I shared a revelation on Body life, discipleship and the Light on a recent Shulamite Podcast (#385-#389), and Martha asked me to write it out if possible. I hope that this will be used by the Holy Spirit to encourage all who read it to ask and keep asking, seek and keep seeking, and knock and keep knocking.
I have one relationship that matters more than any other. I am to have one First Love, as are we all. And if that primal relationship isn’t intact, then everything else in my life falls apart. It has to be God and me first, because it will absolutely be God and me last.
This isn’t news, I know. But I saw such a clear picture of what can happen when Jesus Christ isn’t the actual Head of a church, of His Body. Things go sideways pretty quickly, and the Lord is the only One who can straighten it out.
In Shulamite Ministries, we are all discipled to Jesus Christ. Period. Martha and John have the authority, but everything they do points back to Christ. All roads lead to Jesus. Every word of correction, every encouragement, every Spirit-led confrontation, every blessing—all have resulted in the strengthening of my personal relationship with the Lord above all else.
I know only a little of the cost of watching for someone else’s soul at this point in my life, but I have experienced in abundance the blessings and rewards that are the result of others watching for my own (1 Thess. 5:12-13). And it isn’t easy! A spiritually healthy Body is a labor of love for every member. There’s no master list of principles or rules that governs the Body, there’s a Person. When Jesus Christ is the Head in actuality, the dynamic fluidity of the Holy Spirit is an awesome sight to see, and He alone knows what’s on the agenda.
Now I have both witnessed and been a part of upheaval in the Body, but that’s just part of the life of a disciple. “You will have suffering in this world. Be courageous! I have conquered the world” (Jn. 16:33). No one – and no Body! – has immunity from sharing in the sufferings of Christ. What we have is the assurance of Christ’s ultimate victory. So yes, I know what it is to be part of a Body in turmoil, and it is both painful and discombobulating. But I’ve also experienced firsthand the coming of Peace Himself after the storm. I know the unparalleled safety of a Body with Christ as Head, and the healing Love He pours out on His ravaged flock.
The Light is very bright in His Body, much brighter than most people are willing to bear. It shines out from every member’s individual relationship with Jesus Christ, so it matters that we have ONE primal relationship above all others. Without that First Love, cherished and required as vital, there is no Body of Christ. But when He is first and last, and all and only, “ALL THINGS work together for good” and the Light rules.
Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”
John 8:12 NKJV
*Next post is Defense of the Light (Part 2)