*** This article is part of a blog series by some of us meeting together in an organic expression of the church. The introduction to the series is here. Other contributors are listed at the bottom of this article. This series is not based in theory or rhetoric and is not an attempt to “teach”. Our hope is simply to point to Christ as All in All and to share real life experiences of those who are living together in this way. ***
“Lord Jesus, I need you.”
I have learned this simple and profound prayer is essential to living. It has become/is becoming that which I pray continually throughout every day.
At first, it seems elementary and almost too basic to bother with. The first several times I was encouraged to make this prayer my breath, my immediate response was, “I know I need the Lord. This is all I have ever heard in the church.” So I ignored it. If you are having/have had this same reaction, it is completely understandable.
The need for Jesus is always taught about. We need His salvation. We need Him to forgive our sins. We need His grace to make it through the day. We need His power to conquer something. We need Him to give us patience. We need His teachings to live a life of love. The list goes on from there. . .
We know we need Christ.
However, once we accept Him as Lord, we are often taught that we “need” to do other things as well to grow and remain in Christ: attend services, read the Bible every day, feed the homeless, find our spiritual gifts, pursue a holy life, etc. Even in doing these good things, the pursuit of living a moral, Christian life subverts seeking the Lord only and He eventually becomes the Magnificent Assumption by which we live our daily lives.
When this happens, He no longer is the full source of our life but only an under-lying idea to us practicing a moral life according to the Bible and what we are told we “need” to do. We turn to Him only during our morning devotions or when we are really struggling or when someone/thing is really frustrating us or if we give thanks for something good which happens to us. In short, He becomes the Backbone of the Church, in whom we find support for ourselves to live the Christian life.
However, there is a huge issue with this. The Lord is not simply the Backbone but the Head and the whole Body, which is the ekklesia. He is the Head from whom the whole life of the ekklesia comes, not just the Head in the sense of authority. In Colossians 2:19, Paul, speaking against a person seeking to corrupt the Colossian ekklesia, wrote that that person was “not holding fast to the Head, from whom the whole body, nourished and knit together through its joints and ligaments, grows with a growth that is from God.” (ESV) The life of the whole body come from Christ and holding fast to Him alone.
So the prayer “Lord Jesus, I need You” reflects our recognition of our desperation for the Lord and clinging fast to the Him alone.
Not for a practice or one aspect of Him so that we may be strengthened in trying to live the Christian life, but for the Lord Himself. He is the reality of all that we are now. We are in Christ and Christ is in us. We do not have to do anything to gain more of Him. We possess Him fully and this will fully be realized at the Great Wedding of the Bridegroom and Bride. Paul describes to the Colossians their reality in 3:3-4,
“For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.” (NASB)
This is what I have really learned in organic church life.
Since we are in Christ, the only thing we must do is desperately seek Him: not because we are lacking Him (since we are in Him and possess all that He is) but clinging fast to Him so that we learn to depend on His life alone and not our own. For, in Him, we lack nothing. Christ is our rest (Matthew 11:28), when we may be tired. Christ is our peace (John 14:27), when all is in turmoil about and in us. Christ is the true vine (John 15:1-8) and we find all life and sustenance as we abide in Him. Christ is the living water (John 4:14) and we no longer thirst for anything else. Christ is the bread of life (John 6:48) and we need no other food. Christ is our light (John 8:12), by whom we see all in an eternal light. Christ is before all, in all, and through all and, by Him, all things were made and are held together (Colossians 1:15-20). Christ is all in all and all we will ever need.
As I have shared in the indwelling life of Christ with my brothers and sisters in organic church, I have learned the reality that is at the beating heart of the ekklesia: “Lord Jesus, I/we need You.”
Other Bloggers in this Series (And Post Dates):
R.C. Babione (2/29/12)
Brigette Babione (2/8/12)
Jackie Dukes (2/1/12)
Marc Hardy (1/25/12)
Mark Lake (1/18/12)
Seth Roach (2/15/12)
Carrie Walters (2/22/12)
Michael Young (1/11/12)