In the 80s, I was in college and playing basketball. During that time Gatorade made a big splash on the sports scene with their marketing campaign that encouraged, “Give your body what it’s thirsty for…Gatorade!”
I can remember watching those commercials with their images of professional athletes with muscular, athletic bodies engaged in vigorous sporting events with beads of sweat flying in every direction. When you would hear those words at the end of the commercial, you would really believe that Gatorade is exactly what your body is thirsty for!
Well, the marketing campaign worked pretty well. Despite the brand being sold a couple of times to different companies, Gatorade has always and continues to hold the top spot in the sports beverage market. Now, not only are athletes drinking it in all major sports but you also see coaches getting doused with it after winning a big game.
Despite the consistency of Gatorade’s dominance over the years, alot of other things have changed. For example, my physical condition!
While playing ball back in the day, I weighed 222 lbs. I have a birthday coming up in a few days and, well, let’s just say that I am inching towards the big 5-0! I’m relatively a big fella……6 ft. 6 in. tall and, ummmmmmm…..okay, I have exceeded 300 lbs.+ before. (i’m down around 280 lbs. currently!)
I have resigned myself to the fact that as you age, certain things just occur and you have to manage them the best you can. I have been dealing with high blood pressure for the past year and a half or so. Not having the resources and/or not wanting to deal with doctors/medications in order to address the issue, I simply tried to manage the situation through a change of diet and exercise. I routinely check my blood pressure and it would fluctuate between high to moderate levels………nowhere near normal.
At any rate, the situation persisted and did not improve. I kept it before Father in prayer, repented of doubt, fear, worry, stress,, etc. that might cause my blood pressure to rise and kept a watchful eye on my diet.
Long story short, my precious mother-in-grace (I don’t say in-law anymore) who is such a blessing to me presented me with a nutritional product for me to try. I tried it and within two weeks of taking the product, my blood pressure moved back to normal levels and has stayed there. As best as I can understand, the product simply gives my body what it needs to heal itself at the cellular level.
Now, the spiritual analogy here is significant!
When you realize, as I did the other day, that the first word in “healthy” is actually “heal”, you can begin to understand what I am trying to say in this post. Just as God created our bodies to heal themselves if they are functioning properly, the Body of Christ, the Church, is to heal itself and be healthy, if functioning properly.
Listen, I’m all about authentic apostolic and prophetic function. I know it is vital to an accurate expression of the Church. But, can we please, puuuuuuhhhhhhhhhleeeeeeeaaaaaassse, get past making apostles and prophets the THING!?!?!? Whether you want to call them “church planters”, “organic church sowers”, or any other number of terms depending on theological slants, all you have to do is read past, “So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers,” in Ephesians 4:11 and get to what Father is truly after………”to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up.” It is right there in verse 12. It is time to move on!
Yes, there is definitely something for all of the ascension ministries to impart to the Body. That is as plain as the nose on Jimmy Durante’s face! But, it is high time that we get imparted what needs to get imparted (Christ), get the corporate Body equipped and released to function. I refer you back to Ephesians 4:
Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming.
(this is where we’ve been….this is where we need to go….)
Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love,……………………. (wait for it)…………………..as each part does its work.
Do you see it? Each part has to do its work in the Body. In a previous post, I stated that
Religion has made church an organization; God’s thought concerning His Church is that He birthed it to be a living organism.
So, while we have told people that “their part” is to give financially to support the organization and to volunteer for the nursery, usher, youth ministry, etc. to support the organization, we’ve never instructed them or released them to do their work in the organism of Christ’s Body.
We’ve gotta give the Body what it needs!
If a body doesn’t have life in it……………it’s a corpse. Christ’s Body is to have His Life in it; fully animated and fully demonstrated. Christ in us all is the only hope of glory. Every brother and sister has been given a measure of Christ’s grace in which to function and it is incumbent on every part to do its work so that the Body builds itself up in love, heals itself and maintains its health.
Again, I am an extremely blessed man. I am positioned in such a way relationally that I get to experience and/or hear stories on a daily basis of the Life of Christ as expressed through His Body. The things that are happening are the things that most religious people would consider to be “revival”. Rather, they are simply things that occur in the lives of people who have been “revived” and are walking together under the rule of God. The single consistent factor in each occurrence is that people are either free or getting freed from religious paradigms/mindsets/framework that have bound them from doing their part, learning the value of true relationships and functioning according to the grace of Christ in their lives.
One of Gatorade’s latest campaign slogans is, “is it in you?” Again, extremely apropos! God is in His People. Christ is in his Body. Father is beginning to tap into the investment of Christ He has deposited in His People and there is an undeniable expression of Christ beginning to be seen and heard throughout the earth!
So, to any brothers or sisters that happen to read this post and happen to function as an ascension ministry, my encouragement to you is equip the Body to function. Depending on where you are and what you are doing, you may have to break patterns and structures you have always known. I can only tell you that if you ever catch a glimpse of the Body moving in the Life of Christ, you will never be the same.
And, to any brothers or sisters who happen to read this post and happen to believe that there is more Christ in you than has been previously expressed, my encouragement to you is to move out in faith and obedience as the Spirit leads you and give the Body what it needs. Pray and ask Father to guide you into relationships that are true connections in the Body. You might be amazed at what you find. Remember, you have to give the Body what it needs (Christ) and, yes, he is in you!
Keep your peace!