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VACCINES...have evolved over several centuries. One of the most heralded in modern day was the one for polio developed by Jonas Salk and came into use in 1955. There have been many more of equal impact. Today, the flu shot/vaccine is something everyone wants to get in the Fall. Even as effective as it has been proven to be, it always seems to be a few strains behind.
 “When germs enter your body, they start to reproduce. Your immune system recognizes these germs as foreign invaders and responds by making proteins called antibodies. These antibodies’ first job is to help destroy the germs that are making you sick. They can’t act fast enough to prevent you from becoming sick, but by eliminating the attacking germs, antibodies help you to get well.
Vaccines containing these weakened or killed germs are introduced into your body, usually by injection. Your immune system reacts to the vaccine in a similar way that it would if they were being invaded by the disease–by making antibodies. The antibodies destroy the vaccine germs just as they would the disease germs-like a training exercise. Then they stay in your body, giving you immunity. If you are ever exposed to the real disease, the antibodies are there to protect you.”
They remind me of the Body of Christ. My own experience began at twelve at the First Baptist Church in Franklin, TN. I gave my life to the Lord as best I knew how, and was baptized. While I knew something had happened, I proceeded to live a life of, I guess, legalism. I got inoculated, but that was about it. My sin condition was still raging in my mind and body. Sure, I gave thought to God and what I needed to do and be, but not to the point it made any difference in my life. I went to church, did some good things, but the bad always outweighed the good. There was no power, actually no relationship.
But something happened after marriage, having two daughters, and moving to Dallas. Same struggle between the Lord and me! Then, through a set of circumstances, God got my attention. On my knees in my bedroom I prayed; “God, take out of my life what is standing between you and me, Amen.” Some people would say I had the 2nd baptism of the Holy Spirit, others said I came to myself and repented. I say I received a whole dose of serum that cured my relationship with God through Christ. The vaccine worked for a while, but it was only partially effective. It kept me alive until he was ready to inject his Spirit’s ‘power dose’.
I believe I was saved at age 12, but empowered at age 32. Biblical truth began jumping off the page to me. His justification allowed the process of sanctification to begin and it is still underway. So many of us get vaccinated and never move past the immunized stage. I see it in spades in the Church today. Saved and simply satisfied! Professing but not possessing! Most do not really believe they are sick, needing ‘spiritual medicine’ for their souls. That day at 32, God showed me clearly that I not only was sick, but I needed his full ‘medical treatment’.
The interesting thing is, once we are vaccinated, we still have the responsibility to live with our health in mind. It’s one thing to get a flu shot; it’s another to throw caution to the wind as it relates to our health. Same goes for our spiritual well-being. We have the ‘virus’ within us, sin–in our flesh, and also from outside us–the world and Satan. I’m reminded that “Greater is He that is in you, than he who is in the world” (I Jn. 4:4b)) It’s one thing to get the ‘shot’ and feel safe, but God warns us that “the devil prowls around like a roaring lion seeking someone to devour” (I Pet. 5:8b). Just like the flu bug; he is still there trying to take you down.
I believe each believer, in order to be spiritually ‘healthy’ and ‘effective’ for the kingdom, must move past the initial ‘flu shot’ and start relying on the strong medicine of God. It is obtained through his word, prayer, fellowship, serving and the Doctor who prescribes and applies these is the Holy Spirit.
But I hate to drop this on you, all of this is only effective when mixed with trials and persecutions. I remember as a child; most of the medicine I had to take tasted terrible. So is the walk of a true disciple of Christ. Jesus said we had to take up our cross daily; some will involve things that are very similar to those childhood medicines.
But there is a provision of grace that has been granted to every believer–the full armor of God! What are they? The helmet of salvation, breastplate of righteousness, belt of truth, feet shod with the gospel of peace, the shield
of faith and the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God. Believe me, it can fight off anything our three enemies throw at us and be victorious. You have to first get vaccinated; then you have to be all in and go all out for Jesus in the power, presence and person of the Spirit. It’s what the Doctor ordered.
And that’s what spiritually healthy disciples do!
Copyright 2018
Bill C. Dotson

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