Reposted from Newsletter
For the past two weeks, I have been asking God if He wanted me to begin to write short teachings about what He has been telling me about the Fox Valley and the Body of Christ as a whole. The burden to teach was stirred up at a previous speaking engagement.
I was talking to 9th and 10thgrade church-going Christians and referred to the second coming of Christ. They looked at me like I was from some sort of cult. I asked them if they knew that Jesus was actually going to come back for His church and they stared at me with blank faces. I asked for a show of hands, including the teachers in the room, from anyone who had heard of the second coming ever even being mentioned. Not one hand from a group of at least 30.
I was amazed. “How about a spiritual battle? Has anyone heard that we are in a spiritual battle?” No hand. I was actually grieved. “Has anyone heard of the Apostles Creed?” Hands finally went up. “Can anyone recite it?” I began the Creed to help them along but no one recited with me so I stopped. I heard the quiet voice of the Lord whisper to me to be gentle.
At home that night I began to pray for the Body to be educated. I was trying to teach these students about prophecy and how God had been telling me to instruct them about their call to join rank and passionately pursue their destiny. They sat there not even aware that being a Christian is a call to run a race, to fight a good fight, to know a Savior who has instructed us to wait, ready for His return. What has happened to the church?
Two weeks after that night I began to ask the Lord if He wanted to use me to teach and in what format. On Jan. 19 I was lying down ready to go to sleep when I had a vision. The vision was very clear. I could see stars and a dove flying about in what seemed to be a clear night sky. (Most often the visions that I have look like this.) After a series of events He, the Dove, who is the Holy Spirit, began to speak to me about the Church. I have had many dreams and visions regarding the Fox Valley and the Body of Christ represented here. This particular vision addressed the same issue that God has been speaking to me about lately– Unity.
He began by saying that I was to begin the teaching articles with this vision and message. He told me in an audible voice that, “the eye is the most fragile part of the Body. It can not see itself. When the eye has a speck in it, it must trust the finger to remove the speck. It must stay still and open. If the finger is not careful (full of care) when it tries to remove the speck, the eye will close the hood. If the finger pokes the eye and the eye is damaged it will not see for the Body again.” I asked if He was telling me that I had a speck in my eye that needed to be removed. I actually said that I cannot see it. He responded by saying, “You cannot see yourself.”
As this analogy began to sink in I came to realize that no part of the Body is without need of the others. The very thing that we are the most vulnerable in is almost always the very thing that gets “poked” by the Church. It is the better thing to stay vulnerable and trusting, out of control. As the circumstances of being gifted with the ability to prophesy and to see, swirl around me I find an ever present need to keep my focus on Jesus. To be listening for His voice. To be open and trusting to my local body and especially the Elders and the Pastor God has placed me under.
I am so grateful that through the difficult years of being married, God taught me that the act of submission to my husband had very little to do with my husband at all really and had far more to do with God and me. Through that lesson, I watched God break through extremely difficult situations and have His way in both mine and Douglas’ life. So it is with the leadership of my church. God has an order to things, and we need each other.
When I was ten years old, I was riding my bike around the Kimberly track at the athletic field. I was racing my best friend, Stevie Kemps. When he pulled ahead of me and gave it his all, a piece of the black tar track jumped up and hit me in the eye. It immediately made my eye water and hurt like the dickens. By the time I got home the eye had swelled up to the size of a golf ball. I had been frantically rubbing it all the way home. I had imbedded the speck of tar into the tissue of the eyelid. It took six months of extremely stingy eye drops to dissolve the speck and clear up that eye.
To this day, 30 years later, I can still recall the irritating pain in that lid to the point of tearing up even as I type. I know what a speck in the eye can do. And I know how rough treatment can cause far greater damage that could have been avoided. My quick fix to the pain was the very worst thing that I could have done to that tender little eye. To be vulnerable and open to that eye, so that my mom or even the Doctor could remove it, was the wisest and best thing that I could have done. So again, it is with the church. Regardless of who is at fault, when there is pain, there is usually a speck.
I thought that my writing would be directed to those of you in the Body who do not believe and/or are apprehensive about the spiritual gifts but God has another plan. This article is for those of you who find yourself gifted in the supernatural gifts here in the Fox Valley and around the world.
Even many of our “Charismatic” churches are hard-pressed to have the Gifts practiced in the services like they were in the New Testament church. But here we are, many of us “poked”, or simply to afraid to step out and take the ridicule. It’s you I am pleading with. It is you that I am encouraging. Remain vulnerable. Be submissive. Speak freely and openly with your leaders. If they hurt you, tell them. If they frustrate you, tell them. If they are full of care and are loving you well, tell them. Be humble and useable in all that God intends for the body around you. Keep those seeing eyes focused on Jesus. Test all things and hold to what is good. Do not be afraid of men but love the church. And when at all possible, trust the fingers of the body to remove the speck that it is feeling and you are not seeing,always trusting that God is the Head and He knows what He is doing.
Unity is difficult. We must face the conflict to have it fully. The conflict must be faced with tender care and a deep understanding that we are not only part of one body but that we have need of each other. With humility and love let us care for the needs of others before our own needs, most especially when there is a speck to deal with.