Transcendently Connected to the Body of Christ
Is it possible to be in the heart of a church group and have no connection to the Body of Christ? Yes. How is this so? Here’s a mystery we need to solve!
(Martha) First thing I want to do, John, is correct something I said that was wrong. And actually, it was in a recent podcast, I think. I said you have to be in connection with the Body of Christ. Is that what I said?
(John) You did. You said it on, I believe it was the last
(Martha) Oh, okay. Well, that’s not— I have new light on that, because there are times when God places you absolutely alone. He’s done it to me many times.
(Martha) Did you say that?
(John) I said that in the podcast. I said there were seasons when the Lord will take you off and you won’t be directly connected to a Body. And that season is for a particular work that He’s doing in us. And I did say that!
(Martha) Oh good.
(John) But what you’ve said today, what you, the revelation and the light that you’re getting right now, I’m blown away by.
(Martha) Oh good, I am too. Because if you are born again and in the will of God, you are in the Body of Christ—even if you don’t see another soul on the horizon. The Body of Christ is transcendent. We’ve known that. But I have a new seeing of it. The Body of Christ is connected and it’s spiritual. It’s in a realm you can’t see or prove, but when you are in the will of God, you’re in the kingdom. And Jesus defined His family as not those who were born in His family but… “Who are my mothers and brothers?”
(John) Who is my mother, brother, sister…
(Martha) Yeah. Those who do the will of God.
(Martha) So the will of God is your connection to Christ and to the Body of Christ.
(John) So that means that I could be in the will of God and in the Body of Christ, one with the Body of Christ, and be totally by myself.
(Martha) Yes. And you could also be connected to a group of people and it NOT be the Body of Christ.
(John) You mean, that, like I could go to a church and everybody is not in the will of God and I could be sitting in the middle of a whole bunch of people who have absolutely no connection with the Body of Christ.
(Martha) Yeah, but the Body of Christ is powerfully active. And I used to say, years ago, when they would say, “The Bride of Christ is not doing well, the church is not doing well!” And I would say, “Yeah, she is!” In the realm where the church exists, which is the realm of the spirit, everything is according to what God wants. We just don’t see it. We don’t always see it. So, and I think too, that whatever we, revelation we get, is a part of the Body of Christ—the light in the Body of Christ. And that it’s conveyed through the Spirit, far above and beyond a conveyance by teaching.
(John) So this is, this says that even like Brother Andrew, who was in prison for so many years, that though he was in prison, though he was being beat by heathen captors and he was being tortured and he was being hurt for smuggling Bibles behind the Iron Curtain. He was IN the Body of Christ, even alone, even in that…
(Martha) And that Body, by the Spirit, ministered to him.
(John) Oh wow.
(Martha) This just, the church is huge and it is so hidden. But the operation of it is so dynamic.
(John) I know that it doesn’t often touch our emotions, and you can be emotionally lonely. And like if you’re in a season that you don’t have a direct Body, and you’re, you feel alone and lonely, those emotions can kind of overtake you and make you feel like you’re not. But the reality is that you are.
(John) That’s amazing!
(Martha) And all those times of absolute solitude are for you to build such a relationship with the Lord that you don’t experience loneliness.
(Martha) In my best times, some of my best times in my years have been when I was absolutely alone. And the Lord’s presence was all I wanted and overwhelmingly sufficient.
(John) Those are times that the Lord has to direct. You can’t just choose them. Nor would you want to!
(John) But when He chooses it for you, you’re right, they are amazing.
(Martha) So I did want to say that, that Paul said that everyone abandoned me but I was not alone. God was with me. And I think in those times, God becomes your entire companion, so that that’s your foundation really, of life.
(Martha) It’s a Brother Lawrence thing, isn’t it?
(John) Yeah, and then you bring it into the Body.
(Martha) John, do you realize that pretty soon, in a couple of months, it’s going to be 23 years since you joined Shulamite.
(Martha) And I’ve been thinking about that in light of the revelation I want to share, is that when He called you to come from Florida to Georgia, you did it. You just moved and did it. You sold your business, you left your church, you left your friends, you rented a truck that broke down and with all of your life belongings in it, and you came. You chose to do His will. And you chose Him. And you immediately moved on it. Any regrets?
(John) No, not at all. It was perfect. It was frightening, it was scary, it was disturbing, and, but because it was so, felt unmoored— Is that the right word? And it just, it was His directive and there was just no, there was no second choices and chances. There was just do it! And I did it, and it was just very, very direct and very, very clear that that’s what I was to do.
(Martha) But, you did it!
(John) I did do it.
(Martha) You obeyed. And it was not easy.
(John) No, it wasn’t easy.
(Martha) And the next two years were not easy in many different ways. But I want to start with that because I’ve seen so clearly from some life experiences that the Christian life is one thing. It is the bottom line and it is so clear throughout Scripture from Genesis to Revelation. This issue is clear. In Genesis, the choice was given and every man, woman, and child, too, has to make the choice of life or death. Knowledge or Life. Good or evil. And that, I wrote something sometime, called Towering Trees (Towering Canopies of Life and Death). And I said I think that the Trees still stand in the middle of the universe because they represent two sources, two different things – life and death, two opposites. And I’m freshly aware that the only thing God wants of us is to choose. Make a decision, choose. We do choose.
(John) We do choose, absolutely.
(Martha) Even if we avoid choosing, we have chosen. There’s no such thing as a life that doesn’t choose. I remember hearing this phrase in my early walk: every life is lived by the will. And I didn’t really understand what that meant for a long time. It’s so true. It’s interesting in the Bible that over and over again in different places, different situations, the people were presented with a choice. And we know, we know that we can’t perform. He has to. We can’t be. He has to be. The only thing He asks of us is to choose…Him. And you gave me a site from I think it was Ravi Zacharias.
(John) Yeah, that was an amazing, oh my goodness.
(Martha) Oh, it’s amazing! I will try to get that site back up, but he is talking about love as it is only love when it gives completely free will.
(John) Oh gosh, it is such a powerful message.
(Martha) It is powerful. It’s extremely intelligent and extremely accurate, but I have learned that unless you give free will, you do not yet love. And that God’s gift of free will is the highest love that exists. And we need to understand that. Because I remember this Episcopal priest in my early walk said, “If you want to go to hell, God will let you.” If you really want to go to hell, God will let you. Meaning, you’re free! And I thought, “That cannot be!” But it is.
(Martha) We choose life or death. We choose heaven or hell. We choose Christ or the serpent.
(John) Ravi was very, very clear in that, where if He didn’t give you the free will choice, it isn’t love. And…
(Martha) He exerts no control. He will put pressure. He will make it clear. He will do all kinds of things, but He will never violate that free will. So if we don’t choose Him, we have nothing of Him and blame Him for it.