Are You On An Island?
I Corinthians 12 says, Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware. 2 You know that when you were pagans, you were led astray to the mute idols, however you were led. 3 Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking [a]by the Spirit of God says, “Jesus is [b]accursed”; and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except [c]by the Holy Spirit.
4 Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 And there are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord. 6 There are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all persons. 7 But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. 8 For to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, and to another the word of knowledge according to the same Spirit; 9 to another faith [d]by the same Spirit, and to another gifts of [e]healing [f]by the one Spirit, 10 and to another the [g]effecting of [h]miracles, and to another prophecy, and to another the [i]distinguishing of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, and to another the interpretation of tongues. 11 But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills.
12 For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ. 13 For [j]by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.
14 For the body is not one member, but many. 15 If the foot says, “Because I am not a hand, I am not a part of the body,” it is not for this reason [k]any the less a part of the body. 16 And if the ear says, “Because I am not an eye, I am not a part of the body,” it is not for this reason [l]any the less a part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole were hearing, where would the sense of smell be? 18 But now God has placed the members, each one of them, in the body, just as He desired. 19 If they were all one member, where would the body be? 20 But now there are many members, but one body. 21 And the eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you”; or again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” 22 On the contrary, [m]it is much truer that the members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary; 23 and those members of the body which we [n]deem less honorable, [o]on these we bestow more abundant honor, and our less presentable members become much more presentable, 24 whereas our more presentable members have no need of it. But God has so composed the body, giving more abundant honor to that member which lacked, 25 so that there may be no [p]division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. 26 And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is [q]honored, all the members rejoice with it.
27 Now you are Christ’s body, and individually members of it. 28 And God has [r]appointed in the church, first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then [s]miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, various kinds of tongues. 29 All are not apostles, are they? All are not prophets, are they? All are not teachers, are they? All are not workers of [t]miracles, are they? 30 All do not have gifts of healings, do they? All do not speak with tongues, do they? All do not interpret, do they? 31 But earnestly desire the greater gifts.
And I show you a still more excellent way.
The passage of scripture above is quite lengthy, but it is very important to the topic at hand — the topic of islands. There are a couple of dictionary definitions of the word “island”. An island can be defined as a tract of land completely surrounded by water, and not large enough to be called a continent, especially isolated or having little or no direct communication with others. Used as a verb it means to isolate, cloister, or seclude. Another definition of island is a detached portion of tissue or group of cells. In short, an island is a piece of land that is cut off from the mainland. Many people go to island resorts for vacation, but I do not know anyone personally who has chosen to dwell permanently on an island. I guess that’s because quite honestly they like the comforts and conveniences of home. At any rate, you get the idea. An island may be great for a visit, but because of its remoteness, most of us would like to be amongst civilization!
Now let’s switch gears and talk about spiritual islands. To be spiritually cut off from the mainland, isolated, detached, and secluded spiritually is what I refer to as being on a spiritual island. I think there are many ways and reasons for ending up on such an island. Sometimes God pulls us aside to do a work in us, but this article is not about that. Today I want to talk about one main thing in our lives that will put us on an island.
There are many things that can cause us to be spiritually isolated, but I think the main one is losing our first love, who is Jesus. When we allow our love for Jesus to grow cold, we allow self to be on the throne again. You see, when we were born again, we felt as if we had been given a new set of eyes because we all of a sudden saw everything in the light of how Jesus sees things. We had a love for Him and a love for others. We had so much love we thought our hearts would explode. We truly understood that all the old things had passed away and everything had become new. But over time, we realize other things want our attention and devotion, and we soon realized that we were in a spiritual battle. Now we had this thing called the flesh that we had to deal with, and boy does that flesh want to be on the throne of our hearts!! But the interesting thing about a throne is that there’s only room for one to sit on it. We are going to be on that throne or God is — one or the other!!
I believe when we begin to allow things (maybe even good things) to occupy our hearts and minds, other than Jesus, we open the door for self to be exalted. If we are not careful we will begin to see ourselves as untouchable, and we also begin to become self-sufficient. If we stay in this state long enough we become so prideful, that we eventually end up on a spiritual island.
