“…. why are you persecuting me?” Acts 9:4
I was in worship one Sunday lost in the Love of Jesus, and telling Him how I loved Him, when suddenly He spoke to me so clearly and said “How can you love Me if you do not love My Body?”
I was a burnt out, wounded, ex-pastors wife at the time and was coping with my pain by disconnecting emotionally from the church. I would say silly things like, “I love you Lord, but I don’t know about this church stuff.” When He spoke these words I suddenly knew it was impossible to love one and reject the other. Jesus and His Body are One. He has so identified Himself with us that He’d made my efforts to accept Him without the church utterly unattainable. Here I was professing my love for Him, and rejecting Him at the same time.
This broke me. I dropped to the floor in grieving, moaning repentance as He ministered His Truth to me.
Very soon after this I was listening to a person preach a message. They made the statement “the spiritual revelation of the Body of Christ” and it felt like the Earth shook. I knew in that instant that I had missed the intensely powerful spiritual reality of all of these human beings coming together to form one body, which Jesus Christ put on and claimed as His own. So I began asking the Lord for a deeper revelation. I wanted to understand this illusive yet weighty Truth. I knew there was so much more to this body thing, and I felt absolutely clueless. My hunger grew and grew for this revelation. I was desperately aware of my lack of understanding in this area. I knew the darkness of my own mind, and I knew I was powerless to turn the light on by myself.
One night I had a dream. In the dream I was at a party. This was a small quaint gathering. I couldn’t tell if I was visible, and actually present, or if I was there in spirit, and just watching this party. The guest of honor the most beautiful woman I had ever seen. She glowed with a beauty that was sheer love and absolute joy. She was in a wheel chair, and it was clear why. The top half of her body was completely disconnected with the bottom half. It was like the top half was floating in mid air and just hovering over the bottom half. Then her bottom half sat in the wheel chair, and her legs were completely lame. They were mangled and useless. She was holding hands with her husband, who was standing next to her. As she smiled, and gave attention to the guests, he just stared at his beautiful wife. He looked at her with such an intense gaze of love! I’ve never seen anything like it, before or since. He absolutely adored her with His whole being. They looked at each other with a gaze so full of passion, it made everyone in the room humbly aware of how much they had been through together. They had seen suffering and held onto love. They had tasted trauma and held on to love. In fact, their love was more fervent day by day because of the hills and valleys they had traversed in unity. Their gaze held such an intimacy of history, that we were all a bit jealous and truly in awe. It was like we were witnessing a level of love we had never thought was possible.
I knew as I looked at the husband that He was my Jesus. And if this was Jesus, his wife was the Bride. His wife was the church. His wife…… His wife….
So beautiful, yet so flawed. So stunning yet maimed and crippled. She captivated His heart, and His love was intense. It was His love for her that made her radiant and stunned the room into silence.
This dream still changes my life.
One phrase I believe the Lord spoke to my heart…. We will not join with what we do not love. (Join ~ truly unify in our hearts ~ walk shoulder to shoulder with )
We can’t embrace one part of Him and reject another.
We can’t hold onto His mercy and turn away from His holiness.
We can’t say “yes” to His Voice of Love and “no” to His Voice of correction.
We can’t run towards His invitation into Glory, and avoid His invitation into humility.
When we try to separate Him, we may just find ourselves rejecting Him.
To walk in His Voice, to live and breath within His Presence, we cannot allow our souls to walk down the cafeteria line, pick what we like and deny the rest.
We may wrestle, but we can’t let ourselves reject….
Or His Voice will get dreadfully quiet.