I had this word at the beginning of 2020 and having read it again, I sense that it was a warning about this season that we are now in with the restrictions that COVID 19 has put on us. We are in danger of atrophy setting in so need to keep spiritually active especially in ways we can encourage each others as believers in Christ to keep reading our bibles, fellowshipping in different ways..who would have thought we would have prayer and small group meetings over zoom or WhatsApp. Perhaps it’s time for a fresh spiritual MOT to make sure atrophy has not set in.
This was the word which I heard in the Spirit today as we were praying together for the body of Christ. Atrophy means the partial or complete wasting away of part of a physical body. A sense of shrinking and weakness in body mass and muscle tone. An entire limb can become atrophied and withered and incapable of movement. There are several things which can cause Atrophy in a body but these ones caught my attention:
- Disuse/Lack of Exercise -When muscles are not used or you are immobile for long periods of time then Atrophy can set in. We are called into active service in Christ Jesus and to pick up our cross and follow Him. We are called to give and serve others, to exercise the giftings which God gives us through the Holy Spirit. To serve others and be a blessing to them. To show God’s love in action. There are plenty of opportunities to serve within the body of Christ and the communities we live in. If we are not using and exercising the talents & gifts which God has given us then they will wither. We are called to be a voice crying in the wilderness “Prepare the way of the Lord”. We are called to be light in the darkness. God is rallying his church and the trumpet is sounding – wake up and start to work for the Lord because the day is short. The good news is that this sort of Atrophy can be cured by exercise unless it is too severe. It is never too late to start working for the Lord – He will always make a way. Trust in the Lord and do good.
- Poor Nourishment – if we do not feed our physical bodies properly then they will suffer. Muscles will lose mass and our bodies will start to shut down if no nourishment is given. Similarly, the body of Christ will suffer if it is not feeding on the Word of God and in fellowship with Christ – the bread of life. The challenge is -What are we feeding on? If we feed on worldly rubbish or false teachings and doctrines then we will suffer. We need a diet of God’s word and His truths.
- Mutations -these are things that should not be part of the body and they cause damage – they attack it from within. In a spiritual sense I believe that Atrophy in the body of Christ is caused by sinful, immoral & selfish behaviour – there is no fruit of the Spirit. It is like a disease which spreads from within. The bible teaches us how a root of bitterness is such a thing – it causes much damage to others. Jealousy, gossip, unforgiveness and such things should not be within the body of Christ. Wolves in sheep’s clothing do not belong in the body of Christ and will certainly cause damage. The bible warns us against them and their works. Jesus says we will know them by their fruits.
- Poor Circulation – If we do not have the living Christ, the life & power of the Holy Spirit and God’s love flowing through us then we will have poor circulation. If we are not in unity with one another then there will be a blockage in God’s love and blessings being manifested throughout the body of Christ. Those parts of the body which are not flowing in the Spirit of God will not prosper – their growth will be stunted. We need to connect into God’s amazing power and for the life giving blood of Jesus to pump through us.
I pray that the body of Christ will not suffer Atrophy but will be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. That we will put off lethargy and sin which can so easily ensnare us and will rise in service of the King of Kings & Lord of Lords. That we will put our hands to the plough and not look back and we will run the race of faith with patience and endurance. Let us not be weary in doing good for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart – Galatians 6:9. Let us rise up like the Eagle and run and not faint. Let us leap for Joy in service of our King.
Blessings in Jesus.