So how do I know if I’m on an island, you may ask? That is a great question. When we begin to see ourselves as the only person or ministry who can speak the truth or be used of God, then we are well on our way to being isolated. You see the scriptures above show that the whole body of Christ is important. We all have different gifts and functions, but we must be very careful guard against saying that we are spiritually better than anyone else. If you always feel the need to correct others or give them a lesson in why things are not right in their lives, then you are on that boat to island life. Before long people no longer want to hear what you have to say. Why? Because the love is missing. The very next chapter in I Corinthians (ch. 13) talks about this. If we have all knowledge, and know all mysteries, and can prophesy and speak with the tongues of angels, but have not love, then we are a clanging cymbal. People know whether or not you are speaking to them in love or if you want to correct them. And if there’s no love, you will soon find they don’t want to hear you at all. When you open your mouth you will sound like the teacher on Charlie Brown, just a bunch of noise. You will be shut off and no one will want to hear. Pretty soon, you will become invisible.
Chapter 13 is pretty clear on what love is and what love is not. Love is not jealous (of others in the body of Christ), it is not arrogant, it does not seek its own. It says that where there are gifts of prophecy, and gifts of tongues, all these things will be done away and will cease. But love never fails. This chapter says that now we see dimly, and we know “in part”. That means that not one of us has it all. We are interdependent on others in the body to help us see better. We all need each other. One person may have a word of knowledge, but someone else may have more detail.
Have you ever seen movies about someone being stranded on a deserted island? In each case, the stranded person had to work so hard, very hard, just to have any food to eat. They had to climb coconut trees, had to work to make shelter, and to fight creatures to survive — just to survive, and barely at that. Well it’s the same way when you are on a spiritual island. Others around you will be feasting on the Word of God and revelation will be flowing, but you will not even be recognized for one thing that comes out of your mouth. Others will be at the banquet table of the King and having inspired ideas and will seem to be further and further from your reach, and you will feel as if nothing you put your hand to is prosperous. When you’re on a spiritual island, you will be wasting away due to lack of spiritual nourishment, and others will be eating the delicacies of the Kingdom. It’s not that nourishment is not available, you just can’t reach it.
You may try and try to fit in and even look as though you are connected, but you are separated and detached and malnourished. Most of the time works of the flesh will abound because you have ceased to be able to flow by the Spirit. When we allow this awful spirit of pride to have its way, we see others as being the problem and in our way. We blame others for our condition but the truth is we listened to a lot of lies and began to act on them. In this state, you have no interest in hearing truth. You may hear powerful and anointed preaching, but you are preoccupied and have lost interest in being fed good food. Instead you are eating the scraps found on the island.
The truth is, if you’re the one on the island, you are the one is separated. Everyone else is enjoying the comfort of civilization. The thing about being on an island is that we must have someone from civilization to come and rescue us. We cannot get off this island alone. Think of the show Gilligan’s Island. The passengers aboard the SS Minnow were always trying to come up with some way for others to know they were on the island so that they could be rescued. It has been my experience that many times the very ones we judge or criticize, are the very ones God will use to rescue us. I believe He does that because this spirit of pride must be defeated in our lives. In order to receive deliverance from someone you’ve judged, you must humble yourself before God and admit that you were wrong.
Some people never get off the island, sadly. There has been many a ministry and many individuals who died on that island. Why? They refused to admit that they were wasting away. They held on to their pride, all the while, losing more and more weight spiritually until they perished.
I pray if you have read this article and are saying in your heart “that’s me”, that you will immediately cry out for a deliverer. Cry out and ask God to send a ship your way. Then from your heart, be willing for God to apply to you the medical attention in the Spirit that you need to be restored to a state of health and usefulness in the Body of Christ. You were designed to work as a connected part of Christ’s Body. You were not designed to live alone on the island. Remember, islands are places that most people like to visit, civilization (God’s connected community) is where you belong, and where you were intended to dwell permanently.
Much love and prayers for you all!!!!!