"...so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places."
It seems to me that just like there is a physical and a spiritual "church" - there is a physical and a spiritual "member" of that church. There are physical duties and blessings of the physical church, but once we step beyond the barrier of the physical, and explore the heavenly places of the cosmic church, I wonder if we understand our role there. I think looming large among these roles is to glorify God in His plan and its outworking. To be seen in all moments in a position of amazement, trust and wordless wonder at however God chooses to bring us all to that moment when every knee bows and every heart cries "glory" as His reign is revealed. To never loose sight of the fact that we were once dead men walking, but we have been saved to a life of forever living in the presence and acceptance of God. In reality, we live in shadows of this truth without really seeing this treasure for what it is. I know this is true for me because if I really lived in full awareness of my salvation - I would be so pre-occupied and satisfied with Kingdom work that I would not have time to focus on the pain in my hip....or my concern over the direction of our country.... or when I can get out kayaking..... or.......or...or...
If I live to make known the manifold wisdom of God to those in heavenly places - "they" - the rulers and authorities there - must see what I'm doing. "They" have seen and understood those good endeavors that have, by their intervention, become polluted with greed and pride. The rulers of the air enjoy greater and greater success as more people are deceived into following lesser gods. Their work at unravelling the "church" and her "members" has proven so effective that is seems their attack was planned before the church was even built. Their intel is reliable and timely.
So what does it mean to demonstrate the manifold wisdom of God to this realm?
Do they see what I'm thinking? Do they see the doubt that pervades my season in this wilderness? Do they see behind the things I do outwardly because I don't trust inwardly?
When Jesus called the pharisees "white washed tombs" He was being critical of their impeccable adherence to the Law without any inward devotion to Its truth. God is glorified when the world, here and in the heavenly places, sees a believer obey. But I think the heart of this message is that God is also glorified when, in the silent moments of un-observed devotion, our hearts bend to honor God with the moment in whatever way is ours to give. Be it stepping out in faith when our flesh screams NO, or silently stepping up to the plate in prayer for a brother in need when the world would rather criticize, or maybe even trusting through a seemingly fruitless season of circling the mountain - - Bottom line - I must live as one who believes the promises of God are truth. Doubt must be drowned out by scripture of His faithfulness. Fear must be shouted down by scriptures proclaiming His protective love for me. And in moments like these, when I think I've circled the same mountain so many times that surely the Lord has given up on my usefulness in the Kingdom, I will wait in eager expectation - because in His perfect time - the way in is found. But only as I seek.