be one single event. When Christ returns for His people, there will not be some long stage of years while we are gone and this world cooks off. He’s coming back only once. What He’ll do is restore what we surrendered in Eden. We will be changed; the natural world is not fallen. Christ will wipe away all the works of fallen humanity and restore what should have been. Those who remain wedded to those works will pass with them into an indescribably awful eternal fate, which we can only characterize as living in the Presence of the Divine as His enemies. They will be fully aware in some final ultimate sense of their guilt and disfavor. The rest of us will live eternally free from the burden of the Curse of the Fall.
So we emphasize cultivating the otherworldly focus of existence. We are preparing for that eternal future of Eden restored. It’s a burdensome thing because we gradually gain a clearer view of what ought to be against a background of what now is. Yet it’s a joyful thing to see and participate in some partial restoration as Creation celebrates with us what is to come while we yet live here and now. It’s a thrill to rise into a heart-led awareness of how God sees things.
It is inevitable that people around us will see us in this blissful state halfway between the Two Realms of existence. They’ll see how Creation is our friend and God grants to us a measure of that future ecstasy, which we call shalom. At least, some will see it, those to whom the Father grants vision. They will be drawn to what we have.
All we really have to do is live what He grants us; He does the rest.