This morning I woke up and immediately began to have a vision from the Lord. I wanted to share what the Lord showed me and what I felt like he told me concerning it this morning because I was so encouraged and challenged by it all.
I was riding in a raft with a group of people down the Chattahoochee river. We we’re close to approaching the falls. The day was clear and beautiful outside. Randomly the raft guide interrupts all of us and says, “Everyone stop talking. No one talk.” I was really confused by the request but we all shut our mouths and kept paddling. As we kept floating I then noticed that our guide had also seemingly taken this vow of silence as well. I kept thinking, will he say something? As we got closer to the falls I began to feel worried. I was hoping that he would speak up, I was hoping that someone would say something but everyone sat in silence. I knew that as we approached if we did not all communicate and work together that we would certainly flip the boat or hit a rock when we hit the rapids. Before we hit the falls, the vision ended (thankfully).
Immediately after seeing this the Holy Spirit showed me that this relates to my own life, to the life of churches and ministries and the Body of Christ as a whole. I felt like He showed me that it’s crucial that we live in community with one another and learn to communicate and work together. We are all on the same boat as followers of Christ, even if we don’t agree with everyone else paddling or the leaders who are guiding the rafts we float along on. The Lord showed me how important it is for our leaders to step up and communicate what exactly we need to do. While rafting even the slightest misdirection can lead you into really dangerous situations. Our guides (leaders) have ridden down the falls many times before and know every move that we need to make to ride through successfully. Our leaders need to give direction and we need to listen to our leaders when they begin to shout that we need to begin paddling or to shift our weight.
Also, I felt like the Lord was showing me that we, as simple followers of Christ need to be communicating with those on our boat. Sometimes bitterness, strife, fear and prejudice can keep us from communicating. The danger of this silence is that when we begin to hit the rapids as a ministry or a church, then everyone could easily be thrown out and the boat flipped over. We need to all be in true community with one another and live in sync so that we can stay on the right path.
In John 15 the Lord makes it clear how we demonstrate obedience to Him and even avoid being one of the branches that are fruitless and thrown into the fire. He tells us that we are to love one another. We receive His love as we remain in Him and our natural response should be that we love and communicate with those around us. He sums it all up so beautifully in verse 17 when he says, “This I command you, that you love one another.”
Sometimes even seemingly good things can become the greatest barrier between us and other people. At times people’s theology will even keep believers from not only loving one other but from talking in any way. If our theology brings us to a place of judgement or condemnation then we should maybe consider questioning our theology. We can easily live with an “us and them” mentality which breeds nothing but pride and arrogance. The Lord wants us to follow His example and live lives of both humility and grace.