As we bask in this the first day of a new year, I wanted to share a Word that has been on my heart concerning the Body of Christ.
John 3:20-21 – For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.
1 John 1:7 – … If we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.
These scriptures confirm two things: (1) we can’t fellowship with each other while in darkness, and (2) it is as we walk in the Light of God’s Word AND fellowship with one another, that our sins are cleansed.
For 2015, God is calling for His Body to be united in love, and for this to happen, we have to first be willing to be exposed and vulnerable with each other. The scriptures are clear – the reason we don’t have fellowship with each other – the reason so many broken relationships exist in the Body of Christ – is because we’re not walking in the Light (i.e. truth, authenticity, integrity, love, etc.). Fellowship in the Light involves vulnerabilities and exposure; and takes great courage and strength.
The Bible refers to “the unfruitful works of darkness” (Ref. Ephesians 5:11), clearly signaling to us that nothing done in the dark will bear fruit. Our relationships cannot develop in darkness (i.e. dishonesty, dissimulation, denial, etc.), as true fellowship is hindered and blocked where there is no Light.
Our fear of exposure (and the possible rejection that often comes with exposure) as we attempt to form meaningful relationships, is completely understandable. Perhaps this is why we choose to remain in the dark and consequently why relationships in the Body are suffering. We fear being exposed, when in reality we all are naked, and have been, ever since Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden (Ref. Genesis 3:6-7). “Darkness” for us can be compared to the proverbial “leaves” that Adam and Eve used to cover themselves back then. And just like them, our covering up and hiding (in the dark or via “leaves”) has resulted in broken fellowship in our relationships with each other and with God. Furthermore, all this hiding and covering up has, as the scripture suggests, prevented our own sins from being cleansed (1 John 1:7b).
My friends, it’s time to be ALL God has called us to be in EVERY area of our lives! I challenge you, as you move into 2015, to step into the Light. Know that everythingabout you — that being in relationship could potentially expose — has already been covered by the blood of Jesus. We can embrace our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ knowing that our sins are being covered and cleansed as we walk together in the Light of His love. Let 2015 be the year of the Body of Christ truly reflecting Ephesians 4:16 – “being joint and knit together by what every joint supplies…. causing growth of the Body for the edifying of itself in love!”
Prayer: Lord, give us willing hearts to risk the vulnerability that comes from walking and fellowshipping with each other in Your Light. Let us know today that You will cover what “leaves” and “darkness” cannot, and that You will cleanse us as we reveal ourselves to You and to each other. Father, as You restore in 2015 ALL we’ve lost (Joel 2:25-26), we thank You for restoring relationships in the Body of Christ. Amen.