“For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of the body, being many, are one body; so also is Christ. For in one Spirit were we all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether bond or free; and were all made to drink of one Spirit. For the body is not one member, but many” (1 Cor. 12:12-14).
Just yesterday, it dawned on me. I’m surrounded!
Normally, being surrounded does not bode well for the one who happens to be surrounded because, usually, those who surround you are adversarial in nature and seek your demise. Please understand, I am incredibly blessed, edified and secure by those who are in close proximity to me.
Because of these People encompassing me relationally, Satan is in danger of losing ground, having dark deceptions come to light and losing serious ground. Such things that believers have come to term as “breakthrough”, “overcoming”, “revival outpouring” and “tearing down strongholds” are pretty much standard operating procedure as these people give themselves over to the progressive power of the Kingdom’s homothumadon.
One of the greatest things about being surrounded by these brothers/sisters, is that although I am surrounded, I am NOT at the center. As grace is needed, it freely flows to me. They equip and encourage me to BE and function in what Father has for me. I’m received, accepted, honored and loved. Christ is the center; not a particular ministry gifting or charismatic figure. And, because Christ has been formed in and released to function through brothers/sister’s lives as they lay their life down for one another, the Body, whether on a local, regional or national level, is grounded, rooted and built up in Him!
This is the New Creation in Christ! Family sharing the one life which He came specifically and preeminently to give. This one unique Spiritual Life, imputed as a particular gift to every one who receives regeneration by the work of the Holy Spirit, His Life binds them together in organic, corporate, essential Oneness.
Granted, the significance and benefits of such Corporate Life is not always understood, appreciated, or lived up to in a number of instances. The frailty of flesh and embedded religious conduct can often hinder advancement and it must be acknowledged that the values and meanings of such Life can only be entered into through a never ending practice of being broken by the Cross and united through Resurrection. Unity in Life, is not manufactured by rallying around a particular doctrine, an impressively gifted leader or even a missions statement. No, unity in Life, is intended to be “kept”, guarded and protected. Unity cannot be manufactured or produced by well-intentioned religious activities or meetings. Unity in the Spirit must be ENTERED INTO, protected through Love displayed by willingly applying the principle of the Cross and trusting Father for Resurrection.
Another incredible aspect of being surrounded by this Family, is that there is no thought of initiating a new “movement”, no hyped up exaggeration of an outpouring or “revival” or forming a new select body of Christians. We are thoroughly convinced that this is normal, functional life for God’s People as they learn to function in the Kingdom or under Father’s rule. Personal agendas are disallowed. Service to one another is the standard; not jockeying for position. While backgrounds and experiences are honored, labels are shunned as everything from Atheist to Catholic to Fundamentalist to Charismatic have been transformed into a Family that seeks to solely bear His Name!
On occasion, I have the privilege of sending out an email to the local brethren here in the communities in the DFW area. As I was thinking about this post, I was reminded of an email with the subject, ABANDON, that was prophetic in nature. As I reviewed my ‘sent email’ file, I discovered the email sent on August 9th, 2010. I’d like to share it with you here:
Today’s combined gathering was an incredible blessing to me. I observed you today. Individually and as a corporate expression. Thank you for blessing me……………………
…………….As I lay on my bed tonight trying to get some sleep, I was drawn to my knees in order to thank Father for today and thank Him for You all.
The Spirit spoke a word to me as I prayed. The word was “abandon”. One of the definitions for “abandon” is a complete surrender to natural impulses without restraint or moderation; freedom from inhibition or conventionality.
In the context of what He has been speaking over the past few weeks regarding “community”, I realize that Father is urging us to “abandon” ourselves to Him and one another on every level.
The natural impulses to which we are to surrender are not those impulses of the flesh but rather, the impetus of the Spirit given to us. Truly, we can become joint-heirs and partakers of the Divine Nature as we abandon ourselves to one another. The Spirit’s full intent is to make us ONE.
The ability to see Him and know Him in a greater way, exists in our ability to see Him in one another. As a matter of fact, by this all the world will know we are His as we love one another in proper fashion.
To abandon ourselves it is necessary to get free from inhibitions. An inhibition is something that holds you back, ties you down or restrains you. It keeps you from entering in or in this context, keeps you from completely giving yourself in relationship to the Body. Usually, an inhibition derives from guilt or fear produced by past experience. Sometimes an inhibition can exist because it can be considered as a dispositional trait ~ “that’s just the way I am.”
There is a grace upon us to overcome inhibitions. The power of His presence can enable us to abandon ourselves to Him and one another. God is faithful and you are a trustworthy people to whom individual lives can be entrusted!
The depth of Christ’s inexhaustible riches await for those who will abandon themselves and enter in.
My prayer for you this week will simply be that Father will empower you to abandon yourself to relationship with the Body of Christ and to His purposes.
Keep your peace!
In reading this email from years ago, I am amazed to see the manner in which Father has increased those who surround me. As they have released their inhibitions and functioned by the Spirit, not only has the number increased but, more importantly, the maturity of Christ has increased in and through a corporate expression.
The impact they have had on me has been truly life changing. My conceptions and ideas of “what church is to be” have significantly been altered as I have experienced Father’s goodness through them. It causes me to “repent”, to change my mind concerning the limitations that I have strapped on God and HOW He wants His Church to EXIST.
Yeah! I’m surrounded. I surrender yet again. I can’t resist Him as He reveals Himself through His People. I trust Him, and, what’s more, I trust His People! Days of regret are over and destiny is at hand!
Be encouraged, my fellow Seeker, Father is assembling His Family. Locally. Regionally. Nationally. Globally. It is not a pipe dream. It is simply the days of small beginnings and they are not to be despised. He searches the hearts of men to find those who would be willing to surrender what they have known in order to enter His Ways so that His Purposes might be accomplished in the earth!
Keep your peace!