In 1964 I joined the Air Force, and went off to Lackland AFB, San Antonio, Texas for basic training. I immediately began to learn more about living in community and sharing life together.
As new recruits in the military, we received uniforms that looked alike. We learned to march together, had drill training on the flight line, had classroom training, we ate together, slept at the same time and location, and did everything together.
Life in the military is very different than civilian life. Civilian life is more individualistic and sometimes can be more isolationist. Those tendencies are often prevalent in the church world as well, and they tend to cause division and conflict.
Power of Corporate Witness
The better we understand the nature of the Body of Christ, the more effective we can become as witnesses to the outside world. When we consider our mandate as followers of Jesus, as disciple makers, it’s important to realize that God never intended for us to operate alone or in isolation. We are intended to function as teams or communities of Jesus-followers. Our influence and impact on the world around us, as salt and light. will be determined to a great extent by our living and sharing life together with other members of the Body of Christ.
So often over the years when I’ve had conversations with people about the Lord, I discover that someone else has already had some spiritual influence on them. They have had some exposure to the gospel. Many people, especially in the Western World or North America, have some awareness of church, the Christian faith, or religious traditions.
However, what is often missing is a biblical understanding of what is involved in having a relevant relationship with the Lord Jesus. Sometimes, all it takes is asking a few questions, listening, and filling in the gaps. Everyone does not necessarily need to hear the same presentation and the Holy Spirit is faithful to enable us to discern how much and what we need to share.
Sowing, Watering and Reaping
On occasions, especially traveling internationally, I have encountered those who have never heard the name of Jesus or seen a Bible. In those cases, there’s an opportunity to sow a seed or testify of the character, goodness, and grace of God. It is reassuring when we know that we can be a link in a chain of spiritual influence. We can be a witness and be used in creating a greater awareness of the Lord. The Bible tells us that some sow, some water, and others reap the harvest, but it is God who gives the increase. He is the Lord of the harvest.
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SOURCE: Assist News Service, Jerry Wiles