OK. Great. I’m healed. Now what?
Most Sunday mornings, I sing tenor (sometimes alto) on our church‘s worship team/band. I haven’t sung in church for a month. I think that’s the longest ever. Frankly, I’ve enjoyed simply being a participant in worship, part of the congregation. I do enjoy participating on the worship team; it’s hard to imagine permanently not doing it. But, the break has been nice. I was actually supposed to sing last week, but with Ethan running a fever, Audrey had a runny nose, and Wesley was asthmatic, so I stayed home with the mildly ill kids, and that was a nice morning, too, especially after a busy week. It was a day of rest; we played games, and read the fantastic book The Christmas Sky, which is a picture book investigating the possible sources of the Star of Bethlehem when Jesus was born.
But, I digress.
I think the thing I enjoy most about not singing up front is that I feel a lot more freer to worship as I feel compelled to — for me, that means singing as loudly as I want to (I usually sit on the front row so as to not blast out anyone’s ears, nor attract unwanted attention), sing any part I want to, not sing, whatever.
Yesterday, I felt an overwhelming awe and thankfulness for our Father, and spent a good portion of the 30-something minutes of worship on my knees, something that just wouldn’t be appropriate on stage. I’ve kneeled on stage before, but at some point, I start thinking, “I’m supposed to be singing my part in the mic” and I get up. Actually, if I would have been just a little bolder, I think I would have spent the whole time totally prone yesterday morning. There’s a fine line, sometimes (for me, anyways), between worshiping freely and doing something attention-getting, and I think laying out there before the altar would have attracted attention, which was not my goal.
I’m not suggesting that anyone must get on their knees to hear from God, but, yesterday, it worked for me.
We were singing the song “Fire Fall Down” and there’s a part in the chorus that goes
and I know You’re alive,
You came to fix my broken life
Those lines always have the odd effect of both ministering to my heart and leaving me with a sense of incompleteness; Jesus and His purpose on earth and His subsequent work in the life of believers and the Kingdom of God is about more than just fixing individuals.
So, as I was worshiping yesterday, I felt God rather laying something out in my heart. In short, what He said to me was, “If the enemy can’t keep you from being healed, he’ll keep you impotent.”
Now, I’m not entirely free from damage; I need some serious, continuing, ongoing repair work that finds me at the foot of the cross, submitting to the healing hand of Jesus, and His sweet work of ministry to my spirit and my mind and emotions. But, for the most part, I feel I am largely healed from most of the muck of my history. I have seen over and over and over how He’s taken the worst parts of my life and redeemed them into something whole and healthy and blessed.
Seeking healing is fantastic, and it’s not going to be found anywhere else; no one else has the power for real, true healing.
However, God showed me that satan would be perfectly pleased for me to just remain there, whole and healed, but isolated, internalized, self-focused, powerless, with no effect for the Kingdom of God (the KoG being the rule and reign of Jesus, both in the eternal, and in the NOW, here on earth).
Backing up a bit, I saw it like this:
Death —-> Salvation —-> Healing —-> Power and Maturity
The Bible tells us the the enemy, satan, has come to steal and kill and destroy. He wants you dead. But, if he can’t kill your physical body, he’ll keep you dead spiritually, doing his best to keep you from salvation — from your spirit having life breathed into it by the work of Jesus by accepting your need for Him, and His ability to save you, to make you “born again.” But, say you do get saved; satan will then attempt to keep that event as an isolated incident, and have your Christianity be pretty much meaningless, so that you never reach a place of significant awareness of Jesus’ kind intentions towards you, and His willingness and power to heal. BUT, say you do reach that place of personal healing by Him. What, then? Well, satan will attempt to make sure that your healing has no effect outside of your own self. In other words, he’ll say, “Well, OK, she’s healed, but let’s make sure she has no impact. Let’s make sure the message of Jesus, His power, love, and mercy doesn’t spread.”
The enemy doesn’t want us to experience or operate in the power of God. He wants us wimpy Christians, who have little impact for the cause of Christ. He wants us tossed about by every wave that comes our way, unanchored, not solid. He doesn’t want the message of the Gospel to spread. He wants us, if we’re going to be Christians, to have meaningless, purposeless, flaccid, isolated Christian lives.
I don’t want that. I want the “life more abundantly” that Jesus promised in John 10:10 — and no, I’m not the sort that sees “life more abundantly” in the form of dollar signs. I’m talking about a Christian life that has deep meaning — beyond just myself, one that has purpose, power, and is an integral part of the community known as the Body of Christ. And, ultimately, that also means someone who reaches out more than I do. Frankly, there just aren’t a whole lot of non-Christians in my life. There was most certainly a time in my life when I was nigh-surrounded by non-Christians… but the life in which I am now, a life for which I am profoundly grateful, is full of Christian family and friends and even neighbors, and there’s just not much I do that might be called evangelism, or even ministering in any form to those who don’t yet know Jesus.
So, I don’t know what all that will look like. But, I feel like God is taking me outside of myself, outside of my own needs and wants, outside of my own life’s events. Frankly, that’s a little scary; I’m quite comfortable on my own world. But, I can’t ignore the fact that Jesus didn’t come to keep saving the saved; He came to seek and save the lost, and if I ignore that part of Christianity… well, I’m missing out on the major component of Jesus’ mission on the earth. I don’t want to miss out; I want to fully live. I don’t want anything that God has given to me — healing, gifts, whatever — to die a death with me; I want it to mean something, to be significant, to be part of a grander purpose, His grander purpose.
I am very much a part of my generation, Generation X, which is all about “live and let live,” apathy and independence. Though those things are part of my tendencies, I think God is no longer letting me see them as a valid excuse for what basically amounts to fear of rejection, and not caring enough about the lives of others.
No one other than God can simultaneously minister deeply and profoundly convict.