It’s a little disconcerting to realize you have promoted certain theological truths, but haven’t actually lived them out.  But, in all reality, it has happened to me many times.  The truth was solid, but the revelation was not complete.  The theology was sound, but it was words and definitions only – not a life-changing understanding that reached beyond my own intellect.

The truth about the Body of Christ and the purpose of its many members  has been a concept I have known, but didn’t actually understand.  Life has often become a self-centered journey, due to necessity – I have declared – but life was truly about me and my own struggles, desires and spiritual walk.  The body of Christ was the “support group” that I leaned on when I couldn’t carry my burden or needed a rest from my trial.  Sometimes this support was fully functional – in my estimation – coming to my aid in a timely and appropriate manner.  Other times, I felt the support was lacking since it did not achieve the desired purpose I had in mind – to support me in my endeavors.  My endeavors were worthwhile, of course and I’m sure they were often lead by the Spirit of God, but they were an item of concern in their own right, based upon my interpretation of the life that I was leading. 

There was no room to consider a larger building when I was busy decorating and rearranging furniture in my own room.  I would come to the aid of others as I recognized their need to have a burden lifted or a respite given, but this was so often in the form of running from one dorm room to another.  I would help hang new curtains, shake out a dusty rug, even paint a couple walls or move in a new dresser, but I would always retreat to my own room again to review the state of affairs in the life I called my own.  I would fluff the pillows on my own couch and vigorously scrub the floors to make them shine.  This was my personal responsibility to God – my requirements as a tenant. 

One day, the Spirit of God blew open the doors to the building and the Master Builder entered the premises.  Being the Designer, Creator and Giver of All things, He had created this building for a purpose.  I found out the original design didn’t include walls.  There were no partitions in the Creator’s blueprint.  Every dividing structure had been made by the hands of man out of concern and a need to control.  The open-floor design had created opportunity for the deepest heart issues of every tenant to be exposed.  For fear of having such issues treated inappropriately, the building was remodeled to protect and preserve our dignity and pride, never realizing the renovations actually thwarted the Designer’s original idea.

Of what importance is the Body of Christ?  Is it necessary and important?  Perhaps it is desirable and helpful?  What if it is the actual life of Jesus being lived on this earth?  Would we even consider cutting into little pieces the physical body of our Lord and Saviour and wrapping it up in little packages to be deposited in strategic places in hopes that it would affect some?  Would we not long for the living, breathing, walking, talking, healing, loving, compassionate Jesus to be in our midst?

It is true and so important that we know Jesus intimately, personally and deeply.  But it is also so important that we recognize that Jesus dwells within us and His life is the life that we are to be living.  In that individual revelation of the Resurrected Redeemer, our hearts will be filled with an indescribable desire to be one with Him as He and the Father are one.  This was Jesus’ prayer.  This was the very heartbeat of His Heart – the Heart which now beats in our inward man.  Being one with Him is being one with His body. 

Of what importance is the physical body which is our current habitat?   Is it necessary and important?  Perhaps it is desirable and helpful?  Isn’t it the way our life is being lived on this earth?  Would we even consider cutting it into little pieces and  expect it would continue to exist? 

  We are the living, breathing, walking, talking, healing, loving, compassionate Jesus as we let His life flow out from us.  The use of the word “body” and references to the many members and their diversities is no happenstance or random choice of analogies.  The picture of a body is the picture of that which cannot be divided, parceled out or separated.  It is the image of unity in its truest form – unity that is required in order to live.  One member of our physical body – the toe, the eye or the knee – does not presume to do anything that defies unity.  It cannot.  Being in the body means unity with the body.  The part of the physical body which no longer functions or is in unity with the body will initially be converged upon by parts of the body whose purpose are to bring healing, restoration and rest.  But if the body part does not respond to these attempts to restore unity, eventually it will become diseased and pour infectious poison into the rest of the body.  If this disunity continues, it will kill the entire body and the purpose of the body will be thwarted. 

So, the floorplan is one of open, honest and caring relationships based on the love of God and His divine purpose.  There are no private rooms to retreat into where we can gossip, complain, judge or criticize the rest of the Body.  Truly, in the realm of the Spirit of God we are able to enjoy times of intimate fellowship with Jesus, personal revelation of His deepest longings and yet we remain a vibrant, beautiful, well-nourished and always united Body – the Body of Christ. 

I see this now more clearly.  Yet, I’m extremely aware that this is a truth which far exceeds my current revelation.  The beauty of God which I have experienced in His body far outweighs what I have ever imagined or even thought of imagining. To see His will being carried out – not by one or two special people who’ve attained some mystical spiritual plateau – but by the weak and strong preferring one another and honoring one another until the Body of Christ is standing in the fullness and glory of all that God has ordained.  What I have seen of this glorified Body is overwhelming, but I know it is small compared to what is to come.