To Fully Know and Be Known: The “Teleios” Completion and Church of the Open (Heart) Door – Janet Weaver Smith ©7-20-2015 gardenministries.org
1 Corinthians 13:12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
As long as I can remember, I have had a deep, and often painful longing to “fully know and be known” by those I love and cherish. When the deep-to-deep longing triggers within me toward a loved one, I feel pathetically inept in my effort to communicate how mushy-much I love them. This gift of love within me was supposed to be a relationship builder but instead seemed more awkward then welcome. Turns out, mushy, openhearted, gushing is not most people’s gig! Invading their ice palaces is not cool!
I have come to understand that though these longings often come as joyful explosions, they come from and belong to the Author of Love, Jesus, and are His to lead, guide, and direct. The longing to know and be known gets me in trouble if I direct them toward my own self-fulfillment. I get rejected or used or some of both. Once I learned that the people who’s deep-of-God has triggered my deep-of-God are not my Source for true and lasting “knowing” satisfaction, I came to peace with Whom and through Whom these deep heart longings must be processed. They come from God, they belong to God, and are how I come to fully know Him and become fully known by Him. If God is left out of this equation, it gets messy real quick.
Scripture validates such longings. The deep desire to know and be known is a part of a much bigger picture—a God picture. This is how God feels about the people He created to enjoy relationship with Him. Those “Sons of Korah” who wrote Psalm 42 for the Music Director describe this painful longing. The Psalmist tells us that God’s impassioned deep calls out to our deep and it isn’t a tiny little pipsqueak. No. God’s deep roars like a waterfall and sweeps over us with crashing waves.
Such powerful longings need leadership. Now, when relational longings trigger and spark within me, I understand that God is letting me into His rich treasure temple and dwelling place—the very heart of His people. I get to feel God’s deep desire for His beloved family. He shared this intimate place of His heart with me so that I would return it to Him in intercession and praise. I get to swim with Holy Spirit leading me through His vast ocean of love and if I keep the relationship simple and surrendered, my prayer love for God’s people enjoys successful outcomes. The Holy Spirit’s deep intercession is at work weaving the parts and pieces of His people together into peace-enriched wholeness and “Teleios” completeness.
There is coming a day when that work will emerge from its womb of hiddenness and become visible for all to see, encounter, and enjoy! And this completeness can happen before the second, visible coming of Jesus Christ to earth. Whatever Jesus modeled for us while He walked the earth is available to those who believe in Him and, at all cost, seek union with Him. He was transfigured into the fullness before He went to the cross and died. We too can experience that same fullness in Him before we die or before He visibly comes again.
1 Corinthians 13:10 but when completeness [teleios] comes, what is in part disappears [katargéō].
The Greek transliteration of “completeness” in 1 Corinthians 13:10 is “teleios” which biblehub.com tells us means: “perfect, (a) complete in all its parts, (b) full grown, of full age, (c) specially of the completeness of Christian character—mature (consummated) from going through the necessary stages to reach the end-goal, i.e. developed into a consummating completion by fulfilling the necessary process (spiritual journey) [This root (tel-) means “reaching the end (aim).” It is well-illustrated with the old pirate’s telescope, unfolding (extending out) one stage at a time to function at full-strength (capacity effectiveness).]”
As I was praying and worshipping the Lord on 7-14-15, I briefly saw a vision of a man holding a long, trumpet-looking, monocular telescope. I knew “the man” was angelic and wondered if his name was or meant “Teleios.” The “man’s” message was the “message of completion” and he was looking through the telescope for those who would recognize, welcome, and celebrate his message of becoming teleios—perfected and complete in Christ.
1 Corinthians 13:11 When I was a child [Greek: népios: unlearned, immature], I talked, thought, and reasoned like a child [immature]. When I became [Greek: ginomai] a man, I put the ways [Greek: katargéō] of childhood [immaturity] behind me.
Paul is saying that as we emerge into spiritual adulthood we will be compelled and empowered to leave our immaturity behind us. The Greek word katargéō means: to idle down, render something inert (“completely inoperative”); i.e. being of no effect (totally without force, completely brought down); done away with, cause to cease and therefore abolish; make invalid, abrogate (bring to nought); “to make idle or inactive.”
1 Corinthians 13:10 but when completeness [Gr. teleios] comes, what is in part disappears [Gr. katargéō]. In other words, when God’s completeness (perfected maturity) comes, I will deactivate and do away with the results of my brokenness. Once His completion comes, my frustrating “not-yet’s” will become clear and easily deactivated [Gr. katargéō].
The maturing process is an emerging process. Paul said, “I became a man.” The Greek for “became” is gínomai, which means: to emerge, become, transitioning from one point (realm, condition) to another. When we live by faith, we are living heaven-downward. Our Christ-centered identity is exercised and emerges into our earthly existence—not the other way around. Crucified with Christ means that we are seated with Him in heavenly places and living heaven-downward by faith in Him. (For more on “ginomai,” see my article “The Visible Invisible”)
Scripture tells us that completeness leads to putting away and deactivating weaknesses. The responsibility for empowering me to deactivate my crap is on God to release in His completion and is on me only in the sense of waiting, hoping, and believing that He can and will do it. That means that the full responsibility is on God to complete me with Himself and the only responsibility I have is to believe that He wants to complete me and that He will do what He has promised to do. Even the grace to wait patiently and believe this truth is on Him to release to me. My simple “Yes” to God is all I’ve got to give Him. “Yes!” is what God asks of me to become my All-in-all.
So now, when I run into my insufferable “not-yet’s” (or someone else’s), I can turn to Him and lay these “not-yet’s” at His feet and say, “Come and complete me!” “Come and complete them!” I cannot change my own heart or anyone else’s, but God can. Praise the LORD! I will see some of my “not-yet’s” deactivated during the maturing, emerging process and the rest will be deactivated on the day of His full completion.
Thus, the famous 1 Corinthians 13 “Love Chapter” of the Bible is telling us a big secret! God stands at the door and knocks and initiates love by activating our deep longings for Him through the fire of the Holy Spirit sparking and triggering our deep, creative center. This is the time to become vulnerably open, honest, and “fully knowable” by God in our thoughts and desires. This is how we invite Him in. No excuses. No cover stories. Just, “Come on in Jesus. Know me (especially in the places where I am afraid of knowing You).”
We do this with the hope that one-day, His completeness will come and we will be empowered to gladly deactivate all former, immature thinking, reasoning, and speech. When His preparation for completeness process comes to the “teleios” end and the fullness is poured out upon our prepared heart, our face will be empowered to unashamedly and directly initiate toward His face and respond to Him in utter dependence and complete trust with no more separation, no more excuses, and no more holding back.
When Jesus knocks on our door and asks for more, we respond to His sweet, and sometimes painful initiation of love and open the door—even if we have to pry it open. The Church of the Open (Heart) Door means that as His body, we are opening the door to our hearts and letting God “know us” and complete us in our deep, core places. As we grow in our trust of Him, we will stop hiding from God in any area of our lives. Deep-to-deep, “fully known and knowing” means that like Adam and Eve in the garden before the fall, God has completed us and as such, we are able to gladly deactivate all shame, pretending, hiding, and hypocrisy. Nothing and no one holds our hearts but Him.
Sealed forever in His love, we are simply free to be utterly honest and transparent (i.e., “naked”) with our loving Creator God. Face-toward-face and deep-to-deep, we, the longing parts and pieces of His heart and dwelling place, have finally become heart knit and one with Him. Together, we are at rest in the One who is Love.