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Monday, December 29, 2014

Union With Christ # 39

5. Functional Union (continued)

Functional Constitution and Appointment (continued)

That means, of course, more than the acceptance of the fact of our position in the Body and of our having a function in the Body. It means the acceptance of our "responsibility," that we regard ourselves as responsible people in the Body of Christ, that we take responsibility for the expression of Christ - not personal importance, assertiveness, self-realization, but the expression of Christ. I am here as a member of a Body, the function of which is to express the indwelling personality, which is Christ. That is a serious responsibility, a solemn charge and obligation, as well as a privilege. We must take this up. Why am I joined to Christ? Why am I a member of Christ's Body? For such I am if I am in Christ. Why am I in the position? For no other and no lesser purpose than to be the vehicle of the expression of Christ, and if I am not doing that I am contradicting the very meaning of my union with Christ. We have to take responsibility over it. Every day we have to feel responsible about this matter of the expression of Christ. Of course, that will come down to many things.  We slip up, we make mistakes; we speak a wrong thing, or a right thing in a wrong way; somehow or other we default; and at once we say, "That is not Christ, I must put that right; that has made a false impression, that has dishonored my Lord, let me clear that up." That is taking responsibility. There will be many small things like that - though nothing is truly small in the Body of Christ; and we could speak of many other things.

Unconscious Functioning a Sign of Health

Now in a healthy body all this exists very largely unconsciously. Coming back to what I said, asking, What is my function? - your trouble will be that you will not know. In a healthy body, everything happens without your being conscious of it. You do not mentally reason out, work out and think and decide when you are going to take the next breath. You just do it. You never thought anything about it. That is going on in your body if you are healthy. It is all functioning so largely unconsciously. There is an unconscious sense in our physical system. It registers before we register. When we are pulled up by some symptom, some feeling, we begin to realize that something has gone wrong physically. But the system registered that before we were conscious of it. It is only bringing us to recognize what it has already recognized. That is going on all the time. In a healthy body there is no self-occupation with - What am I, who am I, where am I, what is my function? And when the Body of Christ is healthy, there is a spontaneous expression of Christ. It just happens, and it is most healthy when it is like that - indeed it is only healthy when it is like that. When people are self-conscious, when people are letting you know that they are trying to do something for the Lord - there is something wrong there. That is the Body occupied with itself instead of with the Lord. If we are really occupied with the Lord, a very great deal of this self-occupation disappears. Do not worry as to what your function is. You live in union with the Lord and you will function. You may not be able to see what it is that represents your value, but it will be there; you may not be able to see how it is that you are serving the purpose of the Body, but it will be served. Is it not true that we have known those who have felt themselves the poorest, the weakest, the most foolish, and we have found a fragrance of Christ, a beautiful fragrance of Christ, in that life, and they were all the time so troubled because they did not feel they were any good at all? We have met Christ. It is quite a healthy state to be in - far better than the opposite. There is an unconscious registration going on.

~T. Austin-Sparks~

(continued with # 40)

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