In times past God appeared to men in many forms: as men, angels, in dreams and visions, or by that mysterious and terrifying ethereal voice such as at Sinai and even at Jesus' baptism by John. Now, He has gifted us with an array of incredible manifestations in which He binds together the several elements of His earthly body, thus creating a monolith of superior strength and durability. He now speaks to me through you, and more personally through dreams, visions and personal revelation by the Word.
We are then, a single creature of gigantic proportion facing off against spiritual, material and even physical forces, and we can never be destroyed or even deterred in our advance toward the eternal promise. Kill thousands of us—we continue to move forward. Pour damnable heresies over us—we quickly recover and march on. Castigate and torture us and we break free from the restraints and surge forth with greater resolve and are more powerful than ever.
But, fragmented and separate we are obvious and weak targets, wrestling as victims to our own insecurities and doubts. James, brother of Jesus, cautioned us as individuals saying: “Let no man say when he is tempted, I am being tempted by God. God tempts no man and cannot be tempted with evil. But, a man is tempted when he is DRAWN AWAY and enticed.” Key word: DRAWN AWAY! Only as we remain in the body, recognizing the confluence of our several and unique contributions, and dependence upon the whole assembly, whether visible or invisible that we truly live.
Our strength is in the body and blood of Jesus Christ. Unified we stand and as bones, sinews and veins bind together and provide a constant channel through which the life blood and the nutriments carried by it may sustain the smallest cell, so the Spirit of Jesus, which is our life, makes us one and it is in that harmony we stand and fight the good fight of faith.
I am one man and as such I have certain expectations. Since the outcome of those expectations is dependent upon my personal contribution, I am often met with disappointment, for lacking experience, knowledge or wisdom, I am subject to the repeated failures connected to self-promotion. But, if and when I abandon self for the benefit of the great body of Christ and the kingdom it is to inherit, hope is restored and with renewed energy and holy excitement I begin to live in anticipation of the promised reward.
The bonding agent making of the many, one, is the Holy Spirit of God, and the qualities that bind us together are His fruit. Love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness and faithfulness are not merely words but rather the power manifested in the “golden rule.” In their presence, “works of the flesh” are exposed as the frauds they are and being dissolved are washed out of the body.
The breath of The Body is the breathed in Spirit of God and it is that that animates and gives life to us all. The gifts inherent in that relationship: wisdom, knowledge, faith, healing, miraculous powers, prophecy, distinguishing between spirits, speaking in tongues and interpretation of tongues, are not individually significant but universally applied modems of success.
It is not a game we are playing. This monumental gifting is present within the church to enable us in the glorious and holy task of living. The gifts then, are not toys for our entertainment, but serious tools for communicating the will and purpose of God throughout the body; God speaking! Should we expect to hear His thundering pronouncements of divine judgment today (they will come soon enough) or to see Him manifest Himself as an incarnate being hurling death dealing fire or some mystical or phenomenal manifestation? Of what value are those things other than to entertain in an already entertainment rich culture?
It is not, then, as it seems! We can never be go-it-aloners, or game playing actors and expect God to do more than yawn at our puny efforts at being spiritual. Stars on the center stage are simply impertinent imitations of the Divine and will fall from the stage with as little acknowledgment as that fleeting, unnoticed streak of light in the night sky. But as humble supplicants, mutually dependent adherents to the Head, which is Christ, we may participate in the life and liberty purchased for us at Calvary, and at what ever juncture He places us in the public eye, it will be for His glory and not ours; and the whole body will prosper. Go then and live life as you are: an integral piece in the great work that the Almighty God is and has been doing in this world for His sake and glory!
[Editor's Comment: God has given to us a prophetic voice in Ronald Gadberry. He is an ordained minister of the IPHC, and serves as an evangelist, and a member of the New Horizons Ministries Conference. He is offering his services as an evangelist and singer to pastors of churches who are now preparing their 2016 revival and preaching mission services.
You may contact Ronald Gadberry at the following address and/or telephone numbers:
The Rev. Mr. Ronald Gadberry
509 Cottage Park Lane
Shawnee, Oklahoma 74804
1-405-834-0479 / 1-405-808-2937
He will do your church good.]