Have you ever had a dislocated shoulder or knee? Thankfully I haven't, but I've seen this on TV medical shows. A person comes in the ER with excruciating pain, the doctors pull on the dislocated joint, instantly it pops back into place and the pain subsides. I want to share with you about a more common ailment that many suffer from; in fact, I've personally experienced this condition -- Spiritual Dislocation.
To understand my definition of spiritual dislocation you must first understand it from a medical perspective. A concise medical definition of dislocation is: a displacement of a body part- usually a bone. When a bone is dislocated, the ends of opposing bones are usually forced out of connection with one another. Your bones are forced from their normal position. It temporarily deforms and immobilizes your joint causing sudden and severe pain.
The symptoms of a dislocated joint are:
. Usually visibly deformed or out of place
. Swollen or discolored
. Intensely painful
Spiritual dislocation is a displacement of a member of the body of Christ. A condition which occurs when a member of the body of Christ is forced out of connection with it's other members. Pain and bruising is usually very intense. Often brought on by being hurt by those with whom you were once very close. It immobilizes you and paralyzes you from being effective for the Kingdom of God.
Self diagnosis for Spiritual dislocation:
. Are you connected to a bible believing church or are you out of place without a church home?
. Are you perpetually "visiting" churches but never committing or submitting to the Pastor's leadership?
. Do you find yourself in intense pain over situations that hurt you in the past?
. Are you immoveable, doing nothing and going nowhere in your spiritual life?
If you answered yes to any of these you could have the serious condition I like to call "Spiritual Dislocation."
People who don't have a church home are like those who suffer from dislocated joints. The pain is intense. There is loneliness, you are bruised and hurt. You may love the Lord with all your heart, but something just isn't right. Things are just out of place. Your pain is usually visible to others. People who are injured usually share their story with anyone who will listen. I have heard many hurt Christians tell their painful story, rehearsing and nursing their hurts. They justify their lack of church attendance by focusing on their pain. I know how it feels to be deeply hurt by Christian brothers and sisters, but even more I know a faithful God who can heal the hurts. You can move on. Do not let your past determine your future!
Christ is the head of the Church, we are His body, and each of us plays an important part. Ephesians 4:16 says:
"From whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself." (NKJV)
"For because of Him the whole body (the church, in all its various parts), closely joined and firmly knit together by the joints and ligaments with which it is supplied, when each part [with power adapted to its need] is working properly [in all its functions], grows to full maturity, building itself up in love." (Amplified Bible)
Notice 3 important facts in that scripture:
1) Every joint (that's you and me) supplies something. We all are an important part to the working of the body of Christ.
2) Every part does its share. Isn't it sad that in every church 20% of the people do 80% of the work? Are you doing your part?
3) When the body works properly there is growth and edification. Edification is a fancy word that means built up. When we are not in our proper places in the church it is crippled and cannot function properly.
Most physical dislocations come from trauma, as from a fall, or an accident. No one plans to be dislocated from the church either. Usually it is a trauma (or a drama) that causes us to fall away from the fellowship we so desperately need. We need to be connected to be healthy. It is God's command that we "not forsake the assembling of ourselves." (Hebrews 10:25) In today's language that simply means we should GO TO CHURCH! It's okay to church shop, but it's not okay to church hop. Find a church home and settle in. Every rocket needs a launching pad, get rid of your "lone Ranger" mentality. God our Father designed us to be a family. We need to fellowship with our brothers and sisters in Christ.
The treatment of a dislocation is simply to pull the joint back into place, quickly and gently as not to tear ligaments. This process is called "reduction." If this does not correct the problem, surgery may be needed. The Holy Spirit is gently tugging and pulling at your heart, prodding you to get back into church and get active doing something for HIM. He wants to do a "reduction" in your life, reducing pain, stress, hurts, sins and rejection. Allow Him to perform spiritual surgery, if needed, to promote healing in your life and heart.
Once the joint is back in place the blood flows properly. There is no pain, and after a time of rest you are as good as new. In the spiritual there needs to be a time of resting in the Lord. Then you must recuperate to get back to a place where you can move for the Lord. Once you are hooked up with the Lord and the Church you must get involved in bible studies, or men's and women's groups. You will begin to bond and feel that you are a part of the fellowship. Build lasting relationships with your brothers and sisters in Christ. Please don't misunderstand; I am not saying that being busy or active in church can substitute a real relationship with the Lord. It certainly cannot! Our relationship with God is vertical but we need horizontal relationships as well.
Realize today how important you are in the Body. No one else can do what you are called to do. The eye cannot smell, the nose cannot hear. We all have a place that is needs to be filled. Get connected, get hooked up and don't let the enemy or hurts let you get dislocated again. The Great Physician in on call 24/7 and is waiting for you to call to Him. (Jer. 33:3). Don't waste another day spiritually disconnected. As Dorothy of Oz so aptly put it- "there's no place like home, there's no place like home." Find a church home, there's a great family waiting for you!