When the body of Christ isn't protected we become vulnerable and sick in the same way. Every person in the body of Christ represents an important part of that body. Some people lead and some follow, but without the other one, it's impossible to work correctly. When one person in the congregation hurts, we should all hurt and when someone has a praise report, we should all be in praise. But unfortuneately, this is not the case. We neglect eachother's needs, we covet eachother's possesions, we envy, we get jealous, and we secretly hold unforgiveness towards our brethren. This behavior soon leads to an attack on the body of Christ. A serious illness will develop and could end up causing death among the whole church. I've seen it happen when even the pastors were destroyed by the leading of the people and not the leading of God. This led to offenses and regrets and soon the church folded.
These illnesses of offense, jealousy, and envy, covetousness, etc. will grow and cultivate and then they create symptoms that aren't healthy to the body. These kinds of sicknesses can not be treated with medicine over the counter or prescribed by any doctor. These illnesses must be treated by the great physician, God. His consultation is free and guaranteed to work.
"But if you have bitter jealousy (envy) and contention (rivalry, selfish ambition) in your hearts, do not pride yourselves on it and thus be in defiance of and false to the Truth." Jm. 3:14 (Amplified)
"For wherever there is jealousy (envy) and contention (rivalry and selfish ambition), there will also be confusion (unrest, disharmony, rebellion) and all sorts of evil and vile practices." Jm. 3:16 (Amplified)
In knowing this why then do we allow these feelings to continue growing in the body of Christ? So what do we do about it? The first thing is not to try and fix it on our own, there are no home remedies for these kinds of maladies. There is only one Dr. who can fix us. His Word is the preventative medicine that will keep us healthy. It requires a daily dose though in order to work.
"A happy heart is good medicine and a cheerful mind works healing, but a broken spirit dries up the bones." Prov. 17:22
How do we stay happy and cheerful? Well, God told us to love one another as we would want to be loved. This is a simple rule to follow and it really works. When we give to others in an unselfish way, our hearts grow and we can't help but be cheerful. But when we allow strife, envy, jealousy, unforgiveness to rule our hearts, we do start to dry up and become bitter and unhappy.
Our happiness is not something we can make happen without the help of a Doctor who rules over all. As carnal beings, which is living in the flesh, we tend to become either defensive or offensive about situations. When we are attacked by someone else, we put a wall up and become protective and defensive. The Webster's Dictionary describes the word defense as "vindecation". What exactly does that mean? Vindecation is a form of justification on our part, and not God's. The rule of thumb is that to every action there is a reaction. This type of action is man made and a sure guarantee of failure. Someone always gets hurt. This is not how God intended it to be.
When we are "in" the world our flesh acts out and our reactions cause further harm. Being "in" the world means we are not trusing in, relying upon or leaning on the Lord for His guidance. He promises to be our vindecator but if we don't know His Word, we end up destroying the promises He has for us. Our vindecation turns into an act of hatred. This leads to emotions of guilt, selfishness, greed, pride, and allows sin to creep in and make us sick. When someone attacks us on the offense, we counter attack on the defense. Why is this so bad you may ask?
"A brother offended is harder to win over than a strong city, and (their) contentions seperate them like the bars of a castle." Prov. 18:19 (Amplified)
Think about that, the walls we build around ourselves are harder to be won than those of a strong city! That means there is no hope for love, peace, joy or contentment to break through. It leaves us mistrusting and bitter, not a good situation for you or those around you.
What exactly causes us to be on the defense or offense in the first place? It goes back to not allowing the great physician to heal us. It's a lack of faith in God's Word and promises. It's a loss of trust.
"And then many will be offended and repelled and will begin to distrust and desert (Him Whom they ought to trust and obey) and will stumble and fall away and betray one another and persue one another with hatred." Mt. 24:10 (Amplified)
It's so sad when we are given all this truth and knowledge and it has been proven, but yet we still seem to challenge God by saying, "Show me!" Even when He does show us, we still are blind to the truth. Carnality is a very dangerous place to be especially in this day and age.
As the disciple Matthew wrote, it's losing faith that results in our offenses which then leads to hatred of others. Since God is love, then we can know that these feelings are not from Him. In fact He sent His only Son, Christ to take away all these burdens from us, so that we as Christians, the body of Christ can walk in love at all times.
"Take my yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am gentle (meek) and humble (lowly) in heart, and you will find rest (relief) ease and refreshment and recreation and blessed quiet) for your souls. For My yoke is wholesome (useful, good,-not harsh, hard, sharp or pressing, but comfortable, gracious and pleasant), and My burden is light and easy to be borne." Mt. 11:29-30 (Amplified)
With this kind of promise and healing, why then are we still so obsessed with trying to have things our own way? We were never intended to be "in" this world, we were created to be "of" it. That means that we are here to serve our Lord, our Father, our Creator and to serve one another so that our lives will run smoothly and be healthy while passing through. It's not our destiny to be "in" this world, we are but mere aliens just passing through in order to advance the kingdom of God before reaching our final destiny which is with Him.
Are you going to let the secular world fool you into a false sense of security or will you allow Christ's yoke to set you free? Be healthy in Jesus.
The best vitamin for a Christian is...B1!!!
Vivian Gordon who is called into the teaching ministry loves to bring God's Word in articles that others can relate to in order to reconsider their salvation. There is no other way to the Father than by comingh through Christ. She wants as many to know Christ as possible and to grow healthy and prosperous.