Nobody Has It All

And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers.

—EPHESIANS 4:11

In our uniqueness we express the things of God differently. I am once again reminded of how I prayed for the Father to give me all the revelation of Christ that is possible for man. I was given a vision of a room so large that none of the walls could be seen, but gold chests were all around, and on each chest was the name of a different believer. God spoke: “It would take every believer to begin to express who I am. Each is given his own revelation. There is a chest with your name on it. You will have what I give from within that chest, but all of Christ cannot be expressed in one man.” Amen, I have seen Christ in, learned of Him from, and received revelations of Him from very different people, ranging from what the world and religion would call the upper and lower classes or castes. I understand I am only a thread in this Christian life, my message is simple, and what I say is not intended to be the last word for the Christian life. Yet sometimes I am taken aback by the complaints.

I remember getting traditional East Indian treatments consisting of beautifully textured, wonderfully smelling botanical oils. The interesting thing about those doing the massages was that though their hands were constantly in oil and rubbing soft skin, the palms of their hands were covered with huge, hard calluses. As with everything in life, we can learn something about Life, and I could see how even in ministry in the Holy Spirit and touching the souls of believers where they hurt, there must be a little protection. If I reacted every time someone criticized me or sent an angry e-mail, I would never get around to ministering. I must glance at the complaint and gaze at the Christ within the person.

More than once I have heard this testimony from a believer who invited me to his church: “The pastor said he wants me to remain involved, but I am not to advance the ‘Christ in you, the hope of glory’ teaching that Abiding Life Ministries brought.” This baffles me, for even if I were to look at the very worst in teaching I have ever delivered, I find no doctrine that would deter someone from a focus on Jesus, because it is the best teaching when the goal is Christ. However, I realize that the teaching of Christ in you does equalize all believers, and those in the Christian religion have worked very hard to be exclusive and appear superior. I thought I would have my throat cut in Asia when before a large crowd I said, “If the men in robes and collars have not admitted to you any of their weaknesses, you should stop attending their church.” For it had, in fact, become “their” church, the self-serving domain of the higher-ups.

We must look at teaching and judge its goal. Is the goal the revelation of Christ in you? If not, then what is the goal? God was so depressed with man, so to speak, that He sent His Son. If the goal is man, then you will get depressed. However, I am a great supporter of the Christian religion and the legalism to which it gives birth. Why? Because we need it! We must pass through it to discover that the man who is now in Christ is just as weak as he was before Christ. Once this is accomplished, we will look in dependence to the Christ who is in us for everything needed.

Well, no matter what treasure chest is yours to open, you will know it is the golden one when “your message,” or rather, as Paul called it, “my gospel,” is pointing others to Christ.