Traditionally the church has become more about structure than about life. When the church holds stronger to structure than the presence of Christ it tends to invoke revolutions. People want life. God doesn’t desire a church that is structurally bound or a church that is deprived of the presence, power, and intimacy of Christ. The enemy is not entirely stupid. If the enemy cannot destroy us structurally, he will destroy us relationally. If he cannot destroy us relationally, he will seek to destroy us structurally. My body has both structure and life. It is filled with cells that are in relationship with one another, but the purpose is not merely relational. It is functional. To be my body it must have cellular relationship, but it must also rise up and walk a path of destiny in life known as purpose. That purpose will bring life to the world.
At the beginning of May I broke my foot and I had to go through several weeks of healing and recovery. Part of my structure was hurt when I broke my foot. I had to wear added structure until the structure healed, because I needed structure. Structure holds my body together. My body parts are joined for the purpose of my whole body, not for the purpose of themselves. To be me, I need all of me. I care for the parts of my body, but I don’t live for the parts of my body. The parts of my body live for the fullness of me. We need relationship in the structure to be the living body of Christ. We must be the body of Christ to fulfill the hope of His calling, become the riches of His inheritance and demonstrate the working of His power in this earth in a place that is more influential than the gates of Hades in the earth. The greatness of His power, not ours, is the testimony of the purpose of the body of Christ. It is His mighty power! It is the same power that rose Jesus from the dead! It is the same power that seated Jesus at the right hand of God! This is the power that is meant to influence the world with the life of the kingdom of heaven.
Ephesians 1:21… far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come. 22 And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, 23 which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.
In verse 21 we see that Christ the head and Christ the body is far above all principality, power, might, dominion, and every name that is named. This was not only true in the age that Paul was writing, but in every age to come and even in the age that is beyond this world. In verse 22 we see that He put all things under His feet. The feet are the place of the body of Christ standing in the earth.
The church is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all. The body of Christ is the fullness of Christ that fills all in all. Underneath the feet of the body of Christ are principalities, powers, thrones, dominions, and names. These are all places of influence. These are all influences of death. They are destroyers, thieves, liars, deceptions, and other forms of death. They inspire self-seeking and self-living. These are things that seek to destroy life, but they are underneath the feet of the body of Christ.
The body of Christ is more than the body of anointing. It is the body of life. It is the place of heaven standing upon the earth. It is the place of heaven’s influence. It is the place of the authority of the fullness of Christ. What makes us influential today? What gives us the authority to bring life to our cities or nations? It is Christ in us, not just as individuals but Christ in us as a body. As a member of the body I am a powerful member, but I am not a powerful body. As a few members we are powerful members, but we are not a powerful body. The more we become a body, the more powerful we become in our city. It does not just include intimacy with God as our Father, but it includes intimacy with one another. We stand as the body of Christ for the purpose of His calling, the testimony of His inheritance, and the working of the demonstration of His power in the earth to destroy the influencing gates of hell. We are anointed to destroy the gates of hell. We are anointed have victory over the influences of death. Do you think the enemy likes that? He doesn’t want that. He forms weapons against that. We have stronger weapons than the enemy! What are our strong weapons? Our strongest weapon is being the body of Christ. The more we become the body, the more influence we bring into this world. It is not merely about becoming intimate with God or with Jesus. It is about me being a member of the body of Christ. It is about being a life-giving contributor to the body. We are in relationship with one another for the purpose of God.
Now, think about where the enemy has hit you. Has your heart every been shot at by the enemy? Does he try to get to your heart? Where does he try to get to your heart the most? Does he try to get to your heart in the world or in the church? Often, I hear people say, I don’t like the church. It is easier in the world than it is in the church. The truth is, it is. Why? There is no destiny there. There is no greatness there. Ok, you need a smaller group. When my foot was broken it needed the smallest group possible. It needed immediate cell connections so it could receive the life-flow to be healed. The closest relationships were next to the foot, but those relationships serve the fullness of who I am. They don’t serve the ministry of the foot. They serve the ministry of the body of Ted Hanson. The body of Ted Hanson is the fullness of Ted Hanson. The body of Christ is the fullness of Christ meant to influence this world with life. The enemy seeks to destroy relationships in the body because the enemy seeks to destroy the body. He is not after you. He is attempting to take you out of purpose. Offenses lead to judgments and judgments lead to defilements. That is where we begin to see ourselves as an individual rather than a member of something corporate. When we become defiled we disconnect from one another. We don’t stay in connection in relationship. We don’t stay under authority or in authority with one another. Only authority produces life. Power alone will empower us to be self-seekers, but corporate authority empowers us as God inheritors. When we don’t live for corporate purpose we separate and lose our care for one another. Our hearts, our vision, and our passion becomes dead to one another. We don’t want to go down that path. We want to be the body of Christ!
Food For Thought,
Ted J. Hanson
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