This month we’ve been focusing on the topic of community. To recap, Matthew Fleming reminded us in week one that no man is an island and we were created as community. Just as God is One (singular) as well as the Godhead (plural – Father, Son and Holy Spirit), we were created to grow and thrive in the soil of community.
Jamie Jordan reminded us in week two of the power of community, and how alliances, businesses, churches and individuals are vitally important in the Kingdom of God. When the Christian community comes together in unity with God and one another there is nothing we can’t accomplish.
Lindsay Fleming explained last week that we are commissioned for community. As we abide in God, come together under the Blood of Jesus and show compassion to each other and our world we can have an impact on our culture.
Having a real, definitive, measurable impact on our city, state and nation is the root of what we are after as a Christian movement and is our strong, defining, “Why.”
Though there are many, I see three important facets to having a real, eternal impact on our world: uncovering the treasure within us, experiencing victory in the context of family and being united together in love.
Uncovering the Treasure
“Being asked by the Pharisees when the Kingdom of God would come, He answered them, ‘The Kingdom of God doesn’t come with observation; neither will they say, ‘Look, here!’ or, ‘Look, there!’ for behold, the Kingdom of God is within you.’”
As blood-bought children of the King, we have regained access to the Kingdom – the greatest treasure we could ever possess. If that wasn’t remarkable enough, we’ve each been given access to the power of the Spirit who has endowed us with special gifts and talents to be used to advance His kingdom in the name of Christ.
But that’s not all. We also have access to the mind of Christ. Ponder that for a moment. At any time you can stop and pray and invite the revelation and wisdom of the Lord to bring solutions to any problem or challenge you may be facing. As we abide in Him daily, He gives us the strength and power and fortitude to do the impossible. According to Mark 9:23, “ALL things are possible for those who believe.” Jesus is our greatest treasure of all. He resides right there within our hearts right along with the fullness of the Kingdom.
Uncovering the treasure within takes time, just as our most important relationships need time, care and attention. It takes being still and listening to the heart, mind and will of the Father. It is putting your relationship with Him first and allowing Him to speak into those dry, weary places. It is cooperating with His plan for wholeness and embracing the mystery of the process. It takes studying His Word and applying it to your life. He longs to help us see the world as He sees it. He longs to pour His love into our hearts, but it’s hard to fill a moving cup. Uncovering the treasure within you is one of the grandest adventures you’ll ever embark on and yet we were never created to do it alone.
Victory in the Context of Family
Many of us come from challenging family dynamics, and I’m no exception. In fact, it was more common to be told what I couldn’t do growing up, than being encouraged in my gifts and abilities. We do not choose the families we are born into. However, we do have more of a say in who we choose to be in community with as adults. Those of us who cling to the Name of Christ have been born into a new family with very different dynamics than we may have experienced before. We were created for community and to be one with Him and each other. When He prayed to the Father before being crucified He said in John 17:11, “Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name, the name you gave me, so that they may be one as we are one.”
I was going through a tough season personally and pondering the breakthrough I had recently experienced when I heard Him speak these words to my heart, “All victory should be experienced in the context of family.” I was thinking about all the brothers and sisters of Christ who had surrounded me, supported me and prayed with me as I traveled a very dark path.
God’s family is important to Him. Your participation in the Body of Christ is important to Him. Paul instructs us in Hebrews 11:25 to “…let us consider how to spur one another on to love and good deeds. Let us not neglect meeting together, as some have made a habit, but let us encourage one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”
I have experienced first-hand how unity in the context of community brings great victory and breakthrough. This is simply one benefit to being a part of the Body of Christ. Other benefits include the cultivation and encouragement of our gifts, talents and abilities. Proverbs 27:17 says that we “sharpen” one another and according to Ephesians 4:13, we “grow up together into the fullness of Christ.”
The Glue That Binds Us
Months ago I spoke to the fact that we each hold a piece of the C3 puzzle and we needed to understand what part we play and how we can join together to bring strength and unity to the Body to make a significant Kingdom impact. But how do we keep the puzzle pieces connected with one another?
My daughter loves to put puzzles together, and recently purchased one to complete with her dad. After they were finished she decided she wanted to permanently connect the pieces together so she could frame it to display on her bedroom wall. She knew that without something to hold the picture together the pieces would break apart. Quinn told her she’d have to glue the pieces onto a board and then she could frame it.
The natural quite often mimics the spiritual. I began to ask myself, “What is the ‘glue’ that binds us all together in unity so that the image of Christ can be seen by the world?”
The answer came quickly: Love.
If we are in God and God is love, then love must be the glue that holds us all together as one.
“This is how we know that we live in Him and He in us: He has given us of His Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent His Son to be the Savior of the world. If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God. And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.”
1 John 4:13-16
It all comes full circle. As we enter into a love-relationship with Jesus, we become adopted into a new family where breakthrough is experienced and our gifts and talents can be cultivated, all while being glued together in the unity of love.
If we want to have a real impact on our world we need to actively love God, love each other, and love our world. When a group of like-minded, heart-tied believers walk together in unity and love with one another, culture shifts. Hope flourishes. Chains break away. The seeds of renewal and forgiveness and restoration have a fertile field to thrive within and the darkness flees. God’s Kingdom comes.
Father, remind our hearts daily to put our important relationships first, – especially our relationship with you. Help us to connect with the Body of Christ in life-giving ways, seeking out those relationships that will challenge, equip, strengthen and sharpen us. Help us all to grow into the fullness of Christ. As we walk in love and unity with one another I pray that the world will see Your face. I pray they would hear Your voice. Most of all I pray that they’d experience Your love first-hand. Make our lights shine brightly for you Abba. Teach us what it looks like to walk in love and unity with one another. We humbly submit to Your hand in our lives because we know You are good. Help us to share Your goodness and kindness to the world. It is Your goodness that brings people to a place of repentance. Thank You for calling us into the Kingdom of the Son of Your love. Thank You for His sacrifice. May we each use our gifts, talents and abilities to glorify Your Name throughout the earth. Amen.
Lori Anderson-Bowen is the Charleston SC-C3 Intercessory Prayer Coordinator. She is passionate about hearing the voice of God and seeing people walk in freedom daily through the ministry of prayer. Lori is also a business partner with SC-C3 and the proud owner of Andowen Photography. You can contact her directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.