23 "And the church is His body; it is made full and complete by Christ, who fills all things everywhere with Himself."
Ephesians 1:23 (NLT)
I watched our youngest daughter play in a college volleyball tournament one weekend this past semester. It was very early in her first season. Like all freshmen, she was just trying to fit in and find any way to contribute. That's all she hoped for.
Oh, how things changed!
Stunningly, our Deb got inserted into the starting lineup. She played her favorite position, had the opening and closing “kills” of the match (and quite a few in between) and carried the team at key moments.
Her team won a five-set, come-from-behind thriller over an undefeated team, and they gave her the “game ball” after the match. I think she got established! That experience will mark her well with her teammates for the rest of her career.
This is a small picture of the way Jesus longs to operate with us. When we give Him space and “playing time” in our lives, He accomplishes three terrific things:
- HE MAKES US PERSONALLY FULL. We all know we have gaps, shortcomings, needs for growth. When Jesus becomes big in our personal lives, team gaps close and understanding increases. We feel full.
A “better together” forms as He gets major playing time in us. Our team “stats” begin to fill up with an effectiveness, fruitfulness and completeness that comes through Him.
Our joy becomes full too (John 15:11).
- HE MAKES US COLLECTIVELY COMPLETE. When we stand before God, we stand complete through Christ. Think about that! There is nothing you or I lack because Christ completes us.
Not only am I individually complete in Christ, but He makes us complete as a team, as the body of Christ!
He helps us fit together with others. The whole becomes greater than the sum of the parts. Our collective becomes way better as He gets prominent play. Nothing seems missing.
- HE SHOWS HIMSELF TO BE UNIVERSALLY PROMINENT. He fills all things everywhere with Himself. His presence affects everything around. His Spirit dominates.
There's nowhere that His “better together” doesn't apply. There's no team or territory of ours that can't use His filling.
Reflect: Are you filled up with Jesus? Is Jesus eliminating the gaps, the empty spots in you? Or are you filling yourself with worthless things?
Are you operating in confident completeness through Christ or perpetually feeling stuck, dwelling on personal inadequacy? Where does Jesus need to be given complete “playing time” in your life?
What can you do to actively champion His work in others everywhere?
A prayer to consider: LORD, help me to do more than just roster Jesus. May I give Him prominent play and significant minutes in my every game, my every day. Fill me. Make me experience Christ's completeness. Take away the inadequacies I feel when I stand before You and others. To have You is to have enough. Fill me with Jesus joy.