In our previous article, we talked about God being a God of wholeness, and that He has called us to be like Him. This means we are to be whole just as He is whole. This time, let’s look at some of the things we must do to answer God’s call to wholeness.
Jesus shows us one of the things we’re do, and reveals it in His discussion with a young man who asked Him; “Good Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?” (Matt.19:16) Jesus answered this question by telling the young man about the specific commandments he should keep. After conveying that he had kept these commandments since his youth, the young man then asked – “What do I still lack?” (Matt. 19:20) Jesus, then replied:
“If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” (Matt.19:21)
The narrative ends with the young man, sorrowfully going away, because he had great possessions. (Matt.19:23) Notice Jesus said – “If you want to be perfect, sell all that you have”... Now we know from our past discussions that the word perfect pertains to wholeness. Here, we could interpret this as Jesus saying, “if you want to be whole then it begins with you selling out.”
Therefore, every person’s journey to wholeness begins with selling out to God. Recently, in asking God about where we should begin in moving toward wholeness, I sensed Him saying – “you need to sell out, because if you don’t sell out, then you’ll bail out.”
In reflecting on this word, I realized that through my over thirty-two years of pastoral counseling experience, there were many that I had worked with that bailed out of their personal journey to wholeness. While there were many reasons for their bailing out, the one major reason was that they were not sold out to pursuing the path to their personal healing.
Sad to say there are many within the body of Christ today that haven’t even thought of or even considered working toward personal wholeness. I believe this unfortunate state exists because many ministry leaders and pastors in the body of Christ have themselves not considered or intentionally traveled very far down the trail to wholeness. Remember, the sheep can only reflectively pursue, or do that which is taught or modeled by their leadership.
However, that isn’t the case with all leaders. In fact, one of the major leaders in the body of Christ spoke of his own commitment and journey toward wholeness. Paul stated:
Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. (Phil. 3:12)
Paraphrasing Paul here, I believe he was saying “I have not yet arrived, nor am I completely whole; but I press on that I may take ahold of that which Christ Jesus has ordained for me.” May I suggest that the upward call of God in Christ is a call to wholeness. God has called and ordained us to be whole.
Earlier in this same chapter Paul declared:
Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ. (Phil. 3:8)
Before Paul ever challenges us to wholeness, he declares his own position of having completely sold out to Jesus Christ. He said he had suffered the loss of all things. He said he counts them as rubbish. He