My training has been to be responsible for what’s left in my charge.”
–Zane Grey (Arizona Clan)
“Then I will appoint responsible shepherds who will care for them, and they will never be afraid again. Not a single one will be lost or missing. I, the Lord, have spoken!”
–Jeremiah 23:4 (NLT)
I don’t remember the exact year; I was in high school, but I remember the situation quite clearly. I had a small strawberry from baseball practice and then in gym class put a floor burn on top of it. Neither of them were new experiences to me, so I didn’t pay them any mind. The next day, around lunchtime I started to get nauseated and feverish. Baseball practice was after school but by that time I was in poor shape. I went to the coach and told him I couldn’t stay for practice. He took one look at my knee, where the scrapes were, and told me to get to the emergency room.
My friend drove me to the small medical center rather than the hospital. After a few minutes of sitting there I was taken to a room marked “Surgery”. That got my attention. However, I found out that a surgeon was the only doctor available. He took one look at my knee then began his inspection. The glands on the left side of my body were the size of golf balls. He immediately gave me a shot of penicillin and a prescription for pills. He told me that if I waited any longer they would probably have to cut my leg off and if I had waited twenty-fours hours I would probably have been dead. When I was at the pharmacy, things began to darken. I got as low to the floor as possible in case I passed out. It lasted a minute or so, and I never went out, but it sure was a strange feeling.
Infections are dangerous. I read the definition: “the injurious colonization of a human body by a foreign species that begins to utilize the host’s resources to assist in its own infectious multiplication.” My body was a host to a foreign species. Now think of that in the spiritual sense, not only in your own person, but also the church.
It is important to prevent or catch an infection quickly. If not it will quickly multiply. Think of murmurings or gossip in the church, or even more dangerous false teaching. It must stop and be eradicated. Persistent infections occur when a body is unable to completely purge the harmful organisms. A little leaven leavens the whole lump (1 Corinthians 5) and Jesus warned of the leaven of the Pharisees.
Another thing to consider is that infections can spread. They are spread either by direct contact with another person, or by indirect contact, touching an object after an infected person; in other words, being exposed to the environment of an infected person. Yet today, believers join in with the world in their “entertainment.” To stop being exposed the person must make changes in their lifestyle.
Some infections are easy to detect because they have immediate symptoms, but there are some that sneak up on you. They may lay dormant for a time, then when it is right they appear and then are hard to deal with. We are to be partakers on His holiness, not to live as the world does and become its friend.