Last night our son was in the hospital to fix his badly dislocated finger after a break dance move that he tried with his friends. Before he would go to the hospital, some of his friends suggested that they could twist it back for him. But looking at the finger dangling in an awkward 90 degree angle, our son decided to go get professional help. The town’s Red Cross drove him to the hospital. The doctor made an X-ray to see exactly what went wrong where and how exactly to twist it back to its original place. Don’t worry, he is all fixed now and is doing fine again.
While waiting for his finger to be re-set, I was reminded about the body of Christ that, because of its phenomenal disobedience, is badly dislodged. How painful it must be for Jesus to live in that body without getting appropriate treatment. Imagine, for instance, those who are not apostles, self appoint themselves as apostles! This means an extremely painful dislocation in the body of Christ, a disfigurement and quite a pain to bear for Jesus. Many parts of Jesus’ body are dangling in all sorts of awkward angles for reasons that are ridiculous. The pride, jealousy, denominationalism, greed for money, power and control usually make Christians to behave – ridiculous!
Once upon a time, Israel sent out spies to Ai before going to war against them. The spies returned back saying with pride and self-confidence: “Piece of cake; we can fix Ai”. They went to war and the men of Ai routed them. The hearts of the Israelites melted and became like water. Then they turned to professional help from above. ‘Go’, said God to Joshua, ‘consecrate the people’. You cannot stand against your enemies when I stand against you. What had happened? Someone had violated a specific rule and had hidden stolen treasures in his tent. In other words, he had a skeleton in his closet, a hidden secret. And what was God’s way of dealing with this? He called for an X-ray. “Come forward before me, tribe by tribe, clan by clan, family by family, man by man, and I will scan you all through to see what is wrong here.” (Please read Joshua 7 for the full story).
I have often wondered why after so much fasting, prayer, thanksgiving, worship, strategic evaluating, planning, organizing and performing bible classes and seminars, small and big conferences, retreats, Sunday programs, Wednesday Bible studies, Thursday small group meetings and Friday street outreach, Christians still are routed by their enemies. The Body of Christ in its current disposition seems to live like a dislodged cripple at the work place, among friends and neighbors.
As parts of Jesus’ body, we dangle in awkward angles. First, we need to accept the fact that we are not all well. Secondly, we need to allow professional help. Put a stop to what we do and take time to consecrate. Allow God to do a thorough CAT scan. Remove our masks. Don’t pray that God will remove it, no! It’s our job, we need to remove our masks. We need to be honest and admit our failures, expose our weaknesses, and allow the Light to fix what we have hidden inside our tents. There is more at stake than our petty church programs, conferences and the usual false ministry reports to our money donors. Let the Light scan what is hidden within these ‘tents’ of ours. Allow the Truth to re-set our dislodged and dislocated condition back to their original position, and the body can function properly again to disciple the whole earth.
Ps 139:23-24 Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
If God is sending your way a scanning machine, do not end your friendship with that ‘machine’. Say ‘no’ to your self-justification; admit your unrighteousness and take courage to face your real self. This is how God seeks to refit all of us so that the whole body can finally function properly again – and finish the job it was called to do.