Everyone needs someone, and no one is an island. One of the enemies of the church is individualism. Somewhere we’ve believed the lie that our actions don’t hurt others (except murder, I’m pretty sure we all agree one’s persons action hurts another if it’s murder). If we are coventanted together (and as Christians, we should be), then we have to throw out the idea of individualism and bring back the idea of community.
Recently the Lord taught me a valuable lesson regarding how my actions affect others:
I was at a church service a couple of weeks ago and during the worship, I felt some tingling in my upper back. I understood it was a word from God, indicating he was going to heal someone with a nerve issue in their back. I filed the thought away while I continued to enjoy the worship time.
Throughout worship, I felt the Holy Spirit prompting me to dance at the front. At my home church, I would have no problem with that. We have a lot of freedom to move freely around during worship and besides they’re my family. I feel comfortable around them because they know me and don’t care how awkward I look when I dance but I was not in my usual church and although I felt freedom in the Spirit, no one was actually out of their seats, and certainly no one was at the front. I argued with the Holy Spirit about it, not wanting to become a spectacle and then the tempo would change and so I’d say, “See, I can’t now.”
But the prompting didn’t go away and I said, “If the tempo changes again, I’ll go to the front.” I made good on my word and danced with all my heart at the front and as soon as I was done, I felt searing nerve pain in all of my back, particularly my lower back. Then I heard the Lord say to my heart, “Because you were obedient, I am going to totally heal someone’s back.” As soon as he said that, I felt coolness on my back and the nerve pain was gone.
I wept (if I thought dancing was a spectacle, try weeping – you know, the ugly cry – in front of the church). I was undone by the Lord and it taught me a lesson. As the body of Christ, we are connected and my obedience brings other people blessing. After worship, I was able to declare the word of knowledge the Lord gave me and a young woman (young, as in younger than me) was healed of a painful nerve condition in her back, particularly lower back.
(I’m not suggesting, even for a moment, the Lord would not have healed her another way, or another time. Scripture says the plans of the Lord cannot be thwarted (Job 42:2). I don’t wield enough power to stand in the way of what God wants to do but he does work through his people, through willing hearts who are obedient to the voice of God.)
It’s sobering, to say the least. What if Abraham didn’t go, when God told him to go? What if Moses started over with his family line? (Hey, God offered.) What if Jesus (who was a man, like us) decided the cross was too painful to bear?
What we do in life echoes into eternity. ~Maximus Decimus Meridius, Gladiator
It’s true for the future, and it’s true for the present age as well. My continual prayer before the Lord is let none of my mistakes be made at the expense of another. And honestly, I don’t want your disobedience to cost me my blessing either.
Let’s covenant together to walk in obedience and in a right relationship with God and each other.