Little Stones and Growth – Part 2
(Eph. 4:7,13-16, Matt. 28:18-20, Rev. 21:10-14)
We are being built together by the Spirit operating among us. His goal is a church without spot or wrinkle, and a weapon which the gates of hell cannot withstand. These are two of the pictures we have of what God is doing in and through His people. Are we with His purpose, His program? When Jesus walked upon the earth, the Lord clarified His purpose and His nature. Jesus did not raise up an earthly army. He did not wage a holy war, a crusade. He brought a revelation of God as Father to all who would come to Him. This assembling of living stones has the same purpose. From the time of Jesus’ years upon the earth, God has been in the business of pursuing and bringing home those that are lost and restoring them to His original intention.
We must say yes to Him and follow Him. This is the way of disciples. The 12 were close to Him, walking with Him every day for 3-1/2 years. And they continued after that as He appeared over 40 days and then came to them by the Spirit. As He said from then on He remains with disciples always, even to the end of the age. And we will be with Him, and He with us, forever. The Spirt comes to reveal Christ to us and in us. As He leads us into all truth, the measure of Christ in us increases. We are becoming those precious stones set in place in the wall of the city. It is for us to cooperate with the work of His Spirit, maintaining a welcome place for Him.
Some years ago a man visited the fellowship I was with and taught over a weekend. He had a real and practical grasp of the truth that we are seated with Christ above principalities and powers, the dark rulers of this present evil age. That means all those forces are below us. We are not under constant attack of the enemy. And we do not overcome him with yelling and shouting. Now there is a time for a shout, for loud praises, for our voices to be lifted like trumpets. But overcoming can be quiet. It comes from a place of rest in Him, the source of strength. We overcome evil with good.
After the teaching which had a strong basis in Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, I had a picture in my spirit. I saw us as living stones built on one another with self-giving love as the mortar. The stones, that is us, were expanding. They were growing so that the entire building was growing. It is a living wall, of a living city, even a bride. Recall Nebuchadnezzar’s dream as recorded by Daniel. A stone is cut from the mountain, and after it destroys the kingdoms of the earth it becomes a great mountain, filling the earth. So here we are, by the working of Spirit, becoming that mountain to fill the whole earth and bring the light of Christ to the nations.
In our own eyes, we may see ourselves as little. It is wise not to be self-reliant and not to think of ourselves too highly. But we are unwise if we diminish the work God has accomplished in us. Jesus knew who He was as He walked the earth, the land called Israel. He did have to flaunt it. When He knew the miracles would draw crowds, He told the one restored to tell no one. But He could not avoid the crowds. People came out of their need. For some, it appears that is all they wanted. That is the danger of being satisfied with the gift and not seeing past the wonder to see the Giver.
The stone that Christ is was rejected by many but is the foundation of mankind. He is creator and was manifest in the person of Jesus. So the Spirit moved men to write, He has become the chief cornerstone. Jesus Christ Himself grew into this so that we might see the potential for maturing in ourselves. That same Spirit that raised Him from the dead so raises us. It is the yeast of the kingdom that fills the whole lump. But don’t think this is for you alone. We should know by now we cannot fulfill His purpose by ourselves. For He has created us in Christ as a many-membered body.