Dear brother or sister,
Firstly, let me say, in this post I am not condoning war, killing, murder, racism, other religions and I am not in any way glorifying war. I am not pro any country over another.
Having said that – American Sniper, what a movie. What a story. What a spectacle of the reality for the believer who has seen the Eternal Purpose of God and is ruined for anything else.
In a nutshell and be it right or wrong, the true story goes that Chris Kyle signed up to serve his country with a deep heart conviction that he was called to protect his fellow-Americans in this way. This led him to the war zones as a sniper where he served four Tours of Duty, saved many American soldiers’ lives, killed 160 enemies as a sniper, became a legend in the eyes of many of his countrymen and comrades and returned home a tormented man, damaged and changed, trying to re-connect with family and society. He was never the same again.
It is common knowledge that young men in particular, can be taken up with some fantasy of war and being solders, being convinced there is much glory and honour in serving country. For the young soldier there can be a sense of calling, duty, pride, bravery, excitement, hope, destiny, purpose and meaning. There is generally an expectation of victory, glory, wonder, certainly comradery and even adventure and sight-seeing. However, one thing is true of any I have heard speak after the event of being at war, and that is, that except for the comradery, it was none of those things. And this is my point.
Those to whom the Lord has given a glimpse of His Eternal Purpose, can be likened to such a young person. We leave the safety and familiarity of the traditional or institutional church environment and habits and we walk into this ‘organic’ church life expecting some hard times and challenges for sure. You know, we’ve read the books, we’ve heard the testimonies, we know it’s not going to be easy. However, we have heard the call and we can’t help ourselves now. We are compelled to go!
We ‘enter in’ so to speak, this ‘organic’ body life, in order to seek this glorious experience of the Lord’s Bride expressing Christ in all His wonder and love, power and light – to fellowship with brothers and sisters who have also heard the call and who have given their lives up for Him – and we intend to walk this path together with that same sense of calling, duty, courage, excitement, hope and purpose, believing we will see glory, wonder, adventure and experience a similar type of comradery.
What does such a one find? Just like the young soldier, this one finds the journey into organic life in Christ, is more about death than anything else!! – pain, suffering, loss – losing ones’ life (self-life) in the sense that he is no longer an individual accountable only to self but now moves as part of a corporate body, loses his individual status or spiritual reputation, risks his life (self-life) for the corporate body and its purpose (to let Jesus win!). This one risks his life all day every day in community life of the body. He thought training was hard! – like Chris Kyle training to be a navy seal on the beaches, even that didn’t compare with what faced him. But now that he’s living it, he’s on the front, he’s on the ground, he’s functioning with other soldiers alongside him who are also functioning, he is getting used to death. Death is now becoming a way of life. So it is for those in true organic body-life, under the headship of Jesus Christ. It was the way of Jesus, why wouldn’t it be the way of His followers?
If we’ve seen the Lord’s Eternal Purpose, we have no alternative but to keep dying and giving up our lives. We know it’s worth it. We have no life of our own, no personal status or value. We are members of a corporate body and live only for the purpose of that corporate body, which is to let Jesus win on every occasion so He is seen in the earth. Our personal lives have no individual value. We risk our lives every day and die new deaths every day for the sake of the purpose of this body. Even though we may live physically, still have jobs, families and regular every day commitments, we are ruined for this life (self-life). We are never going to be the same. We can’t return to who we used to be. People might look at us from the outside and think we’re the same person we used to be but we are not. Not ever. And there is no going back.
The young soldier deployed for war doesn’t have a clue what he is signing up for. When we enter into ‘organic’ church life, neither do we.
But!! The glory! Yes! There is glory there! A far greater glory than what any young soldier might be hoping for. A richer glory than we have ever experienced before. The glory of the Lord Jesus truly freely functioning as the Head of His Church, that He is. It is the sweetest and most consuming wonderous glory that ever there can be here on earth – to see and know with our spiritual senses, the wonders of the Lord Jesus getting what He wants.
Having been given a glimpse of this purpose, a glimpse of this glory, what choice is there? It’s like when Simon Peter said to Jesus “Lord, to whom shall we go? For You hold the words of life”.
We have no-where else to go Jesus. Just a glimpse of You in Your bride has ruined us for anything else.