What an exciting time to be alive as the Church walks out Isaiah 60:1—arising and shining. What a marvelous season for the Body of Christ to unwrap heavenly gifts from our heavenly Father. In this hour, we must eagerly seek and operate in all the supernatural gifts. We will see an accentuation of the nine spiritual gifts (see 1 Corinthians 12) and great manifestations of the nine spiritual fruits (seeGalatians 5:22-23) in 2009.
As we open our gifts, like sons and daughters at Christmastime, we must run with them outside the four walls of the church and share them with the world. Of course, they must be accompanied by love or we will just be clanging cymbals in the streets and marketplaces.
Friends, how awesome to know that wounds of love are transforming you into vessels of light. You have been prepared for a harvest, gathered in by arms of compassion. You have been comforted by the Lord so you may comfort others, loving them to life.
After years of seeing vacant offices in the church and operating as non-prophet organizations, the Lord is restoring His apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers. These are for the equipping of the saints for the work of service to the building up of the Body of Christ. But there's more! We read in Ephesians 4:13 that the building up and equipping continues "until we all attain to the unity of the faith." Oh, how we look forward to attaining maturity so we can possess the full measure of Christ.
So, how do we attain the fullness of Christ and the unity of faith that can empower us to manifest the gifts and see even greater works (see John 14)? How can we be certain we are not clanging cymbals? Well, the key is love, divine love, wrapped in an exquisite, all-encompassing gift named JESUS.
He is the Holy One who was wounded for our sakes. He became vulnerable, even unto death, so love could hold Him on a cross. We, too, must remain vulnerable to love, allowing Christ to transform our wounds into portals, changing us from glory to glory.
Wounds of Love and the Blood of Christ
A few months ago, the Lord gave me a vision in which Jesus was the Head and I represented the Body. In the vision, Jesus was standing with His arms wrapped tightly around me, forming a cocoon of love. Amazingly, He had no flesh. It was achingly obvious He had been marred beyond any man (see Isaiah 52:14). His muscles and tendons were visible, not gory—simply soft and pliable, resembling long reddish feathers streaming down His arms. All flesh had been crucified.
As I looked into the vision, I realized more than ever how the Body of Christ is totally protected by the Blood of Jesus. Our Precious Savior paid it all so we can be healed by His stripes. As we are enveloped in His Presence and become one with Him, we truly can be hidden in the shadow of His wings. All pain, sorrow and anguish flow from wounds we incur on earth, into His wounds—wounds of love.
Although we were once far away, we have been brought near through the Blood of Christ. Having done all, we stand (in His arms) and it is then that we find out how marvelous it is to be in Christ Jesus. He is our peace, who has made the two, one.
"But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the Blood of Christ. For He Himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility." Ephesians 2:13-14
One with Christ
During the Lord's all-embracing vision, I could see wounds of my own. I was acutely aware that if I didn't run, but stayed close and connected with the Bridegroom, all afflictions on this jar of clay were absorbed into the Master Potter. The damages of life became like a sponge dipped in vinegar and put to dry cracked lips, causing compassion to burn, absorbing all bitterness, pain, betrayal and sin. Such sour wine to a King and yet, oh death, where is your sting? The longer I stood, silent, wrapped in a blanket of God, the more crucified my own flesh became.
Beloved, as we are transformed into the image of Christ (see Romans 8:29), may our own wounds of love become portals in earthen vessels, allowing His glory to shine forth, mobilizing the light. As ambassadors for Christ, we sense that each wound "piercing our side" is truly an honor, sharing in His sufferings and allowing the Blood of Jesus to flow freely on the earth.
The Cocoon of the Lord
Friends, as we cling to Jesus, we are grafted to the precious tree of life so we bear fruit (of the Spirit). What a beautiful metamorphosis awaits those who stand in the embrace of the King.
One more thing Holy Spirit showed me during the vision: When we are wrapped in the arms of Jesus, we do not keep His family/our family at arm's bay. For, although it is true that hurting people do hurt people, the Lord is bringing massive restoration and healing to the Body. He wants no wound untouched by His love.
In fact, I recently heard a middle-aged man share that Holy Spirit briefly took him back to age eight so that little boy could reach up and touch the hem of Christ's garment, to be healed. We are being invited to trust and draw close, rather than push away. It is in this intimate relationship that redemptive power and love flow from Jesus, to us, to others.
Oh, dear ones, if God is for us who can be against us? It's in His loving arms that He becomes our stronghold and wall of salvation—then no other walls of defense go up, keeping brothers and sisters at bay. It's in His arms that our hearts are warmed and open for discipline from our Father; they become soft, vulnerable and pliable so love can get in and love can get out.
How marvelously the Lord can deliver us unharmed from any battle waged against us, even though our enemies may be many and great (see Psalm 55:18). How wonderfully He heals the brokenhearted and bandages their wounds (see Psalm 147:3).
Yes, it is true that Jesus did not entrust Himself to any man, for He knew what was in them (see John 2:24). Yet He was never suspicious or bitter, and He never lost hope for anyone, because He put His trust in God, first. He trusted absolutely in what God's grace could do for others. If we put our total trust in others, we might experience despair and hopelessness toward them, because we demanded they be what they cannot be—perfect. But it's only by the grace of God that we can trust anything in ourselves or in anyone else. It's that same sufficient grace that leads us to vulnerability, allowing the Lord's strength to be made perfect in our weakness.
It is so crystal clear that we are never battling against flesh and blood. I believe God showed me Jesus with no flesh so we could see and know that as we're crucified with Him, we can also stand with Him in resurrection power.
Let's pray: Thank You for wounds of love, dear Jesus. Thank You for taking what the enemy meant for harm and using it to create portals in Your vessels of honor—vessels of glory. Thank You for removing stony hearts and giving us new hearts. Help us be imitators of God, as dearly loved children. Help us live lives of love.
May we reflect Your glory to the world as mirrors of the "Son." For it's Your light that makes us children of God. And we thank You, Heavenly Father, that with Your light come gifts from above and the power of God—the same power that raised Christ from the dead so He could shine His light on all who would see.
Copyright © Paulette Reed Ministries.