Philippians 4:6-7 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Romans 12:3-8 For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. 4 For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, 5 so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. 6 Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; 7 if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; 8 the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.
““The Way In”: The human body is a complex miracle that reflects compelling spiritual truths. The health of the human body is based on an elaborate and instantaneous communication system between each individual cell and the brain. The health of the Body of Christ and its individual members is no different. God hears the prayers of His people who live by faith in Him – even the murmurs and cries of mourning. Like the human brain receiving constant communication with the various cells in the human body, our triune God thrives on such contact with the cells (members) in the Body of Christ, His Church. Brand says, “the lack of such contact and the absence of faith (in Christ) limits the Spiritual Body as surely as the lack of sight limits the entire physical body”.
“The Way Out”: Brand describes the descending aspect of the head’s channels to each cell in correlation to God speaking to us as part of His Body. We have opportunity to hear God by his Spirit speaking to us through his Word based on our relationship with God the Son. God has access to us as we have access to Him. God’s Word is a faithful means of grace for our growth and health as we receive it.
We are made In His Image – a cell or member in His Body intended to live and flourish in concert with other cells (members of the church). When we cannot ‘see’ the point or purpose of it, we must act in faith that in God’s perfect design there is a significant place for us in the local church. If the Bride of Christ (the invisible church) is the most important institution God has on earth today, then our connection to it must be through the local (visible) church. It takes faith to remain committed to the local church and to trust that God will use our intentional service there for his glory and our joy.
“The Way In” and “The Way Out” are both essential for physical and spiritual health. Each cell must do its part to communicate well-being or danger (such as pain). Each part must respond to instructions from the Head. If they fail to communicate and obey, then individual parts of the body and possibly even the whole Body can suffer. Don’t be a silent participant in your Church Body. Be the vibrant and valued individual cell that is an essential part of the whole Body. Get help to discern your unique gifts to do your part –and do it well. In child-like faith, be a healer when healthy, and willing to be a wounded healer –able to communicate your own pain to encourage others when appropriate. Let constant communication with God and obedience move you from spiritual darkness to awesome light and life.
Offered by Rev. Ron Lively, Condensed from: In His Image by Dr. Paul Brand and Philip Yancey. Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, MI. (1984).