As believers in Christ, we all desire to know the truth(to know the Bible, understand the spiritual things, and even have a way to explain these things to others) and to grow in life(to become more mature in the divine life by Christ daily growing in us) – but both of these things are not “for themselves”! We don’t want to know the truth and grow in life as an end in themselves, but we want to do these things, as the Bible says, for the increase and spread of Christ! Why do I say that?
In the beginning of the church life in Jerusalem, the disciples were only in the city of Jerusalem and the church was increasing/multiplying daily – even from house to house, breaking bread, rejoicing, etc(Acts 2:42). The word of God was growing and spreading, and the saints were growing in the divine life. But in Acts 1:8 we see that the Lord Jesus says:
… you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
The divine life & the divine power we receive are not just for ourselves, and not even for our city, our area, our country – it is so that Christ would spread through us as His living testimonies/His witnesses to the uttermost parts of the earth! We may know the truth, and we may grow in life, but all these are for us to spread the kingdom of God, to enlarge His kingdom, on the earth! In the case of the saints in Jerusalem, God brought about a great persecution – most of the believers were scattered – they fled the city and went everywhere! The apostles remained, and the disciples – the regular/normal believers – went away. Wherever the believers went, they spoke the Word of God, and many people believed in the Lord Jesus! Related to this, here are a few comments/observations:
- we need to be willing and ready to be sent by the Lord to wherever He wants us to go! If we’re not willing, He may even bring about a persecution – He will do anything so that He will have an increase of His testimony, and His increase is in us and with us/through us!
- The Apostles Stayed, the Believers Went – it’s not a special class of people who are qualified for this, but all the believers can go and have to go! Of course, there is the need of the apostles to visit the newly formed churches and bring them into the fellowship of the Body, but it is the believers who need to go! Since this is the first occurrence of the spreading of the church, it sets up a pattern for all of us.
- When you go, your function as an evangelist is being manifested! If we stay, we may remain the same, not functioning in a normal way as we should – but when we go, being desperate, the Lord has a way to speak and work through us! Phillip was manifested to be a gospel-preacher, being led by the Spirit – we also have this in us!
- We don’t need to be FULLY MATURED and to FULLY KNOW THE TRUTH before we go – as long as we have some spiritual edification and some growth in life, we are qualified to go and speak! The disciples/the believers in Jerusalem were not fully mature in the divine life & also not fully constituted with the high truths, but they went and the Lord had a way in & through them!
- Wherever we go, the gospel goes! Christ goes in our going, we are His witnesses, and wherever we go, we bring the gospel with us! As long as we love the Lord and daily enjoy Him in His Word, there will be a gospel outlet in our being!
- We need to be recovered to the practice of migration – not staying/living in a place for a long time, not being settled and set and occupied. Rather, we need to be open to the Lord for Him to move us when He wants and where He wants!
O, Lord, have a way in us! May we really see that there needs to be a balance – on the one hand we need to be constituted with the truth and grow in life, and on the other hand we need to GO! COME to the Lord every day(John 7:37) and GO out with His gospel in His name(Matt. 28:19).